April 2011

The Law: Berry & Carr, P.C.

Author: Frank Dunne, Jr. | Photographer: Photography by Anne

They never expected this. Nobody ever does. A couple approaches an intersection, driving home after an evening spent with friends, maybe dinner for two, just winding down for the night…almost home.

Another driver coming into the intersection from a different road is also on the way home after an evening spent in a different fashion: a few too many, perhaps, before getting behind the wheel.

The roads cross just ahead, and on this night the timing couldn’t be worse. Two cars meet in a violent collision, and for an unsuspecting couple, the world has just changed.

Attorney Patrick Carr recalls the case. “They were hit nearly head-on by a drunk driver who then attempted to flee the scene. The husband suffered multiple hip and leg fractures, and it was doubtful that he was ever going to walk again. His wife suffered injuries all over her body.

“Although they both made a fantastic recovery, the year-long process that they went through on the way to that recovery was just a nightmare for them.”

An accident like this one happens in a split second, but the impact can last for years, even a lifetime. It’s something that most of us will hopefully never know, but the possibility is always there, and attorneys like Carr and David Berry of Berry & Carr, P.C. see it in variations every day.

“These nice folks had moved to Hilton Head to retire and enjoy life,” Carr said of the injured couple. “All of a sudden, they can’t go to church; they can’t socialize with friends; they can’t do volunteer work for organizations they’d become involved with.”

In fact, the husband’s injuries were so severe that the couple’s home had to be retrofitted just so he could get around. His wife, despite her own injuries, had to become a virtual full-time nurse to help him along in his recovery.

Physical recovery is only one part of the story. Often there is a long journey through the legal system, which, without good legal help, can cause mental and emotional pain sometimes as profound as the physical injuries themselves.

Attorney David Berry of Berry & Carr, P.C.

“We represent people who have been hurt in many different ways: sometimes in a car wreck, sometimes tripping over something carelessly left around by someone else, sometimes from a defective product, and sometimes on the job,” Berry said. “When hurt, it is very hard for the body to heal while the mind experiences anxiety, worry and confusion. We try to eliminate as much of that anxiety, worry and confusion as possible so our clients can focus on getting well.”

Many people can get involved when someone is hurt. Just trying to keep up with insurance companies, doctor visits, hospitals, therapy appointments, etc. can produce a lot of stress and anxiety.

Those hurt can begin to wonder who is on their side. Is it the insurance company? Maybe, but sometimes it doesn’t seem that way when it’s time for them to settle a claim fairly.

For most people, lawyers do things like drawing up wills, handling mortgage closings and that sort of thing. That is, until catastrophe strikes. Injury law is a whole different ballgame. How does one navigate the minefield of the claim process while trying to heal? The simple answer is with experienced help from attorneys who concentrate on handling injury claims and trying cases.

“The folks we represent experience a lot of relief from the aggravation of having to deal with insurance companies who don’t necessarily have our clients’ best interest in mind,” Berry said. “By turning that business over to us, our clients can focus on getting better.”

Berry graduated from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1977, has since been admitted to the bar in Ohio, South Carolina, Georgia and South Dakota, and has practiced on Hilton Head Island since 1985. With over 30 years of law practice behind him, Berry still draws on experiences from his younger years when he worked in construction. “When folks come in to my office who have been hurt on the job, there’s a real good chance that I’ll understand exactly what they’ve gone through, because I’ve worked in the building trades myself,” he said.

Attorney Patrick Carr of Berry & Carr, P.C.

Carr graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1998 and joined Berry in 2009 after 11 years defending the types of cases that Berry prosecutes. In fact, the two met while opposing one another on a case brought by Berry. “I appreciated Patrick’s work ethic and felt he would enjoy assisting injured people rather than working to defeat their claims,” he said. Carr agreed and they formed Berry & Carr, combining over 45 years of legal and trial experience.

“With my years representing injured people, Patrick’s years representing defendants, and well over 200 cases tried between us, we have a very good understanding of the judicial process and how our clients would be best served as we guide them through it,” Berry said.

Personal injury law is a very specialized practice area, and it is constantly evolving. Keeping up with the law and with new principles and trial techniques is critical to achieving successful outcomes for clients. According to Berry, the educational process is constant, and he and Carr regularly attend courses and seminars all over the country to keep abreast of changes. “Patrick’s been to three or four different states just doing continuing education in the past year alone,” Berry said.

Both Berry and Carr will tell you that personal injury law is a people business, not a numbers game. It’s about personalizing the relationship with clients who face tough circumstances so they know that they have a trustworthy advocate, allowing them peace of mind while they focus on healing.

“We give personal attention to every client regardless of the complexity of their problem or the nature of their injury,” Carr said. “We get to know our clients well, and we always strive to give each of them the professional help we have found to bring about the best results.” He points to the couple from the automobile accident case as an example of the effect that a personal approach can have. “As we worked together through the process, our clients were able to remain positive and optimistic. That helped tremendously with their healing and return to a place closer to the lives they knew.”

Berry & Carr, P.C. is located at 2 Spanish Wells Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926. For more information, call (843) 686-5432 or visit hiltonheadlawyers.com.

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