Angell Law Firm Nov 2017

NOV 2017 A ngell A dvocate | 3391 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 110, Atlanta, GA 30326 | (404) 458-9838

THE CLIENTS WHO Give My Work Meaning

Work as a personal injury attorney for long enough, and it’s guaranteed you’ll eventually be seeing clients through some truly harrowing experiences. Harmful negligence, animal attacks, wrongful death — these aren’t events that individuals and their families go through and immediately see as opportunities for a quick cash grab. They’re events that have an often-irreversible impact on a person’s well- being, fundamentally changing the course of their future. In my years of experience, I’ve seen dozens of clients struggle to make sense of pain beyond the scope of comprehension. In the face of crushing adversity, it’s all too easy to give up. But sometimes I have clients who fight so passionately — adamantly refusing to let their circumstance prevent them or their families from living a happy life — that I’m deeply moved and inspired. This has never been truer than in a recent case I took on, involving two young women in their early 20s, that resulted in a $54 million jury verdict. The two close friends were conversing late into the night as they always did, perched on a low stone wall on the edge of a local park, when their lives were changed forever. While they sat there chatting, an out-of-control Avis rental car careened around the corner at over 70 miles per hour, flew off the road, and slammed directly into the two women, dragging them a short distance and pinning one beneath the vehicle. In the chaos, the driver, wearing an Avis employee shirt, scrambled out of the

car and sprinted away from the scene. Two neighbors rushed to the scene and called an ambulance. On the way to the hospital, one of the friends — only 21 years old — cried out, “I am going to die.” By some miracle, she was wrong, and both women survived. In the ICU, it was determined that one of them had suffered a litany of internal injuries, including a completely shattered pelvis. The other’s leg was partially severed by the collision, forcing surgeons to amputate just above the knee. It came to light that the man had been hired by Avis despite past convictions for theft. Not only that, but he didn’t even have a driver’s license, though he was responsible for picking up and dropping off renters. In the dead of night, he’d snatched the keys that the company routinely left out and gone for a joyride. Undoubtedly, this was the worst decision of his life. But what about Avis’s decision to hire him in the first place? What about their utterly lax security? When the two women came to me, I saw two families in crisis. Beyond the fact that one of these women was without a leg and the other would almost certainly end up in a wheelchair down the road, there was the matter of the enormous, mounting medical bills. But the two women were steadfast in the midst of this devastation, determined to receive justice from both the man who had left them for dead on the side of the road, and the company that had put the keys in his hand without even

a cursory background check. I guided them through the legal process for about two years, counseling them every step of the way. As time went on, their positive attitude and resolve only strengthened, and the case became more and more personal to me. In the end, our clients received a $54 million total verdict from two separate juries for their catastrophic injuries, pain, and suffering, splitting liability between the Avis corporation, the operator of that particular agency, the manager, and the man who stole the car. This may seem like a victory — and it certainly is — but it’s also just the best-case scenario in an impossible situation. My team and I also cannot take full responsibility for the verdict; it was just as much due to the dauntless bravery of these two young women, endlessly supportive of each other and their families, that led to justice. Representing clients like those two incredible women is what gives meaning

to my work as a personal injury attorney.

—Bryce Angell

(404) 458-9838 1

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