David Benn is a Managing Partner at WorkInjuryRights.Com™, a firm dedicated to quality legal service for worker’s compensation claims. Since 2010, David has focused his legal practice on representing injured workers in compensation and wrongful termination claims. He has successfully represented hundreds of injured workers in Florida and has obtained favorable recoveries on their behalf. In addition to WorkInjuryRights.Com™, David is also a Member of the Florida Bar.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- David Benn discusses how he’s serving community members through WorkInjuryRights.Com™
- Why David co-founded WorkInjuryRights.Com™ — and favorite success stories from his career
- What lessons did David learn from Luis Scott?
- The challenging initiatives that took guts to accomplish
- How David deals with the fraud defense
- What steps can you take to establish your firm?
In this episode…
What does it take to develop your law firm from the ground up? How did one firm change its business trajectory to serve the community better?
David Benn has been in the legal space for more than a decade, representing injured workers to help them receive their entitled compensation. Transitioning from an attorney to managing partner, David realized that if each client isn’t getting the best experience possible, it doesn’t matter how great a lawyer you are. To deliver an exceptional experience, he couldn’t juggle legal work and company development simultaneously. So, David hired attorneys, developed the company’s core values, and refined the client journey. Now, he has hundreds of client wins under his belt and has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for clients.
In this episode of The Guts and Glory Show, Chad Franzen is joined by David Benn, Managing Partner of WorkInjuryRights.Com™, to talk about lessons learned, law firm development, and the success stories throughout David’s career. David discusses the most memorable cases he’s had, how he transitioned to work on the company instead of in it, and how he’s using business values to drive growth.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- David Benn on LinkedIn
- WorkInjuryRights.Com™ on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube
- Chad Franzen on LinkedIn
- Luis Scott on LinkedIn
- 8 Figure Firm
- Bader Scott Injury Lawyers
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by 8 Figure Firm.
After their own law firm scaled from $3.5 million in revenues to $30 million per year in revenues in just two years, Luis and Seth started the 8 Figure Firm to share their strategies and help other law firms achieve exponential growth.
Visit www.8figurefirm.com to receive a consult call and start scaling your business today.
Luis Scott 0:00
I’m Luis Scott, Managing Partner of Bader Scott Injury Lawyers one of the fastest growing law firms in the country. And I’m also the Co-founder of 8 Figure Firm Consulting. I’ve successfully built multiple companies by focusing on leadership, operations and culture. Using these principles, my companies have generated close to $100 million in revenue. But before any of this success, I started my legal career as a receptionist, and I worked my way up to becoming managing partner. And each episode of this podcast I sit down with leaders and entrepreneurs who have had the guts to step out on their own, and the courage to face adversity. They share with us their tips for achievement, the challenges they have faced and the glory of success. I welcome you to The Guts and Glory Show.
Chad Franzen 0:46
Chad Franzen here one of the hosts of The Guts and Glory Show we feature top leaders who share challenges of leadership, the guts it takes takes to succeed and the glory of success. This episode is brought to you by 8 Figure Firm Consulting at 8 Figure Firm they help law firms to grow to eight figures. Luis Scott was telling me when he started his career he was working over 80 hours a week trying to make partner after that he finally started his own firm and wished he had someone walking through the steps to growth. At 8 Figure Firm they show you how to develop a business that works for you. Instead of working for it. Go to www.8figurefirm.com to learn more. Today we have David Benn, co founder and managing partner at WorkInjuryRights.Com™, a law firm that’s dedicated to protecting the rights of Florida’s injured workers. David has accepted successfully represented hundreds of injured workers at the state of Florida, and has obtained favorable recoveries on their behalf, both prior to and through trial judgments. David, thank you so much for joining me today. How are you? Good. Thank you for having me. My pleasure. So tell me a little bit more about WorkInjuryRights.Com™, and the kinds of clients you serve.
David Benn 1:53
So we opened this practice about seven, almost eight years ago. And we exclusively represent injured workers in the state of Florida in workers compensation cases. WorkInjuryRights.Com™ is the name that we adopted about a year or so ago. That’s our domain name, our current domain name. And, you know, one of the moding motivating factors in adopting that name was we wanted to make sure that when we marketing to direct to consumer, right, when we’re marketing to potential clients, I feel like so many law firms out there, were so big and branded, you already knew the name. And for us, we weren’t that branded. So we want to make sure that we had a name that spoke to our potential client and let them know, look, this is what we do work injuries is what we specialize in is the only type of case that we handle. And we’ve been proudly serving our local community for seven years, and now we’re starting to take more work statewide.
