Ian L. Kleinman Esq., the founder and co-managing partner at KL Injury Attorneys, devotes 100% of his time to helping Florida victims and their families. He manages the firm’s team along with critical aspects of cases to maximize settlements, including investigations, collecting evidence, and frequently meeting and communicating with clients, witnesses and experts.
Armed with 21 years of experience, Ian has won multiple $1 million-plus settlements by going to bat for his clients every day. His life’s work is helping victims see the bright side during a dark time in their lives, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
We sat down with Ian to learn more about his passion for personal injury law, his essential role at KL, and his thoughts on Florida’s legal industry.
Let’s hear from Ian in his own words.
How would you describe your role and mission as the Founding, Co-Managing Partner of KL?
My mission at KL is to give the highest level of legal representation to our clients so they can focus on their health and well-being. That starts with hiring the right people and ensuring every team member understands our core purpose.
The team and I are attentive to detail because that’s how we win cases. If we don’t request to preserve evidence immediately, we risk losing critical surveillance video. Moreover, witnesses can move away, and evidence can disappear. That’s why we’re obsessively diligent.
My role involves management of the day to day firm operations and ensuring that the necessary evidence is collected, that the client’s medical treatment and other needs are being handled. This allows us to maximize the recovery we obtain for our clients.
What do you do better than other personal injury firms?
Some firms leave a lot of settlement money on the table because they don’t give each victim’s file the proper attention it deserves. In fact, at many personal injury firms, a client will never communicate directly with the attorney until the end of the case, if at all. Bennett Lessman and I started KL because we wanted to be different. While other firms employ cookie-cutter procedures, we recognize that each case has nuances that require attorney attention from the start.
Can you give us an example of detailed vs. cookie-cutter approaches?
At cookie-cutter firms, the attorneys don’t engage with clients until files are with the insurer and up for demand. That can take up to a year and lead to significant missed opportunities. By that time, it may be too late to go back and conduct the proper investigation.
At detailed firms like KL, attorneys review the file with their paralegals right away and develop a game plan. Then they speak to the client as soon as possible to explain the process. Immediately after that, they gather witness statements, collect physical evidence, perform vehicle inspections, and visit the accident scene rather than rely on police reports.
What is your process for handling cases?
From the moment we receive a file, we look at every aspect of the accident, from how it was caused to the parties responsible. Then, my team and I look for cameras, witnesses, and physical evidence to support the victim’s case.
Once we devise the strategy, we contact the client to let them know how we plan to fight for the compensation they deserve. Throughout the case, we stay in constant contact, providing regular updates, so they never have to wonder what’s going on. Clients appreciate this so much that it’s one of the main reasons they refer our firm to friends and family in times of need. We also do most of the legwork and paperwork, so our clients can rest and recover with peace of mind.
Why do you love what you do?
I love helping personal injury victims triumph through a challenging process and time in their lives. I never want to see people get hurt, but I’m happy that at least I can help them get the support they need for themselves and their families. For instance, sometimes a relative or loved one gets injured, and I help their loved ones deal with the medical bills and income loss as a result. I’m on a team of expert problem solvers. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and it brings me joy to help people who need it the most.
What is your family life like?
I’m married to my high-school sweetheart, and we have two daughters. They are 17 and 14. I enjoy doing anything with my kids like golf, sporting events, tennis — anything outdoors. I’m at the age where anytime my kids are willing to hang out with me, I happily do it.
What was your background before founding and working at KL?
I was born in Hartford, Connecticut. I graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and relocated to South Florida in 1997 to attend the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University.
I’ve been practicing law since 2000. Initially, I defended insurance companies during my first eight years of law practice. The experience provided tremendous insight because it gave me a behind-the-scenes view of how insurance companies think and value cases. That insider perspective allows me to look at files and shore up weak links that prevent my clients from receiving maximum compensation.
What changes have you noticed in the Florida personal injury industry over the years?
Years ago, liability insurance companies paid fair claim amounts, but they don’t always do that now. It seems that the trend over the past 10 years for some insurance companies has been to collect premiums and refuse to pay claims, even those claims that clearly justify compensation to the injured party. I routinely field calls from prospective clients that were attempting to resolve the most straightforward claims with insurance companies on their own without success. Ultimately these prospective clients retain our firm after learning first-hand the delay tactics insurance companies routinely utilize.
Additionally, Covid has changed the industry–perhaps for years to come. It’s been over a year since Florida allowed in-person trials. Now that in-person jury cases are returning, the courts are backed up and unable to meet the demand. Since many people are waiting on trials, insurance companies may be less likely to pay on claims.
What changes would you like to see in the industry?
I want every personal injury victim to get the compensation they deserve with ease. People who have been hurt due to someone else’s negligence shouldn’t have to fight it out, especially when they have a straightforward claim. But, unfortunately, law firms like KL often need to get involved in making that happen. Sometimes we need to go all the way to court. It shouldn’t have to be that way.
What cases can you not take? How do you decide whether to go to court?
Every case is different, so we examine every victim’s circumstance individually before deciding how to proceed. While every case is different, they are all time-sensitive, so victims need to consult with an attorney right away. And even if the attorney says the case isn’t viable, it’s critical to get a second or third opinion. We’ve helped several clients who were told previously by another personal injury firm they didn’t have a case to pursue.
Why should injury victims choose KL over the larger, well-known personal injury firms?
Larger firms can have excellent reputations, but they don’t generally give personalized service. I’ve been doing this for 21 years, and some of our paralegals at KL have been in the industry even longer. Our mission is to treat our clients like family. My partner and I try never to miss a day in the office, even during the pandemic. We found that many people preferred Zoom calls, but not everyone wanted to work that way. So, we’ve been offering options for in-person or virtual meetings and doing whatever it takes to make our clients comfortable.
What advice would you give to people who have been injured?
I would tell anyone who’s been injured to get medical attention first. Then speak with a personal injury attorney right away. Good attorneys will call them directly, listen to their story and offer initial advice at no charge because that’s the right thing to do.
Whenever I speak with personal injury victims, I always try to give helpful tips immediately, such as not talking to insurance companies no matter what they decide. I also advise them to attain witness contact details and request surveillance videos if they can.
Finally, I explain why it’s critical to work with a small firm like KL that will treat them like family, advocate for them through every step of the process, and never make promises they can’t keep. Working with credible, experienced, and upfront law firms ensures a smooth experience and successful results.
What is your greatest strength that makes you successful at fighting for victim’s rights?
My greatest strength is probably my eight-year run as an attorney representing insurance companies. During that time, I gained valuable insight, which has led to tremendous outcomes for our clients.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of negligence or suffered in an accident, Ian L. Kleinman is ready to apply his decades of experience in the legal field to your claim. His sharp attention to detail, communication, and impressive knowledge are just some of the many reasons clients give KL their repeat business and continue to refer their family and friends to the firm.