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As lawyers, our goal is to help those in need. While life may be unpredictable, and bad things do happen to good people, we still have the ability to make the best of the circumstances within our control. Recently, we saw a unique opportunity to be more than just lawyers – to make the best of a difficult situation.
On a cool evening in downtown Chicago, our client Allison was riding her bike. As she maneuvered through the busy streets, she caught sight of a driver erratically weaving behind her. She did her best to avoid the vehicle, but could not prevent the driver from striking her from behind. When the driver hit her back tire, the impact flung her bike one direction and Allison, the other. In the midst of this chaos, the driver ran over Allison.
In the brief moment that the driver paused, Allison, laying on the asphalt, ribs, and vertebrae fractured, was able to memorize the license plate of the car. This proved to be crucial, as, within moments, the driver drove away. With the help of a good Samaritan, the police were contacted and the driver was apprehended.
Allison’s husband, Nick, called us to help with the case. We worked diligently on her case, overcoming many obstacles, including the fact that the driver already had a suspended license and was not insured. Ultimately, a settlement was reached. While the legal story ends there, Allison’s TorHoerman Law team, led by attorneys Tor Hoerman and Tyler Schneider, agreed that the firm should go the extra mile for this client – to make the best of the circumstances within our control.
Through the firm’s non-profit organization, the THL Employee Foundation, an organization founded by TorHoerman Law employees to develop innovative ways to be involved with and give back to the community, an idea was presented that would get Allison riding again.
Our firm contacted Allison’s husband Nick and asked how he and Allison would feel about THL replacing the bike that was destroyed in the accident – he agreed enthusiastically. Coordinating with Nick, Tyler took the train to Chicago to meet the Bradley’s at Kozy’s Cyclery, a local bike store in the couple’s neighborhood. Together, they picked out a new bike and helmet: a starting point on the road to recovery.
Allison’s reaction? Priceless. She was all smiles as she rode her new bike out of the store and to their apartment in Chicago.
So why buy a bike for a woman after she has already received a settlement? Because for Allison and her lawyers, the bike is more than just a bike. It’s moving forward. It’s helping a client take control of today so that tomorrow isn’t controlled by what happened yesterday.
As lawyers, our job is to bring our clients the justice they deserve, but at THL, we believe we have an additional responsibility. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work beyond that of a job description. We see firsthand the effects injuries can have on a person and their family, and when we have the chance, we do our best to help them overcome that pain. Helping someone does not have to be limited to the walls of the courthouse. Instead, it can be something as simple as replacing a damaged bike for a woman who loves to ride in the city. Being a lawyer does not have to be just a job – it can also be an outlet to give back.
“The Employee Foundation is a way to ensure that our firm is as dedicated to helping the community as it is to serving our clients,” Hoerman said. “We established the non-profit to use our company’s unique resources to benefit the community. As lawyers, we have a responsibility to work together to help our community.”
And for Allison, she’s getting better every day. While her health has already improved, she now has a peace of mind that her medical expenses will be taken care of, and she can enjoy the views of the city on her new bike.
The TorHoerman Law Employee Foundation is an employee-run non-profit dedicated to making an impact on the communities we live and work in through various philanthropic efforts. The foundation provides the opportunity for the daily operations of the law firm to merge with philanthropic efforts in the community.
As part of those efforts to serve the community, the TorHoerman Law Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway takes the stress of providing a meal away by giving away 500 turkeys to local areas, and instead allows families to celebrate their time with one another. This event is close to our hearts as we fully believe in the importance of giving back to our community.
If you’re interested in providing a Thanksgiving holiday for those who truly need it, please consider donating to the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway. Please call 618-656-4400 or email Lindsey Andrews at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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