As Priscilla loaded her small dog in the back seat and buckled up to head to a friend’s house, all she had on her mind was the fun evening ahead. Recently divorced, her newfound freedom felt exhilarating. She knew her golden years would be the best yet.
But in an instant, Priscilla’s leisurely drive and bright attitude vanished in an explosion of airbag smoke. Her mind immediately raced with questions. What just happened? Is my dog OK? Is my leg broken? And then later, an essential question that she had not initially considered: Do I need a personal injury attorney?
The answer was yes, but she had no clue how to find one. Luckily for Priscilla, she was referred to KL by a trusted source, and it made all the difference in getting her through what could have been a confusing and difficult process. Here’s Patricia’s journey from victim to victor.
Life Before the Accident
Before the accident turned her life upside down, Priscilla was busy making plans. “I was very much looking forward to the next phase of my life,” Priscilla says. “I had just gone through a divorce, so I was looking forward to dating and a new future…with lots of plans with my friends.”
Always an active person, she wasted no time digging through her bucket list. “I wanted to take ballroom dancing and martial arts,” she says. “I was looking forward to traveling with friends and cruising. In addition to my job as a hairstylist, I also ran a nonprofit animal rescue. I had so many things going on in my life.”
An Accident Changes Everything
When Priscilla took her small dog for a ride to a friend’s house, she had no clue that within minutes her world would be altered forever. A car traveling in the opposite direction veered into her lane. “They ran into the back end of someone, which pushed them into the front end of my car, so it was a head-on collision,” Priscilla says. “It felt like I hit a brick wall. All the airbags deployed. I had no idea what had happened.”
She immediately reached into the back seat, concerned for her dog. Then she started looking at her surroundings, trying to open the car door. “I couldn’t get the door open, so I was trapped in the car,” Priscilla says. “This was scary, with the smells of the chemicals. Not knowing how badly the car was hit, I didn’t know if it could catch on fire.”
A first responder arrived and pulled Priscilla out of the car through the hatchback. Priscilla knew something was seriously wrong with her leg and hand, and she feared both were broken. “I thought, how am I going to go to work? If my leg is broken and my hand is broken, how am I going to cut hair?”
A Future Altered Forever
Priscilla’s injuries were even more severe than she imagined. “I had a compound fracture in my tibia, several tears in the meniscus of my knee, my spine was fractured, and I had some cracked ribs. My shoulder was also fractured, and I had a torn rotator cuff,” she says. With the constant pain and endless rounds of rehabilitation on the horizon, she could see her busy lifestyle and bucket list slipping out of her grasp.
“I feel like I lost two years of my life,” she says. “I’m a certified scuba diver, and I’ll never be able to scuba-dive again. I suffer from a lot of pain now, so physical activities are different. As a hairstylist, I can’t work as much as I used to or do things as freely as I did before. I even had to resign from my animal shelter nonprofit.”
The Process of Finding an Attorney
Priscilla had many questions after the accident but finding a personal injury lawyer did not cross her mind until the next day. “During the accident, I didn’t know how badly I was hurt and didn’t have all the details, so it’s not something I thought about,” she says.
There are over 135,000 personal injury lawyers in the U.S., and since 2000, the number of licensed attorneys in Florida has risen from 60,900 to a whopping 96,511. This makes narrowing the field down to quality candidates harder than ever. Priscilla received a few personal injury firm recommendations which included KL. One was a larger, well-known firm in South Florida. Priscilla decided to conduct phone interviews with them all.
KL Made It Easier
“There was no comparison,” she says. “KL was very organized, they asked all the right questions, and they had all the right answers. It was easy to see KL had a good team together.”
While no one can undo an accident, Priscilla appreciated how simple her legal team at KL made things for her. Priscilla learned along the way how much time and effort KL invested in her case and how determined the entire team was to help her get the best outcome possible.
Network of Support
Priscilla had never been in a severe car accident before. Prior to retaining KL, she had no idea what to expect. She felt overwhelmed and scared about the unknown. “After I hired KL, they constantly gave me all the steps to take and guided me along the way,” she says.
Priscilla benefited from the unwavering support of KL’s strong team of attorneys, legal staff, forensic investigators, and expert witnesses who assist KL clients through a tricky legal process. “I never felt like I didn’t know what was happening next,” Priscilla says.
Treated Like Family
“I knew that if I hired one of these fancy, big-money law firms, I was just going to be a little peon,” Priscilla says. “I feel like I got very personalized care from KL. They were like my friends.”
Injuries are personal, so the last thing Priscilla needed was a lawyer who saw her as just another case number. What Priscilla needed during this vulnerable and confusing time was a trusted law firm that, like family, put her and her future first.
“At physical therapy, you’re involved with several of the same people week after week,” Priscilla says. “They would say, ‘I have not been able to get a hold of my attorney. I’ve made calls, and they don’t call me back.’ There was never a point when I could not get a hold of my attorney [at KL]. I didn’t even have to ask them.”
Unlike large firms, KL provides highly personalized legal representation. Priscilla knew she wasn’t just one of KL’s case numbers. She was a real person that needed real help, and she could count on KL to communicate directly and consistently.
Fear the Beard
When it came time to fight for her settlement, Priscilla knew she made the right personal injury attorney choice. “What you don’t realize is you better have a pitbull in your corner because the other team is going to attack you in ways that you have no idea how to handle,” she says.
Insurance company lawyers and defense attorneys have come to respect KL’s experience and skill in the courtroom. KL Co-Managing Partner, Bennett Lessmann is widely respected for his preparation, attention to detail and ability to win over jurors. Insurance companies that “fear the beard,” would rather offer a fair settlement to KL clients than face Mr. Lessmann in court. “I definitely felt like I had a pitbull in my corner, and he was protecting his pup,” Priscilla says.
KL has recovered millions of dollars from successful verdicts and settlements, including seven-figure cases. Damages included medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
“I had six figures of medical bills, and that’s scary when you’re in the stage of life that I am. I needed the security of those medical bills being paid, and I needed a nest egg for ongoing treatments,” she says.
Fortunately, Priscilla got precisely what she needed, and now she can focus on recovering for the golden years ahead.
“Everything my attorney said to me was honest,” she says. “I have recommended them to people in my social circle. The reason is that they know what they’re doing, and you’re going to feel that they care about you. They’re going to do their very best to get the most value for your case.”