James D. Payer has been advocating on behalf of injured South Floridians since 1996, resulting in more than $50 million in recoveries for his clients.
A $10 million verdict for a pedestrian who was run over by a truck resulting in the amputation of one of his legs and permanent nerve damage and scarring to the other leg. A $3.2 million settlement in a case against a power company on behalf of a client who was badly burned in an electrocution accident while working on a landscaping project. A negligent security case involving inadequate security in an apartment complex, resulting in a salesman's death and an $800,000 settlement. A $750,000 recovery for a driver who sustained traumatic brain injuries in a collision with a dump truck. A workers' compensation case that resulted in a $1.2 million recovery for a maintenance man who suffered a back injury while moving furniture, resulting in a series of surgeries and total disability. No matter the size of the case, however, Payer brings the same commitment to his clients. "I love winning on behalf of my clients and getting them what they deserve," he says. "I love helping people get their lives back." Payer focuses his practice solely on representing injured individuals, with a concentration on personal injury and workers' compensation cases. Although he has narrowed his practice to those areas, he brings a breadth of prior experience to his work. As early as high school, Payer knew that he wanted to become a personal injury lawyer, but decided to first focus his academic attention on business and accounting. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Stetson University in 1991 and worked as an accountant for a medical supply company before deciding to pursue his ambition of becoming a lawyer. "I wanted the accounting background because a solid financial background is always good to have when you're running your own law firm," he says, "and also when you're looking out for a client's best financial interests." Payer attended the University of Miami School of Law, receiving his J.D. in 1995. He then worked with a partner in the law firm of Payer and Twombly, where he handled personal injury cases, but also represented clients in "personal injury protection" (PIP) cases involving car insurance and also divorce cases. He then went on his own in 2006 and narrowed his practice to personal injury and workers' compensation cases. Payer goes to court regularly on behalf of his clients and he loves being there. "I do enjoy the competitive part of it," he says. "I try to get my clients the maximum recovery they deserve by being aggressive and advocating for them because they don't have a voice." But he also enjoys the more personal aspects of being a counselor to people in need. "I not only try to get them the money they deserve, but I also try to counsel them in dealing with the change in their life," he says. "I find that telling people what to expect helps to minimize the surprises and maximize their comfort level. They've got enough to deal with trying to get healthy." He is active in several professional groups and also gets involved in community activities, including support for a youth soccer team and volunteering at a food bank. His interests include golf and scuba diving.
J.D., University of Miami School of Law, 1995 B.B.A., Stetson University, Deland, FL, 1991 Certified Public Accountant - State of Florida 1995 Jurisdictions
State of Florida United States District Court - Middle District of Florida United States District Court - Southern District of Florida
Florida Bar Association (member since 1996) Florida Workers' Advocates Florida Justice Association American Bar Association Miami-Dade Trial Lawyers Association
Wrongful death from automobile accident Wrongful death from truck accident - dump truck backed over victim on construction site Wrongful death from fall off of roof due to failure of concrete building material Wrongful death from fall off of roof due to failure to provide fall prevention equipment Wrongful death from fall off of roof due to failure of fall prevention equipment Auto crash resulting in disabling injuries and spine surgery Auto crash resulting from the other driver being under the influence (DUI) Auto crash from a distracted driver texting Auto crash from other driver running stop sign or stop light Auto crash from other driver turning into oncoming traffic Auto crash from other driver falling asleep Bus accident due to collision with other vehicle Motorcycle accident causing wrongful death of driver and his passenger due to other driver being under the influence (DUI) Pedestrian struck by automobile causing disabling injuries Jogger struck and killed by automobile Bicycle rider struck by automobile Electrocution of landscaper due to fault of power company causing disabling injuries and lengthy hospitalization Electrocution and fall of construction worker due to fault of power company Slip and fall at grocery store due to foreign substance on the floor Trip and fall in a parking lot due to irrigation pipe sticking out of the ground Fall from ladder on construction site Fall from scaffolding on a construction site Fall from ladder while helping a neighbor or friend Fall through roof due to week roofing structure resulting in disabling injuries Fall through unmarked hole on floor at construction site causing dozens of fractures, surgeries and disabling injuries Fall from truck or heavy equipment while working Fall from stilts on construction site Injuries caused by co-worker on a construction site Worker run over by a garbage truck resulting in the loss of a limb Worker struck and run over by forklift causing loss of leg Worker struck by forklift causing severe injuries requiring surgery and internal fixation Worker's loss of hand due to faulty equipment Security guard struck by truck Automobile crash involving security guard on patrol Dog bite cases Insurance claims on behalf of policy holders who can't get the insurance company to pay their automobile claim Injuries from heavy lifting at work Injuries at work from repetitive tasks such as product assembly Injuries from loading and unloading trucks Crane accidents resulting in severe bodily injury and death