I’m mighty thankful to report a case where I did one of my most favorite things – help a child and his family. I’ve changed their names for privacy.
It all began when an evening of youthful anticipation ended in life changing disaster. Eight-year old Marshall and his father went to a friend’s house after church to pick up a birthday party invitation. When they arrived, the friend’s grandma greeted them at the door with the family’s dog, a huge Great Dane/Black Lab mix. Marshall knew the dog. He reached in to pet it. The dog snapped.
With lightning speed, it leaped at Marshall, clenching his face in his powerful jaws.
Marshall’s parents described the scene as a bloodbath. The dog inflicted jagged wounds above his eye, on his forehead and nose, and worst of all, nearly ripped his lips off.
This began a medical journey for the little boy that may not be over. That night, he got emergency reconstructive surgery to save his lip and fix the other wounds. Two years later, he had surgery to shave down his facial scars.
Here’s where I came in to help and how I did it:
- The reason I got hired reveals a valuable, often unrecognized service lawyers provide: peace of mind. Marshall’s mother Karen actually handled the claim by herself for almost 3 years, but came to me when she began to doubt the insurance company was handling it properly. When Karen got unpaid hospital bills the insurance company promised to pay, she feared no one kept the insurance company to its word. Worse, she began to worry her child could be shortchanged in his settlement.
- I put Karen’s fears at ease by taking over. Our team helped assure Karen her child would not be shortchanged, by developing the full value of Marshall’s claim. Two vital ways we addressed that are next.
- One thing folks without lawyers might not know is, injury claims can include future medical care. I met with the plastic surgeon about that. When he revealed Marshall might need more, I helped Karen get Marshall evaluated for the next procedure so we could have a cost estimate to present to the insurance company.
- To maximize the amount of compensation for Marshall’s harm and loss beyond just medical treatment, we developed a full picture of the toll these injuries took on him. We described his intense fear and pain from the attack, his inability to eat solid food for months, and missing out on just being a little boy that spring and summer. We also highlighted his emotional harm by describing the impact his scarred face had on him. We also made sure the insurance company understood the lasting impact of irreparable permanent scarring.