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Yearly Archives: 2011

Recreational Activity and Assumption of the Risk

Categories: Premise/Slip and Fall

By Arthur D. Leritz. Posted on .

By now, most of you have already heard about the tragedy that occurred at the Indiana State Fair on Sunday when a stage collapsed, killing five people.   Apparently the rigging and lighting equipment was brought down by high winds in that tragic incident.  While it may seem like a freakish accident, is someone ultimately responsible for allowing this to happen?  Could this have been prevented?  Is this the type of risk one associates with going to an open air concert at a State Fair?

Hopefully, most of you are aware that when you purchase a ticket for a concert or sporting event, there is usually language on the back of the ticket that absolves the promoter or event organizer from any liability for risks inherent in the activity.  By going to these events, you “assume the risk” for any injuries that may occur for known risks associated with that activity and this acts as a bar to recovery.  For example, getting hit by a baseball at a baseball game is a known risk, as is injury from racing a go-kart around a track – as well as injury sustained while dancing in a “mosh pit” at a concert.  If you are injured in these situations, you likely will not be able to make a claim against the team, stadium owner or event organizer.   However, what if you are injured in a go-kart because there was standing water on the track, or the go-kart was missing a key piece of safety equipment?  What if you were hit by a foul ball because the net that was supposed to protect you was not in place, or was installed incorrectly? Or, what if you were injured because a stage collapsed at a concert?

So what is assumption of risk?  In its simplest form, “assumption of risk” means that the injured party, prior to the incident complained of, gave his or her consent to relieve the potential at-fault party of an obligation of conduct toward him, and agreed to assume a chance of injury from a known risk arising from the obligation for which the at-fault party has been relieved.  In Washington State, there are two main types of assumption of risk:  express and implied.

Express assumption of risk is generally bargained for and found in a contractual relationship.  A person expressly assumes the specific risk of harm if that person:

  1. has full subjective understanding;
  2. of the presence and nature of the specific risk; and
  3. voluntarily chooses to encounter the risk.

Implied assumption of risk operates in the same way as express assumption of risk, but without the additional ceremonial and evidentiary weight of an express agreement.  It has also been held to apply where you impliedly consent to relieve the at-fault party of a duty to yourself about specific, known, and appreciated risks, and you engage in conduct, from which consent is implied.  In that situation, the at-fault party bears the burden of proving that you knowingly and voluntarily chose to encounter the risk.

In either express or implied assumption of risk, the key is subjective knowledge of the presence and nature of the specific risk.  If you are injured while engaging in a recreational activity or while attending an event and are confused about your rights and duties in that situation, the attorneys at Adler Giersch are willing and able to assist you.

Distracted Driving: A Serious Problem

Categories: Auto Accidents

By Jacob W. Gent. Posted on .

Everyday, more than 15 people are killed and over 1,000 more are injured in motor vehicle collisions involving a distracted driver.1 Distracted driving, or driving while performing another activity which shifts your attention from operating a motor vehicle, is classified in three main categories: visual (taking your eyes of the road), manual (taking your hands off the wheel), and cognitive (taking your mind off what you are doing).

Common activities which cause distracted driving include eating, reading a map or other material, writing a note, personal grooming, adjusting the car stereo, using a cell phone or in-vehicle navigation device.  But according to the US Department of Transportation, texting and driving is the very likely the most dangerous activity, because it involves all three forms of distraction.2

Here are some alarming statistics about distracted driving3:

  • Over 5,400 people were killed and 448,000 people were injured in crashes which involved a distracted driver in 2009.
  • Of those injured or killed in 2009, use of a cell phone was a major contributing factor in almost 1,000 deaths and 24,000 injuries.
  • The proportion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of a fatal crash has increased from 7 percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2009.

A recent CDC study examined the frequency of cell phone use and texting among drivers in the United States. Results included4:

  • 25% of drivers reported that they talked on their cell phones while driving “regularly or fairly often.”
  • 75% of drivers ages 18 to 29 reported talking on their cell phone while driving at least once in the past 30 days, while nearly 40% reported talking on the phone and driving “regularly” or “fairly often.”
  • Nearly 1 in 10 drivers reported texting or e-mailing while driving “regularly or fairly often.”
  • Over half (52%) of drivers ages 18-29 reported texting or e-mailing while driving at least once in the last 30 days, and more than a quarter report texting or e-mailing “regularly” or  “fairly often” while driving.

