By Michael R. Jackson, Shareholder
Jackson Law International represented a young German Couple in a lawsuit for personal injuries sustained in a devastating Colorado car accident case.
Imagine yourself travelling to Las Vegas, Nevada, and renting a car in order to travel to the Grand Canyon and other national parks in states such as Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming while on vacation. However, instead of enjoying this carefully planned vacation, your vehicle is struck in the mountains of Colorado, the rental car is totaled (see photograph), you are treated in a local hospital for injuries that take months to heal, and your injuries are so significant that, initially, you cannot even travel home. In those circumstances, a continuation of your vacation is certainly out of order and, upon returning home finally, you must attend physical therapy. For these two German tourists, who experienced these events, this was a difficult time.
Jackson Law International had the pleasure of being retained on behalf of this young German couple to represent their interests in this Colorado car accident case. The couple was in need of an American attorney who spoke fluent German and who could assist them in pursuing their legal claims for the personal injuries they sustained in Colorado. It was not only important for the attorney to speak German, but also that the attorney possessed the requisite experience in personal injury cases. Based upon my personal background of growing up in Germany, speaking German in my formative years as a first, i.e., and in fact exclusive, language, coupled with decades of personal injury experience, this law firm was retained in this matter.
The case presented some initial problems. The driver who had caused the accident was not from Colorado and had passed away not long after the accident. There was some initial difficulty effectuating service of process upon the relevant individual on behalf of the estate of the driver. Once accomplished, discovery ensued. Following written discovery, which in great part addressed the scope of personal injuries that this couple had sustained in this Colorado car accident, the defense attorney kindly acquiesced to the depositions of this couple occurring in Germany, rather than in Colorado. Consequently, I flew to Germany in order to prepare both plaintiffs for their depositions in Nuremberg. During the depositions, the defense lawyer utilized a translator, and I was able to, therefore, not only be at this young couple’s side during such an unfamiliar experience, but I was also able to verify the accuracy of the translator’s translations throughout the depositions.
Based upon the extensive preparation prior to the depositions, and once the insurance company for the at-fault driver was able to formulate a picture of these two German plaintiffs and the extent of their injuries, it was possible to reach a successful settlement on their behalf.
Even in such instances where other U.S. law firms claim to possess knowledge to properly represent a native German-speaker, this is not the case. There are a few attorneys in the U.S. who are native German-speakers, but they generally have no experience or extremely limited experience in personal injury cases. The importance of having an attorney at your side who has full command of the German language when representing German plaintiffs, coupled with decades of personal injury experience, cannot be overstated.
Therefore, if you speak to a German-speaking attorney in the United States who claims to have experience handling such a case, ask them to show you actual court filings from multiple personal injury cases that they personally brought to a conclusion, so that you can be sure that they have the actual case experience that they claim to possess on the telephone or their website. When it comes to the personal injuries that you sustained in an automobile accident, you should not place your faith in the hands of the inexperienced.
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Our international experience allows us to assist clients and other law firms in international matters, and the firm looks forward to the opportunity to put that experience to work for its clients.
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© Jackson Law International 2014