Dianne K. was living in the Twin Cities in 1995, but her accident took place far from home: near Billings, MT. A driver pulled out in front of her motorcycle, landing Dianne in the hospital. Her boyfriend at the time – a friend of John Burke’s – called Burke & Thomas almost straightaway. John immediately flew to Billings, bringing Dianne’s daughter with him.
“My daughter was living in Brainerd at the time. I don’t know how they got in touch with each other, but she flew out with John and he paid her way. I thought that was just a tremendous thing. She and I are very close, and it was a tremendous help and really an uplift through what was going on. We went from there, and Burke & Thomas became my lawyers.
I suppose mainly because I’ve never been in an accident and never had to deal with any of that kind of stuff, I wouldn’t have known anything about what to do. Burke & Thomas was there to advise me. John always left the decision up to me, but kind of explained things to me. For one, they set up my disability for me and I didn’t really have to do anything. When I got my settlement, John helped me set up a trust fund that didn’t have any bearing on my disability or any of my benefits, so they couldn’t count that against me. That’s not his specialty, but he had another attorney take care of the trust fund. He set up everything for me.
People tell you on the outside, “Just sue the person.” But Burke & Thomas were very knowledgeable, and explained to me that if you were to sue someone individually rather than take from their insurance company, in the end you would get nothing because they would file bankruptcy. If it weren’t for John Burke, I wouldn’t have what I have today: my own house, my own van. I’d be living in a handicapped apartment and I’d have nothing. I have friends who’ve gotten in accidents, and I’ve tried to explain things to them as Burke & Thomas explained them to me – they didn’t take my advice, and they didn’t end up as well as I have.
I can’t say enough good things about John Burke personally. He was always right there for me, always checking on me. When I got back home from Montana, he helped me hire a nurse to get things set up for me in my apartment. He took me to look for a van and helped me purchase one – we took it out of my settlement. Once, he came to check on my when I was by myself in my apartment and deathly sick, and he called 9-1-1. Whenever I was back in the hospital for something, he was there. He would bring me a plant or a flower. I would never have expected a lawyer to do that. He’s up and beyond a lawyer – he’s just a very, very caring person.
I’m glad to say that I’m still in touch with John. And I would absolutely refer anyone to Burke & Thomas. They get four stars in my book – and if I can give more, they get more.”