Herein are some of the things you could have done wrong:
- If you lie and lose your case it is often because the other side catches you and asks “where you lying then or now?”
- Insurance companies are well trained in spotting liars. Why lie? There is no question you have been injured in an accident and deserve compensation
- Surveillance: Assume an investigator will do a sub rosa (undercover) investigation. You may be ok one day and be able to play tennis or golf but the next day you can’t. A jury will understand this. However they will punish you if they believe you lied saying you never played post accident and they have surveillance to prove you lied.
- Take down social media: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs or Web pages that show everything you do and who your friends are to interview
- Do not talk about your case: The insurance company may try to contact you or your friends and neighbors. If contacted, explain “you would be happy to talk to them if they call your lawyer for permission”. A good lawyer always sets himself up as a strawman……..so always remain the good guy and let your lawyer be the bad guy. Remember dealing with your insurance company is totally different from Defendants.
- Remember, adjusters are paid to minimize the value of your case and pay you as little as possible.
- Do not sign anything without consulting with a lawyer: Even simple minor accident releases can have hidden language in the fine print.
- Doctor appointments: Follow the doctor’s directions. There is never an excuse to miss appointments. The insurance company will argue, “if you were really injured you would have found a way to make the appointment”. Missed appointments are interpreted as “you are ok now”. The insurance company says if you made all your appointments, you would have healed sooner”. At the doctor’s be careful what you say. Never say “my attorney said to…”. Be sure you tell each doctor each problem.
- Do not dispose of important evidence such as pictures, bloody clothes, casts/braces or your shoes in a slip and fall.
- Pictures: Take photos showing your injuries, both before and after a surgery. Take videos showing how hard it is for you to get around or do chores or get in and out of a car.
When the adjuster comes to your home to evaluate the property damage she often takes photos of car. Do not let the adjuster trick you into getting into the pix with the car and then saying bend to show the damage and at the last minutes says “smile”. Now you are caught bending and smiling when you complained to the doc that you hurt in every way.
- The Insurance Medical Exam (IME): These doctors aren’t independent and are only hired if they provide favorable reports for the Defendant. They make money finding that nothing is wrong. Your lawyer should attend the IME with you and note the times when the exam started and ended so they can argue the defendants doctor saw you for ……….minutes.
- Prepare a summary before you go to your doctors or theirs. That way you will remember to list all symptoms ……from the top of your head to bottom of your toes.
- Call your lawyer if you have any questions and before doing anything.
- Don’t admit fault? It is not your decision, and you may only be partly at fault. Thus you can still recover money …and remember your loss of earnings.
Call police & take pix of car, skid marks, debris and traffic signs.
- At the scene document everything …all the facts and get everyone’s name.
- Don’t settle injury or car damage to quickly. Get legal advice and collect for future meds etc.
- Avoid detailed statements to Defendants insurance company.
- Document treatment and don’t release med records without a lawyer and doctors ok. Don’t see a doc you have seen before because they often have things in their records that can hurt your case…….(prior accidents; drug issues, STD’s, abortion, admission of affairs, psych treatment etc.)
- Have your insurance company file an SR1.
- Don’t attend a body shop the insurance company recommends as they remain a preferred shops as long as they do the work cheaply. This means lower PD estimates because they cut corners etc.
- You can also lose your case because you picked the wrong lawyer. Choose a local experienced PI lawyer with a great AVVO & YELP rating.
DALE GRIBOW, “Award Winning Attorney”
“TOP LAWYER” – Palm Springs Life-(PI/DUI) 2011-19
“TOP LAWYER”- Inland Empire Magazine Nov. ’16
PERFECT 10.0 AVVO Peer Rating
TOP ATTORNEYS OF NORTH AMERICA- May ’18
10 BEST ATTORNEYS FOR CALIFORNIA
“PREEMINENT” Rating – Martindale Hubbell Legal Directory
“BEST Attorneys of America”-(“Rue” Limited to Top 100 Attorneys/state)
Legal Eagle “Best and Brightest Legal Minds” – Palm Springs Life- 6/16
Contact Dale Gribow at: (760) 837-7500 or firstname.lastname@example.org