Broken Pinkie: No Biggie? Fuggedabout it!
Michael A. StrattonNovember 20, 2012 11:22 AM
My staff is used to me telling potential clients that claims should only be brought for life altering injuries. "You shouldn't sue over a lost pinky. Its bad for you and its bad for our justice system" was my often overheard advice.
Well, as most of us with a few decades of life behind us know, life can be a series of humbling ironies. And this arrogant minimization of the pinkie injury has come back to haunt me!
I broke my pinkie in a bike crash one month ago, and I am confounded by how debilitating such a "simple" injury can be. First there is the initial acute pain and loss of use: There is not much one can do when the top half of your pinkie is perpendicular to the bottom half. You would think this would be theapex of the injury's detrimental life impact. But this is not so.
Following this there are the multiple office visits, tests, and surgery which rip apart normal work-family schedules. Following the pin insertion, there is the casting of the whole dominant hand and wrist. Emails? Texting? Getting Dressed? Showering? Brushing Teeth? Shaking Hands? Maintaining a fitness regimen (swimming, biking, lifting)? Fuggedaboutit!
One month later, after 30 days of 50% capacity at best the cast comes off and the pinkie is infected, inflamed and as stiff as a board. So now come the multiple antibiotics, sleepless nights, and oh my lord the most painful of events-- PHYSICAL THERAPY. One would think a pinkie could quickly get back to functional use. Oh not so. 10-12 therapy sessions are planned and they are outrageously painful events. At the last one, my therapist commended me for returning for another visit, and said she was surprised I came back given how much pain she had to inflict just to get the pinkie into a quarter bend. I am not brave. Rather I am stuck between having a permanently erect pinkie or experiencing an ice pick being driven through my finger. A close call....
I appreciate the efforts of the nurses, the front office secretaries, the surgeon, the therapists, the anesthesiologist, the pharmacists, my staff, my partners, my clients, my wife, and my kids who have all helped my over the last 5 weeks. Can you imagine that? All of these people have had there lives altered if only slightly by my "little" pinkie injury.
The bottomline: The next potential client who wants me to sue over a negligently harmed pinkie is a most lucky person. They will have a rabid pitbull for a trial advocate.