MAKE YOUR STORY MATTER
There is no greater power on earth than a compelling story. But your story is only as powerful as the person telling it. In the right hands, your story has the power to right wrongs, do justice, change polices, and recall products. Your story has the power to make the world safer for your family and friends.
Whether it involves a serious personal injury or the wrongful death of a loved one, your story matters and so does the storyteller. Chip Brooker is here to help, and Brooker Law, PLLC looks forward to earning your trust and referrals nationwide. Let us make your story matter.
Let me tell you a story about a man named Gene. He was born in South Carolina into a middle-class family. His father Billy sold life insurance. His mother Mary stayed home with the children. In elementary school, Billy’s job required the family to move to Montgomery, Alabama, where Gene spent his formative years. He witnessed the civil rights movement and the bus boycotts first hand. He enjoyed the fervor of football in the state of Alabama. Gene even started at center when his high school football team won the Alabama state championship.
After graduating high school, Gene returned to South Carolina where he enrolled in The Citadel, a military college. Gene excelled at the school’s military aspects, and he was a pole vaulter on the track team. He graduated with a business degree with good—but not great—grades. With our country in the midst of the Vietnam War, Gene accepted his duty and was commissioned as an Air Force officer. While serving, Gene married his college sweetheart and obtained a Master’s degree in business administration. When he was honorably discharged as a Captain, Gene was excited to begin his professional career as a financial advisor.
Gene had always been a planner. He was a careful, conservative man. As the son of an insurance salesmen, he understood that financial security required planning. Not only did you have to expect the unexpected; you had to plan for it. Like his father’s, Gene’s job allowed him to sell insurance. He recommended that his client’s buy insurance, and practicing what he preached, he bought insurance too. Life insurance. Health insurance. Disability Insurance. He covered all of his bases and believed in the insurance policies that he bought and sold. Until those insurers betrayed him.
At 33 years old, Gene was a married father of a sweet but sassy red-headed daughter. His wife was 4 months pregnant with his first son. He kept active by jogging 3-5 miles several days each week. He played golf regularly and couldn’t be kept off the water—whether it was fishing or sailing.
Then, one night, he woke up with pains in his legs. With assistance from his father, he walked into a hospital where he would spend the next four and a half years of his life. The diagnosis was Guillain-Barre Syndrome—an immune disorder that attacks the peripheral nervous system and results in temporary or permanent paralysis. Gene would never walk again. But the greatest indignity was when the coverage denials began coming in. That’s when Gene had to consult a lawyer.
Gene was not looking for a hand-out; he was looking for a hand-up. He didn’t expect anyone to push his wheelchair; he just wanted to ensure that he would always have a good, reliable wheelchair to use. He didn’t expect anyone to share the worry, torment, and uncertainty that he experienced every time he saw a doctor. But he did want to ensure that he could afford a doctor’s continuing care. Having been robbed of the ability, rewards, and dignity of the work he loved, he just wanted to ensure his young family’s future. Gene never expected anyone to climb the ladder for him; he just needed help to get high enough to grab the first rung. Gene needed help holding his insurers accountable for the promises that they made. The premiums they accepted, and the coverage they tried to deny.
Gene’s story is my story. Gene was my father. Growing up, I watched first-hand as he battled to overcome his disability. I watched with awe and admiration as he resumed a successful career, provided for his family, and continued to serve the communities that he loved. He never liked to ask for help, though at times he knew he needed it. He preferred to help others, and he raised me to do the same.
More than other lawyers, I know what it is like to be permanently injured and disabled. I know what it does to a family and how hard it is on caregivers. That experience gives me a unique perspective. It better prepares me to tell your story. They say that children are your greatest legacy, and I am determined to make my father’s story matter.
Given the opportunity, I hope to make your story matter too.