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At Hancock Law, we believe in representing our clients with compassion, empathy, and skill to achieve the best possible results. Every member of our team is instrumental in the success of our clients. We know that a strong legal team requires an infrangible attorney-paralegal relationship. Hancock Law is lucky to have Brandy Varner, our Florida registered paralegal, on our team.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself, Brandy. Where are you from, what are your interests?
A: I’m a native Floridian, born and raised in Arcadia. I’ve been married to my husband Robert for 24 years. We have two amazing kids: my son who’s 21, and my daughter who just turned 18 (and recently graduated from high school). So we’re soon-to-be empty nesters!
I’m a huge sports fan and I’m an avid reader. I read one to two books a week. I also love to travel. My parents instilled that in me. As kids, we would go on cross-country vacation trips, so I’ve seen most of the lower 48. And now I do the same with my husband and kids. We love going somewhere every couple of months. This country has so many amazing things to see and experience. I think everyone should see and experience the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, the Giant Sequoias, Yosemite, Niagra Falls…
Q: Can you tell us about your professional experience? Both before and with Hancock Law?
A: I’ve been a personal injury paralegal for 25 years and I’ve been a Florida registered paralegal since January 2013.
I’ve been with Hancock Law since its inception. In August of 1996, I began working as a personal injury paralegal for attorney David Carlton, Kenneth’s predecessor. Kenneth joined David’s firm in 2006, which is when we first started working together. In time, Kenneth partnered with David and ultimately purchased the firm in 2012 as David moved into practicing mediation. Continuing my paralegal career with Kenneth as David pursued other interests was a no-brainer. Now here we are!
Q: So now, tell us, what does a paralegal do? What does your day-to-day look like?
A: The work of a paralegal always depends on what type of attorney they work for and what that attorney specializes in. Kenneth specializes in personal injury law and I’ve always been a personal injury paralegal.
Here at Hancock Law, I’m what one would call the pre-suit paralegal, also referred to as a case manager. I handle all the cases from Kenneth’s initial intake to settlement, unless we have to file a lawsuit. Of course, once it goes into litigation, the case file is turned over to Carly, our litigation paralegal. About 10% of our cases end up in litigation.
I’m usually the second person a client meets, after Kenneth. I open the client’s file on our system and gather any pertinent information, such as accident reports, insurance coverage information, the client’s medical records, and accident-related medical bills. From that point on, I monitor clients’ treatment to ensure we stay on top of the file and communicate with clients to make sure they are always in the loop.
Once the clients are released by their treating doctors, I assemble the demand package, which is sent to the insurance companies in an attempt to settle the client’s case. If the case is settled, I make sure that all accident-related bills have been submitted to the insurance companies for payments. I negotiate any health insurance liens for the benefit of the client as well, because our goal is to put as much of the settlement proceeds in the client’s pocket that we possibly can. If I can get the bills or the liens lower, that’s more money put into the client’s pocket.
Q: What’s your favorite part of working at Hancock Law?
A: There’s a great sense of pride that comes with being with the firm for this long. I enjoy working here because it’s like a home away from home. You know, when you spend 40 to 50 hours of your week with your work family, you want it to be enjoyable. And our team here just genuinely really gets along.
I also love that I get to stay connected to our clients. Throughout the case process, I get to know them on a personal level, when they come in to drop off documents, call the office with a question, or if they just kind of need to vent. It’s an important part of fostering our relationships and putting them at ease. They’re not just a case number or client number like they are at the big firms. We take pride in providing compassionate, personalized representation. We might be small, but our experience and size really allow us to do that: we actually care about what happens to them and how this case affects them and their families.
Hancock Law is proud to have Brandy on our team and is deeply appreciative of her dedication to the firm and our clients.