Although many states and municipalities have enacted laws5 to curtail drivers from using cell phones while operating a motor vehicle, the prevalence and associated danger distracted driving continues to grow.  I encourage all motorists to take adequate precautions when using cell phones while driving, such as using a hands free device, accepting calls only when absolutely necessary, and limiting the duration of a call to a bare minimum.  And no one should try to text and drive.

 

 

 

1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Traffic Safety Facts: Distracted Driving 2009. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, September 2010. Publication no. DOT-HS-811-379. Available from http://www.distraction.gov/

2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Statistics and Facts about Distracted Driving. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2011.

3. NHTSA Publication no. DOT-HS-811-379.

4. Porter Novelli. (2010). HealthStyles 2010 Survey. Unpublished raw data. Washington, DC: Adam Burns.

5. For example, in Washington State effective July 2010, it is primary offense for drivers to talk on a cell phone without using a hands-free device.  RCW 46.61.667.   Texting and driving is strictly prohibited by statute.  RCW 46.61.668.

Getting the Most Out of Your Doctor’s Visit

Categories: Practical Tips You Can Use

By PI-Advisor. Posted on .

Doctors are busy.  It is a simple fact of life.  This can sometimes mean that patients may feel railroaded and not have questions answered.  The doctor may want to spend a leisurely half hour chatting, but there is likely a line a patients waiting for his or her time.  You can respect the situation that the doctor is in, but still get your needs met.  Here are some guidelines to consider to make the most of your time, money and health.

1. Schedule appropriately. If you have more than one issue to discuss, make that clear at the time the appointment is set.  The time scheduled for an exam is often dictated by the complexity of the problem(s) presented.  Make sure to tell the scheduler everything you want to talk about at the appointment.

2. Be prepared. Know what your questions and concerns are before you walk in.  Write them down.  Spending time trying to remember that one more question you knew was important is time you will not have to get the answer.

3. Know thyself. History and other medical issues are important for doctors to know in order to properly advise a patient regarding an acute issue.  Being vague about your own history or current medications leaves the doctor with unanswered questions that could affect treatment decisions.  Be prepared to give a thorough yet concise summary of your medical history, family history and details of any medications you are taking.  Again, it doesn’t hurt to write it out.

4. Be honest. Don’t try to hide embarrassing facts from your doctor.  They have heard it all.  You will not shock them.  It is important to be honest and thorough so that the doctor can make the right recommendations for you.  If you conceal important facts, the treatment recommendation may not be appropriate and you will have wasted your time and the doctors.

5. Be assertive. But not aggressive.  You are the CEO of your health care.  You have the right to competent medical care.  If you feel a doctor has not answered your questions or is not listening, you have the right to tell them. However, as in any relationship, being rude or making personal attacks never gets you far.

6. Set the tone. Let your doctor know how involved you want to be in treatment decisions and if you have particular opinions or beliefs that would affect decision-making.  Some patients just want to be told what to do with absolute faith in the doctor’s recommendation.  Other patients need a lot of information to feel part of the decision-making process and control of health care.  Doctors don’t know which you are unless you tell them.

7. Take the reins. If you feel you are consistently not getting what you need from a doctor, change doctors!  Even if your health insurer has constraints on who you can see, there are usually several doctors within a single clinic to whom you can transfer care.

    Preparation and self-advocacy are the keys to getting the most out of your time with your doctor.  Trust that confidentiality laws protect your privacy and are taken seriously.  Respect the doctor’s time and expect the same in return.  Making the most of this time will help you make the most of your health.

    Crash Data Retrieval Systems – The "Black Box" that's Already in Your Car

    Categories: Auto Accidents

    By Arthur D. Leritz. Posted on .

    We are all familiar with the “black box” recording system used in airplanes that records voice and electronic data that is used after a crash to determine what happened.[1] What you may not be as familiar with is that this same type of system is in every new car manufactured today with an airbag.  This Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) system does not record voice transmissions, but it records a variety of other data, including speed, velocity, brake application, etc.   Depending on the manufacturer, this CDR system records data ranging from 5 minutes before to several milliseconds after a crash.  Even if the airbag is not deployed in a collision, the CDR system still records the information.

