Leanne Goldstein’s name has become synonymous with relentless advocacy and unyielding passion in the legal realm, particularly in the fields of personal injury, human rights and disability claims. This piece traces her transformative journey, offering a lens into her motivations, challenges, and invaluable lessons learned along the way.
- The Early Days: A Foray into Personal Injury
As a law student, Leanne worked for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as an evidence gatherer. She bore witness to the struggles faced by those suffering immense trauma. After graduating law school Leanne’s legal practice commenced with a focus on medical malpractice and personal injury. She represented those who suffered injuries from medical malpractice and accidents, ensuring they received fair compensation.
- Gaining Perspective: Working with victims of medical wrongdoing and accident victims gave Leanne a front-row seat to the challenges people face post-trauma.
- Building Resilience: Every case brought its set of challenges, testing Leanne’s tenacity and deepening her commitment to her clients.
- Realization: The Overlapping Realms of Personal Injury and Disability
As Leanne delved deeper into her practice, she noticed a pattern: many of her clients, beyond their immediate injuries, grappled with long-term disabilities, and despite their ongoing inability to work, were facing denials of their claims leading to battles with insurance companies.
- A Client’s Struggle: One particular client, initially seeking compensation for an accident, faced an uphill battle claiming long-term disability benefits. This case was an eye-opener for Leanne as she dug deeper into the unfair conduct perpetuated by the insurance company in denying the claim which resulted in the claimant losing their home, the breakdown of their relationships and culminating in the claimant living in their motor vehicle
- Connecting the Dots: Recognizing the intertwined nature of personal injury and long-term disability claims, Leanne felt a pull towards the latter, sensing a greater need for robust advocacy in that sphere
- Transitioning to Disability Claims: A New Chapter
Making the switch wasn’t straightforward. Disability claims, while sharing some parallels with personal injury, have their unique nuances.
- Navigating Insurance Labyrinths: Disability claims often meant facing off against large insurance companies with vast resources who were emboldened by their ability to adjudicate claims with little admonishment.
- Mastering a New Realm: The medical intricacies involved in disability claims required rigorous research and understanding of unique conditions and their impact on functionality.
Yet, the fulfillment Leanne derived from helping clients secure their disability benefits outweighed these challenges. Empowering clients by strengthening their resolve to take on insurance companies and helping them navigate the process of litigation while retaining their dignity and mental health became a passion.
- Lessons Learned on the Journey
- a) Empathy is Key: Leanne realized that to truly represent her clients, understanding their struggles emotionally and mentally was paramount. Becoming trauma-informed was essential.
- b) Never Stop Learning: The legal landscape, especially around disability claims, is ever-evolving. Continuous learning and strategic development is critical.
- c) Persistence Pays: Leanne’s tenacity often made the difference between a denied claim and a successful resolution for her clients.
- The Landscape Today: Leanne’s Continued Legacy
Having litigated against almost every insurance company in Canada, and many US-based ones, Leanne’s knowledge of insurer strategies and how to effectively combat them has grown exponentially. She continues to passionately advocate for individuals wrongfully denied benefits, drawing from her rich tapestry of experiences.
- Reflections and Forward Momentum
Looking back, Leanne views her shift to disability claims as one of the most defining moments of her career. It wasn’t just a change in specialization; it was a renewed commitment to stand up for the marginalized and disempowered, give them a fighting chance.
For those considering a similar transition or any significant career pivot, Leanne offers this advice: “Follow where your heart and observations lead you. Challenges are a given, but they are also growth opportunities. And most importantly, always keep the best interests of those you serve at the heart of your decisions.”