“To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep”
To be or not to be a Personal Injury Lawyer. That is the question. Whether it is Nobler in the mind to suffer the endless torrent of questions and requests from demanding clients, or take Arms against a sea of adjusters and defense lawyers. And by opposing end them, settle a client’s claim, and at the end of a long day sleep. To work against death, to eventually, sleep.
This morning I recall the question that came to me early yesterday morning as I contemplated what to write about. I came to Starbucks for my weekly sojourn into the wilderness to write, only to find myself giving advice to Alvin (the name has been changed to preserve confidentiality), the local barista, about a recent automobile accident he was involved in. Its Saturday morning and I find myself counseling as if it were Monday. I am trying to explain to Alvin a concept understood best by PI attorneys and insurance adjusters: insurance companies are in the business of finding any reason not to pay.
A reason such as the fact that while I sincerely believe Alvin did not cause the accident; that the cab driver really did cut him off before being rear ended by Alvin; and that despite the citation which will most likely be dismissed, Alvin is presumed liable because he rear ended a cab driver. Alvin deserves to undergo free medical treatment for his injury. Alvin deserves to have his car replaced by the cab company. Alvin does NOT deserve a two-hour bus ride every morning to work. But instead Alvin, will likely suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and probably, a denial of his claim.
This is the profession I have chosen, the business I, as a young lawyer, am in. But now with my relocation to Tampa and new beginnings on the horizon, I find myself contemplating whether or not I was meant to practice Personal Injury Law. Is this truly what I was born to do? Is this the fate Fortune is to weave for me? A lifetime of auto accidents and slip and falls at Walmart?
I love what I do. I love helping people. I love the practice of personal injury law because I love helping my clients. I will represent them until the end whether we taste the sweet fruits of victory or a bitter sip from the cup of defeat. Earlier this week, I asked my mentor what his favorite part of being a lawyer was. Without the slightest change in his guise or even the blink of an eye, he provided the answer I have been yearning for since I was a child: helping people.
I became a lawyer to help people. And every day, when I wake up and put on my suit of armor, whether it be in the courtroom, Aronfeld Trial Lawyers, or Starbucks, I am a young lawyer helping people. Call us what you will. Ambulance Chasers comes to mind. I call us Needed. The world needs us. Alvin needs us. People need us. There is no denying that. The questions I must answer is do they need me, specifically, Domenick Lazzara, the young lawyer?
To be or not to be. That is the question.