One Client’s Story

In the moments after an automobile collision, it’s hard to process what’s happened. But after my vehicle was hit at 50 miles per hour on I-25, I knew I was in trouble. The collision caused my vehicle to spin around, and I was sitting on the highway, facing oncoming traffic just after midnight. With bright headlights quickly approaching, I threw on my hazards, did a quick body-check for major injuries, and then hastily moved my car to safety.

The 21-year-old distracted driver who hit me realized immediately it was her fault. What she didn’t know was that a previous injury meant this wreck had the potential to affect me for the rest of my life. Just two years before the collision, I had a successful cervical fusion following a snowboarding accident.  I worked hard to recover from the surgery, and it paid off.  Just a few months before the collision, my surgeon had given me the thumbs up to return to full activity, snowboarding included.

So when I woke up the morning after the collision with that all-too-familiar neck ache, I felt like my entire life had hit a guardrail, again. An MRI revealed an issue with the disc below where I had my fusion. Pain, trouble sleeping and working, hours of physical therapy, and multiple rounds of spinal injections quickly followed. Trying to recover from a second neck injury sapped my energy and took me away from work and other important activities for months.  It was also a very emotional process, filled with a lot of worry and stress.  For me, I was uncertain if I’d ever be pain-free again.

As I was going through all of this, a friend of mine who is a commercial attorney referred me to Keating Wagner Polidori Free. I had never hired or worked with an attorney before, so I didn’t know what to expect.  Due to the nature of my case and my lack of expertise with the law, I was quite anxious. Then, I met Melissa Sullivan for the first time.

Melissa understands that auto accidents are physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. She knew that while she couldn’t relieve my physical pain, she could carry some of the mental and emotional burden, which, to me, was the more tiring part.  She helped navigate the claim process with the insurance companies.

As I underwent treatment, Melissa worked to understand my case from all angles, most importantly, how the accident impacted my future and my health. Melissa kept me in the loop at all times. My phone calls were returned promptly, and I never felt rushed to get off the horn with her. If anything, it was probably the other way around.

My case, as Melissa predicted, went to mediation, a process where both sides sit down to find a mutually satisfactory outcome. Melissa worked with Bob Wagner, a partner with the firm, who specializes in mediations.

Melissa and Bob did a wonderful job of giving voice to my story and having them by my side eased my anxieties throughout the process. We reached a settlement before 1:00 p.m. that day, and I was grateful to receive more money than I was expecting.

It’s fair to say that after the close of my case I’m in the express lane back to the life I had prior to the collision — I’m pain-free again, and I’m using part of my settlement check to invest in my company, which gives voice to the positive people in sports in the hopes that we may all have a greater window into ourselves.  I’ve talked with the first man with cerebral palsy to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro; I’ve gone 1-on-1 with a man who has no arms, but still swims and bikes his way through triathlons; and I’ve even chatted with the first woman to mountain bike across Afghanistan.  Because of the nature of my job, I’ve come to know the human condition much more intimately.  Keating Wagner Polidori Free cares about its clients.  That is the culture of the firm.

— Kim Constantinesco