The chances are that you or a friend was involved in an auto accident over the Memorial Day Weekend when more tourists are on the roads. Accident lawyers/victims have a hard time finding a doctor with whom to treat. Many professionals arrange vacation schedules around long holiday weekends, and are out Thursday through Tuesday.
Many foolish lawyers don’t answer calls until the next week, thus leaving victims at a loss to find medical treatment. Unfortunately, waiting two weeks to see a doctor hurts your case…a lot. The insurance company later argues “if the victim was really injured they would have treated at the ER, or Urgent Care Centers and not waited days or weeks to see a doctor.”
Victims get frustrated when they cannot find a doctor or lawyer and often think they will be ok in a day or two. Many mistakenly talk to the insurance adjuster, not realizing they are damaging their case to the point that many lawyers will not accept their case. I explained this in a previous article “Mr. Gribow, Why Won’t You Accept My Accident Case?” (for a copy please contact me).
Victims are often afraid of costs and thus don’t take an ambulance or see a doctor right after the accident. They don’t realize the defendant’s insurance company will pay for these cost. Most drivers have medical payments coverage or Health Insurance that will also cover these costs.
It’s a shame that many clients don’t know their policy limits, because the other driver may not have insurance. If so we present an Uninsured Motorist (UM) claim against our clients own policy…if s/he had UM coverage.
A similar scenario occurs when the defendant driver has a minimum $15k policy but the injuries are more serious. Then we look to our clients Underinsured Motorist Provision, collecting $15,000 from the defendant and then collect from the underinsured portion of our driver’s $100,000 policy. We would get $15,000 from the defendant and $85,000 from our client’s policy. All this is tax free money.
Medical providers are concerned about getting paid, as are hospitals and urgent care facilities. If the injured party cannot find their policies before they meet with us, they often pay using a credit card, whereas we try to get medical treatment on a lien.
Insurance companies love holiday claims because claimants do not see a doctor and they do the wrong things that ultimately reduce the claims value. Sometimes claimants call the insurance company and say things they should not have said. Equally common is the adjuster writing down things they thought they heard the victim say.
A victim should use their cell to take pictures of their injuries/cars and take video recordings of witnesses’ statements. In addition they should take pictures of the other driver’s insurance policy and license.
Victims don’t know they should see a doctor asap to document injuries, let alone that they should prepare a summary of their injuries. Victims should write down their symptoms/injuries by starting with the top of their head and moving to the bottom of their toes. Then they should bring that with them to every new doctor to be sure they remember to share every injury with every doctor.
A victim should also see a medical provider they have not seen before, because their doctors have records documenting prior injuries, alcohol or drugs issues, psych referrals, SDT’s, abortions etc. These records have nothing to do with the accident so why make it easy for the insurance company to learn all this. During a trial many jurors will incorrectly think less of the victim because of a pre-existing issue.
Clients should not post on social media following the accident because we don’t want the insurance company to find posts of clients playing tennis, golf, running in a marathon etc. Clients complain they can’t do anything because of the amount of pain they are encountering yet post pix of playing sports.
Because of the difficulty in getting medical treatment and the mistakes and challenges listed herein, it is harder to maximize the value of an accident case during the holidays. Unfortunately these cases often result in smaller settlements. Thus many lawyers are reluctant to accept these cases.
Attorney at Law
“TOP LAWYER” Palm Springs Life -(Accidents/DUI) 2011-19
“TOP LAWYER”- Inland Empire Magazine Nov 2016
PERFECT 10.0 AVVO Peer Rating
73-061 El Paseo, Suite 220 Palm Desert, CA 92260
Office – 760-837-7500 Fax – 760 837-7502