Do Lawyers Really Care?
Yes. You only have to look around your community to view how and where a local attorney is helping out, not only with the cases they handle, but through their volunteer efforts.
Each has his or her own motivation. Below is a brief story of mine.
On my 9th birthday I spent the day at the golf course. After time at the pool and a golf lesson, my brothers and I went to the closed driving range to run around. An employee, for whatever reason, threw a golf ball in our direction which hit me in my left eye. The immediate pain and rushing blood is a feeling I will never forget. I remember sitting in the passenger seat of my Mom’s car and looking at myself in the rearview mirror. I know…I know… your thinking, “his parents let him sit in the front seat when he was only 9 years old?” This was the 80’s and things were different! Sitting there in the front seat, I could see my reflection and my face covered in blood and tears and I was scared. I held a towel over my eye to try to stop the bleeding.
I had very vivid memories of this recently when my own son fell on his skateboard at the park. The skin above his left eye split wide open, like you would see in a boxing match. As I rushed him to the ER for stitches, he was sitting in the car (in the back seat) with a shirt held to his wound and blood covered his face. Fortunately for my son, he will have only a small scar and a cool skateboarding story. However, my injury was not as easily forgotten.
The golf ball, in a freak way, landed perfectly in my eye to cause permanent nerve damage. If it had been just a hair to the left or right, I would just have had a black eye and a cool scar. I spent a week in the hospital, waking up every few hours to take medication and let the doctors check my eye.
I am legally blind in my left eye and there is no way to correct the damage. We sued the golf course and there were issues with liability, the course claimined that one of my brothers threw the ball. I was questioned during a deposition and can remember sitting at a large table with the golf course's lawyers on one side and me on the other with my lawyer. My lawyer was a family friend and as just a child I felt less scared knowing he was there, my parents were also allowed in the room. I don't remember the details of the deposition, but remember getting reassured I did well. After years of litigation and for multiple reasons, my case was settled prior to trial. I wasn't awarded a huge amount of money. My lawyer and parents agreed the chance of winning at trial was outweighed by securing a settlement.
A lawsuit can be stressful for anyone. Your word is questioned, your memories questioned and your intentions attacked. There are many moving parts and both sides will be aggressive to gain the upper hand.
I am thankful for the support of my family and lawyer to look out for my best interests. I am certain my own experience is one of the main reasons I gravitated towards a personal injury practice. This is not a statement of "I know what you are going through, so please trust and hire me". My story is minor compared to what others have to go through. My injury did not stop me from doing anything I truly loved. My life was not knocked off course because I couldn’t hit a baseball or be a fighter pilot. I was knocked around once or twice because I couldn’t see a punch coming from my left side, but it's best to avoid fist fights anyway.
People suffer truly life altering injuries and need the support and help of others. My support system came easy because I was a child and I had loving parents. Some people don't have anyone. Some people have a huge support system, but are so devastated by the effects of an injury that it is all consuming for everyone around them. Helping can be as simple as cooking a meal for an injured neighbor or helping mow their lawn.
I know I can do more for people, not just as a lawyer, but as a person. Of course I want a successful practice and to support my family, but I also need to remember that I can help in other ways. I get inspiration by looking at so many of the lawyers in Jacksonville who really dedicate their time to doing great things, whether it be charity, pro bono work, helping out a neighbor, or truly going the extra mile for a client.
I have seen that many of the lawyers in Jacksonville truly care about their clients, their practice and this great city.
I hope to be practicing in Jacksonville for many years to come and I'm focused on growing my practice and becoming a genuine helping hand in Jacksonville Beach, where my office is located.