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THINGS TO AVOID AFTER A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Dale Gribow Dec. 7, 2021

I have written legal columns for PI and DUI cases for decades. I have always suggested that Silence is Golden. What one does, or says, shortly after an accident, can have a profound impact on whether the PI victim or DUI Defendant , will be successful in recovering compensation or successfully defending their DUI case.

In the Age of Covid, we are all busy and are like a glass that is almost filled to the top with responsibilities. After an accident or arrest, the glass overflows and we may become irritable, angry or unreasonable. Of course, both of these incidents can cause the most reserved driver to become dazed, confused and disoriented.

Nevertheless, it is important to keep your cool and above all, do not apologize and admit fault in any way. For some, the first thing you want to do is to say you are sorry and apologize…even when it was not your fault. Your apology after an accident, even when you are not at fault, can be used against you.

For instance, never admit you had just received a text and looked down at your phone. Likewise, admitting that you should have checked your brakes is foolish….as is admitting you were exhausted from work and may have dozed off for a second. It goes without saying that one should never admit to not seeing someone who was “in your blind spot”.

Just because any of the above happened to you, does not mean you were at fault. So, remember silence is golden!

Common sense suggests that if you were injured, that you not post on social media that you were fine. Pain and suffering is often the most important part of the recovery for an accident victim. Why make it more difficult for your lawyer by alleging you were in pain, and yet you were able to go out and play sports or travel etc.

Your social media posts can contradict your claim of being in pain everyday in every way. At the worst, it gives the insurance adjuster a foot in the door to justify paying you less, or to withdraw a settlement offer.

Never ever, ever talk to the other parties insurance company. The other party is ethically bound to call you and other wits, shortly after a traffic accident. Of course, you must remember that insurance adjusters are trained to try to deny and delay payments. Why give them an excuse for not paying or underpaying?

Don’t accept the first offer. Often an insurance company will make an offer right after the accident and before you are aware you are hurting and before seeing a med provider. Most victims are not aware they can recover for current and future pain and suffering. That is why it makes sense to consult with a PI lawyer who will handle the case on a contingency and retain the necessary expert witnesses.

Most people do not realize it is not just what you say, but rather what the other party THOUGHT THEY HEARD YOU SAY. This can often be the reason your case does not settle.

In our office we believe not every accident case needs a lawyer. If that is the case we will tell you. If we don’t accept the case, we will help you try to find another lawyer.

I have defended the contitutional rights and dignity of those accused of a DUI, and I have obtained the best results possible for Injury Accident Victims for over 30 years.