Lawyer Web Marketing

Championing Personal Injury Victims With Passion and Expertise With Keith Fuicelli

Championing Personal Injury Victims With Passion and Expertise With Keith Fuicelli

March 27, 2024   |   Written by Gladiator Law Marketing
Keith Fuicelli Keith Fuicelli

Keith Fuicelli is the Managing Partner at Fuicelli & Lee, P.C., a Denver-based law firm specializing in personal injury cases, particularly those involving traumatic brain injuries and other catastrophic injuries. Since starting the firm in 2008, Keith has dedicated himself to helping people who have been injured, drawing on his own experience with a traumatic brain injury to offer his clients empathy and understanding. He has a strong record in court, has won large sums of money for his clients, and is recognized for his skills with awards and memberships in prestigious legal groups. Keith also actively educates other lawyers and supports brain injury survivors through his board membership at the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado.

pandora
spotify
playerfm
googke podcast
tunein
Deezer
iheartradio
partner-share-lg

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Keith Fuicelli talks about what they specialize in at Fuicelli & Lee
  • The importance of gathering evidence to support a client’s injury claim
  • The need for clients to be proactive in advocating for themselves
  • Personal injury trial preparation and settlement
  • Keith’s advice for anyone who’s looking to hire a personal injury attorney
  • How Keith and his partner started their firm

In this episode…

In the realm of personal injury law, few challenges are as daunting as advocating for victims with life-altering injuries. How does one navigate the complexities of such emotionally and legally intricate cases?

According to Keith Fuicelli, a personal injury attorney with a profound commitment to justice, the key is a combination of expert knowledge, unwavering passion, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Drawing from his own harrowing experience with a traumatic brain injury, Keith brings an unparalleled depth of empathy and understanding to his practice. This unique perspective, coupled with his formidable trial skills, allows him to effectively champion the rights of those in need, ensuring they receive the full, fair, and complete compensation they deserve.

In this episode of 15 Minutes, Bela Musits is joined by Keith Fuicelli, Managing Partner at Fuicelli & Lee, P.C., to explore the intricacies of personal injury law. They discuss Keith’s journey to becoming a renowned attorney, the importance of going to trial to maximize case value, and his strategic approach to building a successful law firm centered around client care.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, where we deliver tailor-made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential. 

To have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI, your firm needs to have a better website and better content. At Gladiator Law Marketing, we use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and decades of experience to outperform the competition. 

To learn more, go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com or schedule a free marketing consultation. You can also send an email to adam@gladiatorlawmarketing.com.

