In high school many of us had to read about Julius Caesar and the Ideas of March. It was a day in the Roman calendar that corresponds to 15 March. It was marked by several religious observances and was notable for the Romans as a deadline for settling debts. The phrase, “Beware the Ides of March,” is the soothsayer's message to Julius Caesar, warning of Caesar’s death/assassination in 44 BC.

Since that time, the idea stuck that the Ides of March is unlucky or a portent of doom—even if your name isn't Caesar. The Latin root of "idesmeans "to divide," so ides basically just denotes the middle of the month.  

This week’s column comes out on Wednesday, March 10, 2021…normally The Ides of March…Madness. For the much of the country March Madness refers to The College Basketball Finals, as well as NASCAR, Golf and St Patty’s. But for CV locals, it would normally refer to The Indian Wells BNP Tennis and the increased traffic of almost a half million visitors attending Tennis in Indian Wells. Everyone drinks while watching these events and of course…let’s not forget about St Patty’s? That was the way it used to be before Covid.

We are starting to see a return of out of town visitors dining with our “locals”. This increases traffic, which increases accident and drunk drivings. Somehow common sense should kick in to consider all the additional cars on the road. People are sitting in front of their TV’s at home, at outdoor dining and drinking again.

Many foolishly drive home unaware of how many beers and glasses of wine we can consume without getting impaired. However, when we drink outside of home we do not know how much alcohol the bartender poured.

In a restaurant/bar, 1 hard alcohol drink is probably not an oz.. This is because the bartender wants to get a good tip and assumes a strong drink will help do that.

For DUI purposes, a 1 oz. pour equals one drink but with 3-4 oz. poured per drink, it is the same as 9 -12 drinks. Thus, when we say we only had 2 drinks, we forget it is not the number of drinks but the amount of alcohol in each drink that matter.

Strong drinks coupled with the increase in traffic and drivers, who have had too much to drink, increases the number of accidents and DUI’s. Of course getting lost because of our dark nights, coupled with road repairs that necessitate lane changes, is “an accident waiting to happen”.

Historically there are more DUI FATALITIES in the Coachella Valley, per capita, than anywhere else in California. Thus it is logical that DUI arrests and fatalities spike during the Tennis and concert season. Naturally our law enforcement agencies become more vigilant on these weekends. Of course I have to stay close to my phone for clients that need assistance with an Injury Accident and or DUI.

Victims think they will be ok in a day or two and innocently talk to the insurance adjuster and go to their family doctor. Doing both damages their case. Because of this, many lawyers rejects these cases. I have explained this in a previous article…”Mr. Gribow, Why Won’t You Accept My Accident Case?”

Victims are often afraid of getting in an ambulance or seeing a doctor and getting billed. They do not realize the insurance company for the ‘at fault’ party will pay for these bills. Most drivers have medical payments coverage in their auto policy and or Health Insurance that will also pay up to their coverage limits.

Many prospective clients do not know their policy limits or cannot find their policy. It is important to know this information because the other driver may not have insurance. If so, we would present an uninsured motorist (UM) claim against our clients own policy. It is important to note that a medical provider is primarily concerned about getting paid for his/her work as does a hospital or urgent care. If the injured party cannot find their policies they often must resort to using a credit card to pay for treatment or being refused service. An experienced lawyer can often get medical treatment on a lien.

Typically, no one tells the victim that they should see a doctor right away to document the injuries, let alone have the victim prepare a summary of their injuries. When preparing this summary, the victim should write down their symptoms/injuries by starting with the top of their head and moving to the bottom of their toes.

Additionally, the victim should see a medical provider they have not seen before. This is because their current medical providers have records that document prior injuries, alcohol or drugs issues, psych referrals, STD’s, abortions etc. Though these records may have nothing to do with the accident, many jurors will incorrectly think less of the victim on account of these issues.

I advise my clients to not post anything on social media after an accident. The last thing you want is for the insurance company to find client’s posts of their playing tennis, golf, running in a marathon, while they complain they cannot do anything because of the amount of pain they are encountering.

Because of the mistakes and challenges listed above it is hard to maximize the value of an accident case and these cases often result in a smaller settlement. As a result many lawyers reluctantly reject these cases.