Helping Injured Workers Rewarding
People often ask me what it is like to be a personal injury lawyer.
That question is often followed by: “Don’t you have to deal with shonky people just putting it on all the time?”
To put it in perspective, a personal injury lawyer is often viewed as being an “ambulance chaser” or a “bottom feeder”; an unfortunate reputation often enhanced by storylines in American movies or television programs (and at times not assisted by members of our Australian profession).
My answer is simple: today’s medical investigations are too good to fool. Who can fool an MRI machine into believing you have a lower back injury if you don’t?
The reality is that personal injury work is an extremely rewarding area of legal practice, particularly for firms such as RMB who work for injured people (not insurance companies trying to defend claims).
When an injured person comes in to see you for the first time they are usually wary, worried about how much it will cost and how long it will take. They are concerned at where their life is leading and they are usually experiencing financial difficulties due to an inability to work.
Nine times out of 10 they are salt of the earth people – our mums and dads, aunties and uncles, brothers and sisters. They are hard working people who have had an accident which will affect their capacity to earn a living, support their families and enjoy their recreational activities.
The personal injury environment is a complex one and that is one reason why many firms do not perform this type of work. To be able to guide a member of our community through the legal process and obtain for them a result which maximises their legal entitlements gives me an immense sense of satisfaction. To be able to see them move on with their life and have the knowledge and financial means to live in the manner to which they and their families have become accustomed is an intangible reward.
Many lawyers deal with large corporations, providing them with advice on how to achieve a result as cheaply as possible. Others defend those accused of crimes. Some help people divide up the family assets when relationships go pear-shaped.
For me, personal injury work is where it’s at – my client’s depend on me to secure their financial future and fight for them.
It is immensely important to them to know that I am on their side and fighting for them. To deliver an injured person a result which means that they can live securely and to be told of the sense of relief and optimism it brings is not something I will ever tire of.