'Feeling of Purpose'



Lansing attorney relishes role helping personal injury clients

by Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Dan Zick is the seventh person in his family to enter the law.

“I also have a cousin who was sworn in to the bar this year – so maybe it’s something genetic,” he says with a smile.

Zick, who joined the Sinas Dramis Law Firm in Lansing almost two years ago, is a member of the personal injury and auto no-fault team and focuses on personal injury, auto, motorcycle, semi-truck and slip and fall accidents, brain injury cases, and wrongful death claims.

He started his career path by earning an undergraduate degree in political science and government/pre-law from Oakland University; and stocked beer for Powers Distributing in Lake “One of the perks was that, every couple of weeks, we could go to the warehouse and pick up a few cases of free beer, which was a pretty nice bonus for a college student,” he says.

Zick then earned his J.D., cum laude, from Michigan State University College of Law.

“I had excellent law professors who made studying a great experience,” he says. “Some of the courses I never thought I’d be interested in turned out to be the most interesting—and a lot of that had to do with the quality of professors.

“Even now as a personal injury attorney, I will probably never need to know anything about certain subjects—like secured transactions or labor law—but I can still recall a lot of what I learned in those courses.”

Zick was drawn to personal injury law through talking with his uncle, John Zick, a personal injury attorney specializing in product liability cases.

“Talking with him definitely piqued my interest—he was kind enough to let me tag along on some depositions and court appearances while I was in law school, so I could learn what the practice of law was like,” he says.

His interest in this field grew further when he clerked at Sinas Dramis during law school.

“Working on cases and seeing firsthand what injured people go through following an accident solidified my decision to concentrate on personal injury,” he says. 

What Zick enjoys most is the feeling that comes from helping people who’ve suffered a traumatic injury.

“A severe injury can affect a person’s life in so many ways, and the first step toward recovery is getting the necessary medical treatment, which can be in serious jeopardy when there are insurance issues preventing the person from getting the care they need,” he says. “Being able to stand up for injured persons and help them through a very difficult time gives me a feeling of purpose.”

While every case brings its own set of unique facts that makes it interesting or challenging, what tends to stick with Zick are the people involved.

He recalls a case involving an attendant-care dispute, where his client’s wife was forced to leave a high-paying job in order to care for her husband, severely injured in an auto accident. In another case, a sanitation worker was pinned between a garbage truck and a dumpster; and in another case, a college student, riding an ORV up north, was struck by a Jeep making an illegal turn.

“The takeaway is how grateful these people were that someone was willing to fight for them through some extremely trying times,” he says. “Each of these people had their lives fundamentally altered by something they did not choose to have happen. All they really wanted was to get back to the lives they led before the accident. Unfortunately, not everyone is always going to get to that point. But the goal is to help make them whole again, so they can resume as much of their pre-injury lifestyle as possible.”

Zick is a member of the State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section, and the Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ).

“MAJ provides great resources to attorneys, through educational seminars and by creating a community where attorneys can share resources or bounce ideas off one another,” he says. “As a younger attorney, it’s really helpful to have access to an organization like MAJ. I’m fortunate to work at Sinas Dramis, with so many accomplished attorneys, and I can usually just go down the hall to talk with someone when I encounter an issue I’m unfamiliar with. But on the rare occasion when I haven’t been able to do that, MAJ has been an invaluable resource.

He thoroughly enjoys the Sinas Dramis “Lids for Kids” annual bike helmet giveaway and safety event, held this year in Lansing, Grand Rapids and Traverse City.

“It’s a lot of fun fitting bike helmets on the kids and interacting with the people in the community,” he says.

Having practiced law his first few years in the Greater Detroit area, Zick now enjoys the “small town” feel of Lansing.

“Everyone in the legal community seems to know each other, which is cool and a bit different from other cities,” he says. 

Zick and his wife Sarah—the couple wed in 2013, three days after his Michigan Bar exam—have 2-year-old twins, Luke and Tyler, who enjoy accompanying their dad on runs, in their jogging stroller.

In his leisure time, Zick and a huge sports fan, especially of U-M football; and for the past year has been remodeling the family’s house in Durand, northeast of Lansing, which Sarah’s grandfather built in the 1960s.

“That’s always a good outlet when I need a project to distract myself from work for a little while,” Zick says. “And if have any free time left, I usually just try and get some sleep.?