Law Office of Driggs, Bills & Day - October 2018

October 2018

The Advocates Injury Attorneys • www.UtahAdvocates.com • (801) 783-3555

We Treat Clients Like Family WHY THE PEOPLE WE SERVE ARE MORE THAN JUST A NUMBER

Some law firms treat their clients as nothing more than another number on the chart: a pile of cash to speed through the legal process and get out the door as fast as possible. But ever since I joined The Advocates in 2013, I’ve seen the way our team goes above and beyond for the people we serve, treating them as just that — people , embroiled in catastrophe, doing their best to find their footing in the midst of crisis. Of course, it’s a point of pride for myself and the rest of the experienced attorneys at our firm, but it goes beyond that. Frankly, it’s just the right thing to do. One case we settled in July illustrates this point perfectly. Out on a rural highway in the middle of the night, my client was riding along in a semi when tragedy struck. Just minutes before, another semi had broken down, and its driver had pulled over to the side of the road to do some repairs. Unfortunately, he wasn’t quite as far off the road as he imagined; half the trailer was jutting out into traffic without traffic cones or anything warning of the danger. While he was under the truck fiddling around, my client and their driver came up behind in the darkness and slammed headlong into the trailer. My client, dazed and caught in a maelstrom of crumpled metal, suddenly realized to her horror that the cab had caught fire in the chaos. Even worse, when she tried the door, she realized it was stuck, jammed up against the concrete barrier. Thankfully, she and her partner were able to think fast and escaped from the blaze by breaking down the door and scrambling outside, though not before both of them suffered serious burns. The couple were Life Flighted to the University of Utah hospital, where they received prompt treatment. Against all odds, they were injured but okay, though they’d lost everything in the fire. All the personal possessions they’d brought along with them from their home in Texas had gone up in smoke, including their cellphones and, most tragically, their beloved dog. They were

stuck in a strange hospital for three weeks, far from their hometown, without any real support system in the area.

When we met with my client, the first thing we did was pick up a prepaid phone so she could communicate with her family back in Texas and let them know she was okay. We helped the couple take care of the medical bills, and got them transferred down to a hospital in Texas as soon as possible. Before they were healthy enough to be transferred, we would visit them every couple of days, bringing snacks and food and the types of things family members would have brought if they’d been nearby. It took two long years for us to settle the case, but in the interim, they made a full recovery — though not without considerable scarring. In the end, we took the case to mediation and secured them a fantastic settlement to cover all the costs and help them get back on their feet. When you work in personal injury law, you see a lot of people in the worst moments of their lives. In these circumstances, I always ask myself how I’d feel were in their shoes and act accordingly. When there’s no family around, our firm does all that we can to treat our clients as if they’re our families. Though we can’t reverse these tragedies, it’s important that we use all the resources at our disposal to offer all the support we possibly can. When you’re sitting in the hospital room with a client after they’ve just narrowly escaped with their life, it’s impossible to see them as anything other than another person in need of your help. I take that responsibility as seriously as anything else in my life.

–Mark Stewart

www.UtahAdvocates.com • 1

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