I recently resolved a couple of cases for very nice clients that reaffirmed why it is I’ve been representing injured people for the past 27 years. These included people injured in car crashes, from dangerous products, and injuries on construction sites primarily in Anoka County and the north metro but in other locations as well. Handling personal injury matters is tougher today than it was 15-20 years ago. Insurers are more stingy, confrontational and combative. My clients are frequently frustrated that cases end up in litigation more often, take longer and cost more to obtain a fair outcome. Yet, it’s the clients that I meet and their friends and family that provide satisfaction and make the effort worthwhile.
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing several people who have persevered after brain injuries, serious burns and amputations. I’ve also met those that have suffered the more common neck and back injuries. I’m struck by how many of them still smile and go to work, take care of their families and responsibilities and do the best they can. More often than not when I first meet a client they tell me at the outset they are not in it for a huge settlement. They are reluctant to hire an attorney. They often decided to hire an attorney only after the insurance company stopped paying their medical expenses or wage loss benefits or offered unfair amounts for the damage to their car.
I still remember one client who suffered a seriously-burned hand and several broken bones which required 17 surgeries after her hand became pinned under a dangerous machine press. The skin grafts were unsuccessful and the doctors surgically inserted her hand into her stomach to let the body naturally provide new skin. She certainly had every reason in the world to have a poor outlook on life. However, she usually told me she was doing “fine” and only when I pressed did she really let on as to how she was doing. She actually felt relieved because I let her cry.
I’ve also represented clients for whom there was only a small amount in dispute that were overjoyed at recovering a few thousand dollars. I am grateful for clients like these. They make it easier to go to work and try cases, especially when we constantly hear that juries are awarding lower verdicts and it’s harder and harder to resolve their cases quickly and in a cost-effective manner. Thank you to all those clients of mine who have formed the basis for these comments.
~ John T. Buchman
Person Injury Attorney