October 2012

Bauer & Metro, P.A: Personal Injury Taken Seriously

Author: Kitty Bartell | Photographer: Mark Staff Photography

Imagine you are being rolled into surgery and you look up through the bright lights of the operating room to see Mickey Mouse wearing a green surgical mask and holding a shiny scalpel. You are amused for a split second but then reality sets in. Just as the anesthesia begins taking effect, you quickly realize you would much prefer that a skilled surgeon were holding that implement—someone serious about his work and trained to bring you through surgery successfully.

Now imagine this surgery is the result of an accident. Your surgeon (someone well-trained and more serious than Mickey) has done his part; however, at best you are facing a challenging recovery, a period of time away from work, and finding a way to replace your totaled vehicle. You are now in need of another skilled professional. Sam Bauer and Rob Metro, lead attorneys at Bauer & Metro, P.A., know that personal injury is serious business and that you want an attorney who is serious about representing you.

Bauer and Metro are most definitely serious. With 35 years of combined trial experience, these partners have an understanding of what it takes to get the most for their clients. Bauer has represented clients in some of the most complex cases in the state and federal courts, and Metro has seen all manner of cases while working in small firms in small cities and big firms in big cities. Both bring valuable strengths to the table.

Individuals in need of representation related to personal injuries are often in circumstances where they need strength when they have little of their own and a fighting spirit when they may have none. After his tenure as a public defender, Bauer’s private practice slowly began taking on personal injury cases based on the need he saw in the community. Many of his early personal injury clients were his clients as a public defender. “It’s important to be a personal injury lawyer who is connected to the community,” he said.

Bauer has built lasting relationships here since moving to Hilton Head Island as a child. He graduated from Sea Pines Academy where his own daughter started kindergarten this year. “It’s nice to have that kind of continuity,” he said, understanding the importance of the professional and personal relationship he has developed over the years.

“This is what we love doing. We’re very focused on it. If you take your case seriously, you want a lawyer who also takes it seriously, and that’s what we do,” Bauer said. Being the only lawyer in Beaufort County who is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Bauer brings with him a large network of professionals who can significantly impact the firm’s ability to better understand and interpret the evidence.
“We don’t just look at a report. We understand that a report is based on science, which has limitations,” he explained. “After decades of doing this, we have a pretty good understanding of what tests can show and what they can’t.”

Bauer goes on to explain that in a recent federal case where their client’s neck had been broken, the defendant asserted that it was an accident related to a fall. “Because of the nature of the break that we could see on the MRI, and because we had the resources to bring in a biomechanical engineer who could understand angles of force, we were able to establish, fairly convincingly in mediation, that it didn’t happen the way the defendant said. The neck was broken on purpose and, as a result of that, we had a very successful result for our client.”

Complementing Bauer’s experience and associations, Metro brings a relentless determination to each case. “Our approach to the case is the same: exhaust every opportunity for the client,” Bauer said. “We take fewer files and work them to death.” And, according to Bauer, no one works harder at this than Metro. “He spends more time on the phone with insurance adjusters than any lawyer in Beaufort County. He is incredibly hard-working and focused.”

What makes Bauer & Metro different from other personal injury lawyers is that they prepare every case for trial. Taking their responsibilities seriously is never more apparent than here. “From the beginning, we view the trial as the primary form of dispute resolution. If the case can be mediated or settled, that’s the alternative, but only because we are getting the case ready for trial is a fair settlement possible prior to trial,” Bauer said.

With the trivialization of litigation through television courtroom shows and the micro-focus of the media on legal disputes, many law firms view mediation and settlement as the primary form of dispute resolution. Only if this fails do they then prepare to go to trial. According to Bauer, this approach does a disservice to the client. “We enjoy a good settlement that avoids the cost of a trial to the client, but the dollars at the settlement table are only going to be the right numbers if the other side knows you are ready and willing to try the case if they don’t put the money on the table,” he said. “Serious preparation equals being taken seriously, whether at the negotiating table or in the courtroom.”

An equally critical component to a positive outcome for the client is the important dynamic between client and attorney. “A good client isn’t afraid to talk to their lawyer. If I don’t understand how this injury is affecting your life, then I can’t present the best case for you,” Bauer said. “The most important thing any client can do is to talk honestly and candidly with their lawyer, so their lawyer can help them the most.”
Bauer and Metro know this is a two-way street and make themselves completely accessible to their clients. According to Bauer, it is important that the client knows you are accessible, that you have handled this kind of case before, and that you can be reached in an emergency. “My clients call me day and night, and I always answer,” he said.

Given their passionate focus and serious approach to each case, these attorneys don’t take a lot of time to enjoy the recreational pleasures of the Lowcountry. When time permits, Metro finds his way to the golf course, and Bauer isn’t particular about whether he is kayaking, jet-skiing, boating, or on a float at the Bluffton sandbar, as long as he finds himself on the water.

However, taking life seriously is what really comes naturally to Bauer & Metro. They wouldn’t want you to face surgery under Mickey’s scalpel or a personal injury caused by negligence without serious professional representation. The thorough and dedicated nature of their practice not only says that they are serious, but that they care about making something right that has gone wrong. 

Bauer & Metro, P.A. Specializing in Personal Injury, Criminal Defense, and Family Law, is located at 38A New Orleans Rd., Hilton Head Island. For more information, call (843) 842-LAWS (5297) or visit their website at bauerlawfirm.com.

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