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Secret of happiness

Okay it may not be the only secret of happiness but it is a secret of happiness and it’s something that’s worked for me and continues to work for me on a day-to-day basis and that is do what you love get really good at it and give it away and give it away part is less intuitive but I’ll get to it so do what you love how many people here have the thing that they love being fighting insurance companies on behalf of injured people there may be another personal injury lawyer here and they might even love what they do I love what I do and I’ll tell you why in a minute getting good at it I’m not going to talk about I spent the first 40 years of my career thinking about nothing but how to be a better more effective trial lawyer and you know that involves taking classes involved representing clients it involves trying cases and making mistakes and learning from them and getting better and better and better and I decided some time around five years ago that I was frustrated with the limitations of just being able to represent the people who came to me of just being able to educate the people who walked into my door that they had rights that nobody was telling them about that were being violated that the rights were being trampled upon by the insurance companies and the claims adjusters to make a profit let me say there’s nothing wrong with trying to make a profit as long as we understand insurance companies are corporations they’re motivated by profit that’s not evil that’s just what they are they’re responsible to their shareholders to maximize profit and the way they do it their job definition is to pay out as little as possible on your claim regardless of how badly you were hurt that’s my passion and that’s the giving it away part and it started with my website I didn’t want a website with screaming Eagles and tanks blowing up and a big hammer like you see sometimes on TV I wanted to educate people I wanted I wanted my website to have valuable information and so I started adding content content that people could use everyday my blog post from this morning was I was jaywalking and I got hit by a car do I still have a claim and that’s something people might not know and they might think well I was jaywalking it’s my fault I’m not even going to pursue this yesterday was how posting about your injury on social media can wreck your case I’m committed to getting this information out there whether somebody decides they want me to help them or not in this book this book maximizing your injury claim simple steps to protect your family after an accident and I insisted on the subtitle and also the the tagline on top of a compassionate guide for victims of personal injury that yes we do seek to maximize your claim but we do a whole lot more than that our job is to make this legal process less mysterious and less scary and less painful for people who are already going through perhaps the worst time of their life and so writing this book is a continuation of step 3 in the secret to happiness which is giving it away now it’s not a self-help book and it certainly isn’t a do-it-yourself book in fact I say throughout the book don’t try and do it yourself I wouldn’t even try and do it myself I made that mistake once and I realized halfway through it wasn’t going to work but it does empower you with knowledge when you know what your rights are going in you’re less likely to get misled or abused or taken advantage of by the insurance companies and so it’s my mission now to get this book and this message into the hands of as many people as possible so I will ask you today if you take a photo on your phone and you post it on social media use the hashtag maximizing your injury claim and spread the word that people have rights that they’re not teaching them about in school that they’re not teaching them about any where their insurance agents not going to tell you you know nobody is telling you this stuff and it’s so frustrating so going back to this the first part of the secret of happiness is do what you love when I went to law school I wasn’t thinking I was going to be a personal injury lawyer I didn’t know exactly what I would do but I thought it might have something to do with international commercial transactions and I actually took a class on the Uniform Commercial Code learning how international commercial transactions are conducted and I was bored out of my mind it was horrible I really I couldn’t get through it I I knew that this is something that I no matter how interesting I thought it was this was something I couldn’t do so the summer after my first year of law school I got a job working for a small personal injury firm and he assigned me one case and it wasn’t even an injury case okay it was an antique shop that burned down and there were two older men who owned the shop I say older man I was 25 they might have been my age I don’t know I don’t remember their names but it was an antique shop in Greenwood that burned down and they had insurance that was supposed to cover their loss but the fire department suspected or the insurance company suspected that it was arson and besides they didn’t have very good records of their inventory and the insurance company told him to go to hell that they weren’t gonna get a penny and that was my job this summer after my first year of law school and I have some of my former interns who are in their second year of law school masters right where you are now and I got this job and I met with these guys and I worked with them all summer and we hired an investigator who went to the scene and went through all the papers and determined that it was an electrical fire from the old wiring in this building in Greenwood and then I worked with the owners of the shop going through photos and catalogs and lists and we recreated that inventory and at the end of the summer we submitted a 60 page package to the insurance company saying this was not arson and this is everything they lost and you need to pay for every penny of it and a few weeks into my second year of law school I got a phone call from the attorney gene Boland who couldn’t be here tonight but was so gracious to offer me that first job letting me know the insurance company had offered their policy limits and that these guys were able to read open their antique store is it any wonder why I continued fighting insurance companies to get justice for people who were wronged I knew from that point on that this is what I want to do and whether it’s a property damage claim or it’s an injury claim it’s the same process is getting to the truth and persuading the insurance company that it would cost them more to fight it because they’re motivated by profit that it would cost them more to fight it than it would to just pay what they agreed to pay in the first place and what they’ve been collecting premiums for for all these years so I became a personal injury lawyer and I’m glad I did.