All it takes is to watch one advertisement during daytime TV from some sleazy law firm to make you question ever seeking out a lawyer. At least that’s how I feel. In Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 2 there is a line, meant to be part of comedic relief, where one of the characters states, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”
I’ve heard people banter this line around when they are complaining about the legal system and such. Thankfully, my experience with lawyers has been small; I’ve used one to prepare a will and for when we have purchased our homes over the years.
I was once called to jury duty where one guy was accused of punching another guy as they were leaving a completely different court case. Lucky me, I was chosen to be the foreman for the case. The lawyer representing the person that was hit had several witnesses that testified that the punch most certainly happened. The defense lawyer would then drill the witnesses about the smallest details. “What time of day was it?” “What was the weather like?” “What exactly did the two people say to each other?” “Which part of the face was he allegedly hit?” and so on. I couldn’t understand why she was digging so deep until the end.
Apparently there is the concept of “reasonable doubt”—meaning if we, as the jury, weren’t convinced about the validity of the claim, we had to find in favor of the defendant. And while the witness’ stories varied a little bit, we, as the jury, chalked that up to human nature—people remember things a bit differently. The one constant was that the guy got hit. After we presented our decision, we were allowed to leave—which I did as fast as I could. I felt like I needed to take a shower after the event.
And then there is now. Without going into too many details, I’ve been treated for a medical condition for the last several months. All was going along well until my claim got denied by the insurance company a month and a half ago. They stated they needed more information from the doctor. So, in working with the doctor, we reached out to the insurance agency to find out what they needed. I kept hitting dead end after dead end. “You need to talk to so and so.” “My department doesn’t handle that.” “I’ll leave a note for the case worker to call you.” (Which wouldn’t happen) and so on.
I appealed the denial and have spent many hours on the phone trying to get people to help. It became obvious that the insurance agency was being difficult—and why not? I’m sure they didn’t want to pay.
After discussing my situation with various colleagues, government agencies and close friends, I kept getting the same advice: get a lawyer.
So, I did some research and contacted a reputable lawyer. Within a few moments after speaking with him, I experienced something I hadn’t during this entire nightmare: someone who actually listened to me and expressed an interest in helping. Yes, I’m sure it is because he will make money off of taking my case, but I’ve dealt with enough people in my life to tell when someone is being sincere or not—and everything my experience was telling me was he honestly wanted to help.
While I step into this cautiously, I’ll have to say it feels good to have someone on my side.