“Love your Lawyer Day” was last week.
I know, it’s a made up holiday. It’s self-serving and self-promotional. It’s probably as annoying to most people as the invented Sweetest Day holiday and that requires us to run out and buy cards. To be honest, until last week, I’d never even heard of Love your Lawyer Day.
I write this because I was genuinely surprised and humbled when a few of my clients reached out to give me a call, tell me how they’re doing these days, and even offer a quick thanks for the work we’ve done for them.
I became a personal injury attorney to truly help people and make a difference in people’s lives. I didn’t want to spend my career pushing paper. I approached law with a sense of purpose – of wanting to protect people.
It’s meaningful work that I and the other attorneys here at Michigan Auto Law can do every day. People ask me what I do. I tell them I help people who are being bullied and harmed by insurance companies. People who are not auto lawyers have no idea how bad it is here in Michigan. Michigan is a state without punitive damages or bad faith laws – or even a Consumer Protection Act that actually protects consumers from insurance company bad acts. Our Republican Supreme Court created that exception for the insurance industry years ago. As a result, there’s no real deterrent to insurance companies that just decide not to pay claims. The worst thing that happens is the person who should have been paid anyways now has to hire a lawyer, and then the insurance companies pay.
Without the significant penalties that exist in so many other states, claims adjusters – who are legally required to pay someone who has been injured, and who are required by law to provide these people with No Fault insurance benefits when they’re hurt or disabled after a motor vehicle accident – more often than not, don’t pay these claims at all voluntarily.
It’s an honor to represent the people who ask us for help. These people become a part of my life and are so much more than clients to us at Michigan Auto Law. So when I receive phone calls and little reminders of the difference we’re making each day, it’s a wonderful affirmation that we are making a positive and meaningful difference in people’s lives.
I read that Love Your Lawyer Day isn’t just about acknowledging legal professionals. One of the initiatives is to ask lawyers to either perform one hour of pro- bono work or donate the equivalent of one billable hour to their favorite charities. So, for Love your Lawyer Day, here are the many ways our attorneys are giving back, in addition to the many pro-bono hours we donate each year.
I’d also like to share some recent testimonials from people we’ve helped:
“I had a very serious accident that deeply affected my health and my entire life when I was hit by a truck. I interviewed several lawyers and turned to Steven Gursten, the head trial attorney at Michigan Auto Law for help. He helped me immensely with my case and as my support system. Steve was completely engaged with my family and I. He made it a priority to explain the law and the updates in our case so we understood everything and knew what was happening step by step. I appreciated that he took complicated legal terms and put them in layman’s terms, very patiently. We were treated professionally and very kindly – like human beings, not a case. I can’t say enough about how compassionately and wonderfully we were treated. The communication was excellent. Steve and Jeff Bussell offered constant contact through phone, e-mail and in-person visits and they always returned calls right away. I did my research and I knew Steve was very competent and highly knowledgeable in all of the commercial trucking laws and everything that needed to be done to properly represent me, but he was even better than I thought and he was able to get me a great settlement for my injuries and pain and suffering. Steve went above and beyond and really fought for me, because he believed in me and knew how much I was struggling. I’m just really happy and would refer anyone else to Steve and his law firm in a heartbeat.” – Willard Wheeler, Detroit
“I was hit by a City of Detroit dump truck. I was at a red light and he plowed into the back of my car. My son saw me hurting and urged me to call Michigan Auto Law. I did and Lenny Koltonow took my case. Lenny was wonderful in what did did for me and treated me just like family. I believe that’s about as good as it gets as far as business. I felt completely comfortable with him and comfortable that my case was in his capable hands. There were issues with the city bankruptcy, but Lenny preserved with my case to get me a settlement. He called and checked on me all the time. I would recommend Lenny. He did right by me.” – Anna Wright, Detroit
“This is my first time going through a lawsuit. A driver was on her cell phone, slammed on her brakes and I rear ended her on my motorcycle. I had bad arm and shoulder injuries and had to go in for surgeries and now I have to live with this pain for the rest of my life. I called Mr. Raitt and Mrs. Duffy at Michigan Auto Law and asked for help and we went from there. They have been great working with me. Aside from the lawsuit, I’ve had a lot of personal injuries in my life, like the loss of my mother, and they have been very caring and compassionate through it all. They take time to talk with me and support me. They make sure I understand everything that’s going on with my case. It was exactly what I needed. If anybody ever asked me for help after a motorcycle accident, I would have no hesitation to send them to Michigan Auto Law. The experience here was so warm, calm and understanding.” – Kellie Prange, Roseville
“Jordan Jones was honest from when I first met him. He made me feel comfortable and he’s like a family member to me now. When he said he was going to call me, he did. He gave me a lot of information about my case and kept me up to date with each development that got me closer to my settlement. The past part was the honesty about my settlement and the auto law in Michigan. Jordan told me how it was and he didn’t promise anything he couldn’t deliver. The best part is, I was really happy with the settlement he did deliver. I’m happy I had Jordan to go through healing with. When the truck hit me in my car, my life and my body really changed. I would recommend anybody to Jordan.” – Rhonda Craft, Romeo
“I was out for my morning walk and as I was crossing the street, I was three quarters of the way across and a car came around the corner and hit me. I was doing the healthy thing but it didn’t end up being too healthy for me. As soon as I was in the hospital, I discovered the Michigan no fault law. So eventually I got in touch with my insurance which was AAA and they said I was entitled to some money from the other person’s insurance company and you can either do it yourself or get an attorney to do it for you. I decided I’m not an attorney and I might as well get one who knows what he’s doing. I called one of my cousins whose in-laws are also in the attorney business and one of them recommended Michigan Auto Law. Once I got in touch with Michigan Auto Law and they assigned Brandon to my case he basically took care of everything. It was a matter of informing me what was going on and if I had any papers to sign. I just had to sit back and wait for the phone call. I’m very happy with my experience. Everybody at the office seemed to be aware of what was going on and was confident and competent. Brandon put me at ease with no difficulties and knew what he was doing. These are the only attorneys I know and they know what they are doing. Brandon basically did all of the leg work about finding out how much the other party’s insurance was worth and proceeded to get me what I was entitled to. At this point I got more than I was expecting so I’m very pleased. Brandon was easy to get a hold of when I needed to and he kept me informed. He’s an a-ok guy with me.” – Ed Harbulak, Allen Park