Questions personal injury attorneys are asked
I was in an auto accident recently. Why do I need a lawyer?
Clearly you can handle the case yourself but you will not get the same results. Most victims do not realize that they are Not in Good Hands and that their Friendly Neighbor Will Not Give them a Piece of the Rock. Insurance companies view their job as giving you the least money possible. Accident victims think it is ok to talk to the adjuster and that it will not hurt their case. WRONG! The insurance company will initially assign nice sweet adjusters but later they will reassign your case to a no nonsense adjuster that will not give an inch.
When you are first contacted by an adjuster it will be with respect to the property damage to your car. Many people think it is ok to talk to the adjuster about your case thus explaining how it happened and what hurts. Both your insurance company and that of the at fault driver will make notes of everything you say and your lawyer will not have a clue as to what they wrote down....which may not be what you said.
One of the tricks the adjusters often use is to take a picture of the car damage and before snapping the picture they suggest you get in the picture to identify the car as yours. Then they will suggest that you point to the damage on the Right front quarter panel and at the last second tell you to SMILE! Now they have a picture of you bending over and smiling when the medical reports will explain that you were hurting every day in every way. Is the picture consistent with the damages for which you treated and were described in the medical report? Of course not!
In an accident why do I have to go to doctors right away?
If you do not see a doctor right after the accident it is presumed you were not hurt. Many of my brethren will not accept a soft tissue accident case (where nothing is broken) if the injured party did not go to the Hospital, Urgent Care or ER right after the accident. In the worst case scenario, the injured party must see a doctor the next day. You cannot afford to call your doctor and be told they cannot get you in for 3 weeks. You and I may understand that but the insurance company will use that to argue against you. The company will later say, if you were really hurt that much you would have gone to the ER or the Urgent Care center to seek medical assistance before that 3 week period elapsed.
Take it from me it will reduce the value of your case if you do these things. In addition the parties in an accident should take down their social media asap. I had dinner with a defense lawyer 2 weeks ago who was explaining the defense attorneys have less work to do defending these cases since they can learn everything about the injured parties by getting on their Facebook etc. If they see comments about your playing golf or tennis the next day or pictures of you going " off roading" or hiking the Bump and Grind Trail etc. it suggests to the defense AND THE JURY that you were not hurt that badly and you might be exaggerating your symptoms. If you wait too long to treat with a doctor, the defense will argue "how do we know your treatment, 3 weeks later", was from the accident rather than your having slipped around the pool or in the shower and you are taking advantage of this case.
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.