Sharon from Palm Springs asks: In 2017 you stated that law is an Information Gathering Game. Why is that true for an auto accident?
DG: “In my radio show “Accidentally Yours” I informed my listeners to write down all the facts of how the accident happened and what was hurting them from the top of their head to the bottom of their toes. Your lawyer needs this and your memory is better after the accident than it is 6 months later.
Use your cell phone to take pictures of the damage to cars, your injuries, the other driver’s license and insurance card. Get statements of wits and the other drivers statement.
Go to the ER or Urgent Care for a checkup. Travel by ambulance is better than driving to the hospital, as it validates the seriousness of the injury and provides the information your lawyer will later need to get you a fair settlement.
Many victims do not want to spend money on the hospital, ER or an ambulance. They do not realize they will get it back in the settlement.
The victim that talks to the defense lawyer or adjuster puts his lawyer at a disadvantage as it provides INFORMATION to the defense. A client does not always remember what they told the adjuster and it is not just what they said but what the adjuster/attorney THOUGHT he heard them say.”
Arturo from Indio asks: Why take down Social Media?
DG: “Checking Social Media is the latest trick used by the defense in Accidents and the DA in DUI cases. The other side will Google you and check your Facebook to gather information on you. They may contact your Facebook friends to get negative information about you.
For instance IF you post you were just in an accident and thus were 1 hour late for golf or tennis it arguably suggests you were not hurt that badly. If you blog/post about going dancing, to the beach or on a ski vacation while you are still seeing a doctor this might suggest you were ok and thus faking your injuries…..or so the defense would argue. We all know one can be injured and still play tennis or golf, but with some pain.”
Dave from La Quinta asks: I waited a week to see my family doctor who said “go home and soak in a hot bath and come back in a month or two.” The next month the doctor said the same thing and I returned 2 months thereafter. After 3 visits over 6 months I was discharged with a bill of $600 and the insurance company is only offering me $1000. Isn’t my case worth a lot more since I was in pain for 6 months and am still hurting?
DG: “If you don’t see a doctor on a regular basis the value of future treatment is lowered substantially and the case may not be financially worthwhile for an attorney. In other words, the insurance company will argue if you were really injured you would have found a way to get medical care.
You should see a doctor you have never seen before so there are no skeletons in your closet when this doctor prepares a medical report. In addition you need to treat with a doctor that knows how to write a medical/legal reports.
If you delay treatment, the insurance company will argue the treatment may not have been from this accident and ask how do we know the treatment is from this accident.
The insurance company thinks all claims are false. They ponder whether you slipped and fell while running around the pool or fell in your shower and said I will say it is from the recent accident.”
If you have any questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact attorney Dale Gribow: 760-837-7500 or email@example.com.
“TOP LAWYER” – Palm Springs Life-(Accidents) 2011-17
“TOP LAWYER”- Inland Empire Magazine Nov 2016
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