- I understand you have said the most common question you get is Why Won’t You Accept My Accident Case Mr. Gribow? If that is so what could the reasons possibly be, when someone is rear ended and has medical bills? Isn’t that enough?
- When a car is rear ended then liability is clear. However, there are other issues in deciding a case.
A good lawyer will also look at the amount of the property damage. When it is a minor tap with under $1500 in PD, we normally would not accept the case because the jurors do not award much money under those circumstances.
In addition a lawyer looks at whether the client was taken by ambulance to the hospital or went to an urgent care directly from the scene. When there is a 2 month delay in seeing a doctor and all of a sudden the plaintiff starts treating, that will be a difficult case to settle. If the client had been talking to the adjuster and trying to settle the property damage and thinking they can handle the matter themselves, then there is a good chance the client has said something that can hurt the case. There is no way for a lawyer to learn what was said or what the adjuster “Thought s/he heard the client say. Learning about that conversation in the middle of trial, is the worst thing that could happen. If the client had prior accidents, then the adjuster would argue that some of the treatment was for pre- existing injuries. Of course these things will reduce the value of a case. Lastly if the client did not have auto insurance for his/her car then they cannot collect for pain and suffering.
- Has the value of an accident case gone up since you started and why?
- Actually, the value has gone down. In part because of the Haniff case in 1988 which established the law on what a plaintiff can recover, A person injured by another’s tortious conduct is entitled to recover the reasonable value of medical care and services reasonably required and attributable to the Tort. More recent Tort law determined value, based on what the plaintiff has to pay out of pocket. If Eisenhower has a bill of $100,000 but the insurance co has an arrangement to only pay $25,000 then the smaller bill is what is presented to the jury. In addition, for settlement, the insurance co will look at the amount the plaintiff pays out of pocket and bases the settlement on that amount.
On top of this the insurance companies have built a computer program called Colossus. It requires the adjuster to plug in the numbers for the amount of the Property Damage, Med Bills, info on who caused the accident etc. and spits out an amount for the adjuster to offer. The offers are smaller than they use to be.
- Mr. G I know you handle DUI cases. How can you accept a case when a client comes in for representation for injuries s/he received as a victim of a DUI accident, caused by another driver?
- I Change Hats when I sue a drunk driver for damages to my injured or deceased (wrongful death) clients.
Every client is entitled to their constitutional rights being protected and by representing a DUI driver, a lawyer is doing just that. When I represent the injured victim I protect the rights of the victim and when the defendant is a Drunk Driver there is case law that allows us to recover more than normal. We shoot for the largest amount possible.
Remember: Silence is Golden and Handcuffs are Silver so DON’T TALK to POLICE without your lawyer’s permission.
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