About ten years ago, I was driving through Arizona on one of my moves across the country. I had been hired as a paralegal for an attorney out in California and, about six hours into my road trip, I was approaching the city of Phoenix.
As I made my way down the road, a car unexpectedly ran through the red light on my left and slammed right into my driver’s door. In broad daylight! It completely took me by surprise. I ended up shattering three ribs, breaking my pelvis, and I had a severe concussion.
I was forced to spend a few weeks in the Phoenix hospital recovering. The wreck wasn’t my fault whatsoever, and the driver who hit me came out of the crash with just a broken arm. Because of my legal background, I knew what I had to do. I immediately consulted with a personal injury lawyer in Phoenix to get the situation handled.
Even though I was the client in the case, I worked alongside my lawyer as if I were part of the team. It was in my blood to be of assistance at all times. Especially when I was the client, I wanted to work extra hard to ensure I was getting the best settlement for myself. I was at the scene of the car accident and I knew better than anyone that I deserved it.
Together, my attorney and I gathered all of the evidence in my case. We used the police reports, my medical records, photographs of the wreck, and phone records (which proved that the driver had been texting when he hit me) to prove negligence. It was a pretty clear-cut case and being involved in the lawsuit helped me stay distracted while I recovered.
Obtaining My Settlement
When we went to court to obtain my settlement, I made sure to include all of my damages in my claim value. My car had been demolished in the wreck, my body (of course) had been injured, and the medical and property expenses were extensive. I also had to delay my new job for over a month because I was in the hospital. Because of the delay, I had lost a lot of income.
I included other non-economic damages in my settlement, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress because sitting in a hospital bed for weeks on end wasn’t easy. This driver had completely disrupted my life all because of a text on his phone. I knew now more than ever how so many of my clients in the past had felt.
While being in this position wasn’t ideal, it was definitely interesting to be on the opposite side of the cases I used to fight for a living. It gave me a new perspective, and I was grateful to be able to fight for my own settlement. I made a full recovery and, eventually, drove off to California to seek justice on behalf of other injured victims. It felt even better doing so after what I’d been through.