Transcript

Intro  0:01  You’re listening to 15 Minutes, where we feature community leaders sharing what the rest of us should know but likely don’t. Bela Musits  0:12  Hello, listeners. I’m Bela Musits, host for this episode of the 15 Minutes Share Your Voice podcast, where we talk with top notch law firms and attorneys about what it takes to grow a successful law practice. This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing. They deliver tailor made services to help your law firm accomplish its objectives and maximize your growth potential. To have a successful marketing campaign and to make sure you’re getting the best return on investment, your firm needs to have better website and better content. Gladiator Law Marketing uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and decades of experience to outperform the competition. To learn more, go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com where you can schedule a free marketing consultation. Today’s podcast guest is attorney Keith Fuicelli, with Fuicelli & Lee located in Denver, Colorado. He is a personal injury attorney renowned for his unwavering commitment to truth and justice. Since founding for Fuicelli & Lee in 2008, he has been fulfilling his lifelong aspiration of championing the rights of those in need. Specializing in traumatic brain injuries after a harrowing experience of his own, Keith has garnered a formidable reputation for his exceptional trial skills that have resulted in multiple million dollar awards for his clients. Welcome to the podcast, Keith. Keith Fuicelli  1:38 Thank you for having me. It’s great to be here. Bela Musits  1:40   Yeah. Wonderful. So tell us a little bit more about you, Fuicelli & Lee. Keith Fuicelli  1:41   Well, we’re fairly, I would say a mid sized law firm in a mist midsize market here in Denver, Colorado. So we have six or seven attorneys, probably 20 support staff, and run, like I said, a medium size docket, if you will of cases, we really try to focus on taking cases to trial whenever we can. So we try to pride ourselves in being a true trial firm. Bela Musits  2:14   Now that sounds a little bit different than sort of the typical personal injury firm where they try to settle out of court for the most times, or am I am I miss construing that? Keith Fuicelli  2:26   I think a lot of firms that run really high volume, try to settle out often. Other firms, if you really are looking for complete maximum value on cases, that’s almost always going to take going to trial. And the reality is in the personal injury world I have found in order to really achieve maximum value on cases, many times you either need to go to trial, or you need a realistic threat that you’ll take him to trial if that’s what it takes. Bela Musits  2:53   Yeah, yeah. Interesting. So from the time that I would call you, let’s say, and let’s say I had, you know, a lasting, debilitating injury, that’s going to be with me for the rest of my life. From the time I call you to sort of the time we get to trial, what what’s that time horizon typically, like? Keith Fuicelli  3:15 What if you actually end up going to trial, I would say usually three to four years only, because you’re probably looking at two years minimum of treatment. And then we really before any doctors are gonna say, Hey, you have a permanent injury. And the permanent injuries are the real driving force for big verdicts and big settlements on cases. So in order to get there, you really need to be able to show you sort of exhausted all medical options that are available to you. So by the time you file a lawsuit, and then actually get to trial, if you’ve been continued, of course, COVID, throw a huge wrench into everything. Typically, what we’re seeing is about four years from the date of the crash or accident to trial. Bela Musits  4:00  Got it. Got it. Now. So so what you just said was part of the that time, is this going through the process of making sure that I have a debilitating injury? So we have good evidence that says, hey, yes, indeed, we’ve tried everything for a couple of years now. Nothing seems to work. And my client really, really does have a serious lasting deficit here. Keith Fuicelli  4:22  Sure. And hopefully, that’s not the case, right? I mean, hopefully, you heal up and it’s I tell clients, when they come in, you don’t want to be the kind of client that walks out of here with a million dollars ever. It’s much better to have your health, resolve all injuries and go on with your life. But if you do have a debilitating, lifelong forever injury, it is critical that you’ve exhausted all available remedies. And what I tell clients a lot of times when they come in is what the insurance company is going to do is they’re going to literally look at every single medical record that you have, and look for any excuse not to pay and an obvious excuse is, well gee Have you never followed up with this doctor? Or there’s some hope or there’s some magic cure? So if you’re gonna be going in front of a jury actually saying this is a forever lifelong, debilitating injury, you certainly need the evidence to back out. Bela Musits  5:13  Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I imagine that that we would stay in contact throughout that, that two year process of going to see doctors and all those types of things. Keith Fuicelli  5:24   Absolutely. And it’s critical