Earlier this week, my student intern asked me why I chose to become a personal injury lawyer. He went on to share that he has been asked why he himself chose to learn from a personal injury lawyer, better known as an “ambulance chaser.” A description we have all heard hundreds of times. I like lawyer jokes (the funny ones) and I get where they are coming from. But there is another side to being a personal injury lawyer I’d like to talk about.
After thinking for a few moments, I told my intern that I really had no choice, becoming a personal injury lawyer was my duty, my calling in life. Every day, I remember the sacrifices of those who helped me as a child, when I was in need. I know for certain, the difference their investment made in my life when I needed it most and believe that it is now my responsibility to in turn help others until I am gone… like many of them are now.
So when I was a teen, I ran a bus route picking up children and taking them to Sunday School. As an undergraduate, I worked full-time as a children’s pastor. Then I became a lawyer. For 25 years I have built my career representing the poor, the injured, the disabled, and the mistreated, sharing with jurors and judges the truth about my client’s injuries and what caused them. Why, because this is when these folks needed me the most.
My trial method is simply to present the truth to the jury with brutal honesty and to shine a light on the insurance companies’ tactics to distort the truth. For the insurance company, it’s “just business” and their business model is to pay nothing or as little as possible and move to the next “file”. For me, it’s a real human who has had their most valuable assets taken – physical health and peace of mind. Their health and wellness were not naturally taken by Father Time, no, they had injury, pain, and suffering unnaturally thrust into their life because somebody carelessly broke the rules. That is where I come in as a personal injury lawyer. I get a chance to stand up for my clients and help them get back as much of that health and peace of mind as I can possibly recover for them. It is a calling that I love and am proud to do. A calling that has nothing to do with ambulance chasing.
And for the record, I have never chased an ambulance but if you needed me to, I probably would.