New York personal injury lawyer Scott C. Gottlieb says he enjoys the challenge of hard-fought personal injury cases that pit him against multi-billion dollar insurance companies.
“We know insurance companies can be very difficult to work with and are often unfair,” Scott says. “My firm enjoys taking on that challenge. You have been injured and we’re here to help. ”
“When people are involved in an accident, they have enough personal challenges,” he says. “They shouldn’t have to worry about any of the legal aspects of their claim or what insurance money they’ll receive. That’s our job.”
A New York native, Scott began his legal career more than 30 years ago. The son of a CPA, Scott initially started down his father’s career path, studying business and finance. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in finance from the University of Rhode Island in 1974, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and the Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society for Business Administration.
As an undergraduate, Scott took several legal courses and became fascinated with the law. That interest led him to Syracuse University College of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree, graduating with honors in 1977.
Scott began his legal career handling criminal cases, first as an assistant public defender in Broome County and later in private practice. He also practiced family law.
“Those criminal and family cases gave me a lot of litigation experience because I was constantly in the courtroom,” he says. “I developed a real courtroom foundation, with thousands of court appearances.”
As Scott matured as a lawyer, he was drawn to the unique needs of clients who had suffered personal injuries.
“I realized the personal injury practice was more challenging in that the opponents or adversaries were huge insurance corporations with nearly unlimited resources,” he says. “The people who needed and deserved money from those companies were not going to get it without our help and without us putting up a fight. I became interested in helping those people.”
Scott says practicing personal injury law has been much more demanding – and more satisfying – than handling family law or criminal cases.
“The opponent is so much bigger and more powerful, and the people who you are trying to help in every instance deserve your help,” he says. “You feel good about who you represent in injury cases.”
Words of Wisdom for Accident Victims
Scott cautions NY accident victims about settling their own personal injury or car accident claims.
“The insurance company could injure you for a second time,” he says. “It is their job as a corporation looking to make a profit to pay out as little as possible. Insurance companies will take advantage of people who are inexperienced in dealing with them. The real problem is that people don’t know what their case is worth. They don’t know how much they are entitled to for wage reimbursement or their pain and suffering. The adjusters will take advantage of your lack of knowledge and try and get you to accept a settlement that is likely unfavorable to you.”
He continues: “The insurance company does their job day in and day out, 365 days a year. In your lifetime, you will perhaps have one accident or injury experience. There is no way you can expect to stand toe-to-toe and represent yourself against a multi-billion dollar corporation that is in the business of doing nothing but accidents and whose incentive is to pay you as little as possible.”
Leveling the Playing Field
Using a personal injury lawyer can help level the playing field when dealing with insurance companies, Scott says.
“There was a study done by Allstate Insurance that shows on average persons represented by a lawyer resolve their claims for three times as much as a person without a lawyer,” he says. “We understand that by hiring a lawyer, he or she is going to have to be paid out of a portion of the money you recover. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome, but as a general rule, you’ll do better with a lawyer.”
Scott notes his interests as a personal injury lawyer are aligned with those of his clients.
“Our incentive is to get the insurance company to pay as much as possible,” Scott says. “Your best interest is our best interest. The more we recover for you, the larger our fee. Let’s be frank – the better you do, the better we do. So it’s a win-win situation.”
Born: Brooklyn, New York, 1952
Undergraduate degree: University of Rhode Island, Finance, 1974 (member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society for business administration)
Law school degree: Syracuse University College of Law, 1977 (graduated cum laude, member of Justinian Honorary Law Society)
Bar admissions: New York State Supreme Court, New York State Court of Appeals, Pennsylvania Supreme Court, U.S. Tax Court, U.S. District Court for the Northern and Western Districts of New York, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals.
Memberships: New York State Bar association, Broome County Bar Association
Professional background: Assistant Public Defender, Broome County Public Defender’s Office (1977-1978); Private practice (1978-current)
Personal: Scott lives in Binghamton with his wife and two daughters. An animal lover, Scott’s family has two dogs, two cats and two frogs. He also enjoys going to his children’s sporting events. Scott tries to exercise every day. An avid supporter of the Special Olympics, Scott has volunteered as a coach and is now a financial supporter of that organization and other charities.