Near Alabama Road/Hwy 92
It’s early morning, a few days after Christmas, and 18-year-old Cathy is driving in a parking lot. Without warning, the front end of a heavy-duty pick-up truck slams into her Jeep on the driver’s side.
The impact crushes the door and Cathy feels pain radiating from her left shoulder, back, and neck. The at-fault driver does not offer their information nor check to make sure she’s okay. Shaken and overwhelmed, Cathy manages to call the police and tries to figure out what to do next.
This was Cathy’s first accident.
“As soon as I got hit, I was nervous, I didn’t know what I was going to do,” Cathy said.
She worried about her job. With only a year under her belt and her car totaled, she didn’t want to risk losing it by asking for too many days off.
Despite her pain, Cathy set about trying to get her car back from the tow yard and getting a rental vehicle. But her troubles had only just begun.
Her insurance company required that she pay $150 to get the impounded vehicle back before they evaluated the damages. The tow yard also demanded money — $1,000. When she turned to the insurance company for help, they were unable to provide a straight answer.
Frustrated, Cathy decided she needed to hire a lawyer. She was referred to Gary Martin Hays & Associates by another lawyer. “Right off the bat, they were very helpful with everything,” she said.
This surprised her. Popular culture had taught her to expect strict, stuffy lawyers who rarely if ever picked up the phone or listened to their clients.
“Every time that I had to talk to someone over the phone, they were very respectful and very sweet,” Cathy recalled. “They were always willing to find the answer. They never shut me off and said ‘I don’t know’. They always tried to help me, so I knew I could rely on them.”
She met with her attorney and case manager, who explained the process to her step-by-step. It was made clear if she ever had any questions, she could call or email the firm and expect a reply within a day or two.
“I felt a weight off my shoulders,” she said. “I felt like I just had to worry about my job and my personal life.”
Cathy’s patience was rewarded when her case was successfully negotiated by the firm. Instead of paying the insurance company, they ended up paying her instead.
The interview has been edited for clarity. The client gave the testimony of their own free will and was not paid for their appearance.