My name is Darl Champion, and I am a personal injury attorney. I grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina. My mother worked as a civil servant at Fort Bragg Army Base for about 37 years, and my dad was a professor at the local college there. I graduated from public high school and went to Methodist College,. which is located in Fayetteville, and where my dad also taught and still teaches to this day. I went to law school in Macon Georgia. After law school I spent two years clerking for a Federal judge which was one of the best experiences of my life. I got to spend two years watching trials, watching hearings, reviewing briefs and motions that attorneys filed, and drafting opinions for the judge. That was very enjoyable and I learned a lot from that perspective of how the courts view things, and also how juries view things, from watching a lot of trials.
After that clerkship, I moved to Atlanta, and I’ve been here ever since. I spent some time on the defense side. I always knew I wanted to be a personal injury attorney and represent people that were hurt, but I wanted to try the defense side to get some experience. After about the first 2 days I recognized that was not for me. I didn’t even think I was going to make it a year. About 6 months into that job I had a great opportunity to come up to work with an experienced personal injury law firm. I worked there for 4 years where I learned about the personal injury process.
There was never a time in my life when a light bulb went off and I said “I want to be an attorney” but it was sort of a natural progression based on my interests, in terms of what I liked to read and what I liked to learn, and where my personality was. I’ve always liked rooting for the underdog. I’ve always liked fighting for people and I’ve always like helping people, and so the law seemed like a natural fit where I could combine my interests with my personality. One of the best parts about my job is that I get to come to work every day and help people. So when people call me, they’ve got a problem, and the problem needs to be solved. What type of case they are experiencing whether is medical malpractice or a product liability case, or maybe they got injury on someone else’s property, we are able to take their case to make sure that they get better not only physically, but also to help them get a good result on their case.
A successful scenario for me is taking a case where it’s difficult and the insurance company has denied that they are responsible for the wrong doing, or maybe they’ve denied that our client is hurt. Being able to take that case, dig into it and find witnesses, and show the other side that they need to pay and that they are responsible. Holding them accountable is a successful result. It isn’t always about the money. It’s hard to measure a success by the money, because you could have a case that’s worth $3 million dollars, and although getting a $1 million settlement sounds great, it is really undervaluing the case, so you can never look at just the dollar figure to measure the success of a case. You have to really dig in and look at all the facts of the case. We don’t want to have a single case here where the result is less than full value by even a penny. We want to get not only the most that is available, we want to get more than what would be considered a good result. So we really strive to do that. We often fight longer, and harder than other law firms. That does require patience from clients to understand that process. Certainly if our clients want to take a quick settlement and take whatever the other side is offering, we’ll do that if that is what the client wants. We really like it when the client gives us the opportunity to go the distance and fight for them to get a great result.