by: Lisa Stephens

Accidents happen. And unfortunately, they happen every day, out of the blue. We’re never prepared for the accident itself and even less prepared when it comes to the aftermath of an accident that has occurred as a result of negligence on behalf of someone else. Fortunately, Attorney Chuck Philips brings decades of experience into every case he represents for each of his clients. Philips is an expert when it comes to personal injury cases involving car accidents, motorcycle accidents and wrongful death cases.

Philips’ inspiration to become an attorney came at an early age. “My father, Shelton Philips, was an insurance defense trial lawyer for over 40 years,” he explained. Other influences at an early age came from watching Perry Mason on television and the character Atticus Finch from the movie “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Philips began his legal career with the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office where he handled misdemeanor and felony cases for nearly five years.  He then joined an insurance defense practice where he represented commercial clients and their insureds. He eventually joined another firm taking on the personal injury cases for Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. It was there he met Sharon Grimes, a paralegal for the firm. After seven years, he decided to open his own personal injury practice and Grimes joined him in that venture. Now, fifteen years later, Philips is still in practice with Grimes working alongside him as his legal assistant.

Today, Chuck Philips considers his insurance defense experience as invaluable. “It allowed me to gain the knowledge of how insurance companies evaluate cases and set their reserves, what they look for in a case and why and the way they prepare cases for trial,” he explained. As for why he went into the personal injury area of law, Philips says he was enticed by the idea of representing people who really needed someone to fight for them in order to obtain compensation for their physical injuries incurred due to the negligence of someone else. “This is what still drives me today,” he shared. He further explained he appreciates “the challenge of trying to make someone’s broken situation whole again by battling for what they are entitled to.”

In order to make sure clients are well taken care of and represented, Philips limits the number of cases his practice represents. Quality of service to his clients over quantity of cases is paramount. When potential clients contact the office via email or phone call, a phone consultation will be scheduled with Philips. If during that conversation it is determined that you have a case which Philips can assist with, an in-person consultation will then be scheduled. Once a case has been fully evaluated, a reasonable expectation of compensation is advised to the client. “Every case we take on for representation is one that we strive to maximize the benefits available to the client. We want to help them safely navigate the system with the most beneficial outcome to them, whether it be through negotiations, or when necessary through the litigation of the case,” he said. In some cases, if it isn’t in the best interest of the client to hire an attorney, Philips is straightforward with that information as well. He then gives the client information about the best way to proceed from there and other steps that can be taken.

According to Philips, what happens at the scene of the incident is important. A common mistake he sees in many cases is people making statements at the scene out of sympathy that can later be construed as admissions of liability. Philips advises not to make any statements regarding the accident to anyone other than law enforcement. While it is ok to inquire about the welfare of others involved in the accident, it is not wise to make any statement that can later be considered an admission of liability in the situation. Other common mistakes include not obtaining all the evidence that is available at the scene, not contacting law enforcement and not seeking medical attention within 14 days of the accident. Philips also advises to take photos with your cell phone of damages to the vehicles involved, the scene of the accident and parties involved at the scene of the accident.   It is also crucial to obtain contact information, tag numbers and insurance information.

Even if you haven’t been in an accident, his website, www.chuckphilips.com, offers a plethora of valuable information. His blog includes articles with information on how to handle a claim with your auto insurance, when to replace a car seat after an accident and more. The website also includes archives of his monthly newsletter which includes personal letters from Philips, community service projects the firm supports, raffle opportunities and more. You can also subscribe to the newsletter to receive it as it is published by entering your email information.

With more than thirty years of experience, Chuck Philips is ready to represent clients in need of help when it comes to personal injury. The law office of Chuck S Philips, PLLC is located at 9400 River Crossing Boulevard, Suite 103 New Port Richey, FL 34655. Call 727-494-2008 or 800-844-8652 for your free initial consultation.