Recently, a young client that I represented several years ago, when he was still a minor, called me out of the blue. And his call made my day.
Steve*, now 24 years of age, was only 17 years old when he was riding a bicycle across a busy intersection in North Phoenix. He was struck by a right-turning vehicle driven by an older gentleman who did not yield the right-of-way. Steve suffered a complex fracture to his lower leg requiring surgical repair. His orthopedic surgeon inserted a metallic rod down the length of Steve’s tibia to treat the fracture. Steve still has the hardware in his leg, and likely forever will.
Since Steve was a minor at the time, most of my contact with him was through his father, Joe*. While we have represented many children over the years on serious injury and wrongful death cases, rarely have I seen a parent demonstrate so much love and attention for their child than I did as Joe worked diligently with me to prepare Steve’s case. After we resolved his liability claim against the responsible motorist, Steve had a second claim for underinsured motorist benefits under his parents’ automobile insurance policy. As the insurance company was not properly valuing his claim, we proceeded to arbitration, which was in effect a “mini trial” where Steve and his father Joe testified. Each testified well, and we received a very favorable monetary award from the arbitrator.
So what made my day? It is rare for us to hear from one of our minor clients years after our professional relationship concludes. When a child is seriously injured or loses a loved one because of the fault of another, we can only hope that our efforts will make the child’s life easier well into their adult years. I thank Steve for reaching out to me to confirm that I made a difference in his adult life!
*Not his real name.