Happy New Year! 2020 is in the rearview mirror now, and for some, it couldn’t have happened quickly enough. Between the pandemic (or panic-demic, depending on your perspective), shrinking liberties, lockdowns, joblessness, industry collapse, civil unrest, censorship from big tech, and waves of misinformation and disinformation, 2020 was a difficult year. As a result, it was easy for us to feel overwhelmed, discouraged, and defeated.
In my personal injury practice, I often talk with my clients about having GRATITUDE in the face of difficult circumstances, including serious and debilitating injuries. GRATITUDE can improve not only attitude, but outcomes for injured individuals, if not physically, then spiritually, emotionally, and in terms of perspective. That being the case, GRATITUDE should also improve, or at least change our perspective on, what happened in 2020.
One of the most useful exercises in developing GRATITUDE is to simply list what you’re thankful for in a given moment. As the old hymn states, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” The list doesn’t have to be long and the items don’t have to be life-changing. In fact, sometimes it helps to list a few simple things that we often take for granted, like a working car, the sun in the sky, or the fact that my Saint Bernard, Rudy, was happy to see me this morning.
It is in that spirit that we wish to express thanks to each of our clients in 2020 and to list just a few wonderful things that happened in 2020 in spite of strange and difficult circumstances.
- Technology such as Zoom, Clio, Dropbox, Microsoft 365, iPads, and iPhones allowed us to continue moving our cases forward by conducting remote depositions, holding virtual conferences, and even having court hearings.
- A client who was almost fatally injured by a negligent trucker while on a cross-country motorcycle trip with his wife received a $1 MILLION policy limits settlement.
- A client who was rear-ended at a stop light in Laramie, Wyoming and injured his neck received a policy limits settlement of $250,000.
- A client who lost her husband due to a driver’s negligence recovered $250,000 in policy limits for the wrongful death, and another $250,000 in policy limits for her personal claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
- Three clients involved in car accidents received $100,000 policy limits settlements. One of those clients, before hiring us, had settled her claim for just $40,000, which was less than the medical expenses. We were able to nullify that settlement due to the insurance company’s shady tactics and get our client a fair settlement - full policy limits.
- Many other clients received smaller settlements in the $20,000 - $50,000 range for less serious injuries, but we consider these settlements just as important, because the clients were not getting fair offers from the insurance companies.
All in all, I’m grateful we were able to push cases forward and get justice for our clients in 2020, despite the challenges and the “deny-and-delay” tactics of the insurance companies. And I’m grateful to now have the tools and experience to do more of the same in 2021 for those who’ve been injured or killed by someone else’s negligence.