    This information can be potentially very useful in a wide variety of motor vehicle collisions to determine the forces involved in the collision and can conclusively determine the speed of the vehicle and forces involved with that vehicle.  Speed is notoriously under reported in motor vehicle collisions by all drivers.

    Several manufacturers[2] have released their proprietary codes so that forensic accident reconstruction experts so equipped can access the “black box” and get a CRD Report that shows this information.  By 2012, all manufacturers are required to disclose their CDR codes on new cars sold in the US.

    If you are ever involved in a frontal collision, even if your airbag does not deploy, your CDR system has recorded the crash data.  It is therefore important to take steps to preserve this information, as this data is typically lost forever once the vehicle is turned off and then started again.  For example, if you are in a collision in an uncontrolled intersection, this information can corroborate your speed and braking prior to the collision.  If you are in this situation, it would be a good idea to first ask the investigating policy agency if they can retrieve this data from your car – many police agencies are so equipped.  If the police cannot retrieve this data, have your car towed to a repair facility equipped to download this information.  It could make the difference between the other driver’s insurance company deny liability or accepting it.


    [1] Interestingly, the box is actually orange, not black, so that it can be seen and identified easier.

    [2] Ford, GM, Chrysler, Suzuki, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Sterling, Fiat, Saturn, Toyota and Scion.  A special thank you to Officer Steve Harbinson of The City of Edmonds, WA Police Department for providing this information.

    Pedestrian Injuries and Deaths: Some statistics and safety tips

    Categories: Auto Accidents, Practical Tips You Can Use

    By Jacob W. Gent. Posted on .

    Walking.  It’s a great way to get and stay in shape.  It helps ease traffic woes by reducing the number of vehicles on the road.  And with today’s gas prices, walking can help stretch those dollars at the pump a little further.  Now that summer and good weather are finally here, you can expect to see more people out and about for a leisurely stroll, running errands, or working off those extra winter pounds.

    The problem is, pedestrians are extremely vulnerable.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 300 people nationwide will be injured and receive emergency room care as a result of pedestrian-related injuries in an average 24 hour period.  On average, one person will die from traffic-related trauma in the next two hours. In 2007, more than 4,800 pedestrians were killed and over 118,000 were injured by motor vehicles.

    A survey of pedestrian-related injuries and deaths in 2009 by the Department of Transportation  revealed the following statistics:

    • Males are more likely to be injured or killed than females.
    • Pedestrians aged 65 years and older have a higher fatality rate than all other age groups.
    • Almost 20% of traffic-related deaths of children under 14 are pedestrian fatalities.
    • Approximately 40% of all pedestrian fatalities involving children 16 and under occur between 3:00 and 7:00 PM.
    • 48% of all pedestrian traffic fatalities occur on the weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).
    • An overwhelming majority (77%) of all pedestrian deaths occur between 4:00 PM and 4:00 AM.
    • Alcohol was involved, in either the driver or pedestrian, in 48% of all pedestrian fatalities.
    • Urban pedestrians are more likely (72%) to be killed than their rural counterparts.
    • Three quarters of pedestrian fatalities occur at non-intersection locations.
    • A whopping 89% of collision-related pedestrian fatalities occurred during normal weather!

    In light of these numbers, it is important to keep these simple things in mind to avoid the risk of injury or death when walking near roadways:

    • Always cross the street at intersections and use designated crosswalks whenever possible.
    • Even though crossing the street at intersections is vastly safer than elsewhere, pedestrians should be wary of drivers who fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians when turning onto another street.
    • Pedestrians should increase their visibility at night by carrying a flashlight and wearing light-reflective clothing.
    • Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible.  If a sidewalk is not present, walk on the outside of the lane facing oncoming traffic.
    • Don’t drink and walk on or near roadways!
    • When driving, remember to always yield the right of way to pedestrians at all times.

    In addition to the tips above, additional resources for increasing safety for children pedestrians are provided below.

    • International Walk to School in the USA: http://www.iwalktoschool.org/
    • Safe Kids USA:  http://www.safekids.org/
    • National Center for Safe Routes to School:  http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/

    Older Drivers and Injury Statistics

    Categories: Auto Accidents

    By Arthur D. Leritz. Posted on .

