It seems surreal at first, like watching a movie in slow motion. You almost can’t believe how fast the car is coming…you keep thinking he’ll slow down…he has to slow down…but he doesn’t. The car keeps coming and there is nowhere to go. You are sandwiched between other cars – a suburban truck filled with screaming children to your left and a Prius to your right. You think…traffic in front.
Your heart races and your hands clamp down on the steering wheel with such force, you can feel your knuckles ache, drained of color and your whole body tenses up. Then with a quick force, it happens. The car behind you hits you and jolts you and your automobile forward in a rush. Your knee slams into the bottom dashboard, your head swings forward uncontrollably and then comes to a halt on the head rest. Somewhere during this millisecond your foot releases from the brake pedal and you find yourself, still in the car, with the air bag bruising your face. You are suddenly now in the middle of the intersection.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2012 there were a reported 30,800 fatal crashes resulting in 33,561 fatalities. The first quarter of 2014 showed an estimated 6,800 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
Doug Zanes, best-selling author and founder of Zanes Law is all too familiar with the statistics above as a personal injury lawyer. Zanes’ daily interaction with clients often brings him face to face with all types of physical injuries, some worse than others. But in his eyes most accidents can be life altering.
Zanes stresses that when someone suffers a great injury, everything changes.
“The first thing you see is the physical pain in the client. They hobble into the lobby and in their voice there is a strain, a frustration,” Zanes explains.
In fact, he describes a shift in his clients’ personality – there is a sense of heightened anxiety while being in a car, even fear. He states that “we (at the firm) don’t notice it as out of the ordinary because we are in the business of personal injury. But for the client’s family, there is a change physically, mentally, and emotionally.”
Zanes points out the change in how one cares for themselves – being able to walk a long distance or reach for something in a high place, even getting out of bed becomes a struggle. He highlights how many of his clients also experience a lack of equilibrium or control.
“It feels very disorienting and stressful – I can see it in my clients’ eyes, in their body language. They are not sure what to do next,” he says.
As the phone calls from insurance companies, medical providers and other vendors start piling up, that’s where Zanes and his team step in.
“People have a lot of ideas of what personal injury law firms do but our goal at the firm is to help people put their lives back together,” he further explains. “When you’re in a car crash, it feels like everything in your life has come undone or become scattered, especially your body. We help put the puzzle back together so you can go back to feeling whole again.”
After 17 years of practice as an attorney and thousands of accidents and clients later, Zanes doesn’t seem to have lost compassion for his clients’ pain nor a passion to really serve them and get them the financial stability they deserve.
“Unfortunately, accidents are going to continue to happen and there is immense aggravation and pain in that but the process of healing does not have to be anxiety ridden and financially robbing,” Zanes says. “It’s biting but the system is set up to serve the insurance companies but we, as a personal injury law firm, are set up to bite back!”
Since 2003, Zanes Law has represented thousands and recovered tens of millions of dollars. As injuries become more complex, Doug and his team constantly upgrade knowledge in issues such as truck and motor vehicle accidents, workers’ compensation, catastrophic injury accidents, traumatic brain injury and wrongful death.
For more information on Doug Zanes and Zanes Law visit: https://zaneslaw.com/