Attorney Dan Crane, Raised the Middle of 10 Children, on Life Lessons and the Law
Attorney Dan Crane (photo provided)
By Sydney Melson
The Birmingham Times
Growing up the middle child of 10 brothers and sisters gave a unique perspective to Birmingham attorney Dan Crane.
“I had to see how older children interacted with each other. I knew what to expect in middle and high school; and I always had someone to help me deal with problems, ”he said.
Crane’s father, an entrepreneur whose work included military components, taught all ten children the value of strong work ethic. “He’s an inspiring person,” said Crane of his father. “[He] treated us all equally. He asked a lot of us and held us accountable. He always talked about making people better and helping the community. “
Providing assistance is a priority at Dan Crane Accident and Injury Law, a law firm specializing in accident-related problems and insurance claims. “I wanted to be more accessible to the public. … To make me accessible so that people can relate to me. “
In addition to working as a lawyer, Crane also runs a nonprofit organization, Dan Crane Cares, which has been with the company for two years. However, Crane points out that “we’ve been giving freebies for five years.”
“We do backpack giveaways and turkey rides during the holidays, but we didn’t do any last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Another important value that his father taught Crane: Faith.
“Once I had to drive to school and I had no gas in the car. I shared my concerns with my dad and he taught them a life lesson, ”Crane recalled. “[He told me] trust in Jesus … and trust in it [gas] would be there when I wake up in the morning. [He said]”You won’t see your goals or what you want right away, but if you have faith and have faith, it will be there.”
Crane grew up primarily in Orlando, Florida. He played cornerback in high school and at the University of Central Florida (UCF), where he also served a tenure as president of the Black Law Students Association and mortgaged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. During his college years and beyond, he volunteered as a mentor for children in community centers.
Crane graduated from UCF in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree and certificates in commercial and transactional law and litigation and litigation. He then moved to Birmingham, where he joined a law firm and graduated from the Birmingham School of Law. Although Crane admits law school was tough, nothing could stop him.
“I’ve always been motivated since I was raised,” said the 40-year-old lawyer. “I was so excited to complete and realize my plans that I always looked forward to them. Being trapped in the present will let you down … and potentially prevent you from achieving what you set out to do. However, if you look forward to the result, this is your motivation. “
The law also rounded off Crane: “Lawyers have a broad spectrum of knowledge because we help so many types of people with so many different problems,” he said. “You learn details about everything. When a client suffers a brain injury, learn more about the brain. If you have a customer with a hospital contract dispute, learn more about the tricky parts of how this system works. “
Another source of motivation for Crane was the unjust system he observed around him.
“It was common to hear stories of problems in government, police and … even medical malpractice where people believe they will be treated differently because they don’t have insurance,” he said. “If you are disadvantaged, you are more likely to be exploited.”
In May 2015, he opened the Dan Crane Accident and Injury Law with seven employees including Crane, case managers, paralegal and other lawyers. One of Crane’s very first cases serves as an example of why he’s doing what he’s doing.
“A woman had problems with credit card fraud. It messed up her credit so she couldn’t get any credit, she couldn’t do anything, ”he said. “The credit card company sued her for something she didn’t do. She called me, we laid everything off, and they even got her credit fixed. You can see an immediate effect when you see the smile [a client’s] Face. [That client] even did a commercial for myself and still referring others [to my firm]. ”
The end goal is simple: to help people.
“The satisfaction customers get [is important]”Crane said.” I’ve had people come to me with devastating wrecked cars and other problems and they don’t know what to do. They are going through tough times and they are talking to them [us] about what they are going through, which gives us a big boost to help them and [provide] the best possible support and service. “
‘I can do that!’
Legal representation is also important, Crane said, adding that being a role model for his 1-year-old daughter, Keagan, means everything.
“They always want to present positive images to children regardless of their race or nationality, but I think our culture is underrepresented,” he said. “I’ve had people [interact with my firm] and say, “I can do that,” and then they go to law school. If you never see [that representation], you do not know that it is achievable. “
A big part of being a role model means giving back to the community, he said.
“Let’s say you are in public office or own a company and you control the dollars. That’s fine, but what do you do with your own money? If you’re willing to get out of your own pocket, that’s indicative, ”said the attorney, who visited Birmingham Water Works in 2018 and personally helped some clients by paying their water bills.
“I want our people, our culture, our communities to be able to help because we give so often to other communities, but they don’t give us anything back,” said Crane.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed some aspects of the work at Dan Crane Accident and Injury Law.
“We do a lot of DocuSign, [an online paperwork signing software]. Sometimes we work from home, but not often. [Working remotely] opens your eyes to different business avenues, ”said Crane. “I like to reach people and evaluate them [in person], but now I feel more comfortable giving advice over the phone. It has slowed business down, but it’s a good thing for consumers because they won’t be wrecked and injured. “
The judicial processes have also changed the way.
“You do a lot of hearings [via the online videoconference platform] Zooming. I had never done a virtual hearing before, but it’s cool because you can wear a suit and wear shorts, ”Crane joked.
Despite the changes and challenges, Crane remains focused on the future – and his plans don’t just stop with his law firm.
“I am a creator. I love starting companies, talking about them, helping people do business and sharing ideas, ”he said. “It’s not just about profits, it’s about helping the community grow. I plan to start more businesses so that people get employed so they can enjoy life … just to pay it forward. “
Would you like more information on Dan Crane’s Accident and Injury Law? Call 205-623-5533; Visit craneinjurylaw.com; Follow on Twitter at @craneinjurylaw and on Facebook and Instagram under Dan Crane Injury Law. or visit the office at 9609 Parkway East, Birmingham, AL 35215.