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Posted on August 28, 2019 in A Letter From the Lawyer

A personal injury attorney, an orthopedic surgeon, and an insurance broker walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says “Is this some kind of joke?”

What do these three professionals have in common? They’ve seen hundreds, even thousands of accidents happen. They help people pick up the pieces and get back to living their lives.

These three men are me, my father, and my father-in-law. My dad opened his own orthopedic practice in his small hometown in Michigan in 1980. My father-in-law became the owner of his insurance brokerage in the once-small town of Greenville in 1995. I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned from their 30+ years of experience as a bone doctor and insurance salesman.

Things I’ve learned from my dad, an orthopedic (bone) surgeon:
• If your client sees you at the grocery store and starts pulling up their pant leg to show you the knee that you operated on last year, you look at it!
• Be kind to all your patients and give them the time they need to talk to you, even if it’s longer than what you think is necessary to give them the proper medical care. Even if you’ve talked to a bunch of patients about the same problem, this is THIS patient’s only opportunity to talk to the expert on their problem!
• Do your best work, even on small cases. Your patients will be so happy you gave them the time and attention on their little issue that they will send you their friends and family down the line.

Thing’s I’ve learned from my father-in-law, an insurance broker:
• No matter how big your team at work is, the clients still want to talk to the owner- it’s the most important job the owner has.
• Let your clients know who YOU are, so that they can tell you who THEY are. The more you know about your client, the more you’ll be able to get them the types and amounts of insurance coverage that they need.
• If you pay for insurance, you should pay for the right type of insurance that will be useful in a situation if you need it. Paying for less coverage than you need is almost as bad as not having insurance at all.

And here are some things that we all agree on from our experience:
• Don’t get on ladders unless it’s your job – people fall off them and get seriously injured.
• Don’t get on roofs unless you’re a roofer – people fall off those and get seriously injured, too.
• Trampolines = broken bones.
• Don’t shoot the messenger here, but it’s not a good idea to ride a golf cart on public roads unless you want to give a lot of business to the hospital.
• There are so many serious injuries that can occur due to no fault of your own, so don’t put your body and health at risk when you actually have a choice (so buckle your seatbelt, don’t ride golf carts on public roads, and definitely don’t jump onto a trampoline from a ladder standing on your roof).
• I’m not here to tell you that you can reasonably avoid any accident from ever happening to you, but don’t volunteer for the injury either.

I’m the first attorney in my family. Everyone else went into the medical field. And I am the grandson of Greek immigrants who opened their own restaurants and then encouraged their children to continue to serve others. Because of these influences, I have a more patient-focused approach to practicing law. I want to take care of you and your family and get you back on your feet. Please don’t hesitate to give me a call if you’ve been injured and need help.

(And if you’re looking for the best insurance agent in town, give The Smith Agency a call!)