YOUR 2016 ACCIDENT QUESTIONS ANSWERED

SHARON from Palm Springs asks:

In 2015 you stated that law is an information gathering game. Why is that true for an auto accident?

In my radio show "Accidentally Yours" I informed my listeners to memorialize all the facts as to how the accident happened and what was hurting them from the top of their head to the bottom of their toes. Your lawyer will need 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 and the scene. In addition provide the date/time/location of the accident and the name, address, phone number and emails of all witnesses and give it to your lawyer and the police when they arrive.

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 who 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.

ANTONIO from Indio asks:

Why take down Social Media?

Social Media is here to stay and is the latest trick used by the defense in both accident and DUI cases. The defense attorney will Google you and go to your Facebook to gather information on the victim. 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?

If you don't see a doctor within a very short period of time, the value of any future treatment is lowered substantially and the case may not be financially worthwhile for an attorney. In other words, the insurance company might argue that 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.

I have lectured on that subject at medical conferences and it is very important you see a doctor who can write a medical/legal report.

If you delay treatment, the insurance company will argue the treatment may not have been from this accident. For instance, how does the adjuster, judge or jury know if the problems for which you were treating, were from the accident.

The insurance company thinks are 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 the insurance company has a 10% to 30% chance of convincing a jury of this argument, then the value of your case is diminished by 10% to 30%. The longer you wait to treat, the more your case is damaged by these possible defense arguments.

With questions for future articles contact dale@dalegribowlaw.com or 760 837 7500

DALE GRIBOW
TOP LAWYER - Palm Springs Life-(ACCIDENTS)-2011-16
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