“I’m driven by a motto I learned from my dad: ‘Do what you have to do.’ It’s simple, but it applies to everything—friendships, family, and work. In any courtroom situation, other lawyers or experts may know just as much or more than I do, but I believe I will always try to be the most prepared person in the room. I do what I have to do to try to be the best advocate for injured people, and I get to do what I enjoy with people I respect and who make a difference in my world. I can’t imagine a more satisfying and supportive place to practice law.”
Thomas Henson, Jr., joined HensonFuerst in 1989. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1986 and his Juris Doctorate in 1989—both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Thomas serves on the board of directors of the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina (BIANC), advocating for brain injury victims and their families across North Carolina. He presented at the BIANC Annual Family Conference, and spoke at a 2011 Virginia conference for caregivers and brain injury professionals sponsored by the National Resource Center for Brain Injury and Virginia Commonwealth University.
In 2012, Governor Bev Perdue appointed Thomas to a four-year term on the North Carolina Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Council. Part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the advisory council is responsible for studying the needs of people with brain injury; coordinating preventive efforts; promoting interagency coordination of efforts; and making recommendations to the Governor, the General Assembly, and state organizations about planning, development, and funding.
Thomas remains an active member of the Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice. He recognizes that brain injuries can happen to anyone, anytime, and he is passionate about being a critical part of helping victims and families reassemble their lives under the best possible circumstances. Additionally, he contributed a chapter for the book The Miracle Mind: Sonya's Story, a guidebook designed to help stroke and traumatic brain injury patients, their families, and their caregivers.
Thomas previously lectured at North Carolina State University on nursing home neglect issues and for the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers on nursing home litigation. He also served as a member and past director on the board for Friends of Residents in Long Term Care.
Calling a lawyer when you need one doesn’t make you a “bad person,” it makes you a responsible person. No one wants to have to call a personal injury lawyer, but you need help protecting your future. Getting a monetary settlement helps provide for the necessary treatment you need, so you’re able to lead a satisfying and productive life.
I didn’t grow up knowing I would be a lawyer—my career unfolded as I became an adult. Even though my father was one of the founding partners of HensonFuerst, he never assumed that I would automatically follow in his footsteps, and he never pressured me. I tried a lot of different jobs when I was in college, but had found nothing I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
In my senior year of college, I took the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and was accepted into the University of North Carolina, School of Law. After law school, I was offered the chance to practice law with my dad and Bob Fuerst. So, in some ways, I didn’t find my career, my career found me. It’s remarkable to be able to practice with my family and close friends in a manner that continues to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.
I love spending time with my wife and son. They are my center and the joys of my life. I have type I diabetes, so I have to exercise regularly to stay healthy—that’s how I got involved in cycling. I started doing fundraiser events with a group of my buddies who have been cycling and mountain biking for years.
In 2002, I formed the HensonFuerst Cycling Team, which has grown from a few guys who were just recreational cyclists to a team of more than 50 people, including top-level triathletes, recreational riders, and brand-new riders. Our primary event is the North Carolina Tour de Cure, which benefits the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
Since 2009, I have served as chair or co-chair for the annual event, and as captain of the HensonFuerst Cycling Team. Together, we raise tens of thousands of dollars for ADA each year. The team also participates in the MS 150 Ride to benefit multiple sclerosis, as well as the 100-kilometer “Ride for the Rock,” which raises funds for the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina.
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