My job as your trial lawyer, your counselor, your attorney is to guide you through this process, to protect you and to make sure we put your claim or case in the best possible position for the best possible result. Do you need a lawyer too? Festus area personal injury attorneys are the most recommended for the job.
We made that happen in my recent case.
During the month of March alone each party filed Motions for Summary Judgment, then responded to each other’s MSJs and filed replies. Following that flurry of filings in March, I think the parties filed an ADDITIONAL 1000+ pages or so of additional motions, depositions, case law and such for the Court to review…
With no trial date in sight due to Covid, we received a court ruling in our favor a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the afternoon before the Mediation the Judge granted a defense request and added the “magic words” of Ohio Civil Rule 54(B) to the decision… which made the decision immediately appealable. While we were happy for the victory, this last minute change could have had the case tied up in the court of appeals for 12-18 months. Accordingly, we were VERY happy to get the case resolved fairly in Mediation the next day.
Some cases are easy… there’s a crash- the cyclist gets hurt – they call us & we get involved right away – we investigate the crash- we notify the insurer- we monitor the rider’s recovery – we get the factual case together – we get the medical case together – we negotiate a successful ending without ever even filing a lawsuit.
As someone who has tried many cases to verdict in big and small counties all over Ohio, I enjoy the litigation process… In more recent times, though, I’ve come to view litigation as a last resort – it’s usually too risky, too expensive, too time consuming and extremely unsatisfying.
In some areas of law, you HAVE to litigate… every time… malpractice cases are like that – you almost NEVER settle one without extensive litigation. Likewise, sometimes in the cases I take on you HAVE to litigate…such as when the other side says our client was to blame and refuses to negotiate fairly. Sometimes you get the the sense that the insurer on the other side isn’t being straight with you… that happened in a “dog v. motorcycle” case once where we were told that the policy limits were $50,000.00 on a homeowner’s policy… that seemed odd. We sued & found out that yes, the policy on the “house” were $50,000.00 but… the policy limits on the surrounding “farmland” [where the dog escaped from] were $500,000.00! Sometimes the injuries do not resolve and the client is still being treated as the Statute of Limitations approaches so we have to file suit to protect the Statute…
Thankfully, in my practice I am able to get 80+% of the cases I take in resolved without litigation. The other 20% that end up in litigation tend to resolve during the process. Sometimes, like yesterday, that process involves 1000s of pages of motions and filings… but usually not.
To some…OK maybe a BIG… degree I think my success in getting cases resolved is because I am MUCH better at “picking the winners on Day 1” than I was a young, inexperienced lawyer. After 38 years of practice I’ve now handled 1000s of injury and death cases, and some 450+ “bike cases!” I’ve handled them from start to finish – from 1st phone call all the way through to settlement- trial – Verdict – appeal!
Having had experience managing 100s of cases in a “back-of-the-Yellow Pages” law firm as well as handling 100s of cases as in-house trial counsel for an insurance company I think I bring a unique skill set and background to the table. I can provide a very real view into both worlds for my client. As a result, I’m also very blunt with clients about what I think about their case where, as a I young lawyer, I was probably less so.
I also find that cyclists make EXCELLENT clients – my clients tend to be highly motivated folks who work hard to GET BETTER… they WANT to get better – they EXPECT to get out and ride again! As a group they do MUCH better than the average injured person in recovery if from even severe injuries!
So, bottom line- we were successful recently in getting a very difficult case resolved in a satisfactory way. Hopefully, getting to a satisfactory result should bring an end to the emotional cost the clients have been carrying for the years since the crash.
Sometimes, though, those emotional costs are never released… they are carried forever…
The day of my Mediation – September 17 – was also the anniversary of the death of Matt Billings. I thought about Matt and his family a lot as we worked through our Mediation.
I represented Matt’s family in the civil litigation. As you can see from the photo, the driver “cut the corner” on the turn. He made the illegal left turn directly into the path of the oncoming group of riders. He said he “couldn’t see” the riders because he was blinded by the sun.
Matt’s family will carry the scars and the pain and the grief of September 17, 2015 for the rest of their lives. Every year, the anniversary of his death will fall on his widow’s birthday with the birthday of his daughter following shortly thereafter. The best we can do as lawyers in a case like that is get the best possible result for the family… but we will always carry some of that grief with us as well -sometimes the emotional costs just never leave you…