First impressions mean a lot, especially when we as Disability attorneys are trying to determine the strength of a case the first time we meet a potential client. Many claimants come in with a family member or close friend who has taken on the role of caregiver to one degree or another. A recent incident involving my wife has given me more appreciation for those other people who come in and sit with the claimant, often answering many of my questions.
My wife is a strong bicyclist, but she fell about two weeks ago when she hit a stretch of bad road. She suffered a mild concussion, stitches in her face, and bruising and road rash over her whole left side. She had to take a week off from work and I had to take her to the doctors plus take on the shopping and meal preparation (I wouldn’t call it “cooking”).
This week she’s back to work but still not driving, so I take her to the train station and pick her up. She shouldn’t have any permanent problems, but I have gained a definite appreciation for the important role that caregivers play. Without ever planning to be in that role, and for no reward, they are forced to make changes in their routines and priorities to take care of a person who can no longer do things that were always second nature.
My wife, who works in the health care field, said to me that she has gained some appreciation of what it means to be “disabled.” And I will definitely have a different first impression whenever the person I am interviewing needs to be accompanied by someone just to get to my office.