by Mike Bailey
In a moment of reflection, attorney John M. Power asked his wife, Lori, what it was about his work as a personal injury attorney that she respected the most.
“She said that was easy. ‘You help keep families together.’” That, he realizes, is the aspect of his profession that brings him the most satisfaction.
Power, of Cogan & Power, P.C., works tirelessly to get to know his clients on an individual basis. Commuting from his home in rural St. Charles to his downtown Chicago law office, he has ample opportunity to reach out to clients on a personal level.
“I try to call one or two a day during the commute back and forth,” he says. “I ask them how they are doing and tell them what is going on in their cases. I also tell them to call me after hours if they need me.”
“What separates John from other attorneys is that when John takes on a client,” says his partner Michael Cogan, “he gives them his office number, his desk (telephone) number, his cell phone number, and (in special circumstances) his home telephone number. In 34 years as an attorney I have never met anyone who makes himself more accessible than John.”
That personal touch is emblematic of the genuine concern for his clients and typical of his case preparation in wrongful death, personal injury or medical malpractice cases. “I want to know them so I can tell the jury their story,” Power says.
His ability to connect with clients on a personal level is a tribute to his father, Jack, who took him along on sales calls to meet clients, he says. “I was only 5 or 6 years old, and he taught me to make eye contact, shake hands with people and respond in some way to what they were saying.
“I owe what I am today to him. He taught me to do the right thing and to help people, not just send them a bill. Clients send me Christmas cards and cookies and remember my birthday. They are part of my life. These were families on the brink of disaster both emotionally and financially. Their whole lives were centered on what might happen over the next 24 hours because things looked so bad at the time. We gave them the emotional support to get them through the stressful time and were able to provide the financial help to save those families.”
All attorneys have clients whose catastrophes and resolutions resonate with them more than others, epitomized for Power by the Estrada family of Coal City.
Simon and Marcie had six kids. Simon was a truck driver, proud because he was recently able to buy his own truck, Power remembers. About three months after he bought the truck, he was at a rail container yard in a south Chicago suburb where there was a huge backup of vehicles. He got out of his truck to see what was going on and as he returned to his truck, a truck cab backed up and turned around, never seeing Estrada.
“He ran over him and basically parked on him,” Power says. “The cab was sitting on top of his pelvis and legs. When the driver saw what had happened, he drove over him a second time to free him.”
Simon survived but spent five days in the intensive care unit, suffering a crushed pelvis, two damaged vertebrae, disc injuries, nerve damage and injuries to his knees and ankles. The family lost their four-bedroom house in Coal City and had to move into a two-bedroom apartment, with all six kids. They had no money. Marcie hocked her jewelry. The family ran out of medical coverage, and Simon was discharged from the hospital prematurely.
“My sister had a frond who was a lawyer,” Marcie remembers. “He recommended John, so I called him. He was our angel. He has been a super friend to the family and solved a lot of problems for us. He took us under his wing and was our support system. He was like a grandfather to the kids for three years. He kept this family moving forward.”
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If you have been injured in a personal injury or medical malpractice accident, do not hesitate to contact the Chicago accident and injury law firm of Cogan & Power at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free case consultation, so that we can help you begin the process of recovery as soon as possible. If you cannot come to our offices in downtown Chicago, we will come to you. And because we take cases on a contingency basis, you will not pay any fee unless we get you compensation.