For Duluth native and avid outdoorsman Roy G., an ordinary hunting expedition became a trip he’ll never forget when the pickup truck he was riding in hit an unlighted tractor on Highway 49. Roy and the driver were rushed to the hospital, where Roy underwent three surgeries to reconstruct a heavily damaged right wrist. He ended up needing a fourth upon his return to Minnesota. Three years, hours of physical therapy and more than 100 doctor appointments later, Roy recounts the role Burke & Thomas PLLP played in his path to recovery.
“After I was injured, it was several weeks before I realized I was going to need professional help with the legal assistance. Hospitals and doctors were calling me and sending me bills; in the meantime, I repeatedly got on the phone and tried to call the insurance company for the truck I was a passenger in and kept getting an answering machine. I must have called them at least six times, and they NEVER got back to me. At that point in time I realized I was in trouble.
“A neighbor recommended Burke & Thomas and put a call in on my behalf. Within a few days John Burke called me to set up an appointment and drove from the Twin Cities up to Duluth to meet me. We talked for over an hour about myself, the accident, medical bills, healing and rehabilitation, in addition to what Burke & Thomas could do to support and help me.”
“The first thing they focused on was knowing me; the second was understanding my injuries. Following that, they spent a great deal of discovery time on the accident and the details of what truly happened. They also spent a great deal of time sorting through the five different insurance companies involved. Burke & Thomas did a remarkable piece of work filtering through who should pay what and who should be reimbursed. Bills and insurance complications were an area in which John and Rich were especially knowledgeable. Rich played a major role in working with me and alternately meeting with the other insurance companies to arrive at a settlement without having to force them into a jury trial.
“I would not have had the skills, let alone the emotional focus – given that I was going through intense rehab at the time – to be able to navigate my way through the complications of my case. If not for Burke & Thomas, I would have been mired in bills literally for years, because the company that insured the truck I was a passenger in didn’t want to talk to me. In large measure because Burke & Thomas took over the litigation and the bill-paying process, I was able to focus on my body and reach a level of healing and rehabilitation that the physical therapist didn’t think I was going to be able to achieve.
“In the end, Burke & Thomas was able to identify which insurance company should be paying what and who needed to be reimbursed, and prove that my claim for compensation was just and appropriate. While it was clearly a relief to have the process come to a conclusion, it was also an uncomfortable feeling because I realized then that whatever happened going forward, I didn’t have Burke & Thomas to support me anymore.”
“There is a stigma that follows attorneys around that they might play fast and loose and not have your best interests at heart. I very quickly learned that this was not the case with Burke & Thomas. They were truly interested in and concerned with my well-being. If I were ever injured again, I wouldn’t give it more than a moment’s thought: I would be on the phone immediately to John and Rich to ask them to support me again in my time of need.”