Law Office of William F. Underwood - March 2019


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MARCH 2019

Walking Under



Y ears ago, I shot a local commercial advertising my legal aid for those seeking workers’ compensation, and it became a popular topic of discussion. During this commercial, construction-site scenes looped in the background. Despite local concern and teasing, I haven’t noticed any bouts with bad luck to date. It was a popular commercial that made the phone ring. I walked under a ladder as a wrecking ball and other

I firmly believe that we create our own luck. The actions you perform will subsequently lead to reactions. While you cannot control how others act, you can control your reactions. Take a client of mine who is undergoing his second neck surgery as an example. I previously represented this client in a case in which he needed his first neck surgery, but a few years later, he sought my services again. his own business. I can guarantee you that he was not hoping to be injured again, nor was he praying for another spinal and neck surgery. Unfortunately, that’s not how it looks to insurance companies, who believe this client was trying to commit fraud. This client could have become defensive and combative with the insurance company, but instead, he sought our professional help. We know we can help him find “good luck” and get compensated appropriately again. This also happens to construction and maintenance workers or other employees in dangerous jobs. Accidents and injuries are the norm in these professions, yet many insurance companies believe no one can be that unlucky. Their fate must be their fault, as these companies try to claim. This time, he was pulling out of a gas station and was hit by another driver. My client was following the rules and minding As a lawyer, I know you’re not to blame for someone else’s mistakes. Your bad luck or misfortune is due to the poor decision of someone else, and you shouldn’t have to pay for their misconduct. Likewise, my clients don’t just find luck when I help them receive compensation in a case. I work hard to make sure their fortune changes, because it’s about time someone else’s decisions are made in their favor.

Maybe walking under the ladder had an opposite effect.

Bad luck can be a common topic and fear for clients who are facing a lengthy legal battle and feel that life has continually dealt them worse hands each year, and for others who are injured in seemingly “safe” situations. I completely understand this feeling. It’s hard not to blame fate when you have legal trouble, mounting bills, and pain, especially when your actions that began this whole situation were normal, like driving or visiting your favorite shop. While I don’t hold an official degree in psychology, I often play the role of psychologist with my clients to help them find some relief during this difficult time. People open up easily when you sympathize, and in order for me to help clients to the best of my ability, I need them to feel comfortable enough to divulge information. Still, I’m often reminded of something my dad commonly said, “I’m not the psychiatrist. I’m not the doctor. I’m just the lawyer.” Despite my best efforts to help people through their difficult times, I can only do what I’m trained to do: fight for them in the legal arena.

-William F. “Trey” Underwood, III

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