How Compassion Factors into a Personal Injury Case

by | Published on Mar 26, 2018 | Medical Record Review

Personal injury cases can be intensely traumatic with the victims and their families experiencing considerable pain and stress. Injuries typically sustained include spinal cord injuries, amputations, broken bones, brain injuries, and victims may even die – all caused by the negligence of another. These cases involve medical records review to understand the injury, medical services provided and other medical information. The injured human being at the centre of the case is a very important consideration in personal injury law, which distinguishes it from other types of law. This injured person requires more than mere legal representation – he/she needs compassion.

A Compassionate Lawyer Is a True Friend

Lawyers who choose to work in the area of personal injury must be able to help people cope with the distressing situations they face, and in that respect, a compassionate lawyer becomes the client’s best friend and guide. This sentiment is voiced by Bonnie S. Dombrowski, who has been representing personal injury clients for 26 of her 30 years as a lawyer. Talking to Arizona Jewish Post, she says, “I hope to help, not just in a legal sense, but to get people through these traumatic situations.” She points out how personal injury cases are a mix of law and sociology. Surely, a background in sociology and social work is highly relevant when practising personal injury law. She refers to certain families she has become especially connected to and says, these are the kinds of people who come into your life and into your heart and stay there.

“I Wear a Heart under My Robe”

The importance of compassion in the legal profession is perhaps best highlighted by Providence, R.I., Municipal Court Judge Frank Caprio. The 80-year-old Judge has become a social media star via popular videos taken from the “Caught in Providence” TV show. After building his practice, Judge Caprio became a part-time municipal court judge in 1985. His brother Joe began filming the proceedings which became famous as “Caught in Providence.” Facebook and YouTube feature clips from the show in which you get to see the judge’s kind approach to traffic violators and parking ticket accumulators. He is a legal professional who says, “I don’t wear a badge under my robe. I wear a heart under my robe.” Talking to the Associated Press, he emphasizes, “I think I should take into consideration whether somebody is sick and whether their mother died and whether they have kids who are starving.” It is his belief that his commitment to that consideration would act as a tonic for those who have lost faith in the government and are used to institutions delivering harsh sentences with least regard for personal circumstances. Judge Caprio says that he learned the value of compassion from his dad, an Italian immigrant who worked as a milkman and fruit peddler. His father would pay milk bills for customers with financial issues, despite his own family living in an apartment with no heat or running hot water.

Committed to Helping the “Little Guy”

Another lawyer who likes helping people is Barry Bellovin of the Bellovin Law Firm. In his words, as reported in Arizona Jewish Post, “People who get injured are like Humpty Dumpty – and lawyers help to put people and their lives back together.” Bellovin understands that there are many issues the accident victim and their family have to deal with. Often, his role doesn’t stop at being just their lawyer; he has to be their counsellor and a coordinator for prolonged medical care. In fact, he has developed lifelong friendships with certain families.

James Fein of Fein, Flynn and Associates, P.C., says they think of themselves as the poor man’s key to the courthouse. One of the reasons why he chose to specialize in personal injury is because he wants to help make life easier for people. In his words, “We always represent the little guy or the underdog, and I am very proud of that.”

Striking the Balance between Compassion and Objectiveness

Some lawyers feel that personal injury cases become especially memorable when you get emotionally involved, though not all cases require such an involvement. Often, this personal involvement helps to strengthen the legal counsel’s relationship with the family of the victim, which in turn increases the trust clients have in them.

Over the many years we have been serving personal injury lawyers with their medical chart reviews, and working closely with them, we know that the best personal injury lawyers are passionate about their area of law and are compassionate. In fact, it is their consideration for victims that spurs them to do the best for their clients. These lawyers also have the huge challenge of maintaining the desired balance between empathy for their clients and the objectiveness required to handle a personal injury case. Only such a stance can prevent their judgement becoming clouded or their decisions being questioned alleging personal bias.

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