At first this sounds like a silly statement. Why you ask? Other lawyers don’t mention this, so why do you Mr. Gribow?  They have not been an auto accident victim and don’t understand some of the things we accident victims experience. In other words, they have not walked in our shoes…and you need a lawyer who has those shoes!

With Labor Day this weekend, some of my readers their family or friends, will be in an accident. So don’t be someone who plans to fail… because you fail to plan now for which lawyer you would call!

When I was rear ended on the Santa Monica Freeway, on my way to court, I owned a prestigious 30 person PI Firm, widely considered a premier Accident Law Firm in Beverly Hills. I too was ignorant, of some of the things I learned as a victim.

Initially, a victim has to get the car out of a tow yard; to a body shop; contacting the insurance company and not saying the wrong thing. It is not always what you say, but what the insurance company, THOUGHT they heard you say. Let your lawyer do the talking. Waiting in the doctor’s office is common,…but 3 hours…and then seeing a Physical Therapist 3 times a week for months! Add hours more for driving, parking and xrays etc.


All lawyers deal with client challenges of the insurance company; a traffic accident report; rental and car repair and loss of wages issues. Finding the right doctor, close to home or work, is important…and one who knows how to write a Med/Legal Report. For years, I lectured yearly to the International College of Orthopedic Surgeons conference, “teaching” them how to write a medical/legal report for the insurance company and court. This is something NOT taught in medical school.

Finding other than an 800 non local attorney, is important. They don’t know the local courts, judges, attorneys, court personnel, etc.  All lawyers go through this listening to their clients phase.

The average PI lawyer doesn’t understand how the doctor’s advice not to lift anything over 10 lbs, could affect you… or the child, that puts theirs arms in the air when they see you. If you don’t pick them up, will that cause psychological harm to the child, let alone you? The weight limitation, also affects your lifting luggage and groceries etc.

But wait, there’s more! If you haven’t been an accident victim, you don’t understand the psychological impact. This could be as serious as a Traumatic Brain Injury, that no one is aware of, to having a hard time sleeping while reliving the accident, or having nightmares. While driving, when you hear brakes screech, or horns, you may tighten your neck and shoulder muscles, afraid you were going to be hit again…as I did. For me, when I would drive to court every morning, I got off the Santa Monica freeway onto the stretch of road that parallels the freeway around La Brea, not wanting to drive in the same place where I was rear ended.

All these extra demands/stresses, put you on edge. Thus, when you come home and your wife/significant other asks, Hi honey, did you have a good day?… you too may react inappropriately and say, “how the hell could I have had a good day? I spent hours driving, parking and waiting in the doctor’s office (if outside the CV).

In addition you still have responsibilities at work. You may have to work late to catch up, or worry about bringing home less money. Of course, the insurance co will do everything possible to deny and delay fixing your car or giving you any money. They are not going to advance money to assist you. They would rather place pressure on you to settle for less now, rather than waiting for the home run that is more common with time.

Unfortunately, the abruptness you demonstrate with your wife and kids, can lead to other issues. Maybe even divorce, which itself will lead to more stress and financial challenges. There is no end to what one goes through after an auto accident …so retain a lawyer who has walked in your shoes and understands you may need a psychologist.

Dale Gribow (760 837 7500) is a recognized and distinguished Palm Desert, award winning Accident Attorney, with over 35 yrs experience. He is waiting to apply his extensive expertise on your behalf, when you have been in an accident or received a DUI