Question: Mr. Katz why are you speaking out at this time with regard to fighting for your client’s rights?
Answer: I come from a family of fighters. When my grandfather came over to this Country, he knew no one and had nothing. As he got older he started to sell newspapers on the corner. He stood out in the cold during the winter and the extreme heat during the summer in order to make enough money so that he could go to College. He put himself through College and Medical School and became a well known physician in Ohio. My grandfather was a role model to me. He was a fighter.
Question: How did this affect you?
Answer: He tried to teach us that nothing in life is easy; that anything worthwhile requires effort, and that struggle is sometimes a part of life. In a way, he did this by making things difficult for us at an early age. During the summer my brother worked in an Ice House. While other kids were out playing in the sun, my older brother had to get up every morning and put on several layers of clothes and go work in below freezing temperatures chopping ice. My brother eventually became a physician like my grandfather and father. I myself had to work in warehouses doing heavy lifting and even when I was in high school I worked as a fireman for a railroad. These jobs taught us to work hard, to appreciate people and to push hard for what we wanted in life.
Question: Why are you raising the subject at this time?
Answer: Well, we have to fight against insurance companies and other large corporations to obtain fair compensation for our clients. When the economy is weak, these companies become much harder to deal with in order to protect their own profit margins. So they essentially make it much harder for a lay person to deal with their own claim with the hope that they will discourage you from pursuing your claim. Clients come to us all the time, and they have this mentality that they are afraid to pursue their legal rights. They are injured, scared, their property is destroyed. They don’t really know what their rights are and they are afraid of their insurance rates being raised. As a result, we have become very vocal about encouraging our clients to fight for the rights granted to them by the states in which they live.
Question: What does this mean “fighting for their rights”?
Answer: I have hired more attorneys in recent years to be in a position to go to court to fight these insurance companies to obtain fair and just compensation for our clients. As the insurance mentality tends to drift towards increasing profits, especially in difficult economic climates, we have adopted a more aggressive approach to get our clients what they deserve. We fight hard for them. We take cases to trial. We push for every last dollar that we can for our clients.
Question: Do you know whether this is different from what other law firms are doing?
Answer: Many law firms are not in the position to have the resources to hire additional staff to combat the growing insurance industry problems. Every time you hire additional attorneys who are experienced and who can go to court to fight for your clients, you are paying them substantial salaries which can affect the profits of a law firm. We do not care. We would rather sacrifice greater profits as a law firm so that our clients can enjoy the compensation they deserve since they are the victims in these accidents. In the long run, we believe this model will make our clients happy and that we will continue to succeed.
Question: In the three decades that you have been practicing personal injury law, have you seen the insurance companies do this before?
Answer: Yes, this comes in waves and the law firms that are in the position to fight can do well for their clients regardless of the economic climate of the times.
Question: How many attorneys do you have?
Answer: We have 6 attorneys who are licensed in Maryland,Virginia or Washington, DC and who are experienced in going to court and fighting for our clients.
Question: How long do you think this trend with continue?
Answer: It is unpredictable but we have learned over three decades that, if you continue to fight on behalf of your clients you can reverse the tendency of these insurance companies to try to act in bad faith to avoid paying fair and adequate settlements to our clients.
Question: Does this mean most of your cases now need to go to court?
Answer: No. Because the insurance companies know we are WILLING TO FIGHT, in the vast majority of cases, they will pay fair settlements. You have to be willing to go to court, or the insurance companies will never respect you.
Question: Do you know if the Korean Community understands and appreciates your efforts on their behalf in this regard?
Answer: We hope so. We have found that most of our clients who have friends and family, or, who themselves have experienced second and third accidents, have come back to us because they know we work hard, we are honest and we are willing to and always will fight for their rights. Moreover, we have been doing it successfully for 35 years. In fact, we are contacted by clients all the time who provide us positive feedback and we are constantly told by these same people, that they would recommend us to their friends and families without a moment’s hesitation.
You can read more about what others in the community have said about us at www.bobkatzlaw.com.