that sort of, we are involved in helping make sure that there aren’t these big gaps, because sometimes what happens through no fault of the clients, but they just get kind of lost in the system, right? Yeah, they’re expecting somebody to call them to set up an appointment, nobody ever calls. And you really a lot of times need to be your own best self advocate. And if you are not pushing, saying, wait a minute, I need to have X, Y, and Z done, I need to look into this, then you get lost, and then you end up with this big gap in your treatment. And of course, the insurance company uses that as an excuse not to pay on your case. Bela Musits  5:59   Yeah, yeah. And how long does a typical trial take? Keith Fuicelli  6:03  Well, it depends on the complexity of the injuries. And it depends on whether or not it’s a disputed liability or not. A lot of times insurance companies are smart enough to admit liability when it’s obvious. And then you’re dealing with damages only and sort of a secret on our end is we try to do it as quickly as we possibly can. So I’ve heard it said that the shorter the trial, the bigger the verdict. And there’s lots of reasons for that. So hopefully, it’s three to five days. But for more complex liability fights with complex injuries, I’ve got a trial going next month, and we’re looking at six days could be seven trial days. So that’s a lot longer process than three to four days. Bela Musits  6:47  Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. And I can imagine that, for the injured person, going through the trial can be a stressful event. It’s it’s a new event for them, they’d have to sort of relive things they need to, you know, they’re in the hot seat probably for a while. So how do you help them prepare for that? Keith Fuicelli  7:08  It’s you are 100%. Correct. It is a very, very stressful and traumatic experience, because they are having to relive it. So a lot of times what we do, for example, with brain injury cases, is as much as we can, we’re going to excuse our client from the courtroom. So anytime you’ve got a doctor coming in and talking about how bad it is, you don’t want your client, the patient, the plaintiff hearing that, ever, so we try to excuse people as much as we can. And sort of preparing them, I think everybody thinks it’s gonna be worse than it is when they’re cross examined by a defense lawyer. As long as the person is telling the truth, and they’re nice, they can just fall back on telling the truth and be a nice, so we’ll do some mock testimony and just make sure that they feel comfortable with the process. But otherwise, it’s we rely upon the truth to take us home. Bela Musits  8:02 Yeah, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. That makes no sense. So if I called you up and said, Hey, I was in a car accident, you know, my shoulder hurts? What would the process be that you go through with me to decide whether this is something worthwhile pursuing or not? Keith Fuicelli  8:22 Well, first thing we have to figure out is we’re Is there somebody that was responsible for what happened. So assuming that you are not at fault, and assuming that there is a viable person to bring an action against, then we will, you know, if the injuries are significant enough, we tend to be a little bit selective in the cases, because there’s only so much time in the day. So, you know, if it’s a case where there’s no damage, and it’s done, we can refer those out to some of our friends that handle those lower level cases. But if it is, we can prove liability injuries are worth, you know, worth the time to pursue, then we jump in and we honestly try to settle your case. It’s always better. I sometimes tell clients this, if the insurance company is making you even an offer that is in the realm of reasonable, you’d be kind of crazy to turn it down and go take your chances at trial. So we sometimes say you know, pigs get fat and Hogs get slaughtered. And that’s true, the minute you are greedy or overreach, it’s one of the things that jurors are on the lookout for. And let’s be clear, when a plaintiff car crash person walks into court, they are the least credible person around about on par is like a congressperson. The jurors are looking at you, they think you’re fake, and you’re trumping this up. So, you know, we want to make sure that that’s not occurring, because every once in a while we get that kind of like spidey senses go up like hey, this is something here is not adding up. Yeah, worked through to make sure we have the evidence to back up at trial and then tried to settle your case and canceled all the case, then we file a lawsuit, but probably 90% of cases settle without having to even sue and of the cases that were lawsuits filed. Probably 90% of those settle without going to trial. Bela Musits  10:18  Yeah, I can imagine that, as we’ve some of us have seen on TV trials are highly unpredictable. Keith Fuicelli  10:26   Highly unpredictable. And anyone that goes to trial, a lot will tell you, they’ve won cases, they should have lost, and they’ve lost cases they shouldn’t want. And that is so true. That’s why it’s that whole bird in the hand or two in the bush thing, if there is something on the table, that takes away the uncertainty of trial, and the stress and the trauma and everything else that goes with it. settle your case and move on. Bela Musits  10:51 That makes a lot