Personal Injury Plaintiffs All Have This in Common

Part of my editorial business includes proofreading deposition transcripts of pending lawsuits, and many of these are personal injury cases. The most common personal injury cases that I read involve car accidents and slip-and-falls.
The car accidents are not the nasty-looking ones you see on “caught on tape” videos. These are usually at much slower speeds, and often, only minimal damage occurs to the cars. In fact, the car is almost always in drivable condition after the incident.

The slip and falls usually occur either inside a Wal-Mart, a fast-food restaurant, or in a parking lot of a business. The person simply slips, and falls.

The attorneys for the defendant(s) always ask for detailed medical background of the plaintiffs. When the plaintiff is at least 40-something years old, but sometimes 30-something, he or she almost always has a prescription to a butt-load of drugs.

In the majority of cases, the plaintiff has a history of multiple health conditions. The most common are: high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, anxiety and depression — all for which he or she is taking a variety of prescribed medications. Other common conditions that the person takes drugs for include things like constipation, indigestion, migraines, and drugs for thinning blood.

In other words, these personal injury plaintiffs were sick puppies, riddled with health woes, long before the accidents that brought on the lawsuits. What’s going on here? Are sickly people more likely to suffer permanently damaged bodies from a simple slip and fall? Are unhealthy people more likely to suffer disabling back pain as the result of a 12 mph car collision?

Or are unhealthy, unfit people more sue-happy than fit people? Are people who are always looking for an easy way to get a lot of money, more prone to bad dietary habits that lead to the above-mentioned health conditions? Are strong, virile people more honest?

So what do these out-of-shape, unhealthy, unfit, poorly conditioned plaintiffs all have in common? Are they all smokers? No. Are they all obese or even moderately overweight? No.

What they all have in common is this: no exercise history! These people never exercised. None of them have ever had a gym membership. They never jogged. Never lifted weights. Never did Pilates or yoga. Never cycled or swam laps. Never took aerobics classes or martial arts. Nothing. Oh, maybe some of them said they used to “walk a bit” before the accident. And some used to golf or bowl.

But I’m talking about WORKING OUT. If you don’t WORK OUT, then by the time you are middle aged, boy oh boy, there is a 99 percent chance it will really catch up to you. These medical conditions can be prevented. It is no coincidence that these sickly plaintiffs have never incorporated exercise into their lives. So maybe it shouldn’t be so hard to believe, then, that a 12 mph car impact could totally mess up their back.

Moral of the story: Quit making excuses for not exercising. Which would you rather be doing when you’re 45? Sweating at a gym, or visiting doctors all the time?

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