Walter E. Sawicki Jr.
Mr. Sawicki is a shareholder of the firm and a skilled, litigator with extensive experience. He was president of the Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, now known as the Minnesota Association for Justice from 1996 to1997. The Association is a group of approximately 1,300 lawyers throughout the state of Minnesota who primarily represent injured people. He has also served in many positions with the Association thorough out the years, including being a member of the Board of Governors from 1985 to 1992.
Mr. Sawicki is certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the Minnesota Bar Association Civil Trial Certification Council and as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Advocacy. He is an no-fault arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and is a frequent lecturer on current Minnesota automobile law.
Mr. Sawicki’s personal interests include tennis and travel. He was formerly on the Board of the St. Paul Chapter of the Boys & Girls Club and is a strong supporter of Catholic Charities, Second Harvest and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. He is also a part of the consortium of attorneys representing Minnesotans injured in the I-35W Bridge Collapse.
Sawicki & Phelps is a diversified personal injury firm which employs two lawyers, legal assistants, and a well-trained support staff. Areas of practice include all motor vehicle injuries (motorcycle, trucking, snowmobile, and boat accident), food poisoning, accidental death, workplace injuries, children bitten by dogs, slip and falls, and Social Security Disability.
Personal Statement on Hiring an Attorney:
When you’re injured, the last thing you think about is hiring a lawyer. I have many people who come to my office and say “This is the first time I’ve ever dealt with a lawyer” and “I’m not the kind of person who would sue anyone.” I try to reassure them by telling them that I work for you; I’ll never force you to do anything that you are uncomfortable with; that most cases settle without a lawsuit and actually going to a jury trial; and that my job is to do my best to get you back on your feet and make up your losses. I also explain that we all buy insurance to cover our mistakes and that the purpose of insurance is to help the person that we injured.
In most cases, a lawyer is important so that you are fully informed about your options. When you are hurt and dealing with sudden pain and disability; dealing with income loss and medical bills can be overwhelming. You don’t know what to do and insurance people are calling all the time. This is when an attorney can help. A good lawyer will meet with you and explain the process, give you a timeline for your claim and then handle your income loss, medical bills and dealing with the insurance people.
Don’t expect that the insurance company has your best interests in mind or that they will fully compensate you for your losses. Insurance companies are businesses and as with any business, they are concerned about the bottom line; paying out as little as possible on a claim.
There are many personal injury lawyers. Find a lawyer with whom you are comfortable. He or she works for you and you make the ultimate decision on going forward or settling your claim. Make sure that you will have full access to your attorney. Don’t be afraid to ask about his or her education, knowledge and experience, especially in going to trial. The vast majority of cases settle without litigation or actually going to a jury trial. Insurance adjusters are skilled at settling cases and you need a representative equally skilled. Insurance Companies are ultimately driven by what they believe a jury will do with your claim. If they know that your lawyer is not skilled at trial work or is unwilling to go to trial, they will take that into consideration in their offers to settle your claims.