The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned From My Injured Clients
Have you ever been sick with a cold or flu where you’ve laid on the couch and thought, “when I get better, I’m going to exercise more, walk the dog everyday, make time for fun, eat better,” etc.? I have. I think of these as ‘sickbed resolutions.’ You name it and I’ve probably promised myself that I’m going to do it. But just like New Year’s resolutions, I don’t stick with those sickbed resolutions for long. Life gets in the way. Deep down I know that I should be doing the things that I’ve resolved to do but hey, I can always start tomorrow, right?
I’m a personal injury lawyer. My clients are people who have been injured in car accidents. They have problems far worse than a cold or flu. Many of them are permanently disabled from catastrophic injuries that are absolutely tragic and heartbreaking. Others aren’t as obviously and profoundly injured, yet their quality of life has forever been ruined. Some of my clients are people who weren’t physically hurt at all but who have lost a family member. Their pain is every bit as heartbreaking.
Take note: none of these people anticipated their car accident. They weren’t aware that their good days were coming to an end. They likely weren’t even aware that they were living their good days. Like me, they always had tomorrow. Until they didn’t.
The single most important thing that I’ve learned from my injured clients is that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. We all make the human error of assuming that bad things won’t happen to us. My experience has taught me that bad things can happen to anyone at anytime. Any of us could be wheelchair-bound tomorrow. Or brain injured. Or worse. None of us will have seen it coming.
My clients have also taught me that there is perhaps nothing more valuable than good health. I’ve never had a client who has felt like trading their good health for a lifetime of pain and disability plus a million dollars was a fair deal. Every client I’ve ever had would have gladly handed their settlement money back in exchange for getting their old life back. Health is wealth.
In closing, my injured clients have taught me a lot of things about life and loss but the most important thing is that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Don’t assume that you can start tomorrow and don’t take today for granted, especially if you’re healthy and able. I know that’s my aim. Hopefully I can stick with it.