November 21, 2023
A Lifetime in Workers’ Comp
Thurston has happily spent her career in workers’ comp, both on the adjusting side and now on the defense side. She says, “Every case is different. Getting to work with people in the industry and develop respect for all makes me proud to be a workers’ compensation attorney.”
“Knowing what a workers’ compensation adjuster has to deal with on a day-to-day basis has guided me on how I want to be as an attorney.” Thurston, on how her adjuster’s perspective shapes her career as an attorney. “I want [adjusters] to have every detail to make their decisions. I return calls and emails promptly…and I know they need answers on a timely basis.”
Thurston says, “CLM has given me so many opportunities. As part of LMI, there was an arrangement made to allow us to apply to be sworn into the Supreme Court. [Justice Ginsburg] was brought in with two guards. She was frail, but always looked out at us and smiled. She was a trailblazer for women’s rights, and I admired her for the courage and strength she showed.”
“The playing field has changed a lot in 30 years.” Thurston tried her first case against an attorney who was fishing buddies with the judge. She lost that case. She says the industry today is full of ethical professionals, and workers’ comp judges “reflect a diverse population” and recuse themselves from such conflicts of interest.
Thurston shares a memorable time in her life giving back through pet therapy, saying: “I also had a therapy dog named Watson. Watson and I would visit hospitalized patients to make them smile. The joy for the patients in getting to see and pet Watson made the world a better place for each short moment.”
“Find good mentors. Seek out help. Ask questions. Say yes to opportunities. Gain the respect of co-workers and people in the industry. Join organizations like CLM and become active in your own community.”
Thurston’s advice for young insurance professionals.