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Badass (pt 2)

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

He confidently walked into the room, sat down across from me and took out all of his binders with my information in it. The typist was all ready to go and we were ahead of schedule and so we decided to begin earlier than planned. I was obviously nervous but tried to put on my game face and wanted to show more confidence than nerves. The car insurance lawyer started to ask questions but what he started off with, I had already answered in my previous Discovery. My lawyer pointed this out to him and he then changed what he asked. I tried to answer the questions as honestly as I could. There were some questions that just seemed off and had bits of truth to them from a random conversation that I had, had about two or three years prior with one of my pelvic floor physiotherapists. It always blew my mind that things that I would casually talk about in a brief conversation, thinking it’s just this random side conversation that I was having, ended up being recorded to how my practitioner heard it and then be thrown in my face later by the opposing side. It felt like the game of telephone, where things got lost in translation. I can’t remember his exact words but it was a combination of two different events mixed into one and so I said, “I could guess if you’d like me to?” He shook his head no and proceeded with another question. I excused myself about three different times to go and get sick in the bathroom, as my GI issues were still getting worked on at this time. Each time I’d reenter the room he would, off record, be talking about how frustrating this company was and how ridiculous they were for dragging out my case for so long. At one point he said, “This case is very black and white. Why has it taken so long to get it closed?“ My lawyer nodded her head and said, “Yes, I know. We’ve been working hard at trying to make an agreement but each time we keep getting delays from your side.” “Well, let’s get this thing wrapped up then. I mean, this thing could go on for a few more months and I’d easily make thirty grand just to sit and twiddle my thumbs.” “Well, we would like to wrap this up too but we want what’s fair.” My lawyer replied. “Yes, of course.” He smiled.

Each time I left and came back into the room, he would be on a little rant against his client. This, to me, was an answer to prayer. I had prayed and prayed that the opposing lawyer would see my honesty, my heart, and have compassion and understanding. That they would see me for me and not some case to fight against. I was grateful for him and it made me feel hopeful and positive.

And then the question came. “So, it shows here in your medical records that you reported back pain. Tell me about this.” He asked. I paused and looked at my lawyer. She looked at me and nodded to answer the question, but before I did, she said, “What’s the date on that?” He replied with the date which was very close to when I gave birth to my second daughter. I explained this to him and once I finished, you could see he was a bit deflated from my answer. At one point in our conversation he looked at me and said, “You know, I could make this very difficult for you. But I can see that you are a very honest, genuine person. So I won’t. But when I get the over confident, cocky ones, I do tend to be harder on them.” A huge wave of relief washed over me in that moment.

We discussed some future dream jobs that I would have liked to pursue. “So it says here that you enjoy doing photography but if there were any other jobs what else would they be?” He asked. “Floristry is one of them.” I replied. “Floristry? Umm I don’t believe that is even a real word. Do you mean being a florist?” He asked. I shrunk down in my chair and could feel the heat of redness wash over my cheeks in embarrassment. I am known for using words every once in awhile that don’t quite fit. At the same time my lawyer and typist laughed and agreed with him, which made me feel that much more embarrassed. I sheepishly replied, “Yes, to be a florist.”

At the end of the meeting, we were all gathering up our belongings and the typist interrupted and said, "I just googled floristry and she was right." She then proceeded to read out the definition of floristry. The opposing lawyer looked at me and said, "Huh, I guess you were right and we should've given you more credit, since you've probably done a lot more researching and looking into this than we all have." I just smiled. My lawyer agreed with him and apologized to me.

As I was about to walk out of the room, the opposing lawyer came up to me and shook my hand. "I hope for your sake, that we never have to see each other again. I really am sorry for all that you've been put through and I really hope that you are able to get some pain relief and get better." He said. I thanked him and was now trying to think how I'd make it down the long staircase that felt like it was never ending. After many hours of being in this meeting, my pain was very high from a full day of the sit/stand dance. I hadn't taken any pain meds, as I wanted to be as alert and focused as I could be for the meeting. I was hoping that everyone would either be in the meeting room or had already left so that they didn't have to witness me struggle making it down the stairs. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case and as I pain stakingly took each step slowly, I'd have to take breaks in between because the pain was a lot to bare. I heard a gasp and looked behind me and saw my lawyer at the top of the stairs. "Oh my god, I see it now. I'm so sorry Keana."

