It’s Day 3 of trail.  The pressure’s on.  You’ve been sworn in.  The jury’s looking at you.

I ask: What’s the biggest impact this wreck has had on you?

You want to hit the ball out of the park.

We’re all tempted—in this Instagram age—to create the life we wish we had.

So you answer: I can’t ride my motorcycle from Prudhoe Bay to Ushuaia.

Opposing counsel gets up to cross-examine you.


Q:        How many times have you ridden from Valdez to Ushuaia?  

A:        None.  

Q:        How many times have you been to Alaska.  

A:        None.

Q:        How about Argentina?

A:        None.

Q:        Did you have plans to make that ride before the wreck?

A:        No.  

Q:        Do you own a motorcycle?

A:        No.


To prove the magnitude of what was taken, we need to focus on the things that happen every day, not things that happen once a year (or may never happen).

Per diem arguments are one of the best damage models.  Damages add up really quickly when you’re talking about $5, $10 or $20 a day—for each element of non-economic damages.  Especially when there’s permanency.

Think about this with a back injury.


  • You may not be treating regularly anymore.  But you’re always walking a line between pilot low-grade pain and flare-ups.


  • You make little choices that add up to a lot.  Choices to do something or not do it.  If you hoist up your son or daughter and swing them around there will be a price to pay.


  • Some days you do it anyway.  And then you have a flare up.


  • Some days you high-five your child instead of embracing them.


  • Some days you mow the lawn slowly, taking breaks to avoid flare-ups; other days you just get it done, then lay on a heating pad to tamp down the pain.


  • Your new normal is to make choices like these.  It has become such a part of your routine that you hardly think about it.


Routine losses show this is injury is a big deal.  The pain around the clock and the threat of flare-ups is what lowers the baseline quality of life.

What are the “little things” or choices you have to make every day because of your injuries?

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