In June 2010, I was struck by a cargo van while cycling to work. Although I have no recollection of the accident, my life changed at that moment. I was lucky that my only external physical injuries were limited to severe bruising on the right side of my body. However, what I did not realize at the time was that the traumatic brain injury that I suffered would leave me with cognitive difficulties, ongoing and often debilitating fatigue, inability to focus on conversations, coupled with heightened sensitivity to noise, and susceptibility to stress, all of which I continue to struggle with today.
I was no longer “the rock”, whom my husband of 27 years and two teenage daughters could rely on, for keeping the family organized. I went from being a vibrant, energetic, driven “A” type personality, to someone who struggled to make it through a work day without crying and having nothing left for me or my family.
Shortly after the accident, my loved ones tried to persuade me to take legal action. I was very reluctant as I felt no malice toward the individual driving the vehicle who hit me, and knew that no amount of monetary compensation would bring back my old self. However, with his insurance company pressuring us to settle or retain a lawyer, we felt we had no choice. I took to the internet and quickly found Pipella Law. After my accident, I began to rely much more heavily on my instincts, as my cognitive functions could not be relied upon, and Pipella Law “felt right”.
When I first met with Tara Pipella several months after my accident, I felt odd speaking to her about my brain injury knowing that she usually deals with much more severely injured people. However, Tara assured me that my brain injury was real and significant and she immediately took on my case.
Over the next 3.5 years, I often questioned if I made the right decision pursuing legal action, as I was required to be assessed by numerous medical experts for both my lawyer and the defense counsel. Each time I had to revisit the accident and the state of my life in agonizing detail. However, Tara always reassured me and provided perspective on the process.
When we finally engaged in a judicial dispute resolution (JDR), with the defense counsel, this is where I saw all of the hard work and diligence that Tara Pipella and her staff had put in. Her professionalism, knowledge of my case, and empathy towards my issues and their impact on my future, allowed us to reach a settlement which has given me the freedom to reduce my hours of work, and re-establish a healthy, happy and active home and social life.