Strength, Courage and Hope

Surviving Trauma

Trauma is one of the most significant, yet least talked-about, aspects of human existence. As a culture, especially an American culture, we often “shy away” from discussing the far-reaching aspects of trauma – the scope and nature of it, the effect upon its victims, and the societal impacts of failing to appropriately treat trauma. At Meridian Law, we are not only NOT afraid to candidly discuss trauma, but we encourage ourselves and our clients to be as vulnerable as possible in exploring, and healing from, the effects of trauma in our/their lives.

Trauma comes in many different forms. We have worked with multiple individuals who have experienced what some might characterize as an “obvious trauma” event – such as abuse by a loved or trusted person in their lives. We have tragically seen cases involving sexual abuse by clergy, a family member, school officials, religious personnel, and medical professionals. These are some of the most painful cases for us to work on, as we intimately understand the horrific impact of such trauma in a victim’s life. They are also some of the most breathtaking cases – as we personally witness the strength that it takes for a victim to stand up and fight for their future. We have also seen cases where trauma is “less obvious” – such as cases involving personal injury from an auto accident, or in situations where an employee is mistreated in the workplace. While the trauma stemming from these types of situations may manifest itself in a different manner than say, for example, a sexual abuse case, we are of the firm belief that “trauma is trauma.” When a person is mistreated by another, especially when that mistreatment is blatantly illegal, the effects upon a person’s life is very real, and it is long-lasting.

At Meridian Law, we do not believe in categories or quantification of trauma. Trauma affects a person’s psyche the same – no matter the unique circumstances involved in it. Whether we are talking about a serious sexual abuse case or a wrongful employment action, when a person is traumatized by another’s misconduct, it leaves an indelible imprint upon the soul that cannot be erased. While time, healing, the appropriate counseling and care, and necessary support can allow a victim to “move forward” in their lives, the effect of the traumatic event(s) is never gone. Therefore, when we handle cases for our victim clients, we do not ask “why” a person is traumatized by wrongful events for which they are seeking recovery – we say “of course” and “how can we fight for what you deserve to heal?”. Inevitably, a traumatic event will be life-changing, and without the appropriate care and support, healing can be very, very difficult. Therefore, it is crucial for us, as lawyers, to fully analyze the scope of our client’s future recovery needs. We are committed to doing just that.

We believe in advocating for our clients through comprehensive trauma-recovery compensation. This means that, in handling a lawsuit involving a trauma event(s), we look for compensation for our clients that includes a wide-range of care. This almost always involves extensive counseling and mental health support. But, it also includes demanding that a victimizer be held accountable for monetary damages that will cover life changes our client may have experienced as a result of their trauma, unique mental health services such as EMDR and holistic treatment, addiction services (if our client is suffering from addiction issues as a result of their trauma), and various other future treatment needed to address the ongoing healing from trauma. At Meridian Law, we believe we are uniquely situated to understand and evaluate these issues for our clients.

We also have a comprehensive understanding of the resources available to our clients in working with expert witnesses that can testify on our client’s behalf about the effect of trauma in their lives. We have worked with many different medical, mental, counseling, addiction, and therapeutic team members in the State of Montana – who are exceptionally-gifted in identifying and providing services to trauma victims. In the course of your case, we can work with these professionals to meet the evidentiary requirements to establish future medical and treatment costs. These expert resources are critical in valuing legal recovery for our clients.

For us, representing trauma victims is more than just a “career path.” We believe that individuals who have suffered trauma in their lives CAN heal. We personally know healing is possible – and, in fact, with the right support, not only possible, but probable. While healing leaves scars, and is exceptionally painful, we fully believe that there is grace and beauty on the other side of trauma. When our clients talk to us about their trauma, we are not just hearing their experiences as “their lawyers.” We are hearing their stories as victims of our own trauma – and the courage and strength it takes to stand up in the face of such adversity is not underestimated by us. That is why we believe in ensuring that our clients receive EVERYTHING that we can offer to help them in the healing process.

If you have been the victim of trauma, we are here – whether it be as your lawyers, fellow survivors, or a resource to help you find the support you need.

Regardless of where you are in healing from your trauma, know one thing with absolute certainty --

You. Are. A. Survivor.