After representing clients in automobile crashes for over a decade, I recently got an opportunity to understand many of them better than ever… On my way to a meeting, I was in a crash. A powerful one. Two airbags in my car went off. Both cars totaled.
Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured in the crash. I had immediate pain in my left wrist, which appears so far to be a bad sprain.
It was impossible not to hear my own advice in my head, that I’ve given thousands of times before, as I tried to gather myself in the seconds and minutes after the crash. Let’s see how well I did.
What I’d tell any client:
- Get checked by a doctor immediately if you have pain. Do not wait.
- Do not communicate with the insurance company for the other driver(s) in the crash.
- Get a lawyer.
What I did (or didn’t do):
- I went to the emergency room the same day as the crash and had my wrist (which was hurting) X-rayed.
- I did communicate with the insurance company for the other driver(s) in the crash.
- I did not (for obvious reasons) get a lawyer.
What I learned from the experience:
- That it really is exceedingly difficult to think clearly about anything in the seconds, minutes and hours after a crash.
- That officer reports are often very inaccurate.
- That even a sprain injury can cause serious pain and serious disruption to one’s daily life.
This experience, although unfortunate, has helped me better understand so many of the things I hear from my clients daily. The entire process, even without a serious injury, is at best a major and multifaceted inconvenience. From dealing with lack of transportation, to a daily nagging pain, inaccuracies and arguments over how and why the crash happened, and fair payment for all the damages caused: I have a renewed empathy for the reason my clients call me and, more importantly, how very much they need and deserve my help.