I Dont Chase Ambulances
… I offer an important service for the people who need it.
I gave a talk this morning to a group of business people. I had to tell them what I do. Of course, I wanted it to be interesting. I wanted them to understand the difference between me and the stereotype heralded by the media, the money-grabbing ambulance-chasing lawyer. I don’t see myself that way, so why should they? Actually, I know some of those people really well too…so I wanted to do something different, besides just reeling off a list of the things my firm, Tollers Solicitors, can do for them.
I hit upon an idea to try and take the audience inside my working day, my working life. I wanted them to learn some of the issues my colleagues and I face. I could tell them of course, but a set of questions with multi-choice answers might be a way of doing it…….
The thing is, in my job you learn new things every day. Of course there are layers of repetition, some more usual than the others, and over 24 years of experience I have picked up a lot of knowledge and skills to help make a difference for the clients I act for. My clients are those who have suffered serious injuries in an accident, such as brain or spinal trauma.
By offering my audience an opportunity of learning some of the things I have come to know, I hoped it engaged them to understand a little bit more about the process I use to take a badly injured person from a state of constant pain and discomfort, to a resolution of a claim. What I achieve for my clients in the majority of cases is a sum of money, a recognition of the pain and suffering they have suffered, replacement for the wages they have lost and payment for the care and equipment that need to be purchased. Often, however, I can use some of the money for the client to pay for treatment, to allow the doctors to make them better. In short, to improve their lives.
I don’t know whether it conveys, but I care. It makes me happy to see someone I have come to know well say goodbye, knowing they have benefitted from the services I provide. Equally, it is hard to take when the case doesn’t go so well, and the evidence does not fall into place to support the client’s claim. I do what I can, but at times it is better to accept facts than keep hitting a brick wall. The success stories are much more satisfying.
So, to be clear, I take no joy in a person being ill or injured. I want them to heal, the sooner the better. When they are badly hurt, I can use my knowledge and skills to help make peoples’ lives better and help them recover fully if possible with an amount of money that will recognise the experience they have had. If they cannot regain their health then they will have a detailed understanding of the expectations for their condition through the medical evidence we have organised and can start a new phase in their life being able to best deal with their new situation, with money for treatment and care available where necessary. The horrors of the accident and the court case will be behind them.
That’s what I do. I do what I can to make a difference. I don’t chase ambulances. It’s a silly notion for the headline writers and not for real people, people whose lives have been affected by suffering an injury through no fault of their own.
The listeners to my quiz engaged with me. They all learned something that I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to teach them. We must all bear in mind that accidents can be indiscriminate. It could be any one of us, or those we love. I always have that in mind because I have family and friends and would want them to be treated with dignity and respect to rebuild their lives if it happened to them.
So before you engage in the next stereotype, take a moment. I don’t chase ambulances, they take people to hospital to get better and that’s the way it should be.