Representing Personal Injury Accident Victims in Catastrophic and Wrongful Death Cases

I’ve been asked by Trial, the Journal of the American Association for Justice, to write an article on mediations in death and catastrophic injury cases. The article will contain a section about preparing your client’s for the mediation process which is what I did yesterday last week in a wrongful death truck accident case, meeting with the decedent’s 15 year-old daughter and her mother, and the victim’s mother and three children. Just a wonderful family.

It is grueling to have to relive with a nice family the death of someone they loved so dearly. The hardest thing we do here is digging deep into the lives of those who experienced awful suffering. But as difficult as this process is, it also makes you feel a lot better about going to work every morning. In an age where personal injury lawyers are routinely vilified by the media, doctors, and politicians, it is uplifting to be reminded of why we left our defense lawyer hats behind to represent seriously injured victims.

Reading this back, I realize this all sounds trite. I hate reading personal injury lawyer blogs that blather on about how we are saving the world. I realize that my job is about 1/1,000,000th as important as some doctor risking his life for Doctors Without Borders in Somalia right now. I get where I fit in the circle of life. That said, even forgetting for a second the macro benefit of being a part of a system that holds people accountable for their actions, I think trial lawyers – particularly those that genuinely care about their clients – are making a big difference in the lives of many people who need our help the most.

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  • Amen, I know what you mean by “feel[ing] a lot better about going to work every morning.”

    I couldn’t do what I do if I didn’t think I was always on the right side, doing the right thing, which really is a luxury in the legal profession.

    We all find our balance between what we want for ourselves and our family and what we could do for others, and trial lawyers aren’t saints. At the same time, I’m grateful I never feel an outright conflict between the two, never feel that I might be making the world a worse place.

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