Portland Personal Injury Lawyer
Attorney Timothy Grabe Read His Interview

Interview with Attorney Timothy Grabe

Learn More About Our Injury Lawyer

Why did you choose to become a personal injury lawyer?

Timothy Grabe

I have done a lot of blue-collar work in my teens and twenties, such as logging, driving combines, factory work, and food service, so I've seen what happens when good people get hurt. In being a personal injury lawyer, I can use my college education in history, and combine it with my work history and enjoyment of making peoples' lives better.

What sets your firm apart from the rest?

Instead of taking on a huge amount of smaller cases, I try to take on fewer, bigger cases so that I can focus on getting to know the clients' doctors and other important aspects of the case. I view a client as potentially having to go to trial against a well-funded insurance company, so I am careful that every case I take on has merit, and I know I can prove the insurance company's person was wrong in causing the injury.

Tell us about a case that you are particularly proud of:

I helped a brain-injured civilian employee of the US Army by winning a trial that required us to prove a machine he operated ruined his ability to work by spewing out a dangerous toxin. Despite our efforts to settle, the insurance company forced us to trial, where a big law firm tried to get the jury to award zero. The case was challenging because it involved many issues of engineering, medicine, and job duties. Winning a verdict that was a few dollars short of one million dollars was a fair outcome, and my client's life will be much better now.

Why do you limit the number of cases that you represent?

A lawyer should not spread himself too thin. It takes time to go talk to doctors about a client, and it takes time to thoroughly get to know the facts of a case. I get better results by spending time creating a strategy for each case, and following through.

What advice do you most often give your clients?

I tell them to live their life as if they will never recover for their injuries, so that if and when we do recover money through settlement, arbitration, mediation, or trial, the client can view it as a welcome bonus, not as something that was a done-deal all along. I counsel clients to be patient, to be honest, and to follow their doctors' advice on treating their injuries.

What is the first thing that you do when you take on a new case?

I like to sit down with my paralegal or a nurse and trouble-shoot the medical issues in a case. I want to be sure the client has a case that can be won, meaning that we can prove that someone was careless and caused an injury to the client that a doctor can talk about.

Why do you represent cases on a contingency fee basis?

I find that clients don't have $300 per hour to pay a lawyer to spend 300 or 1,000 hours on a case. Therefore, I commonly am paid a percentage of what we recover, which can be six months or even years in the future. The contingent fee levels the playing field with the insurance company on the other side.

How do you view your role in the attorney-client relationship?

I like to inform clients about the big picture, and get them to forget about the small stuff that sometimes worries them. I like to guide the process, with clients' input on our goals.

Why does it help to have more than 30 years of trial experience?

Unlike a professional athlete who might reach the top of his game in his twenties, lawyers need years of experience to hit their peak performance level.

In your opinion, what is the most effective way to resolve a claim?

Settling a claim for a fair amount is the best result, because that avoids having to incur lots of trials costs such as doctors' fees. But if a claim won't settle, then we move on to a lawsuit. Most lawsuits get resolved or settled before trial, but a lawyer really has to be prepared to take the case to trial. I can do that, without being a stereotypical pit bull jerk of a lawyer that we see portrayed on TV all too often.

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