Chad Franzen 2:52
So what kind of situation would someone be in where they would want to call you
David Benn 2:58
the most common example and we get all sorts of leads on a daily basis. But the most common example is, I hurt myself at work. It could have been a month ago, two months ago, and I’m having some type of problem either the insurance company is not paying me. They’re not paying me correctly, my checks will come here and there. Or, usually it’s an issue on the medical side where I’m seeing a doctor, this doctor saying that my condition is pre existing, even though I’ve never had a problem with my back or a problem with my knee in the past. What can you help me?
Chad Franzen 3:36
What makes you kind of particularly qualified to handle these types of cases?
David Benn 3:42
Well, specifically, with respect to myself, I’ve only practice workers compensation law in the state of Florida. For 15 years, I’ve represented injured workers, I spent about four, four and a half years representing insurance carriers, so we can we kind of have an idea of how they’re gonna approach the defense of the claim before they even hire an attorney. Everybody in this office has a specific skill set with respect to workers compensation law. One of our partners who happens to my wife Stacy, I’ve spent almost two decades on the insurance defense side so she knows that side of the aisle really well. My other partner William Harrow, has exclusively been practicing worker’s compensation law, since he became an attorney. And our associates now though, because we have so much work, we had to bring in associates, they all have significant workers compensation law experience. So this isn’t something that we dabble in or it’s just another practice group. This is our only practice group. So this is our entire focus.
Chad Franzen 4:44
What kind of benefit for you is it to kind of have worked on the other side, you know, you kind of know what the other side is thinking.
David Benn 4:52
So it’s been some time since I’ve been insurance defense lawyer, but their approach just really is the same the the insurance company, or whether it’s their attorney, or before they’re represented their whole mindset. And this is one of the problems in the Florida workers comp system is their whole mindset is how do I limit my exposure? How do I take this claim where an individual’s hurt and make it cost? My insurance company, my boss less money. And it’s a really short sighted viewpoint, because if they invested the resources properly, and got the injured worker, the correct medical care, the best medical care, you will have these people go to attorneys down the road, because they’re dissatisfied. So I apologize I forgot what the question was at this point.
Chad Franzen 5:46
So what kind of benefit would it be for them to for you to already kind of have worked on the opposite side. So you kind of know what they’re thinking.
David Benn 5:55
So we already know what they’re going to do. That is their goal. And the way they get there, as they’ll conference with the medical providers. They’ll try to catch your client in making misrepresentations about their medical history, even though they don’t do it intentionally. So they have little tricks. They surveil the client, so they’ll serve if you get hurt in your your case is significant enough, they will they will surveil you they will have somebody in a white van, follow you to the doctor, follow to your house, in the hopes that they catch you doing things that people normally do right take out garbage go to the grocery store, in an effort to portray you as somebody who is malingering or faking their symptoms. So they kind of have their tricks. And you know, we caution our clients from the very beginning like these are the things you have to look out for.
Chad Franzen 6:44
How did you start your journey as a legal professional.
David Benn 6:47
So I graduated law school in 2005. I graduated from Rutgers University in New Jersey, I shortly thereafter, moved down here and took the bar. And it just so happened that the first job opportunity to had was in this practice workers compensation law. That’s back in 2006. And I’ve been here ever since.
Chad Franzen 7:10
What were the what were the early days of your career like?
David Benn 7:16
I think starting off in the legal profession, depending where you work can be very challenging. When you’re a young associate, you’re essentially getting paid. Number one you’re getting paid to learn. But that you’re used to that practice, typically is that you are a licensed attorney and they can send you places that they don’t want to go. So in the early days, you know, back in 2006, I was pretty much driving all over South Florida, attending litigation events in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, in West Palm Beach, sometimes on the West Coast. And it was just a lot of get up and go.
Chad Franzen 7:56
Whoa, did WorkInjuryRights.Com™, or what it was originally known as kind of come about, we’ll talk about kind of the guts that it took to establish the firm on your own a little bit later. But just in general, how did it come about?