    We’ve all heard the statistics about how younger drivers are typically more likely to be involved in motor vehicle collisions.   It makes sense, and it’s something we have been told, well, since we were old enough to drive.   Of growing concern, however, are the drivers at the other end of the spectrum:  “older drivers,” defined as drivers 65 years of age and older.  This will become more of an issue as the baby boomers continue to age. . . and drive.    Some recent findings are cause for concern:

    In 2008, more than 5,500 older adults were killed and more than 183,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes. This amounts to 15 older adults killed and 500 injured in crashes on average every day.

    There were 33 million licensed older drivers in 2009, which is a 23 percent increase from 1999.[1]     

    Although few older adults are killed while riding motorcycles, this number has risen. More than five times as many people 70 years and older were killed on motorcycles in 2008 than in 1997.[2]

    Of the 708 traffic fatalities reported in Washington State in 2008, 86 (12.1%) involved drivers aged 65 and older.[3]  This is slightly higher than the national average of 11.1%.[4]  Surprisingly, it is Vermont that has the highest percentage of fatalities involving drivers over the age of 65 (18.6%), and not the typical “retirement states” of Florida (11.2%), Arizona (11.2%) and New Mexico (9%).[5] Lousiana had the lowest percentage of fatalities involving drivers over the age of 65 (7.9%).[6] 

    A recent survey done by the Centers for Disease Control found that older drivers tend to limit or self-restrict their driving during certain conditions:

    Of the current drivers, about 57% of men and 81% of women reported that they avoided driving under certain conditions. Respondents most commonly limited their driving at night and in bad weather. One-third of older men and two-thirds of older women stated that they avoided driving under each of these conditions.

    Other findings included:

    Only 9% of older men, but 34% of older women, reported avoiding driving on highways or high-speed roads.

    A third of older men and 44% of older women reported avoiding driving in heavy traffic.

    About 10% of older men and 15% of older women reported cutting back on driving due to a physical problem in the last year.

    Of those that cut back on driving due to physical problem, 40% cited vision-related issues as a reason.[7]

    If you are a driver age 65 or older, you can reduce your risk of getting in a motor vehicle collision by doing the following:

    1.  Avoid driving in conditions of poor visibility, high traffic or high speed areas, such as freeways.
    2. Avoid driving while on medications that affects reaction times or mental alertness – if in doubt about which medications may affect your ability to drive then consult your doctor.
    3. Exercise regularly to increase your strength and flexibility
    4. Leave more room when following vehicles to allow a greater reaction time.
    5. Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and wear corrective lenses when required.

    If you know of an older driver that is having difficulty driving in certain conditions or has had a recent collision, talk to them and voice your concerns.  You may end up saving their life and the lives of others.    


    [3] Ibid.

    [4] Ibid.

    [5] Ibid.

    [6] Ibid.

    [7] ttp://www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/Older_Adult_Drivers/adult-drivers_factsheet.html

    Insurance Fair Claims Act (IFCA) In Action: Leveling the Playing Field and Protecting Washington Consumers

    Categories: Personal Injury Resources

    By Jacob W. Gent. Posted on .

    In 2007, the Washington state legislature passed the Insurance Fair Claims Act (IFCA) which provided Washington consumers a legal cause of action against insurers who violate their fiduciary duty to their policyholders. The Act permits the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) to penalize insurers for, among other things, improper denial of claims in “bad faith” and overcharging customers for insurance policy premiums. In 2010, the OIC levied $583,750 in fines against insurers doing business in Washington state. According to an article1 in The Olympian dated April 7, 2011, the OIC has fined Washington insurers more than $167,000 in the first quarter of 2011 alone. Fines collected by the OIC are placed in the state’s general fund to pay for other state services.

    Examples of fines and disciplinary actions in 2011 include:

    • Aetna Life Insurance Company was fined $65,000 for violations, including unreasonably denying 220 claims for acupuncture treatment. In addition, the company refunded $16,427 to policyholders.

    • Philadelphia based Ace American Insurance Company was fined $50,000 for using premium rates not filed with the state.

    • Progressive American Insurance Company, Progressive Northwestern Insurance Company. and Progressive Max Insurance Company were fined $30,000 for improperly deducting sales tax and fees from cash value calculations in more than 1,700 auto claims. Another $415,299.00 was also refunded to its policyholders.

