Ed, a Community Restitution Coordinator at a suburban Chicago police Department, happened to be on snow duty during the big snowfall of 2011. Cars were fishtailing all over the place, getting stuck on the expressway, abandoned. There was a big shake-up at City Hall as to who could better handle the mess.
Snow duty meant putting on his boots during downtime and physically getting out and removing four-foot drifts of snow from the entrance to the offices. The gigantic equipment was unfamiliar to operate, and it slipped away from Ed at the end of the driveway. He could not turn it around. Ed tumbled and landed sprawled on the ice.
The next day, his entire arm was black and blue. His shoulders, his arms, his knees and his legs were in severe pain that lasted into the next weeks.
“I’m going home every night and eating 800 milligrams of Ibuprofen, and then, I’m icing it,” he said.
He toughed it out for two months – and then he called his old friend Ryan Theriault, who worked with him for years at the police department. Theriault had moved on to become a lawyer. Ed knew Theriault was a workers’ compensation attorney renowned for protecting his clients and obtaining benefits for injuries in the line of duty, which turned out to be a very good thing for Ed. After 17 years working for the police department, Ed was facing a bleak future.
Ed knew workers’ comp cases could drag on for years unless he had a legal team that acted quickly and decisively. He was comforted to learn that Theriault had an excellent reputation and a solid team who could cut through delays and avoid costly mistakes.
Adding to the experience of the firm, Ed had the highest professional respect for Theriault.
During the accident on the ice, Ed tore the meniscus in his left knee and ruptured the bicep in his right arm. Theriault set Ed up on a path to recovery with a recommendation to a surgeon who operated on his shoulders and knees.
“Ryan is one of those types of people, not just attorneys, but a person, who goes out there and aims to get the best possible deal to bring to his clients,” Ed said. “When he brought back the first deal, I said, ‘Is this the best we can do?’ He said, ‘I can push them a little more,’ and he called me back less than half an hour later and the deal was significantly increased.”
The settlement helped Ed to be comfortable in his early retirement.
“For the most part, I’m back to a hundred percent.” Of Ryan, he cannot say enough. Ed has now recommended additional family members and friends to the firm.