Much of my personal injury work has been for the defense, because much of it occurred while I was at the Attorney General’s Office, representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Commonwealth owns plenty of places where people fall, drives all sorts of cars that have occasional accidents, and is involved with many other people who believe (rightly or wrongly) that they were injured on account of something the Commonwealth either did or failed to do. These cases also vary in size and complexity—I have tried slip-and-fall cases, defended a police officer accused of intentionally harming an ATV rider, and litigated actions for wrongful death.
As a sole practitioner, my personal injury practice is more balanced, and I accept cases for both plaintiffs and defendants.
Many personal injury cases suffer from a lack of attention. This is true both of plaintiffs’ claims, which are often handled by high-volume shops that litigate by rote, and also defendants, whose counsel may be accustomed to getting cases thrown out on legal grounds without ever needing to develop the facts. Whichever side you are on, it can be a struggle to get an attorney to focus on you particular situation, your specific priorities, and your individual needs. As my torts professor wisely observed, accidents hurt. For plaintiffs, that means that litigation is not being undertaken for sport; it is an important avenue to covering their losses and compensating them for their pain. For defendants, it means that they may quickly be cast as the badguy in the narrative, and need experienced counsel to help them pick their battles, and win the battles they pick. Both sides should, of course, be counseled about the importance of settlement valuation and ADR, in order to get to a fair and efficient resolution that meets all of their needs.
How I Can Help
Individual attention and a willingness to go to trial—those are key ingredients to a successful personal injury litigation, regardless of which side of the “v” you are on. It is also important to identify your goals early—and they’re not always measured in dollars—and then identify the most efficient path that will maximize your chances of obtaining them. For these reasons, you need someone who has the time, patience, and experience to understand your specific case, and then put you in the best position to succeed.