Shirley Carlen-Ralls - Workers’ Compensation

“I was raised in Wickenburg and I had a horse when I was five years old. My dad liked horses, so he taught me and I started riding in the rodeos and the gymkhanas and everything like that. I had an old horse that was an old mustang and I rode him for many years. Then, a friend of ours, he had a stallion that he said I could use if I could work on him and get him to walk again because he had broken a leg. The leg healed, but he still had a limp. So I just started workin’ with him and ridin’ him a little bit until I limbered it up. He was just great and so I started entering him in gymkhanas and the first year I put him in we won all-around champion. I pretty much always had horses and then, I got into high school and, of course, I started noticing boys and that’s when the horses went, you know? I always said afterward that I should’ve stuck with the horses.

In my twenties and I worked at a store called Lucky’s – it changed from Lucky’s to ABCO – I think it finally ended up Fry’s now. But at that time in the 70’s it was Lucky’s stores and that’s where I was working when I got hurt. I was in the back and I lifted a case of mouthwash. I was putting them over onto a flat cart to take them out and stock the shelf and when I did, I did something, and I couldn’t even move after that.

So, I went to the doctor and he immediately put me in the hospital and put me in traction. From there, this doctor would send me to that doctor and that doctor would send me to another one and I had tests and nobody could fix it – it just wasn’t a fixable thing. After so long, I think a year, they cut you lose from the store and you’re pretty much on your own. Well, that’s when I finally ended up having to get an attorney because Industrial said they cut me off. So then, I went to court and I had an attorney that was supposed to meet me there. Instead of that man coming, it was Mr. Taylor and I think that he was just starting out when I found him – or he found me – I don’t know who found who, but I’m just glad we did.

There was several times that they tried to settle with me for a lump sum and I always told them that wasn’t what I was after because what the doctors charged me in ’75 was not going to be what they charged me in ’85 and now, it’s so many times higher, that’s why I didn’t want a lump sum because it wasn’t gonna work twenty years down the road.

So, I kept saying, you know, ‘No, I don’t want to settle, I don’t want to settle,’ so they kept it open and that was Mr. Taylor, he's the one that did that and he’s just been totally patient. That’s just the type of person he is. And that’s why I’ve stayed with him because he’s just not in it to get the money and throw me, you know, under the bus, he’s just not that type. So that’s why I’m still with him forty years later, a long time.

I wouldn’t change attorneys for anything because he’s human and he’s considerate, and he’s just a nice man, he’s just a very nice man. And I don’t know what else I can really say about him, other than, he’s just the best. I would tell anybody if they wanted an attorney, to go see Mr. Taylor.”