People don’t plan to work with me
Planning can go a long way to making our lives easier.
Budgets, to-do lists, shared calendars, family goals – all this planning makes it possible to reach our goals of providing for our loved ones, enjoying our time together, and being responsible for all the activities we juggle.
And while you can schedule to have a cleaning service come around once a week or plan out your financial future, no one plans to need a personal injury attorney.
That means, working with me is often a spur-of-the-moment decision based on a recent traumatic event. What does that mean for the people who trust me to be there during one of the most difficult times in their life?
I understand this is not your typical day.
On your normal day, you don’t stop by an attorney’s office to talk about how to piece yourself and your family back together after someone else’s negligence. So, I don’t expect you to be acting like the normal person I am sure people see you as regularly. You may be scattered. You may be emotional. You may be so worried about tomorrow that you are having trouble focusing on today.
Please know, that’s okay.
That’s how people in a crisis act. You just aren't familiar with that because, luckily, you are not always in crisis. When I meet you on one of your worst days, my goal is to help you move forward to the next day and the day after that. Until your worst day and the consequences of it are as healed as possible due to time and my efforts.
You often aren't prepared.
Makes sense – that’s how emergency work. They catch you unprepared. After a car crash or death, people find it difficult to focus on mundane tasks, such as keeping all your medical paperwork together.
That’s why my firm removes those tasks from your shoulders. Not only do we work to get your justice, but we also want you to experience relief from medical debt, which can add just as much stress as the crash itself.
We work with the medical providers to lower your debts, so you can focus on doing the physical and emotional work of healing. That’s where your attention and time need to focus on the good of yourself and your family.
Emotions rule the day.
Your emotions whip around wildly after a crash due to some very basic biological factors found in all humans. You are reacting to your flight or flight response. Stress creates different hormones that ramp up your blood pressure and make everything appear dire. That’s not you acting emotionally; that’s your body processing events and stress.
And it’s normal.
Everyone goes through this. Many people who I work for find it comforting to be able to find some control in the situation by having a plan in place to process through the situation. That’s one of the reasons we walk all our clients through a step-by-step process. And we make sure to keep them informed as events move forward.
It’s a strange new world.
From an early age, I knew I wanted to be an attorney, but it took years (years!) of studying and experience to reach where I am today. It was like joining an entirely new community – one with its own language, unwritten traditions, and rules upon rules.
So to someone who doesn't interact with the justice system, someone who didn't plan to be spending time in court, it looks intimidating, confusing and, I must admit, frightening. The vocabulary alone is enough to seem off-putting to someone outside of the legal realm.
Don’t beat yourself up for not knowing something I spent years learning. I am a big believer in letting people who know the job do the job. That’s why I stand up for people that don’t know the system.
That’s my job, and I am proud every day to do it.
No one plans to need me. I understand that.
Sometimes, I think it might be easier if I was in a field where someone’s long- or short-term plans included working me.
But nothing replaces the warmth I feel knowing that during a person’s low moment, the moment when everything seems to be dark and closing in, that’s the time I get to step in and make a difference.