By Dale Gribow

So what does this week’s Oscar mix up have to do with an accident? Well, you do not always get what you think you deserve. You get what the facts suggest or your lawyer is able to get into evidence. Occasionally I get a client who comes into my office complaining they had been rear ended and they think they “won the lottery.” They have read stories of large verdicts and think that is in their future.

The large verdicts are the exception rather than the rule in 2017…at least on a soft tissue injury. We have all read about the McDonalds hot coffee case that resulted in a very large verdict for the lady who spilled her very hot coffee shortly after her purchase. The critics complained that the legal system had gone astray. This viewpoint is usually fueled by insurance companies that want to prejudice future jury pools so they do not yield large verdicts.

The truth is that though there was a large verdict against McDonald it was drastically and incorrectly reduced by the judge to a minimum amount…and not reported. The “fake news” (and I shudder to say that) did not tell the whole truth. It did not report that she incorrectly put the hot coffee between her legs as she drove. It was not reported that McDonalds had received thousands of complaints about their coffee being too hot.

However McDonalds had learned if you boil the coffee beans at a very very high temperature it would yield MORE CUPS OF COFFEE from the beans. Multiply that by hundreds of thousands of bags obviously yields serious money. Thus McDonalds ignored the safety of their customers and instead looked at their interests.

Clients innocently hurt their accident or DUI case by doing or saying the wrong thing. The back of my business card says:

Upon advice of my attorney, Dale Gribow, I exercise my Right to Remain Silent until you contact him at 760-837-7500 or,

My attorney has advised me the VOLUNTARY Field Sobriety & Breath Tests, at the scene, are OPTIONAL (unless one is on probation). Thus I elect not to take them. I want to cooperate and am happy to take a BLOOD TEST.

On an accident case clients often innocently do the wrong thing causing their case to have less value. Clients are often the reason they lost or will lose their case by not following this advice and talking and saying the wrong thing…OR having the officer write down something s/he “thought they heard” the party say.

I had one accident case where a good friend told his doctor about the accident and when the nurse prepared the report I requested, she misread the doctors notes and thought is said their patient fell and hit his head on a rock. The doctor refused to correct his mistake.

So if you have been in an accident you should do the following to increase your chance for a larger recovery:

Call the police, take pictures with your cell and gather info at the scene; contact a “local” lawyer; don’t talk to anyone; immediately go to the hospital then to the doctor your lawyer suggests and don’t give any statements to anyone without your lawyers permission. The latest admonition is to take down your social media. The insurance company can get free info on you by going to your Facebook page and reading about you brag about your recent tennis/ golf game or your skiing trips.

If you have any questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact Dale Gribow 760-837-7500 or


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