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Ken Gibson shares his car accident experience

By Beth Gibson on February 4, 2018

People say that empathy is born out of experience. That’s true for accident survivors, who know firsthand the lingering pain of physical and other injuries.

In their book, 7 Costly Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Virginia Auto Accident Case, attorneys Ken Gibson and John Singleton share their personal stories of being injured in car crashes that weren’t their fault. Readers get the sense that their experiences influenced their decision to pursue personal injury law.

We sat down with Ken and asked him to share his story with us.

How did your story begin?

KG: Well, it was the first new car I’d ever owned. I bought it after I landed my first job after law school with a Richmond firm. The car was a ’95 red Jeep Cherokee.

I was stopped at a red light at one of the busiest intersections in the city, when—BAM!—I got rear-ended by a drunk driver.

Your brand-new car? Was it totaled?

KG: It still had the “new car smell.” I drove it home, but my brand-new Jeep needed a lot of repair work.

What did you do afterward?

KG: I didn’t think I was injured at first. I took a good jolt, and my head snapped back. But I was wearing my seatbelt, so my head didn’t hit the windshield. I was a little disoriented when I got out of the car, but I didn’t think much of it. The police came and arrested the guy, and offered to call me an ambulance. I figured I would just tough it out, so I went home. Big mistake.

When did you realize you were injured?

KG: I called my boss when I got home, told him what had happened, and said that I’d be a little late tomorrow because I had to take my Jeep to the shop and pick up a rental. He could tell by my speech that something was wrong.

He picked me up within a few minutes and took me to the emergency room.  It turns out that I had severe whiplash, back and neck injuries, and bruising on my legs and from the seatbelt. I didn’t feel right again for a long time.

What was the worst thing about the accident’s aftermath?

KG: It was all bad—all of it. I was in pain.  Dealing with the insurance companies was frustrating. I missed a lot of work for doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, and court dates. It took forever to get my car back. My medical bills didn’t get paid for a long time. It was hassle after hassle and ongoing pain—all for something that wasn’t my fault.

What did you learn from your experience?

KG: A lot. First of all, don’t try to tough it out. Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, get checked out by a doctor. Your adrenaline is flowing right after an accident, and it often masks the pain and the extent of your injuries.

Another mistake I made was stopping medical treatment and physical therapy too early.

My final mistake was that I tried to negotiate the case on my own and only got an attorney involved too late in the process.

At the time, I was a rookie lawyer and hadn’t handled any car accident cases. I should’ve gotten a lawyer with experience right away to handle the details for me, while I concentrated on getting healthy again. I should have focused on getting better and gotten all of the medical treatment I needed. Instead, I tried to tough it out and deal with the insurance company on my own.

What does your story mean for our readers?

KG: We at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys don’t want anyone to go through the nightmare I did. If you are injured in a wreck, we know exactly what to do. We’re not just attorneys—we’re accident survivors.  We know how to get you the best help possible. Call us at (804) 413-6777 today for a free meeting.

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Community service

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    John speaks at Gloucester’s Senior Safety Fair, reviewing key legal documents.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.