By Beaunea McNeil, Unite Contributing Writer
Springfield, MO—While working, many people are exposed to hazardous conditions in all settings of the work place. Whether it is standing on the top step of a tall ladder or controlling a heavy duty machine, any job can be dangerous, even if the job is set in an ordinary office.
Though the office can be a place of danger, injury is not limited to four walls. Car accidents happen as well as wet floors and faulty carpets.
In the case that someone is hurt or injured by any of these objects, attorney Antwaun Smith helps victims in the process of receiving compensation for injuries.
Raised in St. Joseph, Missouri, Smith aims to help his community by providing access to the courts, something that he says many don’t have.
“I think that I originally just wanted to do something that could really help the community that I lived in,” said Smith. “Just growing up and seeing what a difference having access to the courts and legal representation can make, that was where it really started with me wanting to help make a difference in my community.”
Smith aims to be a source and reference to the community, African Americans in particular, after noticing the lack of representation for plaintiffs who are black.
“Even though my focus is on injury law, I want to be there for any questions that people may have related to legal stuff as well,” Smith said. “I don’t handle criminal cases, but if there is a question that I can answer or a resource that I can give out, I will do that.”
As a child, Smith watched as the neighborhood he grew up in stayed the same, even after the Civil Rights Era. The “other side of the tracks” was no different than before. Even though it was the 70s, Smith’s mother and father still struggled as they dealt with issues of racism due to their interracial marriage.
“My parents were probably the first interracial couple to get married there,” Smith said. “There was a lot of resistance, but the good thing about it was that there was a hopeful side to the story. Eventually people came around. Even though there was a lot of racism, I also saw that people can change.”
Since then, it has been Smith’s goal to make people feel good by helping them in times of need.
“The courts, whether it’s criminal or civil, can be overwhelming to people, so when you feel like you’ve made a difference and helped someone get through that, it makes a big difference,” Smith said. “I think it’s just the feeling that even though you haven’t completely transformed someone’s life, there is that satisfaction that you’ve made somebody’s bad situation better.”
Smith Law Co., is located at 221 S. Avenue in downtown Springfield.
He can also be contacted at (816) 398-8861.
If you have been injured or hurt, here are a few tips to follow before consulting a lawyer:
Document your injuries.
• Take pictures.
• Write down what happened.
• See if there were any witnesses that might help to support your case.
• Seek medical attention immediately.
• Create a medical file.
• Keep a file of all medical bills for future reference. This may help to ensure compensation if the defendant is found to be negligent.
• Continue documenting injuries.
- Keep track of injuries that may be a result of initial injury. This includes mental trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and pain and suffering.