- Personal Injury
- Auto Insurance
- Auto, Truck and Motorcycle Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Medical Malpractice
(Greensboro, N.C., August 20, 2008) – Benjamin Burnside, an attorney with the Deuterman Law Group in Greensboro, has been admitted to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a prestigious association of trial lawyers.
Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million dollar or multimillion dollar verdicts, awards or settlements for their clients. Less than 1 percent of attorneys in the United States are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and only 74 in North Carolina have earned the distinction since the group was founded in 1993. Burnside is one of the youngest attorneys ever admitted to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Burnside, a Greensboro native, joined the Deuterman Law Group in 2006 after graduating with honors from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law. He was admitted to the North Carolina State Bar in 2006, and he focuses his practice on personal injury and Social Security Disability cases.
“I’ve known Ben Burnside since he was a law student, and he has always impressed me with his work ethic and his desire to help his injured clients,” said Daniel L. Deuterman, president of the Deuterman Law Group. “Ben works very hard to ensure that his clients receive the benefits and compensation they deserve for their injuries, so it’s no surprise to me that he’s earned membership into the Million Dollar Advocates Forum so early in his career.”
The case that earned Burnside admittance into the Million Dollar Advocates Forum involved a serious automobile accident that occurred in December of 2006. Burnside’s 43-year-old client was riding his moped when a car, estimated to be traveling about 55 miles an hour, rammed into the moped, throwing Burnside’s client and his passenger about 155 feet. Both men suffered catastrophic injuries – including severe head, leg and feet injuries for Burnside’s client and a traumatic brain injury for his passenger.
Both men were hospitalized for more than a month after the accident, and they both still require ongoing medical treatment. They had combined medical bills of more than $600,000, and neither man is able to work because of the extent of his injuries.
Burnside worked with another Triad attorney who was representing the moped passenger, and together they were able to secure a $1.5 million insurance settlement for their clients. The settlement covered the men’s medical bills and will provide for ongoing medical treatment and income for them.
It helped that the driver who was responsible for the accident had an auto insurance policy with a high liability limit and an umbrella policy, which provided additional coverage, Burnside said. In many personal injury cases, insurance settlements aren’t enough to cover medical bills and other expenses, and injured people have no other financial recourse.
“It feels good to be able to get a substantial recovery for my client in case like this where there are catastrophic injuries,” Burnside said. “It’s definitely going to be a boon for him and his family.”
No matter how severely they are injured, automobile accident victims in North Carolina often can’t collect more than the at-fault driver’s insurance liability limits. When the injured person does not have Underinsured Motorists Coverage or Uninsured Motorists Coverage, their recovery can be as low as $30,000, no matter how severe their injuries are. It’s not unusual for injured people to be left with thousands or hundreds of thousands in unpaid medical bills, even after receiving an insurance payment.
“Before I started practicing law, the only personal injury cases I ever heard about were those cases with big verdicts or settlements, such as this one,” Burnside said. “Once you start practicing law, you realize those big cases are so incredibly rare. Most of the time, you’re fighting and scraping to get the insurance companies to at least cover some of the losses of your clients, who very often end up much worse off financially. This case was an exception because the driver’s insurance policy was adequate to cover the two men’s injuries and other ongoing expenses.”
While a law student, Burnside completed internships with The Deuterman Law Group and with U.S. Middle District Court Judge James A. Beaty, Jr.
Earlier this year, Burnside’s colleagues in the Social Security Disability Section of the N.C. Advocates for Justice elected him as co-chairman of the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Committee. He is also a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR), the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (formerly the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers) the American Association for Justice (AAJ), the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA), the Greensboro Bar Association (GBA), and the Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group (WILG).