LAWYERS CAN BE VERY GOOD – Don’t believe stereotypes

LAWYERS, WHAT ARE THEY GOOD FOR? . . . I think many people think of lawyers like they think about war, as in the song lyrics “War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin’, say it again.”

In the past, we have made various posts about the types of cases we handle. In response to a recent post about nursing home abuse and neglect, a commenter wrote “Lawyers. SMH [shaking my head].” I can’t help but think that our society is way too quick to stereotype people and professions. Most people would agree that a grocery store bagger or someone who works in a chocolate factory are generally nice folks who do things to help people. Does that mean ALL grocery store baggers or chocolate factory workers are good? No. ln fact, noted serial killers Ted Bundy (grocery store bagger) and Jeffrey Dahmer (chocolate factory worker) are two examples of stereotypes not holding true.

The point is, there are some really good lawyers in the world who truly try to be really good people.

At Goddard & Wagoner, we are very selective in the cases we handle. We turn down far more cases than we accept. As a firm that handles wrongful deaths, serious injuries, nursing home abuse and neglect and medical malpractice, we choose to be selective for a variety of reasons. First, we simply refuse to file any case that we think could be frivolous. Second, we only have a certain number of hours in the day, and we want to devote ourselves to helping clients that deserve compensation. Third, lawsuits are expensive to prosecute, and we have no interest in spending our money (or our client’s money) to pursue questionable claims.

All of which leads me back to negative lawyer stereotypes (or even negative stereotypes of anyone who might file a lawsuit). It is often said, before you criticize someone, try walking a mile in their shoes. Before you criticize someone who files a lawsuit against a nursing home chain, put yourself into the position of someone who watches their mother’s or father’s health decline because the staff ignores the call bells, doesn’t help them get to the bathroom before they soil themselves, or doesn’t help them get the food or water they need to survive, much less rehabilitate. No one thinks these things can happen to them, but they can. And we’ve seen many people come into our office saying they never thought they would need a lawyer (“I’m not the type that would ever do this”), but when something terrible happens to you or a loved one because someone else didn’t do their jobs, a good lawyer may be able to help.

At Godard & Wagoner, we help regular folks who suffer because of someone’s carelessness, recklessness, or even intentional conduct. If you ever have a legal question, send us a PM or call 304-623-HELP (4357).