The right personal injury lawyer in WV, MD and VA
Our founding father, Michael Santa Barbara
Why do I do this type of law?
I wanted to be funny here. I wanted to say something to the effect that the best part of having your own website is you get to choose the pictures you will use; and the fact that they are 20 years old, 40 lbs lighter, and 2" of brow not exposed doesn't really factor into the equation. I wanted to be funny, but if you're here, I guess it is not to tolerate my efforts at humor, but because you've been hurt through someone else's negligence, meanness or stupidity. I've been doing this long enough, and sat with enough clients...that's not the right word... people, humans, friends....to know that an injury, a loss, is so personal that it is almost unknowable to others. It takes on a life of its own, almost overwhelming the life of the victim. The injury takes time from their day for medical care, it takes time from their day in terms of just doing everyday chores. I knew a woman who fractured her ankle, and she found that she could not put her socks on without help. Her husband, knowing that this proud woman who had raised and cared for a family, felt shamed asking for help, ultimately made a device whereby the woman could put her socks on herself, without shame. The injury robs families of much needed funds that might go for a family vacation, or even decent food. I've known friends/clients who, because they cannot work, have not been able to pay for heat in the winter, or electricity to run fans in the heat of the summer. Injury has a way of taking even the most put together person and reducing them to an island...a place where only they exist, and only they know what loss they've suffered. I've seen injury do catastrophic harm to relationships because of its isolating effect.
All of this is coupled with the fact that the insurance company who stands behind the at fault person, is claiming from day one that you're not hurt as badly as you claim, that it wasn't really their insured's fault, that maybe, in someway, you were at fault, or maybe if you are hurt, it's because of some other incident in the past. I've sat with clients/friends who have broken down in tears because they feel that, in addition to being hurt, their integrity, their honesty is being challenged.
I've been doing this enough years, and yet I am still pained whenever a client/friend comes in to tell me of another indignity that has been heaped upon them because of their injury, and through no fault of their own.
My Pledge to you
I will do my best to respect you as a human being. I will be honest with you, and I'll expect the same thing from you in return. The vast majority of people who are hurt by an accident are good, hardworking people, who never wanted to have to go through the horror of making a claim for injury. I will pledge my best effort to those people. I have no interest in helping anyone who is not hurt, or who is not hurt as badly as they claim. I have no interest in putting one over on an insurance company, or in fabricating a claim. Call me nuts, but there is a certain nobility in being honest, in claiming what is rightfully yours, and in fighting for it. For those people, I pledge my best efforts, my compassion, and my best results. I don't win every time, but when I lose, it's after having spent the last full measure of effort that I can.