I wiped out riding my bike Saturday morning with several other folks. As the pain worsened Saturday afternoon, a family practitioner who lives nearby gave me the bad news – a broken rib. Being a good neighbor, he prescribed ice on the outside and bourbon on the inside. By Sunday morning, things were worse. Just clearing my throat was painful. Today is worse than yesterday. Tough it up, Pete, and get back to work you might say … and that is the point of this missive.
I am at work, albeit my home office. This morning, I have answered email and returned phone calls, been through a conference call and strategized for an upcoming mediation. Now, I am typing this blog entry. I’m hurting and not as productive as I would be had I paid more attention while riding my bike, but I am getting along pretty good work wise.
This afternoon, I will meet here at the house with a client who lost all four fingers on his right hand due to an unguarded nip point on a conveyor system he was working on. As you might imagine, he was in excruciating pain for quite some time. Now, more than two years post-injury, he is still being treated by a pain management doctor. A former mechanic making a good living, he is now on Social Security Disability. As the folks at Social Security will tell you, his situation is not very unusual:
Disability is a subject you may read about in the newspaper, but not think of as something that might actually happen to you. But your chances of becoming disabled are probably greater than you realize.
Studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a 3-in-10 chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age.
So there is the point. I have real pain, but my job description allows me to work with that pain. Plus, my pain will soon be resolved. Most of the folks that we represent have pain, and work restrictions, that will be with them for the rest of their lives. I do know, at least this afternoon, I will understand my client’s dilemna in a way that I haven’t before. Hopefully, it will allow me to better explain this all to a jury if the case is tried.
Cum Laude graduate of Cumberland School of Law, Pet Mackey is a civil trial litigation expert who represents plaintiffs in business and consumer tort, contracts and construction, employment disputes and insurance. He is board certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Certified Alabama Mediator, and an “AV” rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell.