Something I could not have fully understood before we had our first son in June 2018 was how many ways in which my worldview would be affected by that occurrence. Inevitably, as I spend the majority of my waking hours at work and representing injured people in negligence cases, my approach to and understanding of what I do has changed. It's not necessarily in one particular way, either.
Obviously, to the extent our son gets injured, that has an incredible impact on me as a father in the sense that I hate to see him in pain. It gives me at least the tiniest window into understanding the more profound pain and anguish a parent feels when they have a child who has been injured or killed as a result of someone else's carelessness. When I think about my potential reaction to someone hurting my own son and the feelings I might feel, it helps me understand what family members of our clients tell us about what they are feeling and they are going through.
Even separate and apart from my son, having witnessed the labor and delivery aspects of what my wife went through right by her side—it does help me better understand those cases where my client is an expectant mother and she's involved in a motor vehicle crash while eight months pregnant and the terror she describes in terms of wondering if her baby is okay in the wake of the crash.
Co-parenting with my wife has helped me better understand where my client is the mother or father of a young baby or toddler and understanding how much holding and hoisting and playing and physicality involving the hands, arms, neck and upper back there is. Running around and chasing a kiddo and how important a functional low back, hips, legs, knees, and ankles are too. Then I try and imagine keeping up with my own little hellion at less than 100-percent physical capacity.
In many ways, I must still admit that I cannot truly imagine nor understand without being in those circumstances and I will hope I never will find myself in those circumstances. But this experience in having our first child has allowed me to grow and more fully understand the claims I am pursuing day in and day out for our clients and the true impact another person or company's carelessness has had on their lives and their loved ones' lives.