David Benn 8:09
Yeah, so my wife, Stacy, is the founding partner of what eventually is now WorkInjuryRights.Com™. And the way it came about as she was a staff attorney at AIG, and AIG shortly after we got married, this is around 2013 had a huge downsize. And unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, she was laid off as part of a big slash have their staff council. So at the time for her and we were married all of like six months when this happened. It’s like what do we what do we do, because I knew that for her to transition from a staff council job, which I don’t want to say it’s easy, but it’s relatively easier compared to working for private firms that are trying to build by the hour, I just didn’t see that my wife transitioning into a role at a private insurance defense firm that would be suitable for her. We had little kids. And that’s a job that would have required a lot of time investment, a lot of travel and it just it didn’t it’s not something that we thought was realistic. So we made the joint decision that Look, why don’t you hang up a shingle. Let’s see if we can market you in some kind of way and see if we can eventually, you know, get cases coming in. And back then this is I think 2014 You were able to request from the state of Florida a list every month of every single person in the state of Florida that reported getting hurt at work. You can no longer do that since 2016 or 17. But back then you could and we developed a flyer that had her picture on it. And she would mail that flyer out or we’d Have a company mail that flyer out to all these prospective clients. And really, you know, pretty quickly she started getting cases. And what happened was, I was working at the time for another law firm that also represented injured workers. And I was very frank and told my boss and I said, Listen, this is what’s going on, my wife is now going to represent injured workers also. And he got very scared off by that he was not happy that there was, you know, this new competitor in the industry. And one of his employees was married to them. So he basically was like, Look, you got to decide if she was she’s got to shut that down, or you have to leave. And I said, Okay, I’m leaving. So that was kind of the genesis of the formation of this law firm. And then William, who was our third partner, jumped on shortly thereafter, I want to say maybe two or three weeks later, and pretty much since July of 2014. We’ve just continued to grow.
Chad Franzen 11:03
What is one of your favorite success stories from the time that you you guys started the firm until now.
David Benn 11:08
There’s so many, like, there’s so many things about, I used to handle a much larger case. But me personally, one of one of the great successes I’ve had is, I represent an individual who was shot at the workplace. And this individual happened to have a pretty significant criminal history. On paper, it didn’t look good. And the insurance company denied the claim for a multitude of reasons they accused this individual of insurance fraud, because he lied, under oath at a deposition about being in a gang. They denied that this workplace shooting was I don’t want to get too technical here. But they denied that it was connected to the workplace, they thought it was like a personal thing that just followed my clients in the workplace. But we litigated that claim that case, twice, we had to what we call workers comp final hearings before a judge. We prevailed in both of them. And it was a very, very challenging case, because we spent a lot of time and resources on that case, without any promise of getting paid. There was a chance that after about a year and a half of litigation, we would get nothing. And we would be out all that time. And I think we spent a significant amount of money on the discovery, we had to hire experts in workplace. And once we had to hire medical experts. We even considered having our client undergo polygraph testing, which wouldn’t have been admissible in the underlying hearing. But we did prevail against an attorney who had been practicing the defense attorney other side was an excellent attorney. He had been an attorney, I want to say for longer than I’ve been a human being. He was practicing before I was born. And we’re very fortunate to win those hearings and our client came out well as a result, and we came out very well. So that that’s really probably the most memorable success story I have.
Chad Franzen 13:16
Share that that’s a great story, what made you so kind of willing to take the case are confident that that was one that you could handle.
David Benn 13:27
When we, when we took the case, it was not clear from the beginning, that all these these issues would arise and these potential defenses would be out there. So we didn’t know at the time we took the case. That being said, as the case developed, I just had the mindset that I believed in our I believed in my client. I believe that despite his you know, prior past that none of this had anything to do with him. We actually spent a lot of time investigating it with law enforcement and speaking to law enforcement and trying to figure out what was going on. So it was just a innate belief in my client that he was being honest. And it also happened that like I just believed in myself, I believe that I was right about the laws, right about how the facts apply to law. And I just was all in. And I think, you know, there’s a lot of firms that at some point during litigation, it could have been after four months, it could have been after eight months would have said, Look, we’re just going to settle and cut our losses because we have no we have no guarantee of making any money on this case. And I just, I just basically put all the chips on the table and so you know, we’re going to do it. And I’ll never forget the day we got that order. I think my office manager was like crying because she know how she knew how hard it was to get to that point and all the blood sweat and tears we put into it. So it was a really nice moment. But unfortunately, my practice is so busy that you have that nice moment. And then like, You got to forget it the next day because you have 100 other people that need your help in some capacity. So unfortunately, we don’t get to enjoy our wins. To the extent I’m sure we’d like to. But that’s okay. Because you know, the client will remember, the client will always remember what you did for them. And that’s really what keeps us going.
Chad Franzen 15:27
I’d love to talk about some of the lessons you’ve learned in your practice journey. How did you discover 8 Figure Firm and Luis Scott?
