On the morning of March 12, 2016, Steve Brown was on his way to work at roughly 5:20 a.m. in Winston Salem, North Carolina, when he hit a tractor trailer making a U-turn in the dark. He sustained serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury.
In the wake of the accident, Steve’s wife Sue called on the help of a longtime attorney friend who referred her to Michael Goldberg of Fried Goldberg. Sue immediately hired Michael to represent her husband.
Michael Goldberg successfully settled their case out of court and helped to win the Brown family the compensation they needed. Their settlement helped pay for mounting medical bills, the cost of missed work, traveling to doctor appointments, a financial advisor and life care planner to help them adjust and heal from Steve’s injuries.
Steve’s wife, Sue, recently shared more about their experience with us.
Interview With Sue Brown
Q: Can you tell me what happened from your perspective?
Steve was on his way to work on a Saturday morning, March 12th. He left the house at 5:00 am and was cresting a hill about 20 minutes from home and there was a tractor trailer making a u-turn in the middle of the road. It was a four lane road on an old interstate and he saw it at the very last second and slammed on his brakes.
Q: Would you share a little more about his injuries?
Sure, he had a compound fracture on his right arm, major damages to his head, you could see just cuts and everything. He had a big hematoma on the left side of his head, on his neck, he had a tear in his spleen…there were other miscellaneous bruises but the main damage was done to his head and he’s got brain trauma.
Q: Did he have injuries all over?
Pretty much. He was in an older vehicle, a 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis, which was really sturdy. He had one big bruise on his left shin but his legs were not damaged at all.
Q: Wow, I would say that’s a miracle.
He was very fortunate.
Q: Moving on to when you found Michael at Fried Goldberg. Did you have any reservations about hiring a lawyer?
No, I had no reservations about that. A friend of mine named Amy that I’ve known for about 10 years is an attorney in myrtle beach and she said “If you need an attorney, let me know.” I called her and she said to call Michael Goldberg. She said “He is the best.” So I had no reservations at all because I had known this girl and she’s a hell of an attorney and I knew she would refer me to someone good.
Q: Overall, would you say that hiring a lawyer accomplished what you hoped it would for your family?
Q: What kind of things was the compensation you received able to help you with?
It paid all of the medical bills, I had not worked since the accident because he could not drive since the accident had affected his vision. So I had to take him to all his doctor appointments, which were many, and I still do. I had not worked and I had no income, so I exhausted my savings and put everything else on my credit card. We still had a house payment and you know, it was a lot of money going back and forth to the hospital every day. He was in hospital rehab and a rehab facility for almost three months.
Q: Wow. And that was an inpatient rehab?
Yes. Of course being the loving wife that I am, I went to see him everyday.
Q: That’s wonderful! Earlier you mentioned that you missed a lot of work, what do you do for work?
I was a waitress. I had retired from graphic arts and I was a waitress and worked five days a week. I’m a very good waitress and I made very good money (laughs).
Q: You sound kind and hospitable as a waitress might!
Well I love people and it was just something I really enjoyed. But I was not able to go back to work because of all the doctor appointments. You can’t have three doctor appointments a week and work two days.
Q: Right. Was there something that Michael did that you particularly appreciated?
Anytime I would have a reservation or worry about anything, I would either text him or call him- and there was never ever a single time that he did not respond to me within an hour. It didn’t matter if he was on vacation or wherever, he responded to me immediately. He came to our house, he came to Greensboro so that I didn’t have to drive to Atlanta or Charlotte for our mediation and just things like that. He made it very easy for me. He came to me instead of me having to go to him.
Q: Of course, it definitely helps when traveling is not possible due to injuries.
He hired a life care planner to meet with us and to go over all the doctor reports and she was able to get all the records from the hospital and everything. She assessed all his injuries and what the cost would be and she also came to us, to our home. They both made it very easy to communicate and to help make decisions. The whole process was very easy.
Q: Was there anything in particular you were looking for in a lawyer?
It was not just the experience period and being an attorney, it was being experienced in this type of accident. This is what this firm does is large vehicle accidents. I knew after talking with my attorney friend, Amy. She and her husband had both been to seminars that Michael Goldberg spoke at and held, and they even read the book their firm wrote. She said he was the best at what he does.
Q: Lastly, would you recommend Michael and his firm in the future? If so, why?
Absolutely! The day I hired him, which was late on a Wednesday evening, he flew in from Atlanta to Winston Salem and came to the hospital to meet with me. Right away after talking to him and him taking his time to come meet with me that quickly, I trusted him, right away. I trusted him and I said, “Our lives are in your hands, and Amy said you can do this, so here it is.” And I would recommend anyone in this situation to hire him. Michael put forth 110%. He’s very personable. We got to know each other, we talked sports, we just talked junk. He is so easy to get to know. You just trust him immediately. He isn’t like some of these shady fellas with greasy hair and little bitty glasses and a briefcase. He’s just very laid back, easy to talk to. In fact, just the other day we were texting back and forth about basketball. He was absolutely awesome. He was so thorough, so very thorough. We felt like he covered all the bases.
Q: So you still keep in touch with Michael?
Q: That’s great to hear. Was there anything else you wanted to add? Would your husband like to share anything if he is able to or available?
Well he’s available but you haven’t got all day (laughs).
We both were just so pleased. Michael would just call out of the blue and say, “Sue, how are things?” and he would talk with Steve and I. He just handled everything. We love Michael, we love him.