of sense. So since you guys are pretty specialized. Are there other firms that call you and either refer a case to you or you work together with that other firm? Keith Fuicelli  11:04   For sure, what what, because we really are a specialized trial practice. Almost all the attorneys that work here are former prosecutors, we all have a ton of trial experience, and we go to trial a lot. So we are brought in by usually smaller firms or lawyers that don’t have the expertise and trial to go try the case. So usually, in those circumstances, will co counsel with the other firms. And sometimes they’ll just refer cases to us, because it’s not their area of expertise. You know, brain injuries are a great example, because it is a steep learning curve when it comes to imaging and all the different aspects of brain injury cases. So in those cases, those situations were brought in as Co-counsel or trial counsel. Bela Musits  11:49  Yeah. So if I, if I have an injury, how do I What would your advice be, for me to go out and find an attorney to help me, you know, explore what what the situation should be? And whether this should be brought a suit against it or not? Keith Fuicelli  12:08   That is a great question. What I would say to anyone who’s looking to hire a personal injury attorney, you really want someone that goes to trial and succeeds, not because you want your case to go to trial. But the insurance companies keep score, they know who’s going to trial, and who makes them pay. So if you hire a firm that goes to trial and has good results at trial, the chances of achieving a fair settlement are exponentially higher. If on the other hand, if it’s you know, a new lawyer that doesn’t have any success in the courtroom, within the insurance company might just say, well, let’s go take our chances at trial. And then you might start getting pressure from that attorney to some of your case on the cheap. So I would say look at reviews online, because it’s one, you know, there’s I would say two pieces. The first is competency, and the ability to go to trial and succeed. And then the second piece is customer service, which sounds like a given but is not. So you really want a firm that has a lot of good reviews and and serves their customers. Well. Do your homework. Do your research. Bela Musits  13:17   Yeah, right. Like we like we talked earlier. As for the for the client, it’s probably an anxious time. So so having a lot of touch points with the client, at least from the clients perspective is probably important. So sure, you know, having having people who do that within within your firm, would be critical. So how do you guys do that? Do you do you keep How do you keep track of that stuff? Keith Fuicelli  13:38   So we are huge proponents of systems. And we have very detailed systems and touch points for both the attorneys to case managers to paralegals, everybody through the process to make sure that we are not just sort of answering client questions. But how is the client doing? Do they need a referral out? Every once in a while you’ll have a situation in which a treating medical provider might be reluctant to refer the person out to someone who’s more specialized. And so without talking to your client and understanding what’s going on with them medically, what’s the current status of their treatment, they can get lost in the weeds. And then what happens is this, if you’re not constantly reaching out and touching your client, the patient, then they can be, you know, swimming along for a year, year and a half. And then they’re like, Okay, well, I want to be done with this. You submit the claim, you get this really lowball offer. And then now you’ve got a huge problem. Because if there’s a huge gap in treatment, the defense lawyer gets up in front of the jury and says, Well, they couldn’t have been that hurt because if they were hurt, they wouldn’t got treatment. So it’s really important for so many reasons that there’ll be constant interactions with the client. You’re the patient throughout the process. Bela Musits  14:57  Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So I How do you How does your firm find clients? What’s your process for that? Keith Fuicelli  15:05 Well, we are primarily referral based. So we sort of built the built the practice on just doing really good work and spreading the word. And, you know, obviously, if you’re going to run a business like this, you have to be involved in digital, you have to be involved in print and sort of grassroots marketing. And I told my law partner, when we started this, it’s like, all things, we’re going to do all things, all avenues, and all avenues work a little bit. So for us, it’s just trying to farm our list of happy ex clients, finding new clients, finding referral partners that send cases in, and most importantly, just doing good work. And if you do good work, people will find you. Bela Musits  15:51  Yeah. And I can imagine that within the legal profession. You develop a reputation and and within that profession, people hear about various different cases that you guys have been successful on. So that also helps, again, that good work. The public may not know about it, but the people within that referring group of lawyers certainly would knows about it. And that must work really well for you guys. Keith Fuicelli  16:18  Certainly on the Co counsel with the because we’ve had