10 Minutes With: Personal Injury Paralegal Mary Rivera

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personal injury paralegalPersonal Injury Paralegal MARY RIVERA

Years of Professional Service: 13

Most Enviable Quality: Empathy

Daily Focus: Clients

Q: How long have you worked at Badgley Law Group?

About a year and a half.

Q: How do you spend your work day?

Most of the time I’m in the office, although occasionally I love meeting with clients outside of the office.  My work day consists of meeting with clients, talking or corresponding with medical experts to get information for cases, researching and summarizing cases and medical records.

Q: What is the office environment like at Badgley Law Group?

It’s relaxed and friendly.  When clients come in, they’re seated on a comfy sofa and served a beverage before their meeting begins. I think a cold sterile environment doesn’t encourage openness, and we want our clients to feel like they can truly share their experiences with us.

Having a transparent client relationship helps a case because we learn more detail about what the client has gone through and can better relay that as the case proceeds.  We had a client whose case began before I started working here so our relationship was over the phone. When we finally met in person, it really solidified our relationship.  We hugged and sat down to talk. We had so many conversations leading up to our first meeting that I really knew her life and her case.

Q: Why is your investment in clients so personal?

In my years as a paralegal, I have dealt with cases that are very sensitive; divorce, child custody, and sexual assault (to name a few).  These experiences developed my empathy for clients and helped me in recognizing the importance of fighting for our clients, and what a case can mean to a person.  I have also personally gone through the experience with a close family member.  Their life, as well as mine, changed drastically because of an injury caused by someone else’s carelessness.

Q: Can you think of an example where a lack of this kind of detail hurt a case?

I had a client who avoided conversation and didn’t want to discuss his injury, his treatment process or how his daily life was affected. I had to rely on conversations with his doctor and therapists to get information about his case. It made it much harder to form a strong case that would settle to his benefit.

Q: Do you have any advice for clients?

First of all, Make sure you choose an attorney you like and trust. When you do, you’ll feel more at ease throughout the process and you’ll share more. Secondly, follow your treatment plan. We understand that life is already busy and very stressful, and injury and treatment can add to that. However, it’s important that you follow a treatment plan created specifically for your needs. Not following this plan cannot only affect your health, but will detract from the seriousness of your condition/injury and case.

 

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