It’s important your bicycle lawyer have some basic skillz (as they say these days). Recently when I interviewed cyclists about what they expect their lawyer to know and do I was not shocked to learn the following expectations. Proudly, I can say “I got this” to my clients.
Be A “Badass” in The Courtroom
Not surprised and I can’t agree more! Of course you want your bicycle lawyer to be able to go toe to toe with the largest and meanest of insurance companies and their army of attorneys. Would you ever really hire someone who isn’t the most incredible trial lawyer and total bad ass in the courtroom? No one wants to show up to war with an untrained, nervous, and awkward soldier. Yet law school does absolutely nothing for people who want to learn how to be incredible attorneys. How do you know your bicycle lawyer is even good as a lawyer in the court room? When is the last time they were even in trial? What do they intentionally do to keep up on their skillz?
The deep dark secret is that law school only teaches you how to think differently, not how to be a lawyer. This is a huge problem. A true Trial Attorney is a dwindling breed in a subset of our profession. I’ll be blatantly honest and bold in this following comment and I don’t mean to intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings, but on the hand I also don’t care if other lawyers find this offensive: 95% of lawyers have no business representing clients in court. Most lawyers don’t have the gumption, the skill, the tactics, the strategies, the persuasiveness, the mind, the courtroom presence, etc. to ever effectively be a trial attorney. It is a dwindling breed. When more and more cases settle there is less of a need for the development of true trial attorneys. A law degree doesn’t mean crap. A trial lawyer is more of a “reputation” thing that only trial lawyers earn over time, especially the good ones. The rest of everyone else I affectionately call Pencil Pushers. They belong behind a desk somewhere thinking about how to draft some legal document, but never should they actually go argue it in court.
Recently I attended an advanced trial skills clinic in Washington D.C. with some of the best trial attorneys currently in our country. Some of the federal judges in attendance all agreed that trial lawyers are a dwindling breed. Clinics and courses like these are not widely attended by my peers because they take too much time and cost too much money. What shame. Especially when many of those same lawyers have zero court room skillz.
My clients expect an amazing lawyer and that is what I give them. I’m all in. I seize every opportunity to be better and learn more. I take professional and personal development seriously. I have even been known to hire professional actors and theater personalities to provide training on court room verbal and physical presentation skills. “Refine your craft. Hone your skillz. Be better today than you were yesterday.” All words I live by. Besides, have you noticed the subtle (or maybe not so subtle) 3 letter designation for our national racing team: BAA Racing. Bike Accident Attorneys, or one with a little imagination could see: BAA for an entirely different meaning. A meaning our clients understand, bad ass attorneys. 😉 See our 2020 racing team jersey:
Lawyers need to be brutally honest with their clients. I hate it when a client comes to me who spoke to another lawyer prior to hiring me and told me what that lawyer said. It usually involves something along the lines of a lie about the real case value or process of the case in hopes of getting that client to hire them.
Maintaining integrity with our clients is a HUGE part of our culture. We speak plainly and frequently to our clients. If we think the insurance company or opposing attorneys are jerking our clients around then we tell them. We don’t try and make it look like their low ball settlement offer is the “best you will likely get.” Instead we take the gloves off and take those jerks to court. Period.
Our clients here from us every couple of weeks at most. I insist that they get regular updates on how their case is going even if the news isn’t always good. Constant and frank communication is necessary for anyone who practices law with integrity. I prefer it and so do most human beings.
Seriously, how many accident lawyers and personal injury lawyers do you know that actually bicycles? How in touch can they be with what you’re experiencing as a client? I know most personal injury lawyers try to get as many accident cases as possible and they treat them all the same. It is usually NEGLIGENCE and they just run a bicycle accident case through their standard negligence injury formula of:
- Causation (& proximate cause)
They simply rely on their experience of classic motor vehicle style accidents: red car hits blue car, blah blah blah. They look at you as a bicycle client and say the car had a duty to drive in a safe manner and not to hit you. The car breached that duty when it made an unsafe turn through the intersection. Your client’s unsafe turn was the cause and proximate cause of my bicycle client’s injuries her car hit my client on his bicycle in that turn. My client in fact suffered physical damages to his body/person with documented medical injuries as well as property damages to his bicycle.
Looking at a bicycle law case like a car case may be legal malpractice. The typical personal injury lawyer will treat it like a car case and miss important issues that can change the outcome of the case and limit the ability of the lawyer to effectively represent the cyclist. For example, they overlook any mention of a “sun glare” in the police report and as to why the investigating officer felt it was really reasonable for any driver not to see the cyclist. Therefore no citation was issued. They over look that the cyclist wasn’t in just a shoulder but a designated bike path affording some privileges and protection. They over look the issue that the cyclist had day light lights on his bike. They don’t understand how to extrapolate the cyclist’s garmin data, and they may not even know what a garmin is. They over look the similarities and frequencies of the cyclist’s chosen route as can be demonstrated in Strava, Gamrin Connect, and other apps like map my ride, etc. that all show how the cyclist safely proceeds through that intersection hundreds of times before. They look at bicycle damages in awe not understanding what comprises a drive train or how micro cracks around a bottom bracket must be X-rayed to positively ID.
In short, they just miss too much and then accept a laughably low settlement offer because they don’t understand what they are missing. They don’t understand what they don’t know. Then like any other typical personal injury lawyer who is not a cyclist, they move onto the next car case they have and continually focus on volume rather than quality.
