Road to Recovery
Victims of motor-vehicle accidents and other traumatic injuries recover their lives with the help of Doylestown’s Naftulin and Shick P.C.
by Bill Donahue


Victims of traumatic accidents understandably struggle to regain balance after their lives are upended in significant, unfortunate and, often, irreversible ways. It’s attorney Linda Shick’s job to make sure these victims recover their lives as much as possible and get back on their feet—financially, physically and emotionally—in the aftermath.


“Recovering from an accident physically can be a challenge in itself, but the business of an accident can overwhelm formerly functioning healthy people,” says Shick, partner in the Doylestown-based law firm Naftulin and Shick P.C., which has several other offices throughout northeast Pennsylvania. “It affects and consumes every aspect of a client’s life.


“It should be the client’s focus to get healthy, keep their doctor’s appointments, and deal with day-to-day life and problems, but those problems shouldn’t include dealing with insurance companies or fighting to get their car fixed,” she continues. “That’s where we come in. If your car is in the shop, I’m working on getting you a rental. I’m helping solve problems, such as why the insurance company is not paying your medical expenses or sending the benefits you are entitled to, or why you are not getting your wage-loss check. My staff is well trained and equipped to take care of those kinds of problems for our clients.”


Naftulin and Shick P.C. has more than four decades of experience fighting for the rights of those injured in accidents that were caused by the negligence or carelessness of others. The firm, which represents clients throughout Bucks, Montgomery, Northampton, Lehigh, Monroe and Carbon counties, is structured differently than most personal injury firms. For example, although it is common for more than one lawyer in many law firms to share a paralegal, Shick has two well trained and experienced assistants to address the needs of her clients. If she is in court or taking a deposition, her paralegals are available to help her clients.  After all, there’s much more to handling a case than just going to court.


“Our paralegals spend a lot of time communicating with and assuring our clients; our clients are calling us or we’re calling them often to help them through the business of the case,” she says. “Sometimes doctors want an injured client to get a certain test or procedure that the insurance company will not readily approve. We help work out the details and take the stress and anxiety off of the clients.”


“Clients are often overwhelmed by the details of dealing with insurance carriers and medical providers,” she adds. “If they can’t deal with what’s asked of them, they tend to get defeated. We don’t let that happen. Obviously the ultimate goal is to obtain just compensation for the harms and losses they have suffered, but there is more to representing an injured person than that. Our focus is to make life as easy as possible for the client during the time that we are representing them.”


Attorney Shick approaches every client’s situation with the same passion and thoroughness—treating every case as if it’s heading to the courtroom but doing everything in her power to secure a favorable outcome for clients with the least amount of stress for the client.


“My goal is to have the case thoroughly prepped and ready so it is well organized and focused to achieve the client’s maximum recovery,” she says. “Often there are alternative methods to reach that goal, such as mediation or arbitration rather than a trial by jury.”


Fighting for Rights

Clients turn to attorney Shick and her firm to help them recover in the aftermath of accidents, which can range from motor-vehicle collisions and industrial mishaps to dog bites and slip-and-falls. One client, a Harley-Davidson enthusiast who also held a good job working as a motorcycle mechanic, acquired the services of Naftulin and Shick after he was hit by a tractor trailer while riding his motorcycle in Bucks County.


“He was in traffic, on his way home,” says Shick. “He was stopped on an on-ramp when a tractor trailer traveling behind him and wiped out five vehicles, including the motorcyclist. It was a horrific accident. My client wound up lying in the roadway underneath his motorcycle and very severely injured.”


As a result of the tractor trailer operator’s negligence, Shick’s client suffered numerous serious, permanent and disabling injuries: broken bones in his legs, dislocated knees, torn ligaments in his shoulders and a traumatic brain injury, among others, all of which impaired his ability to work and live his life fully. He underwent extended periods of physical and cognitive therapy, but even so could never return to his job as a motorcycle mechanic. As a result, Shick helped him receive disability payments from the Social Security Administration, which deemed him permanently and totally disabled.


“His whole life was Harley-Davidsons,” Shick says. “And his injuries meant he could no longer do the thing he loved. … Personal injury is an especially emotional aspect of the law. Other events, like divorce, significantly change someone’s life, but someone who is severely injured in an accident, through no fault of their own, never fully recovers.”


Shick fought to achieve just compensation for her injured client in a suit against the negligent driver and trucking company. Prior to trial in federal court, she negotiated a structured settlement that enabled her client to receive periodic financial payments for the rest of his life.


“With the money he received, one of the things he did was open his own [motorcycle repair] shop,” she says. “He knew how to run the business but just couldn’t do the work himself anymore, so he got back to working in a business doing something he loved. He also was able to get off of Social Security and become a productive member of society again.”


Another client, a skilled landscaper from Northampton County who lived a very active lifestyle that included sports, skiing, and hunting, was driving to his job one morning when an 18-wheeler rear-ended him as he entered a narrowing, clearly marked construction zone. The client was thrown around the inside of his vehicle, despite wearing a safety belt, and suffered various shoulder, knee and back injuries that would necessitate multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy.   


“Life significantly changed for him after the collision,” says Shick. “His most serious injury was to his knee. He couldn’t enjoy activities such as snow skiing or water skiing or other sports and he couldn’t climb a tree or ladder [for his job] anymore. The joy was taken out of his everyday life as a result of the accident.”


Aside from physical injuries, there was also an issue of invasion of privacy; the bad driver’s insurance company hired an investigator to follow and photograph the client—even watching him and his family with binoculars while they were inside of their home—in an effort to make sure he wasn’t somehow exaggerating his injuries. Once the client told attorney Shick he thought he was being followed and watched, her firm put an end to the invasive tactics of the defense’s insurance company.


“An accident victim is truly a victim, and not just a victim of the negligent party,” Shick says. “They are truly and repeatedly victimized, and my firm stands between them and the victimizers.”


After a lengthy litigation process, the two sides agreed to mediation, where the case was successfully resolved, with significant compensation to the client for his injuries caused by the negligent party. Although the client can no longer participate in many of the activities he used to enjoy, he was able to return to work, thanks in part to Shick’s efforts. He’s no longer able to climb trees or work as a landscaper but he is able to effectively supervise and manage other workers.

Regardless of the case or client, Naftulin and Shick P.C. does everything in its power to help injured clients return to normal life.


“Personal injury is all we do, and we do it well,” she says. “We may be a boutique law firm, but no matter what our clients’ legal needs are, I want to always be the first call they make.”


Naftulin and Shick P.C.

40 East Court Street, Doylestown

215-348-5455 | 800-560-3388