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A Witness to the Injuries

My parents told me that we were moving. My dad had been teaching in Tennessee and now he was accepting a position at a church in Maryland.

When you are about to go into the third grade, you don’t  have any say on whether you want to move. In fact, I think that I was a bit excited to go to a new place, even though I would miss my friends.

I remember the first church service we attended in Maryland after moving. A boy introduced himself to me (for the blog I will call him Roy) and we soon figured out that we were both going into the third grade and would be in the same class. At that age, you don’t really have much of a filter. What you think is what you say and it’s true honesty.

When I met him, I noticed that he had scars on the sides of his head. I asked him about it and he told me that he had been in a bad  accident  a year earlier. He had been riding in a school van that got hit and flipped over. He was knocked out and in the hospital for a while. The rest of the summer, I would sometimes see him in church.

Then, the first day of school, he and I saw each other again and we sat together at lunch. In the coming days, I became better friends with him. Throughout the school year, I would see him study real hard and he did get good grades. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very good at any playground sports like kickball or basketball. We would also play a game called Four Square and he sometimes didn’t play because he would get knocked out at the very beginning. He just did not  have very good hand eye coordination.

I remember that he did pretty well with his grades but that he didn’t have many friends in the class. At that age, when they told us that it was time for recess, we would tear out of the classroom while hearing the teacher call after us, “Don’t run”. Unfortunately Roy could not run very fast. He just didn’t have good balance either.

Later in the school year, I remember going over to his house to play. We went out into the woods and built a fort out of branches and a blanket and then just sat there and talked. That’s when he told me that he wished that he was like he used to be. Then he told me that one of the things that bothered him the most about school was that he was always picked last on the playground.

We moved from Maryland after sixth grade. I admit that I had forgotten about Roy until recently. I thought of Roy when I called an adjuster on a case involving a brain injury.

The adjuster offered an amount of settlement that was far from what I believed to be a fair market value for the case. The adjuster said that because the client had finished school; had gotten a good job and was not getting any additional treatment, she did not see the case as being very significant.

I tried to remind her of some of the things in my client’s medical records. Then, I told her what my client’s family was going to say, about the things that my client could no longer do. A client’s losses are usually best described by family, friends and co-workers. I tried to convince the adjuster that my client’s claim was more than just physical injuries.

Then, I thought of Roy. At third grade, when the only worries a kid should have relate to such things as “What’s there to do?” or “Can we go to McDonald’s?”; as a kid, I had witnessed the emotional scars that are probably still with Roy. Things that might not show up in medical records.  All he wanted was not to be picked last. What is the value of that hurt?

Well, it definitely is getting colder. So, my Mom sent this for our pic o’ day. Are you ready for cold weather?




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