At the age of 15, Russell Virgins fell in love with motorcycles. As a college student at the University of Florida (UF), there was simply no better way to get around. Cruising in the sunshine, Russell’s bike offered freedom, adrenaline and a welcomed respite from his intense law studies. One day, a distracted driver temporarily took that freedom. The driver clipped Russell’s front tire, flinging him into the pavement where he crashed and broke several bones. This was the day Russell learned what it was like to be a victim, but his mind, body, and love for riding survived the fall.
Now in his 50s and a senior paralegal at KL Injury Attorneys, Russell works closely with our senior partners on nearly every motorcycle accident case we take. Russell understands first hand what our clients are going through and why it’s so important to remain positive. Moreover he knows what it’s like to be a rider in Florida, a state known for high rates of motorcycle accidents and fatalities.
“As an avid motorcycle enthusiast for almost 40 years, I have a deep understanding of what it’s like to be on the road with drivers in Florida. I know the dangers that it imposes, and the seriousness of the injuries that can result,” he said.
Motorcycle Legal Expertise
Since graduating from UF 30 years ago, Russell has been helping victims of Florida motorcycle accidents, product liability cases, and nearly every type of personal injury claim. He knows the state’s intricate laws and helps victims overcome the hair-pulling complexities they present. For example, Florida is one of the few no-fault states in the country. That means the victim’s own insurance company is responsible for paying personal injury protection (PIP) benefits and medical bills. Confusingly, the person who caused the accident is not liable. Additionally, Florida’s personal injury laws are constantly changing, making them trickier than most states.
“It’s a ping-pong match,” Russell says. “There’s constant twists and innuendos, but that’s what I’m here for. I’m here to know every subtle detail in the law so I can utilize it to my clients’ advantage.”
Going Beyond His “Job”
As a seasoned paralegal, Russell is well-versed on Florida’s laws. But beyond his expertise, Russell’s compassion is unparalleled. “I spend countless hours on the phone, holding clients’ hands, talking to them late at night, and listening to what they need,” Russell said.
Clients are always impressed with Russell’s caring demeanor as well as his tenacious, never-say-never attitude. He gladly takes on the role of advocate and goes to bat with insurance companies to get his clients the compensation they deserve.
“I love telling clients that once they hire us, insurance companies can no longer communicate with them. Instead, insurance companies will have to talk to me. The client always responds, ‘God, that’s all I want! I’m so sick of phone calls, text messages, emails, and paperwork,’” Russell recounted.
A Different Approach at KL
Fortunately, KL Injury Attorneys supports Russell’s approach and encourages him to go the extra mile for our clients. But that’s not the norm in the industry. Throughout his 30-year career, Russell can attest to how rare it is to find a law firm that takes on this level of responsibility.
“At other firms, it was obvious the managers wanted to resolve cases on a volume basis and didn’t care about the client’s personal needs. That’s especially clear when I compare prior firms to the way we do business here at KL,” said Russell.
Absorbing the stressful communication between the labyrinth of insurance adjusters, body shops, doctors and employers is just the beginning of what Russell does for clients. The next 60% includes handling immediate transportation needs, ensuring the vehicle damage is resolved properly, and ensuring the victim is receiving the best possible medical care.
“I deal with the complexity of insurance companies so that KL’s clients can focus on what’s important. Getting on with their lives, seeing a good doctor, and taking care of their family and loved ones,” he said.
His Client First Mentality
Russell takes great pride in his ability to do the hard work so his clients can reap the well-deserved rewards. He gets satisfaction knowing that he’s helping people navigate through a process that could otherwise be very stressful and ultimately, end poorly.
“I prevent victims from being taken advantage of by the insurance industry. When they are happy at the conclusion of the case, that’s my greatest joy,” said Russell.