a lot of success at trial. So with that trial, success comes, people reaching out and the, you know, the referrals from other lawyers that are looking to, you know, for example, you might have a lawyer that knows they’re not, you know, ready to go take on Goliath in try it. So those lawyers reach out, call us we go in and either co counsel with them sit at counsel table with them, or, you know, preferably from our standpoint sometimes is let us go run with it. And let us go. Chief Justice here. Bela Musits  16:51  Yeah, super, super. So let me ask you a question. What made you start your own firm, right? You Keith, most people go to law school, they go to work for a large firm, and they’re an associate work 90 hours a week, you know, and they work their way up the partner? What was your path? And what was your path? Like? And why did you start your own firm? Keith Fuicelli  17:09  So that’s another great question. I have always been extremely entrepreneurial my whole life, ever since I was a young kid, got out of college, started a mortgage company with a bunch of my friends. And then I worked at a really large personal injury firm, where it could have done that very thing and may partner but I always sort of had that drive, that if you want something, you want to do it your way that you have to go create it. So wrote a whole business plan, and just kind of went off and running after, you know, I had worked at the DHS office for almost five years. So I had a bunch of trial experience. I had the business plan, I sort of knew what it was, I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. And so ultimately, you just have to take that Indiana Jones sort of leap of faith, if you will, and go do it. And I just wasn’t, wasn’t going to I was always gonna have questions my entire life. If I just worked for somebody else. That’s just me. Bela Musits  18:05   Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Now, there’s, there’s, you know, a significant number of attorneys who leave big firms, and go out on their own and start a practice. But you did it with the partner. You know, what, talk me through that sort of process of, you know, do I do this on my own? Do I do it with a partner? Keith Fuicelli  18:23   I think there’s pluses and minuses to both ways. I think the key is, with your partnership, is that you have to be the sum of the parts has to be greater than the individual pieces. That’s the right way to say that. And so hopefully, each person brings a different different quality to the partnership. And then that’s what I’ve seen over time, because we’ve now had this partnership for what I think we just had our 15 year anniversary. So it’s been a long time. And the partnerships that strive there, each person to the partnership brings a unique value add proposition. That’s the key. Bela Musits  19:05   Yeah. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. You have complementary skills. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Excellent. So tell me what that that first month was like, right? You leave the big firm, where, you know, the office gets cleaned somehow magically overnight, the garbage and the coffee’s made in the morning, all that kind of stuff. And now you’re in your own office, and man, none of that stuff happens. So what is that first month like? Keith Fuicelli  19:33  Oh, it was great. We had a windowless office in an office sharing environment where we had a conference room we could use we had a receptionist that would that wasn’t our receptionist. It was this office share. Receptionist had a conference room in a windowless office and then we, you know, the biggest concern right then is how do we get clients and, you know, getting those clients working the clients the right way, and it’s crazy. I look back on that with such fondness and you sort of don’t realize that when you’re in the moment, and you’re just how am I going to, you know, pay rent or pay any bills? You don’t think about it, and then you look back on it years later, you’re like, Wow, that was a pretty cool time. And now we’ve got 20 Something employees and all these things that go along with it. It’s just, it’s just much different. Bela Musits  20:19  Yeah. Was there was there one action or decision that you guys made? That, that really sort of, you know, accelerated your growth and got you guys going and really gave a lot of comfort to you to say, Hey, okay, this is going to work. Keith Fuicelli  20:33 Um, well, it was after we already started, because I never really knew whether it’s gonna work or not, we’re just sort of figured, well, if you don’t try, then you’ll never know. And, but there was a moment when I started reaching out to referral partners, you know, or personal injury. So we were reached out to chiropractors, physical therapists, and they were eager to help. So I was pleasantly surprised if you ask for help, people will give it to you even from your competitors. So you can go to some of these really big law firms. Well, they’re all turning down cases, they are turning down cases that they’re too busy to handle. And they’re happy to have you run with those cases. And once I started, realize that, and I thought, You know what, you just have to go put yourself out there, pounding the pavement, and ask for help, and people are anxious to help you. And then sure enough, next thing, you know, we were busy, and