Be a Human
In fact – most lawyers are total douche bags. Have you ever heard the old joke about “How many lawyer jokes actually exist? Answer: Only 3, the rest are true.” Sadly lawyers earn their horrible reputations and the jokes about our profession are less and less a joke and more often than not true statements. Another classic lawyer joke with far too much truth about the character of lawyers is: “What happens if you give a lawyer Viagra? He gets taller.” Hinting that lawyers are just jerks. They don’t truly respect their clients and often talk down to them with a big ego and considerable condescension. People wan to be treated kindly, especially when they are paying you to represent them.
I still can’t wrap my brain around the fact that many lawyers could care less about treating their clients with kindness, they only care about making the money. They never connect the fact that the client’s trusting you and their choice to keep you hired is the only way you continue to make the money. And the benefit of a referral far outweighs some ridiculous marketing strategy to get new clients.
We get it. Legals matters can be sensitive and complicated. We make sure to empathize and sympathize with our clients. We understand that our clients are people and that they would have rather not ever even needed a lawyer, but now that they do we are here for them. We have their back. We protect them. We love and appreciate them. One simple way we show this is to spontaneously send hand written cards to our clients throughout their case, and even after their case has concluded. We thank them for doing a great job in court that day, or acknowledge a birthday their child may have had, or simply tell them that we are thinking of them and hoping they have a great day. With our fatality cases we will even set up meals, assist setting up child care arrangements, and on the anniversary of the death date we will usually set up some sort of memorial or some other meaningful event to honor them. We understand the importance of being bad ass lawyers as well as being incredible humans in meeting our clients needs.
Make sure you find a bicycle lawyer with skillz. We are here for you. My practice is exclusively for cyclists. I manage a national network of cycling attorneys who represent cyclists in every state. I ride. I race. I advocate. I choose to live and ride. #mylawyerdoesntsuck #arizonabicyclelawyer #bicyclelawyer #BAA
Ben Dodge, Esq., Endurance/Ultra Cyclist
Bicycle crash and bicycle accident lawyer Ben Dodge
A bicycle crash is not always an accident. If you, or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle crash or accident caused by a road hazard or dangerous road condition, hire a personal injury attorney who is experienced and has a successful track record. Ben Dodge, a licensed Arizona bicycle accident lawyer, has dedicated his entire firm to one purpose: representing cyclists. Bicycle accident cases are the only cases Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC handles. Home based out of the great state of Arizona, Ben can still help cyclists in the entire United States. Ben also founded Bike Accident Attorneys Network, a national network of attorneys who focus on representing cyclists. He can find you help anywhere in the country.
Ben Dodge has represented and assisted bicycle accident victims across the entire United States. As an avid and competitive cyclist himself, Mr. Dodge currently participates in national and local cycling events all over the world. It isn’t uncommon to spot him in early morning hours out riding his bike. Having competed in 8 Ironman triathlons, numerous local and national cycling races, and a successful finish in the Race Across the West 2016, he really knows what it’s like to ride and race a bike. Ben competed in the first ever Race Across France – 2018. This was a non stop 1500+ mile race across the entire country of France. He and his teammate finished 3rd. He is registered for a 2 man Race Across America (RAAM) team as well in 2019.
The day he fell in love with his job was the day he devoted himself completely to bicycle accident cases. Ben represents cyclists injured in bicycle accidents, at the police station, with insurance companies, and in the courts. He advocates for the rights of all cyclists, not just his clients. He teaches police about bike laws and bike safety, he educates drivers about the rules of the road, and he trains cyclists and clubs to ride more safely.
A consultation with experienced Arizona bicycle accident attorney Ben Dodge is free
In recent years there has been approximately 700 bicycle fatalities in the United States every single year. Approximately 2,000 bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Approximately 30 fatal bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Bicycle fatalities are terrible and horrific tragedies that affect the lives of too many families and friends to count. Understanding your rights and obligations as a cyclist can bring clarity to your specific accident situation. It will always be in your best interest to be represented by an attorney who knows the bicycle laws and has a successful track record of winning bicycle accident cases. The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your bicycle accident case. Ben is certified through the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) as having completed extensive litigation courses and has demonstrated these skills over and over again. Most lawyers are pencil pushers and shouldn’t be in a court room… not Ben Dodge. He is a gifted and aggressive litigator. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in bicycle accident law, local and state bicycle ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and laws. You should hire someone very familiar with negligence and tort law, civil procedure, and the rules of evidence as they all relate specifically to bicycle accident cases.
Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all local cyclists and a complimentary phone consultation to any cyclist injured in a bike accident. Typically the consultations are schedule from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the accident. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal bike accident liability and potential for recovery. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:
- Your specific bike accident details, diagrams, and pictures from your perspective and then from the perspective of your bike accident attorney.
- The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
- Your rights as a cyclist, obligations, and any potential liability.
- The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.
- The value of your case and what you might expect as compensation.
You can call Arizona bicycle lawyer Ben Dodge of Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC at 1.855.663.3922. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Ben will personally return your call within 24 hours. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in representing cyclists and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness and patience.
Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC
Call Ben Dodge, the Bicycle Lawyer today at 1.855.663.3922. Reach him by fax at 1.800.958.8902.
Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at email@example.com
His main Arizona offices are located at:
Mesa Arizona (home base office)
4824 E. Baseline Rd., Suite 124
Mesa, Arizona 85206
Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Mr. Dodge represents cyclists in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Gilbert, Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Surprise, Kingman, Page, Lake Havasu City, Payson, Goodyear, Buckeye, Queen Creek, Paradise Valley, Show Low, Winslow, Maricopa, Nogales, Globe, Avondale, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Carefree, Wickenburg, Pinetop-Lakeside, Strawberry, Anthem, Safford, and more. Ben Dodge is currently involved with bicycle accident cases all over the country and has founded BikeAccidentAttorneys.com a National Network of independent and incredible bicycle lawyers that can assist in representation in all 50 states.