OFFERING SUPPORT IN THE MIDST OF CATASTROPHE
How My Brother-in-Law’s Accident Taught Me to Understand My Clients’ Struggles
wake up, and we felt completely uncertain about his future and the future of our families.
to go to work. When somebody steps into my office utterly distraught, I’m reminded of those hours I spent in their shoes, beside my comatose brother-in-law, filled with doubt and anxiety. I think of my friends and family sending food and how important that was in the midst of chaos. And then I get to work doing everything I possibly can to put the client at ease and to let them know that — unlike my family with that first, terrible attorney — I’m in their corner, ready to give everything I’ve got to fight for their well-being. “When somebody steps into my office utterly distraught, I’m remindedof those hours I spent in their shoes, besidemy comatose brother-in-law, filledwithdoubt and anxiety.” It’s this opportunity to ease even a small part of my clients’ crushing burden that keeps me coming to work every day. When we weren’t sure whether my brother-in-lawwould ever wake up, our friends and family were there for us with support and warm meals. I want to be able to be there for my clients in a similar way, shouldering as much of the weight as possible so that they can put all their energy into getting better and moving on.
I remember those terrible feelings all too well, but I also remember the kindness of our friends and family. Many people brought us comfort food that we could enjoy together as a family. Those simple gestures meant more than I can put into words. In the end, my brother-in-lawwoke up. But there was still the matter of the mountingmedical bills, the lack of justice in regard to the other driver, and the long road of recovery. My family found an attorney, and, for almost two years, he floundered and accomplished nothing. It was clear he just didn’t knowwhat he was doing. As the statute of limitations approached, my family decided to fire him and find an attorney who could actually get things done. Luckily, this time they found a competent litigator. Almost immediately, our entire world changed. He fought for us every step of the way and settled the case within a few short months. It was incredible. These days, my brother-in-law is stronger than anyone predicted. He’s up to about 80 percent of his regular function. Nonetheless, his life has been changed forever, and there’s no going back to his condition before the accident. When a client visits our firm, their life is upside down. They’re in terrible pain and uncertain about their future, without a vehicle, and often unable
Years back, my brother-in-law suffered a traumatic accident that would forever alter the course of his life. He was turning left in a regular intersection, just going about his day, when another driver ran the red light and slammed into him at a high speed, crumpling the vehicle and inflicting catastrophic injuries. For weeks, we lived by his bedside at the hospital, hoping beyond hope that, one day, he’d snap out of his coma. Those days of sitting in a sterile hospital roomwere some of the worst of my family’s life. As we whiled away the hours, an overwhelming array of emotions flashed through our minds. We were overcome with fury directed at the carelessness of the other driver, we were afraid that my brother-in-lawmight never
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