    The insurance companies have responded. In an article by the Puget Sound Business Journal dated May 17, 2011, Karl Newman, president of the Northwest Insurance Council (NWIC) was quoted as saying:

    Insurance companies have a fiduciary [duty] to pay every legitimate claim and deny everything that’s not covered under the contract … The law [IFCA] came from a flawed assumption [there wasn’t enough protection in place for policyholders].”2

    According to the NWIC, the Insurance Fair Claims Act has overburdened the insurance industry with unnecessary costs, causing insurance companies to compare the cost of paying a claim it considers fraudulent against the risk of defending its decision to deny a claim in court.

    According to the NWIC, there has been a 9.3% increase of “questionable claims” in Washington state since 2008, costing an alleged $200 million in claims related costs. In spite of the claimed increase in indemnity and claims related expenses allegedly caused by IFCA, insurance companies in the state of Washington remain extremely profitable, collecting $8.4 billion in new premiums, while paying out $5.1 billion in claims in 2009, according to the OIC.

    Anyone with a complaint against an insurer, agent or broker can contact the insurance commissioner’s office at 1-800-562-6900 or file a complaint at www.insurance.wa.gov.

    1. http://www.theolympian.com/2011/04/07/1607393/olympia-fines-against-insurers.html

    2. http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/2011/05/questionable-insurance-claims-jump-9.html

    NFL Toughens up On Fines for Improper Head Hits

    Categories: Brain Injury

    By Richard H. Adler. Posted on .

    In October 2010, the issue of concussions and brain injuries had caught the attention of the NFL as seen by the significant fines assessed against players who caused helmet-to-helmet contact during tackles.  The fines were an initial attempt to draw black-and-white boundaries for players and league officials and to send a strong and new signal that helmet-to-helmet hits were now off limits.  The NFL’s actions demonstrated concern about the long term consequences for players and for the future of the sport.  For the remainder of the season, many players appeared unfazed by the new fines and improper hits continued throughout play-offs.   But then again, change like this does not come overnight.

     

    In 2011, whenever football practices and games resume, and in an effort to “walk-the-talk” against helmet-to-helmet hits, the NFL will heighten its fines to reach into the owners’ pockets.  The new rule was designed to force a cascade of implementation requiring coaches to instruct players on safe and proper tackle techniques in this new era.  Despite some objections by players and owners, the NFL has clearly entered a new and enlightened era on protecting the brains of its players and the future of football.  Equally as important, the NFL’s change will have an immediate and longer term cascading effect on youth sports and the need to have greater awareness of risks and consequences when a youth athlete is suspected of having a concussion. This growing awareness will result in the prevention of preventable brain injuries in youth athletes.

     

    As an attorney and advocate for those with traumatic brain injuries ranging from sports concussions to pedestrians struck in a crosswalk, I wholeheartedly agree with the NFL’s stand to make sports safer and protect players.  In 2009, I was fortunate to lead a coalition of local community partners dedicated to making sports safer for youth athletics.  As the then-President of the Brain Injury Association of Washington, we joined with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Harborview Medical Center, the Seattle Seahawks/Sounders FC, University of Washington,  Seattle Children’s Hospital, Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, Washington State Youth Soccer Association, Washington State Athletic Trainers Association, and Cannfield & Associates Risk Managers, to help pass the first-in-the-nation youth sports and concussion.  This law standardized the best medical and coaching practices by requiring the removal from the practice or competition following suspicion of a concussion or head injury until the youth athlete was cleared in writing by a licensed healthcare provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions.  This law also educates students, parents and coaches to know and understand the signs and symptoms of concussion and “when in doubt, sit them out.”

     

    To read more about the NFL’s new fines, click here to read the full New York Times article.

    Your Right to Know: Access to Governmental Information

    Categories: Practical Tips You Can Use

    By PI-Advisor. Posted on .

    There is a lot of talk about government “transparency” and the rights of the people to know what their government is doing.  But what does this mean beyond what you see on the news or flipping the remote to the government channels?

    In Washington, there is a powerful but often ignored law known as the Public Records Act (PRA).   It is similar to the Freedom of Information Act which applies to federal agencies. The PRA applies to all governmental agencies within the state and requires that every agency (state, county or city), follow specific rules when a person requests information about government actions.  Every agency must designate a Public Records Officer who is the point of contact for requests and oversees agency compliance with the law.