David Benn 15:35
So yeah, that’s an interesting story. My wife’s sorority sister relocated from, say, Westchester, New York, to the town that we live in, in South Florida. And her husband is one of the executives at Ring Boost, which sells vanity phone numbers, to all types of businesses, but a lot of phone numbers get sold in the legal industry. And we went out to dinner one night, I was explaining to him where I was in my practice. And, you know, I had at that point, I was kind of frustrated because we had achieved growth, photos, very incremental. And it didn’t allow me to put myself in the position. I wanted to be as a manager of a business. And he had mentioned, well, you know, I know, these guys in Atlanta, that have a very big practice, I think half of their practices workers comp, and I really think you should talk to them. So he connected me with Luis Scott. I called Luis on a cell one day, we had like a one hour conversation. He was really speaking my language. And I said, you know, what’s the next step? And I spoke to my partners, and they all agreed, like, Yeah, let’s let’s hire him as a consultant. And probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in recent memory.
Chad Franzen 16:59
What are what are some lessons or a primary lesson that maybe you learned from Luis,
David Benn 17:04
there’s really so many and every month that we get on our phone call, and we we talk, I feel like I’m always learning, I think that’s part of that is that Luis is probably really committed to learning as well. And I feel like he always has very valuable insight. He really was pivotal in changing the trajectory of where are we We’re going to where we are now headed. Last year, I’m not even sure we worked with Luis for a full six months last year, I want to say, maybe we started in May, maybe June, I’m not quite sure. The last year we we increased our intakes by over 50%. We increased our top line revenue by over 20%. And those were growth numbers that we had never previously achieved. And now we’re in a position where myself and my two other partners now we can really hire other people to do the legal work and focus on the company. And before we had to do this very difficult dance of working in the company and working on the company. And you’re kind of like always juggling between, you know, I got to be the lawyer, I got to handle cases. And I have to like figure out how we’re going to do marketing and budgeting and developing our client journey. So there’s so much that he’s taught us it’s hard to narrow it down to any one specific thing. But I think you know, the starting point is developing, what are the core values of your company. And that’s something that we didn’t spend a lot of time really thinking about? How can we make sure that all of our marketing reflects those core values. And a second, probably most important thing is enhancing or developing our customer journey. You know, I think, as lawyers, especially if you think you’re a good lawyer, you think like your clients should just be happy because they have you as a lawyer and you’re good. You know, you’re a good attorney, people in the community recognize you as a good attorney, you might get awards. But the reality is, is that the client doesn’t know that. And it doesn’t matter what your reputation is, if a client experiences you and doesn’t get the best experience, whether it’s the person that answers your phones, or the person that schedules their events, or the person that takes their phone call, offer some random request. It doesn’t matter how good of a lawyer so I think the one of the most important things is how to refine our customer journey, and it’s something we’re still working on to this day. On trying to get it’s very difficult in any business could be a restaurant that make sure every single person, every single client has the best possible treatment. It’s very difficult. making everyone happy is a challenge. So trying to figure that out on a daily basis on how we can enhance our service It’s definitely one of the lessons that that rings rings true now.
Chad Franzen 20:05
Sure, that’s good advice, good for good for really any business to think about. So says this is The Guts and Glory Show, we like to feature a gut story and a glory story. What? In your career? What what’s a scenario that kind of took guts on your part? And what story? Can you tell me about that?
David Benn 20:24
I think we’ve had, we’ve had a lot, but the most important is I think it took guts for us at the time in July of 2014. To leave, you know, our six figure jobs, my wife didn’t leave, she was laid off in a downsizing. But we all left relatively comfortable, six figure positions to start a law firm at a time when every person, literally every person in our industry was like, Don’t do this now, working with your wife, it’s a terrible idea. And it was a huge risk, because at the time, the worker’s compensation law in Florida was not as lucrative on a per case basis as it is now we’ve had some cases that have come down in the past five or six years that have really changed how much revenue you can generate on a case. But back then, it was very limited. And it was a very challenging time for all of us, you know, when you’re when you’re leaving behind a career that you’re comfortable in, or a position that you’re comfortable in, and to just go out on your own. I mean, we started this law firm from my kitchen table. And, you know, we’ve grown now to I think we’re up to 14 employees, and we keep bringing on more. It’s just sometimes I don’t really get a chance to sit back and like, wow, we really, we started with nothing. And we’ve pretty much started with nothing. I think when we formed our current group, three of us, we might have had seven cases. I remember there were days, I literally had nothing to do. Because we had such little work. So that was probably the gutsiest thing, at least from my perspective, on professionally that I’ve done.
Chad Franzen 22:13
Sure, sure. How did you guys go about kind of getting work? You know, you guys are obviously all very, very skilled attorneys. But when it comes to, you know, marketing yourself or whatever, how did you kind of learn that process?
