About Coffey Trial Law
Dennis Phillips, Esq. is a personal injury and wrongful death litigator who has been licensed to practice in Florida since 2000. Dennis knows that negligence is no “accident”. It is a choice. Using automobile collisions as an example, a negligent driver is one who makes a choice to text or to speed or to take his eyes off the road for any reason. At that moment, he puts everyone around him at risk of serious injury or death.
If the negligent driver injures or kills a motorist or pedestrian, he will likely say “it was an accident”. Sure, injuring or killing that particular motorist or pedestrian was an accident, because he didn’t specifically intend to harm them. But, the negligent behavior was likely to injure or kill someone; we just didn’t know whom. It could have been any of us or someone we care about.
If we do not hold the negligent person accountable, it sends a message that he can continue to be unsafe with no consequences. If the negligent driver had chosen to kill a motorist or pedestrian on purpose, we’d lock him away and throw away the key. So why shouldn’t he be held accountable for choosing to be unsafe and putting the entire community at risk of death or great bodily harm?
This is where the insurance companies perpetuate the problem. In an effort to save money and increase profits, insurers employ an army of adjusters and attorneys and doctors to settle personal injury and wrongful death claims for low value. But, every time the insurers strong-arm another victim or survivor into a reduced settlement, or beguiles a jury into returning a defense-oriented verdict, it sends a message to the safety rule violators that they can continue to endanger and injure the community with no consequences.
Only a fair settlement or a fair verdict makes the community safer. A victory for the insurer continues to keep the community at risk. It is easy to think that “the community” means everyone else, but not me and not my family. But if you use the roads, shop at stores, treat with doctors or take medications, breathe, eat, or drink, then you are at risk when anyone else chooses not to follow the safety rules that should allow us to live our everyday lives.
Our clients can count on meeting personally with Dennis in our office or anywhere that is convenient, including our clients’ homes or doctors’ offices. Dennis has a background in financial and estate planning, as well, but he has a special connection with injury victims. Dennis was recruited to play football at the US Naval Academy, but a low back injury ended his naval career in his first year of active duty. So, Dennis personally knows what it feels like to have an injury keep you up at night, and wake you up in the morning. He knows the desperation an injury victim feels when the pain just won’t go away. And he knows how the stigma of being injured can affect how others perceive an injury victim, and how that affects his/her social and business relationships.
Dennis studied Russian language and literature at James Madison University, The Russian School at Norwich University, and a semester abroad at Moscow Aviation Institute. He is a member of Mensa, and he has joined various groups over the years, including The Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers / FJA, Association of Trial Lawyers of America / AAJ, Broward County Justice Association, Palm Beach County Justice Association, American Bar Association, Broward County Bar Association, Florida Cemetery Cremation & Funeral Association, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and has held Series 7, 63, & 65 licenses as well as a life, health, and variable annuity license. He is a member of the Florida Bar and the US Federal District Courts of the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida.