Matthew’s parents discuss their experience working with ABC Law Centers (Reiter & Walsh, P.C.) throughout their son’s birth injury case. Learn more about the process of detecting Matthew’s birth injury, why they chose ABC Law Centers, how they were involved and accommodated throughout the case process, and how the settlement has affected their lives.
[text] When did you first suspect a birth injury?
Well when the boys came home, since they were twins, they came home at about a month and a half or two months of age. We had noticed that Matthew wasn’t developing physically like Andrew was. He wasn’t able to hold his head up. He wasn’t able to roll over, whereas Andrew had started doing some of those activities. So we had spoken to the doctors—which we had numerous ones—and no one seemed to have an answer as to exactly what had really happened. And, we didn’t have the cerebral palsy diagnosis until probably approximately nine months. We just wanted an answer, truthfully. We wanted to know exactly what had happened just so that we had a better feel about what was going on with Matthew. Because we truly were not getting answers of what happened to him.
[text] When did you first contact an attorney?
Well, I have a friend who has a daughter that has cerebral palsy. And he suggested to me, says “Hey, it doesn’t hurt to check into some things. And he had given me an attorney’s number. I had made a phone call, and pretty much that attorney was just asking me questions—real short questions—and then basically wanted me to do a lot of the footwork, which I had no idea how to do. He wanted me to see the doctor, find out and have them tell us what was really wrong with him. And I’m like “Isn’t that why I would hire you?” So when I hung up the phone, I told my wife that this attorney didn’t seem to want to help and wants us to do a lot of the work, which we don’t know how to do—and how to get the answers. So Jamie had mentioned that [J. joins conversation] and then I looked up attorneys and saw ABC Law Centers [Reiter & Walsh], and I had emailed them, and they contacted us right away that same day. And they sat on the phone with me probably about an hour and a half that day and asked general questions. And then we just went from there, and they were great, they kept us updated, and just went to work for us.
[text] Describe your experience working with ABC Law Centers
They kept us informed, they called us, they started saying “Hey, this is what we’re seeing. These are what we’ve got from the lab results from all the doctors.” There were a couple little things that they had read that we didn’t even know that the doctors had never told us about. It seemed like they just kept digging and they never gave up. They tried to get us the answers, but in points in time during the discovery process they said, you know, “Hey, we don’t have an answer for this—it could be this, or it could be that based on our experience.” So, they laid it out to us basically. They said “Hey, here’s what we know, here’s what we think, here’s what we don’t know.” And they just kept going forward with all that until they could try to get the answers for us. [J. Joins conversation] And were honest. [P. speaking] And they were very honest. If they said that they had an issue with something, they just said “Hey, this is an issue” or “we can’t really get an answer for this, but we’re going to work to figure it out.” They just didn’t say they didn’t have an answer so that’s it, they just kept working for that answer for us also.
[text] How was your experience working with the attorney and the staff at ABC Law Centers?
Working with the attorneys, Reiter was very professional, so was Ms. Walsh, they were always polite, cordial, very good work staff. They were never short with us after any meeting we had—or even phone conversation—they took the time to sit there and answer any questions we had. We never felt rushed. We never felt like we were asking too many questions. They were just very, very nice. You know, they almost felt like family.
[text] Did they work around your busy schedule?
We did have a meeting where the whole family came down so they could meet us, so that was very pleasurable. Once again, there was no rush. Every appointment we ever had to have, unless it was a court date, was always flexible. They were like “Hey, here are the dates we have, if that works for you, what works for you…” For instance, with Matthew, the earlier we do things in the morning, the better Matthew is because as the day goes on, he gets tired and cranky. So they said, “What works for you?” Plus it was a long ride for us, so they would work around traffic. It wasn’t like they said hey, you know what, we have plans this day, you need to be here at 9 AM. It was always like “What will work for you?”
[text] How did the settlement improve your quality of life?
Since the settlement, now we’re building a house that will be handicap equipped for Matthew—and he’ll always be able to stay in that house and have help come in when we’re gone. He also now has a bathroom off of his bedroom with a shower, so it will now be much easier to give him a shower instead of giving him a bath since he’s now getting bigger. So that was a big load off our shoulders since we’re now getting older. We’re able now to get a nanny/babysitter so that we now, as husband and wife, can go out more on dates, which is something that we haven’t been able to do in a long time because of not having people who are able to sit with Matthew because of feeding him by tube and giving him medicines by tube for him to sleep at night.
[text] What special equipment are you now able to get for Matthew?
With the settlement, we’re able to get him some little nice extra things. Like we’re going to be purchasing his own recliner—it’s a handicap recliner with a deeper seat. So instead of having him have to sit in his wheelchair or have to lay on the floor, he can sit on the couch. Like we’ll play with him and he can sit between us, but now he can actually have his own chair that he can sit in instead of having to sit in the wheelchair, and it’s more comfortable. A couple other things that we were looking into—hopefully trying to find some type of bicycle where we can put him in the bike, where we can go for a bike ride instead of just having to push his wheelchair because the wheelchair has smaller wheels, it’s not made for all the bumps and everything.
[text] Has the settlement given you peace of mind about Matthew’s future?
The settlement is allowing us to have a new home built (as my wife stated) that he is going to stay in. He’s going to get to stay in that house even if my wife and I pass, and then people will come in to take care of him. I don’t need to worry about what’s going to happen to him if we’re no longer around to take care of him. And even with the nanny, it allows us time to get out, even though we’re still both working two jobs, and we plan on working two jobs. It just makes it easier—we don’t have to worry about for example, getting certain days off because the other has to go into work early. It just makes it easier and less stressful. I mean, we’re always going to worry about our son, and we worry about Andrew too, but it’s just nice knowing that we have some leeway. We don’t have to worry about, say, not being able to do something because we have to save every single penny. We’re still saving, we’re still budgeting, but it’s not the stress of, say, where are we going to get this extra money we need in twenty years.
[text] Can you summarize your experience with ABC Law Centers?
Our experience with ABC Law Centers is that they’re more family-oriented, they very polite. And even though we had only called one other attorney, they were there for you. They were willing to listen to you. They didn’t force you on anything. It wasn’t like they said if we send you this packet, you have to stay with us. You know, you may decide late on down the line you don’t want to do anything. It’s just that there’s no pressure with Reiter & Walsh. They’re there, they’re there to answer your questions, and they’re more than willing to help you out.