Representing very seriously injured clients is the most rewarding part of my practice. Like most personal injury lawyers, one of the services we offer for those who need it is a home or hospital visit. I always feel strange doing these, like I am feeding into the “ambulance chaser” stereotype. I even have an uncle who calls me an ambulance chaser. He pretends it’s funny, and I pretend I don’t want to kill him.
Last week, I did a hospital visit for a client at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. This unfortunate gentleman was in a motorcycle accident at high speed and was very badly hurt. In fact, he is lucky to be alive. Despite wearing all the appropriate protective gear, he has several broken ribs, a broken wrist, a broken thumb, a broken leg, and a concussion. In addition, he has “road rash” over half his body, including a spot on his leg where you can see down to the bone.
I was called from the hospital by this man’s brother. Our firm had handled his wife’s auto accident injury case, and he was so impressed (particularly with how responsive Lisa Miller was to his wife’s needs) that we were his first choice when his brother was seriously injured. So off I went to Shock Trauma to meet with the client and his family.
There are a few layers of security to get in. Once I actually obtained a visitor’s badge and got upstairs, a nurse stopped me as I looked for the room. I told her who I was there to see, and she asked if I was a family member. I sheepishly replied that no, I was a lawyer. She gave me a look that said I might as well have told her I carried the SARS virus and then showed me to the room.
You know what? These people were happy to see me. They repeatedly told me how grateful they were that I will take the time and come right to the hospital to help them out.
It is actually hard to describe what it felt like for me to stand in front of this man, listening to a heart monitor mark each heartbeat while blood still drips from his wounds, and have him and his family thank ME for taking time out of my day to come and meet with them. They were happy to see me, and that we would try to help them.
I will never feel ashamed of doing a hospital visit again.