James D. Payer
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.
His noteworthy results include:
- 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.