The reality of life is that there should be almost no auto accidents from now until at least Jan 2, 2021. We are supposed to stay in place and not go out. If everyone followed these orders there would be now cars on the roads, in addition to less Covid incidents. However, I would have no business if all my neighbors followed the rules. One way to look at this is that I am fortunate so many people are foolish enough to evade the Governors Orders and shop in person.

We all want our local merchants to survive and more on line shopping from our locals, would be a great idea. However I still see to many cars on the road when there should be very few.

Ok, so now what do you do if you are driving down Hwy 111 and you are rear ended in front of Desert Crossing? Well the insurance companies (but not me) would want you to do the following:

At The Scene:

The insurance company does not want the victim to use their cell phone and takes picture of the cars, witnesses, parties, insurance cards, CDL, injuries and then take video of the driver admitting liability and speeding.

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The insurance company doesn’t want a police a report or for the victim to take an ambulance to the hospital. Delay in treatment allows the carrier to argue if there was an injury there would have been immediate treatment. Many lawyers reject soft tissue accident cases if there is no ambulance or hospital right after the accident. Follow these suggestions and your case will have minimal value.

What about “Picking an attorney”:

A victim without the name of an attorney BEFOREHAND is stressed and disorganized and cannot think straight. They often hire a TV advertising “mill” attorney or worse yet, they use their business or estate planning attorney who knows nothing about this area of the law.

The less competent the attorney the less the case is worth. Out of town attorneys do not know the local court personnel and judges preferences. LA or San Diego lawyers are less likely to make court appearances…especially in the summer.

Local lawyers know the local defense attorney’s. This alone may result in an early settlement. A lawyer who was also in an accident will be a lawyer who truly understands the pain you are going through and the change to your quality of life….so the insurance company would want you to avoid a lawyer with that experience.

Body Shop:

The insurance company would prefer you use their body shop or use a friend who has body shop and will do the work for less. This plays into the hands of the insurance company as the amount of PD is important when settling. If there is less damage they can argue, how could the plaintiff have so many injuries with so little damage? So do what they want to get less money.

Choosing a doctor:

The insurance company wants victims to delay treatment and then treat with their family doctor. Their doctor may be competent to treat but may not be trained in preparing a medical legal report. Thus the poorer the report, the less value for the case and the less money the insurance company has to pay. For 12 years I would annually lecture to the International College of Surgeons on How to Write a Medical Legal Report. Clearly the insurance company would not want you to use a doctor trained in writing accurate reports as that would increase the value of your case.

When you treat with your own doctor, your existing medical records can have damaging information such as prior injuries, drug/alcohol use, and mental issues. Report notations about an affair, sexually transmitted disease and an abortion can likewise prejudice a jury against the victim. Thus the insurance company would be delighted if you provided that to them.

For maximum value, you must immediately see the doctor and not be given an appointment two weeks later. When that happens the adjuster can argue how do we know the injuries were from the accident and not a slip and fall in the shower or around the pool in the last few weeks. They will argue, if the victim was really hurt s/he would have been treated right away. So accommodate the insurance company and delay treating. When you do see the doctor that you saw for your stiff neck or toe nail fungus, that delights the insurance company. These medical providers will screw up the case for you, and play into the hands of the insurance company.

A good local lawyer has doctors, with whom they can use up a favor to get you an appointment right away. This alone can make the difference between a successful resolution or a substandard one. Don’t fall into the hands of the insurance company and see a doctor right away.

Social Media:

The new tool used by insurance companies is checking out the accident victim’s Facebook posts. A good lawyer would want you to take down social media until the case is over. However, to impress the insurance company you should publish information about your playing touch football, Tennis, bowling and entering sports tournaments where you may fall and are injured. The insurance company can see that information about the victim playing tennis/ golfing or going on a trip and lifting luggage so why not make it easy for them to argue against you.

They can also get the names of your friends and contact them to try to dig up dirt on you. All this can reduce the value of the case and plays into the hands of the carrier. This is especially true if your friend innocently divulges the sports you have been playing together after the accident…when you have told the doctor you hurt in every way, everywhere and can’t do anything.

If you follow this tongue in cheek article, I can assure you, that you will get minimal dollars on your case…no matter which lawyer you retain.

If you have any questions or suggestions for future columns contact Dale Gribow 760-837-7500 dale@dalegribowlaw.com.

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE, CALL A TAXI OR UBER………IT IS A LOT CHEAPER THAN HAVING AN ARREST OR ACCIDENT AND CALLING ME ………SO DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER

DALE GRIBOW

Legal Representation Of The Injured and Criminally Accused

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