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Questions From Readers About Automobile Accidents

Dale Gribow Dec. 16, 2014

Thank you all for your emails with legal questions. Here are a few of my favorites:

Q: I was in a car accident while walking across the street when I was hit by an fault driver who did not have any insurance. I have talked to two attorneys who said there is nothing I can do since they were uninsured............... Help!

A: If you had auto insurance with UM coverage you can present an uninsured motorist claim even though you were on foot. Your insurance company would take the place of the auto insurance the other party should have had and you can collect from them. However please understand your insurance co is now an adversary and you do not want to give any statements to your insurance company without the permission of your attorney.

Q: I was in an auto accident and did not seek medical help from my chiropractor for my soft tissue injuries for two weeks even though my car was totaled. Several lawyers have rejected the case.......... why?

A: Many lawyers will not accept an accident case unless the plaintiff (you) had medical assistance at an ER by ambulance or by car the same day. Ideally medical treatment should be with a medical doctor and not a chiropractor for the first visit. Insurance companies are stingier than ever and argue if you were really hurt you would have sought medical treatment right away at a hospital or ER. They argue how do we know you were not injured when you slipped and fell in your shower or running around your pool.........or playing golf or tennis within the last two weeks? In addition, as a rule, the last medical provider you should see is your regular doctor. This is because your doctor has a history of all your medical problems and some of them could prove harmful or embarrassing if the matter were to go to trial.

For instance I had a case where we were offered $40,000 two days before trial and my client said to accept it. I told her if we show up at court and act as if we were going to trial they would probably increase their offer to $50,000 the next day and if we started to select a jury the offer to settle would probably go up to $60,000. My client explained she was Catholic and had 5 kids and she had gotten pregnant 10 years earlier and had an abortion, however her husband did not know about it. Her husband had told her he was going to take off of work to support her at the trial. She was afraid the abortion would come out and that her marriage was worth more than the extra $10-20,000.

I have had other cases where my client's medical records referenced an alcohol or drug problem or a sexually transmitted disease and or other sexual issues and they did not want those things to come out in trial. It could be a reference to psychological problems or sexual orientation problems too.

Dale Gribow has been "Rated" TOP LAWYER by Palm Springs Life Magazine from 2011-2019 and has a Superb Avvo Legal Rating. Dale Gribow has been Man of the Year 7 times including the City of Palm Desert and the City of Hope and Dale Gribow Day has been declared 4 times.

If you have any questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact Dale Gribow Attorney at Law at his NEW number 760-565-0533.