28 Years of Experience with Personal Injury and Disability “Imake every effort to resolve my clients’ cases without the expense and time delay of litigation. I treat every case as if it will be litigated to properly prepare it. As a product of this approach, I would say the vast majority of my cases get results,” says Kevin Renfro, Managing Partner of Becker Law Office, PLC in Louisville and Lexington. Becker Law Office works with clients in personal injury and disability cases using a two-firm approach they call “heart and muscle.” With his more than 30 years of legal experience, Renfro leads his team in negotiation and settlement. The firm has settled more than 33,000 cases. If a case requires courtroom action, they call on the experience of the legal firm Bubalo Goode Sales & Bliss. “We only represent injured people and we’ll do a full gamut of injury claims here. I’ve done slip and falls, major medical cases, product liability, nursing home abuse and medical malpractice, but most people are injured in car accidents, falls, and workplace accidents. That’s the frequency of claims. If it’s an injury, we’ll probably be willing to do it,” Renfro says. Becker Law Office was founded by Gary Becker (retired) who, in 1985, was the first lawyer in Kentucky to advertise for personal injury cases on television. Renfro joined the firm 18 months later. Renfro had been working for a few years in general practice, yet he was attracted to the idea of specializing in one area of the law. A mutual friend told him about an opening with the Becker firm. The men shared a number of philosophical interests. The fact Becker represented “regular people” was an additional attraction. “Gary was a self-made man and his parents were very good, hard-working people. He was very driven. I also thought he was the smartest businessman practicing law that I had ever met. I’ve always tried to follow that model and be a good businessman in terms of how I practice law,” Renfro says. Early on, the new partnership had to litigate every case until the other lawyers figured out they were formidable opponents. The new partners had created the first firm to fully adopt the philosophy of providing insurance companies the information they needed upfront to justify settlement. Renfro comes by his philosophical leaning naturally. “My dad lost his finger in a punch press accident when I was a baby and my mother had four boys and no source of income. My dad got workers’ comp, but workers’ comp doesn’t pay anything for pain and suffering. So they were trying to sustain themselves and four little boys at the same time. It was very difficult for my parents. I think I’m philosophically on this side of the fence because of that.” Not An Assembly Line Approach The Becker Law Office team treats each client and each case as a unique event occurring within a unique set of actions. They never take an assembly line approach to client service. Ongoing personal relationships with key players in the insurance and related fields are key to much of the firm’s success. Renfro says, “I personally resolve claims every day with the insurance industry. I have developed relationships with many insurance adjusters and claims managers. I would rather get to know these people who have the funds available for a positive settlement than get to know their defense lawyers who are getting paid by the hour. I think I can often short-circuit the process if at all possible to get folks the settlement money they deserve.” Clients often do not fully understand the necessary commitment of time and resources involved in litigation and that it is usually in the client’s best interest to avoid taking an insurance company’s first offer. “I understand the cost and the time element of litigation. The clients generally don’t understand that because they’ve never been involved in it. If I can get a medical report, expert opinion or other information that will make the insurance company make a fair settlement, then I will send it to them as soon as possible. This is because the insurance companies must have a basis or justification for making a settlement payment. So we provide that justification in order for them to see reason for making the payment,” Renfro says. Many of Becker Law Office’s clients face serious financial distress because they’re already living paycheck-to-paycheck and it becomes difficult for them to maintain any type of lifestyle. The danger to the client is whether or not their case will be resolved too cheaply, which prevents them from securing fair compensation. The firm always tells clients that if they can get their doctor to commit to what the future holds for them medically, then it is appropriate to discuss settlement. Once a settlement is made, there’s no going back to the insurance carrier for more money. The Becker team looks for independent verification of how the injury is going to affect their client. According to Renfro, some clients are ahead of that curve and others presume the insurance company will understand that they will have medical problems in the future. Yet, insurance companies want reports from doctors and opinions from their medical providers as to the long-term nature of injuries as they will not pay a long-term injury claim without this documentation. An exception is an obviously catastrophic injury. Renfro says, “I just explain to our clients what the insurance company needs in order to secure the maximum value of their case. If they want me to send what records and bills I have, then I’m happy to do that. Yet, they need to understand that the insurance company may try to settle the case as inexpensively as possible. Insurance companies love bringing in premium dollars, yet they hate paying out claims even though that’s the nature of their business.” Recognizing Community Heroes Becker Law Office is active within its communities and especially proud of their sponsorship, along with local television stations, of two award programs recognizing local community heroes. In Louisville, this is called the Hidden Hero Award. The Lexington program is called the Extra Mile Award. Based on outside nominations submitted at BeckerLaw.com, these award programs aim to bring winners’ positive missions to light while spreading the word about their good work through these communities. Selected monthly by Becker Law Office and the two cosponsoring television stations, each winner takes home a cash prize in recognition for their efforts. “We’re very proud of that. It’s amazing how much one person can affect his or her community. In working with this promotion, I think it may help these people expand their mission to help others. Every day I’m dealing with people like those I grew up with. Other people may not think they’re special, but I do,” Renfro says. Effecting Positive Change Renfro says he is not very handy, so he had to select and master a career requiring the use of brains rather than hands. The law quickly attracted his attention because it is something that permeates virtually every aspect of a person’s life. “I was interested in learning about that. When I started applying that and actually helping people, I developed a true passion for the law. In some small way I like to think I effect a small positive change in peoples’ lives. They’re usually at a very distressed point because of the legal involvement they have and they really need somebody to help them through the process. It’s very gratifying, especially representing people against very powerful insurance companies, big corporations,” he says. “I try to treat people very fairly and be very upfront with them. I don’t promise them the moon. I think I’m very practical. I’m very realistic. I have great respect for my clients because I have been in their shoes. My family has been in their shoes. I think that is probably my greatest attribute as a lawyer.”
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