David Benn 22:24
Yeah, so Luis has been very instrumental and refining our marketing and our acquiring cases at a much better cost per acquisition than we were historically. I think we knew from the beginning, the traditional model in Florida to grow, the worker’s comp firm, or at least it was maybe seven years ago was, I’m going to link up with a big advertiser that does personal injury, most of the personal injury firms back then did not handle any worker’s comp cases. And I’m going to start a referral relationship with that law firm. So one of the things we did back when we started was basically, because we had much time, we didn’t have as many cases as we just started a grassroots effort to link up with other attorneys to get workers comp business. And back then some of the referral partners that we dealt with weren’t necessarily big. But some of those referral partners that are still with us now have grown significantly. So you just don’t know who’s going to emerge as the next big personal injury firm or big marketing firm. The other thing that we did is we did have the concept down that we needed to do some kind of marketing. So like I said, back then we were allowed to do direct mail, that that got abolished in about 2016 2017. So we knew that once we lost the ability to send direct mail, which is relatively cheap, we had to do something. And I think the natural starting point was the internet. So that’s really when we voyage them to digital marketing. And then over time, it’s expanded and we’ve done more social media marketing. We’ve done we’ve dabbled in radio, and we’re presently engaged in TV marketing. So go ahead.
Chad Franzen 24:20
You talked it that’s kind of your gut story. What about a glory story? You told me one that was particularly kind of glorious?
David Benn 24:27
Yeah, you know, like that, that really probably for me is the one that will always stand out because there’s some it was it was literally just a complicated issue on top of a complicated issue. So so that one was probably my my greatest glory, so to speak. I’m winning that case. You know, but I’ve one of the one of the defenses that insurance companies love to assert in the state of Florida, it’s called fraud. It’s called the fraud defense. Technically, it’s intentional misrepresentation. What happens is clients specifically clients that have a significant injury history will sometimes go to a medical provider, it might be 10 years later, 15 years later. And when they’re asked about prior accidents or injuries, either for some reason they either forget, or it doesn’t get documented correctly, and they don’t advise the physician. Yeah, I had a back injury 12 years ago or five years ago, an insurance companies love asserting this fraud defense alleging that the injured worker, basically lied to the doctor. Because before you get to a worker’s comp judge, they can just cut all your benefits off. And it might take six or seven months before you get to a worker’s comp judge. A lot of clients don’t have the stomach for that notice settle their case for about half its value. So I think I’m really proud to say that I think I’ve represented five or six clients who’ve had that defense assert against them, and we won all of them. Nice. So we’ve had a lot of glory there. And it’s just really a simple premise. Like, most people are not out there to commit insurance fraud. Most people if they give an inaccurate medical history doctor have are doing it intentionally. A lot of people have trouble remembering what they ate for breakfast, let alone how many years ago? Did they hurt themselves, or whether they had a prior MRI? So we’ve been very successful in that area.
Chad Franzen 26:26
Hey David, thank you so much for your time today. I have one more question for you. But it’s been a real treat having you on? We’ve been talking with David Benn, managing partner at WorkInjuryRights.Com™. Where can people find out more about you? And it’s kind of self explanatory in the title, but how can people find out more about you?
David Benn 26:40
Yeah, so our website is very informative. You can find us at workinjuryrights.com. We’re also on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. And so any any of the social media.
Chad Franzen 26:51
Okay, my last question for you. What would you say are some action steps that people should start doing right now based on kind of what we’ve talked about today, in terms of maybe people starting to establish their own firm.
David Benn 27:03
So I think number one is you need to have a plan. And you need to really refine like what you want your law firm to represent. So that’s the development of the core values. And also obviously refining the client journey. And also think about, you know, what is the this the growth plan? If you achieve your revenue goals this year, and you continue to grow next year, where are you going to add pieces, because the goal really is to own a law business. Up until basically now, I was running, I was in a law firm. I was I didn’t own a law business. I was practicing my own law firm. Now, I still have a small caseload. But now really, I’m involved in managing the business. And at least from my perspective, some people truly do love being a lawyer. Some people love it. They love doing taking the depositions sitting in the depositions, writing the memos in the letters, some people genuinely love that. I did. And for me, you know, getting to come to work every day and do the things that I want to do. I mean, there’s no price tag you could put on there.
Chad Franzen 28:17
Okay, hey, thank you so much, David. That’s it’s been great. It’s been great talking to you. I appreciate your time.
David Benn 28:21
Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
Chad Franzen 28:23
So long, everybody.
You’ve been listening to The Guts and Glory Show with Luis Scott. If you enjoyed the show, be sure to share. For more information on this episode, please see the show notes at www.GutsandGloryshow.com And join us next time as we talk to another leader in business that had the guts to overcome all odds for the glory of success.