Around a month after my Discovery, I received a phone call from my lawyer. She told me that we needed to start gathering witness statements to prepare for court. “I thought you said we wouldn’t need to go to court though?” I asked anxiously. “Well, we are seeing more and more that they’ve changed their tactics. They know that people don’t want to go to court and try to use that to their advantage. We need to start preparing as if it’s a go ahead.” My stomach felt like it had massive lump in it and my stress levels started to rise. The next day I received another phone call and this time to inform me that they’ve started negotiations. “Don’t worry, we are just getting started and they always start off with a low ball offer. We have to just inform you of whats been put on the table.” My lawyer assured me. The conversation ended but within a few hours I received another phone call. “Well, I just got off the phone with the opposing lawyer and he proceeded to say that you are a liar and they are trying to use what the Neurologist ( made up about you as their basis. Don't you worry though, I snapped back at him and told him how dare he say that about you. You have only been honest and, well, sometimes too honest.” I was angry. I thought my prayers had been answered and that this opposing lawyer was on my side and was honest. “When we are all said and done with all of this, I want you to give him a message from me and tell him how dishonest and how shameful he is.” I told her. “Keana, he is just doing his job. I could tell on the phone he was already feeling bad about what he said. He doesn’t have a choice in the matter. He can say all that he wants but there’s a board that he answers to.” I told her that I didn’t care and how he could sleep at night, treating people like me that way, was beyond me.

The next day I received another call from my lawyer. She said that she received a phone call from the gynecologist from my hometown. He was notified by the opposing side to be in court and they had planned on using him against me. He called up my lawyers and had a conversation with them and told them that he had my back and would stand up for me. My lawyer asked him about the things that the Neurologist had stated along with the false claims that the car insurance company were saying about me. He told my lawyer that it was physically impossible as to what they were claiming in my case and that he would say so in court. My lawyer right after that conversation had received another phone call from the opposing lawyer and let him know that they had nothing on me and that the gynecologist explained it all and planned on being on our side. He then put an expiration time on the offer and we had only a few days until we had to give our answer. Which is when all of a sudden Covid hit. The courthouses were shutting down jury cases which my lawyers excitedly told me that we now had it in the bag. The insurance company had nothing on me and the judge would likely see through them and we would get what was fair. I had to think over the deal with expiration date more intensely because if I didn’t accept the offer and we proceeded with court and we were within a certain percentage of our deal being near the offer, then I would have to pay for all of the flights, accommodations, etc for all of the parties involved in my court case. I had no idea this was a thing and it made the pressure feel even more intense. But even still, my lawyers were confident that we would win this and that I had nothing to worry about.

But within a day or so, all came crumbling down. My court date got canceled completely which is when the car insurance company could make up and say whatever they wanted because they had no accountability of a judge telling them to play fair and to have proof. On top of that, they refused to negotiate at all with us and only had the low ball offer on the table. “Keana, we’ve got this. If you just hold on a little bit longer we will win this thing.” “But won’t it be another two years until I could get a court date?” “Yes, it would be.”

I struggled and struggled with the decision. I felt like I was letting them win over a lie. Like my character and who I was made out to be, I would be agreeing with the story they made up as truth. I only wanted what was fair but I knew that another two years of being bullied, harassed and controlled was something that would completely break me. My husband wasn’t for me waiting another two years either and we decided to take the crap deal anyways. I told my lawyer and she got a little emotional on the phone, “I understand, really I do, but I know we could win this. There aren’t many cases that stick with me but this one definitely will. It just has been unreal the hand that you have been dealt through this whole thing. Your case is one of the longest ones we’ve had and I’m so sorry. I‘m going to wait until the very last second to let them know we accept the deal because I’d like to make them have to sweat it out a little.”


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