Experienced lawyers consider the med/legal report the most important part of an Accident Case… as it presents the injuries in the best light. Yet, some lawyers don’t guide the client and doctor on its preparation. That is not to say the victim and doctor should lie, but rather that there is often a better choice of words/phrases to describe what the plaintiff is experiencing. In addition, many local doctors were NOT taught how to write a med/legal report in “their medical school.”

After an accident, calling a lawyer asap is not just a suggestion, but an absolute necessity. Your attorney should advise you to remain silent and not talk to anyone from the insurance company… because it is “not what you say, but what the insurance company THOUGHT YOU SAID”. This report is the most important factor in recovering the fair value…and should not be a summary of the doctor’s notes. Most CV doctors fall into this less than educated category, and have unknowingly been doing it wrong for years, thus decreasing the value of their patient’s cases. Maybe this is why the same case is more valuable in Los Angeles than the CV.

There is an art to writing a helpful med/legal report. For instance, being able to explain the “the pain is not cane pain, but more like a pilot light pain …that is always on.” Explaining it is not the kind of injury that interferes so much with the doing, as with the experience of doing. As a matter of fact, a jury instruction says the jury should consider the “impact on the enjoyment of life.” In other words to “do or not to do”, knowing there will be a price to pay if you do it and that this is as good as it’s going to get…knowing the pain is only going to get worse as the natural aging process overlays on top of your injury. The jury must understand this is a verdict for all time.

For years, I had the honor of being a Faculty Member of the International College of Orthopedic Surgeons, teaching “How to Write a Med/Legal Report” at their Annual Beverly Hills Conference. Each doctor was given my 50 page Treating Physicians Manual, providing an “update on the management of back pain and back injury.” Most doctors don’t realize that stating the patient has recovered and is ok, or symptom free…is the KISS OF DEATH for the patient, client and attorney. Instead they should consider, the “Prognosis is Guarded” or that it is a well-known fact that injuries like this often resurface. In other words, the little things take a big toll over the course of time and the victim will now live their life making choices, knowing there will be pain.


Doctors must understand the Insurance companies only pay those damages the patient is able to prove are from the accident. After teaching Medical groups, they have a better understanding of how to prepare an honest med/legal report that helps, not hurts their patient.

An experienced PI lawyer should guide the patient’s injury descriptions to the docs. For instance, it’s best not to say, “I can’t do…” and instead consider, “It Hurts when I try to” or “I am not able to do it as well”. The Medical Report arguably should read, there is a 50% chance the patient will not make a full recovery, rather than a 50% chance of a full recovery.

“Don’t talk to the insurance companies without your lawyer’s permission”, because “Silence is Golden and Handcuffs are Silver”. Again, it’s not what you say, but what the insurance company, thought they heard you say.” Remember they are “Not on Your Side”; “you are NOT in Good Hands” and “Your Friendly Neighbor” will not give you a “Piece of the Rock.”



Dale Gribow, is the “Go-To” “Boutique/Concierge” PI/DUI firm with over 25 Top Lawyer awards. The limited caseload allows calls to be answered the “old fashioned” way… by Dale.

Before you talk to an adjuster, hire an attorney, or sign papers, get a FREE ACCIDENT Strategy Analysis Consultation! “If you don’t need a lawyer, I will advise and direct you.”