I don’t, I think that funny story was, after we settled the first case, I don’t know that there was ever a month that went by that we didn’t settle a case. At some point. It’s been that way for 15 years. It’s crazy. Bela Musits  21:38   That’s super. So if there are some law students listening to this, or some attorneys that are associates at large firms, what advice would you give them. Keith Fuicelli  21:53  So for law students, and even if you’re in a big firm, this is what I would say, most lawyers I know are miserable. This is true, because and lawyers tend to get paid a lot of money, because the jobs are really hard. And it’s your billing hours, you got to work all this time. But I love my job, I love what I do, I feel like I’m always on the side of right. And so find what it is you’re passionate about and pursue it. Irrespective of the money, it can be the criminal side, I’m thinking of, you know, I was a prosecutor, but people that are public defenders, they are passionate about that piece of it. Or it can be animal rights, or it can be the environment, whatever it is, that you are passionate about, pursue it. And also learn by doing. So if and I actually have a lot of friends that got out of law school and hung a shingle. And they are some of the most successful people that I know. So you can learn by doing. Obviously, you want mentors that walk you through the more complicated pieces of it, make sure you have malpractice insurance, we’re all human, we all make mistakes. But then go for it, you know, you only have this one life, you have this one chance at this profession to go do whatever it is that you want to do, and to fulfill your dreams. So if you’re sitting working at a big firm, and you’re not personally satisfied, well, this is your chance to leave and go find something that does satisfy you deep in your soul. Because then it’s not work, it makes those hours that you’re working reading, I’ll just give you an example. I love diving deep into the medicine on cases. So I’ll be sitting at home. And I’ll be reading peer reviewed medical journals on the weirdest, most obscure medical conditions. But I do it because I kind of love it. And it’s like this is cool. And inevitably, someone is trying to tell me that what my client has is vague or not real or wasn’t caused from a crash. And so I just love digging into it. It doesn’t feel like work. It feels like intellectual stimulation. So my advice is go for it. Bela Musits  24:09  Yeah, that’s really great advice about going for stuff that you enjoy. And I never thought about the law profession that way before. But you’re right. There’s so many different areas, right from public defender to ACLU, the injury to family law, there’s all these aspects that that you can find a passion within within that broad spectrum. Keith Fuicelli  24:31  Yeah. Yeah. It’s funny. You mentioned family law, because I have a lot of friends that do family law, and they love it. And at first I thought, oh my gosh, that sounds awful. But not really it. It’s can be really fascinating, especially if you’re not doing it for the money. If you’re not I want to make as much money instead, I want to help these families that are going through a horrific time or these children and I want to do it if your mind is in the right spot, then joy will come. Bela Musits  24:58   Yeah, yeah, that’s super Hey, so where can our listeners find out more about Fuicelli & Lee? Keith Fuicelli  25:05 Well, we have our website is coloradoinjurylaw.com. So there’s lots of information on our website and our phone number, you can always give us a call 303-444-4444. So we just got that new phone number, which makes us easy to find. You know, I’m a Colorado University person. So if you’re following the Dion Sanders thing was a shirt that says, I ain’t hard to find. And I feel like Fuicelli & Lee, we are not hard to find. Bela Musits  25:33  Very good. Very good. So Keith, is there anything that I haven’t asked you that I should have or anything additional that you’d like to share with our listeners before we close here? Keith Fuicelli  25:44  It’s an honor to get to serve other people. We are in the service business. But the the fact that I somehow am a lawyer, and I get to help people, and I get to stand up in front of juries and fight for the side that I think is right, I can remember just real quick story. I was trying to figure out what to do in my life. And I remember watching Law and Order when I was like, in, you know, freshman in high school or something. I was like, Wait a minute. Do you mean to tell me people get paid to do this? Are you kidding me? And I was sold. So I never forget what an honor it is to do this profession, and to serve people that are in need. So I’m grateful every day I get to do it. And thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. This has been lovely. Bela Musits  26:29 Oh, thank you. What a great way to close. That was a perfect summary. Thank you so much for being a best guest on the podcast. And I hope our paths can cross in the future sometime. Keith Fuicelli  26:38 I hope so as well. Thank you again. Outro  26:43 Thanks for listening to 15 Minutes, be sure to subscribe and we’ll see you next time.

  • Webby Awards Lawyer Marketing Agency
  • Lawyer Web Design Award
  • Weby Award Best Lawyer Website
  • W3 Web Award for Law Firms
  • Awwward Lawyer Web Design Award