    A public record is any paper or electronic item of any kind that the agency might have.  The agency must disclose the information requested, except for certain very specific exceptions.  These exceptions include information that would invade an individual’s privacy, some law enforcement investigative information and research data, among others.  Other laws restrict access to certain other information such as a person’s medical records.

    To request public records, a member of the public need only make a request to the agency for the information.  Instructions for making a request are usually on the agency’s Web site. No explanation for the need of the information is required.  The agency has five business days to produce the record, provide an internet link to the information, deny the request (with an explanation of which exemption applies), or provide a reasonable estimate of the additional time it will need to respond.  The agency may provide copies, for which they can charge, or make the information available for copying.

    You can find additional information about the Public Records Act by checking out RCW 42.56 on the Washington state Web site: www.access.wa.gov.

    Tales From the “Darkside” – Secrets from a Former Insurance Defense Attorney

    Categories: Practical Tips You Can Use

    By Arthur D. Leritz. Posted on .

    Having recently ended an eleven year tenure as an insurance defense attorney, I can now share how I identified potential weaknesses in an injured party’s case by noting mistakes that he or she would   unwittingly make during treatment.

    Now that I have left the “dark side,” and started with Adler Giersch I want to share these secrets with you so that you will be better prepared, if and when you find yourself in this situation.  Any one of these can turn your case from a good one into one that could be coded “SIU”[1] by the insurance company, thereby making a case more difficult to settle.

    Not Following the Treatment Plan

    It seems obvious, doesn’t it? If your doctor recommends a specific course of treatment, then follow it. I used to often read through medical records and see recommendations made by healthcare providers that were not followed by the patient. For example, things like “patient referred for MRI two months ago, has yet to set appointment” or my absolute favorite: “patient is not complying with treatment recommendations.” Upon seeing this, the insurance defense attorney is now free to argue that you must have healed from your injuries and any treatment after the date of the chart note is not necessary. Alternatively, it will be argued that if you had complied with treatment recommendations you would have been done treating sooner and your injuries, if any, would have resolved sooner. These are all ways to reduce the reasonableness of the compensation claim.

    Accurately Report Your Injuries

    Getting involved in an automobile collision can be a very traumatic experience. All of a sudden, you will have to deal with doctors, insurance companies, bills and more correspondence than you are used to. In addition, patients can feel rushed, especially in an Emergency Room setting, with doctor appointments, but it remains very important to accurately report to your healthcare provider all of your injuries, even if some of your symptoms seem minor in  comparison.

    For example, I once had a case involving an injured motorcycle rider.  He had a neck, mid back, and a right shoulder strain/sprain. He also had a sore ankle, but apparently figured that it would resolve on its own. So, he did not report the ankle problem to any of his medical providers. Unfortunately for the motorcycle rider, his ankle did not resolve on its own. In fact, the other injuries resolved 2-3 months later, but the ankle turned into a persistent problem. The first time he mentioned the ankle problem to his doctor was four months after the collision. Eventually, the ankle became such a  problem that he needed surgery. The main defense to this ankle injury case was that the motorcycle rider did not sustain the ankle injury in the collision – otherwise he would have reported it to the ER doctor immediately after the traumatic incident and then his subsequent medical providers. At the deposition of his primary care provider, even his own doctor could not relate the ankle injury to the motorcycle collision, because of the gap of time from the collision to the first time the ankle injury showed up in the records. As a result, the motorcycle rider’s attorney was unable to pursue that part of his claim and all medical bills relating to that ankle injury were not recovered.

    Unfortunately for the motorcycle rider, since he downplayed his symptoms and did not report it, it looked to the insurance company that the ankle was not injured in the collision. The lesson here is simple: be accurate and thorough in reporting all your injuries, major and minor.

    –  Additional insights from Mr. Leritz can be found in chapter 24 of From Injury to Action: Navigating Your Personal Injury Claim, by attorney and Adler Giersch PS managing attorney Richard H. Adler.  Click here for a link to order your copy today!


    [1] “SIU” stands for Special Investigations Unit. It is a special section within an insurance company’s organization that handles cases with elements of fraud. Any one of these subtopics within this chapter could put your case into SIU.