Gratitude for Justice and Settlements in 2021

Happy New Year 2022 sign

It may be a little late, but it’s not quite February, so Happy New Year!

2021 is a tiny blip in the rearview mirror now, and like 2020, it couldn’t have happened quickly enough. Between the continuing pandemic (or “panic-demic,” depending on your perspective), labor shortages, supply chain issues, increasing inflation, misinformation, and disinformation, 2021 seemed to be as difficult as 2020. And as a result, we may have felt 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 a broader perspective or outlook. That being the case, GRATITUDE should also improve, or at least change our perspective on, the challenges we faced in 2021.

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 belong 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 sunrise, or the fact that your dog was happy to see you when you came home from work this afternoon.

It is in that spirit that we wish to express thanks to each of our clients in 2021 and to list just a few wonderful things that happened in 2021 in spite of strange and difficult circumstances.

  1. Technology such as Zoom, Clio, Dropbox, Microsoft 365 (Microsoft Teams in particular), iPads, and iPhones allowed us to continue moving our cases forward by conducting remote depositions, holding virtual conferences, and even having court hearings.
  2. A veteran 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.
  3. A paraplegic veteran received a settlement of $135,000, allowing him to purchase a customized van that will allow him to drive and give him independence. The insurance company was trying to settle with him for $20,000 before we got involved!
  4. A client who was wrongfully diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent unnecessary radiation therapy received a settlement of $250,000. She was able to move back to her home state of Missouri with some of those proceeds.
  5. A client who slipped and fell on an icy hotel sidewalk, sustaining a concussion and injuring his neck, received a settlement of $180,000.
  6. Several clients involved in car accidents received $100,000 policy limits settlements. One of those clients had enough underinsured (UIM) coverage that we were able to obtain another $50,000 for her.
  7. Many other clients received smaller settlements in the $20,000 - $80,000 range for less serious injuries, but we consider these settlements just as important. The clients deserved fair compensation and weren’t getting it from the insurance companies without us.
All in all, Bailey | Stock | Harmon | Cottam | Lopez LLP is grateful we were able to push cases forward and get justice for our clients in 2021, despite the challenges and the “deny-and-delay” tactics of the insurance companies. And I’m grateful to be able to continue doing the same in 2022 for those who’ve been seriously injured or killed by someone else’s negligence.
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