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Lawyer in a car crash

Article By Travis Jensen in The real world

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.