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Just as I was starting with my new physiotherapist, my court date was fast approaching. I had been given notice a few months prior that I would yet again have to be put through another Discovery. I couldn’t help but feel the wave of stress and high anxiety, as my first one didn’t go so well. Every time I would have to talk about the upcoming Discovery, I would break down and end up spiraling out of control. I felt like I wasn’t strong or confident enough to go through another one. “What if I just threw in the towel now? I’d feel so awful for our family and not getting the money back that we put in, but I feel like I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this. Would you be okay with that?” Brandon understood the weight and pressure that I felt and told me that he backed me no matter what my decision was, but he also told me that he knew that I’d regret it if I didn’t follow through. I also didn’t feel like I truly had a choice in the matter, regardless of my feelings, because of having lawyers and such involved. My husband said, “Keana, I think you should get a shirt made up that says ‘I am a badass,’ because you are and you need to believe that you can do this.” So that’s exactly what I did. I found someone on Etsy and got them to make up a tank top with those words written across it.

I was having to gather so much information over the course of months leading up to this big day. I had to contact my workplace that I had worked at up until I went on mat leave and then shortly after I had just finished my mat leave, I got in my accident. My lawyers said that I needed pay stubs and t4s, etc. I had to go through so many hoops to gather all of these documents and it was a lot of time and work to do so, but I got it all done.

There were constant phone calls from my lawyers and I’d get so frustrated because from the very beginning, I was told that I’d get everything that I put in back, but when I’d mention things the tune changed. They told me the rules had since changed since my accident and some things I could get grandfathered in and others not. I’d fight back and tell them that I wanted them to push back and tell the car insurance company what I wanted and they shouldn’t be able to pick and choose whatever they wanted or not to suit them best. One of the biggest things that I wanted was to be free, washed of them, and able to live my life as I saw fit, without the car insurance company telling me what I could or couldn’t do. What had just been put into law was that they don’t do pay outs for your treatments anymore. You get assigned “care specialists” from the car insurance company that “help” you with your treatment plan. I was reassured that they couldn’t strip me of my treatments because what my diagnosis was, would stand and they would have to comply to that. But even so, I wasn’t convinced and had a heated conversation stating that even if I had to take a cut of money, I didn’t care, I wanted nothing to do with this company. My lawyers wouldn’t push back which made me angry. I could hear that she was getting annoyed with me on the phone.

I needed to know what to expect. What the next step would be, so that I could mentally prepare myself but every time I asked my lawyers, they always avoided the question and wouldn’t give me anything. I tried googling cases and tried to see what information was out there, to help my anxiety, but there was nothing. I never wanted to go to court, I just wanted it all to go away. My lawyers assured me that 99% of the time, they settle right before court happens. Even sometimes up until the very last second, as they would be walking up the courthouse steps.

I was warned that the car insurance company will send out people to follow people like me and will case you out. Watching your every move hoping to find an opportunity to catch you in an activity that could look like you were lying and be used in court against you. This added more stress and anxiety, as a photo is just a snapshot of a little moment. They have no idea if the person took pain meds to do the activity or afterwards needed some, or was up all night in pain or now had a flare for days or weeks on end. It was unfathomable to me. I was also told to not speak about my accident stuff at all on social media because the car insurance has people that will somehow tap into your account and use this also as fuel to their flame. This was told to me from the very beginning but was also echoed again closer to my court date.

I was still struggling with my GI issues and my worry was that I’d end up having to vomit in front of people. Worst nightmare ever. I told my lawyers about my health struggles but was told that I still needed to make the meeting.

The day came, and I wore this nice flowy slip dress with my “badass” tank top hidden underneath it. I had to show up about two hours before the actual meeting, to go over things with my lawyer. I told Brandon before hand that I was even nervous to see one of my lawyers, as she had gotten short with me on our last phone call. He reassured me all would be well. I shakily opened the car door up and Brandon and the girls had just prayed over me and yelled out “You’ve got this. We’ll be praying for you!” I opened up the doors to the building and was searching for an elevator but didn’t see one and looked up and saw this long staircase staring at me. “Ugh, seriously?” I whispered to myself and slowly took each step up to the meeting room.

When I made it up the stairs, I peaked inside this room and saw my lawyer sitting there. She smiled and politely did some small talk but I could feel this uneasy feeling inside of myself and could tell that she was off. As we were going over notes and things she stated, “You haven’t worked since before you got married, right?” I seriously couldn’t believe my ears. “Did the firm not pass along notes and things that were asked and then fulfilled? Did she even read my files and know what’s going on with me?” I thought this to myself and tried to keep my cool and replied, “ I sent all of the forms and information that you guys had asked for.” I then handed her a copy that I had. (thanks to my husband because he said to have it just incase). “Oh wow, I didn’t realize that you had just finished your mat leave. This is really helpful for your future losses.” She said. After the important stuff was gone over, there was a little lull which is when she took the opportunity to air out her frustration with me. “You think we are like the movies and tv. Well, we are not!” She said sharply to me. “You guys are supposed to fight for me. How come you guys aren’t pushing back on things that are important to me?” I asked. “ We are not here to fight for you! We are just the middle man. That is all!” She started to get heated with me. I felt like someone had just clobbered me. What the heck was I paying these lawyers for if they weren't going to fight for me? The old man that I had originally hired, reassured me of all of these things and yet it wasn’t happening for me. I should have seen all of the red flags from the very beginning, it was a very disorganized experience from the get go. How silly am I that I didn’t push back from the very beginning. She then went off the rails and was now raising her voice at me, a boiling over flood from all of our frustrating phone call conversations came pouring all out. The badass in me rose up and I abruptly cut her off, “Do not speak to me so disrespectfully.” She was surprised by what I had said and calmed down. Part of me was surprised at myself but also I was proud for speaking and standing up for myself. This encounter was not what I needed right before a huge, important meeting that solidified my future with this car insurance company. ”Great, the person that is supposed to be supporting me and someone that I’m supposed to be able to count on, is not so. This should be interesting.” I thought to myself.

I was stressed out of my mind, not to mention in pain and I had already had to excuse myself two different times to use the bathroom and get sick because of my GI issues. It sucked, like really sucked. When I came back in the room from using the bathroom, I told her how anxious and stressed out I had been, and how awful I felt. I then flipped up my dress ( I was wearing pants too) and revealed my badass shirt. I sort of felt like superman unveiling my heroic sign. I explained how this whole situation made me feel and it helped her to see me as a person ( that’s what I felt, anyways).

When we were in the middle of going over things, my lawyer said, “Oh yes, there’s a note here and I have a few questions to ask you. There’s a note in your medical records that you reported that you had back pain even before you were in your accident. Do you remember what this is about?” I thought and thought and couldn’t remember ever having a conversation with my doctor complaining of back pain. “Hmmmm, I can’t remember. Do you have a date when I said this?” The date was within a week before I gave birth to my second daughter, which was two months shy of being almost two years before my car accident. I explained this to her and she warned, “Just be prepared because I’m sure this will get brought up today.”

We both looked up and at the door, coming into the meeting room, was this young lawyer that looked like he wasn’t much older than me.


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