Gerald Brooks grew up in tiny Livingston, on the western edge of Alabama's Black Belt, and has carried forward the small-town values of hard work, respect, and fairness into his law practice.
Brooks graduated from the University of Alabama twice ? with an undergraduate degree in business in 1998 and with a law degree in 2002. After receiving his J.D., he joined a Birmingham insurance defense firm, where he stayed for five years until he realized that he wanted to work on behalf of injured people instead of insurance companies.
"I enjoyed the experience there in the sense that I learned a lot and it made me a better attorney," he says. "I don't know if I'd be as good at what I do now but for the experience of seeing how the other side evaluates things, and the things that scare them. But you're representing corporations, and your point of contact is an insurance adjuster who's not concerned about anything but reports and evaluations that aren't really about right or wrong."
He crossed over to the plaintiff side of the law, joining a Montgomery law firm that concentrated in that area. He stayed there for three years, then ventured out on his own and joined forces with Chuck James, an old law school friend, in 2013, to form the firm of Brooks, Hubbard & James. That firm later became the Serious Injury Law Group.
Brooks' practice focuses solely on personal injury cases, and he has achieved some significant outcomes on behalf of his clients. They include a medical malpractice jury verdict of $3.5 million, a jury verdict of $380,000 in a motor vehicle case, and multiple seven-figure settlements in medical malpractice and trucking cases.
Brooks admits that the competitive aspect of personal injury law appeals to him, but there's more to it than that. "You want to win," he says, "but honestly, I want to make sure the client has a good outcome versus what my personal ego might feel."
"I also enjoy formulating the theories and doing the work that involves litigation. But the best part of all is when you get a favorable outcome for a client, seeing their reaction, and knowing that you have positively affected their life."
He also values positively affecting young lives in his community. In 2017, the firm launched its first Serious Injury Law Group Living History Essay Contest. Fifteen high-schoolers received $1,000 scholarships for essays on living heroes in their communities.
In his spare time, Brooks enjoys travel ? he and his wife, Staci, have traveled widely around the globe ? and Crimson Tide sports.