Personal injury attorney was inspired by parents

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Dustin Hoff learned early that he could do whatever he decided, thanks in large part to his parents.

His mother overcame the debilitating effects of Muscular Dystrophy, earning a college degree at age 45 en route to becoming a social worker.

“She told me if she could do that, then I could do anything,” says Hoff, who is now an associate at Christensen Law, a law firm with offices in Ann Arbor and Southfield that handles personal injury cases. “My father also had his challenges because he suffered from the effects of the defoliant Agent Orange after serving in Vietnam. Yet he founded a successful greenhouse business and ran a party store.”

Hoff knew early in his life that he wanted to become a lawyer.

“I saw how my parents struggled to get the care they needed,” he says. “I decided I wanted to represent people who didn’t have a voice. I wanted to protect people’s rights.”

Hoff left his hometown of Sandusky, Mich. and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and history at Saginaw Valley State University. He began giving a voice to others by becoming involved in disability rights organizations, including the Blue Water Center for Independent Living.

While attending law school at the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in Lansing, Hoff wrote a funding proposal that secured a federal grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs for disabled, homeless veterans in eight counties throughout the Thumb and Southeast Michigan. He then worked for a general practice law firm in his hometown of Sandusky.

“I love everything about the law, but I was drawn to personal injury law for the opportunity to make a big difference in people’s lives,” Hoff said.

In one such case, Hoff went to bat for a client whose insurance company refused to pay for magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) needed to diagnose and treat her injury from a car accident. Hoff sued the insurance company, obtaining a judgment ordering the company to pay for the MRIs.

“I’m proud to be part of a system of law that goes back to our founding fathers,” Hoff says. “The woman benefited from the jury trial that they instituted. The jury enforced the law in this case so she could get the treatment to which she was entitled. The suit took an incredible amount of work, but the result was very satisfying.”

In his spare time, Hoff wants to resume his involvement in disability rights organizations and in political campaigns. He has worked on campaigns for candidates running for the Michigan House, Senate, and Supreme Court. Hoff also tries to find time for golf near his home in Clawson.

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