1515 Poydras Street, Suite 1825
New Orleans, LA 70112
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About Chip Cossé


An Interview With Chip COSSÉ

Insight from Our New Orleans Personal Injury Attorney

Learn more about the unique perspective and approach to law of Attorney Chip Cossé, your New Orleans personal injury lawyer. During the interview, he discusses matters that are close to his heart, and reveals how he takes on each case.

What made you choose a career in personal injury law?

"I had the opportunity to watch a jury trial when I was in college. It involved a man that was badly injured because of the negligence of a large corporation. At trial, the attorney for the corporation acted with indifference to this man’s life-changing injuries. I was incensed and decided at that moment that I would dedicate my career to fighting for the rights of those who couldn’t fight for themselves to ensure that my clients were made whole."

In your opinion, what sets your firm apart from other firms in the area?

"The law is a service profession, yet it is full of attorneys that communicate the least effectively with their own clients . I focus on being the opposite of that. Every client gets my cell phone number and they know that they can call me any time. I take nearly all of my own calls and I keep my clients abreast of all details. Plus, I don’t sugar coat anything. My clients may not always like what I tell them, but they know it’s the truth and they appreciate that. Plus, I make sure every client knows they are valued by me-because they are-and it doesn’t matter whether their case is worth $1,000 or $1,000,000; they’re going to get my maximum effort and they know that."

Tell us about a case that you are particularly proud of:

"I was approached by a police officer that had been shot multiple times by a drug dealer. He had spoken with 4 prior attorneys, all of whom turned down his case. After all, how would he recover from a drug dealer? Yet, I absolutely had to help this man and his family. He would never work again. What really stood out was the fact that it took in inordinate amount of time for his fellow officers to find him from the time the call for back up was made. I was told that the call for back up went to the wrong district. I spent a lot of time studying his police radio and something just didn’t seem right.

Plus, the letters 'KCFD' were engraved on the radio and I didn’t know what that stood for. The design of the radio itself made me conclude that perhaps this wasn’t a combat-ready radio of the type that would be used by a police department. I decided that I had enough to file suit against the radio manufacturer and conduct discovery. During that process, I learned that not only was it not a combat-ready radio for policy use, but it was also returned by the Kansas City Fire Department (“KCFD”) as being defective and then, unbeknownst to the police department, sold as a new radio system. The radio manufacturer settled for nearly $2,000,000 and $3,500 per month for life."

What steps do you take to prepare for a difficult case?

"I don’t leave any stone unturned. I take the necessary depositions and conduct extensive discovery. I evaluate all of my medicals to make sure I only present those damages which I can prove are causally related to my client’s accident. Today’s juries are very savvy and have been influenced by big business interests to believe that no one is truly injured. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that my client has the necessary integrity in the eyes in the jury. Plus, it’s essential to know the tendencies of your judge and opposing counsel. I’ll never be outworked."

How do you view your role in the attorney-client relationship?

"Depending on the client, I wear many hats. In addition to being a legal adviser, I am a friend, a psychologist, a provider or anything else that my client needs. When someone’s life is irrevocably altered by an injury, it is naive to believe that you will just be their attorney-not if you want to make a difference."

How does your experience in the personal injury field benefit your clients?

"They know I have the experience, fortitude and financing to get them the compensation they deserve."

What types of personal injury claims do you specifically handle?

"We handle a wide variety of personal injury claims, including car wrecks and other types of injuries. We also focus our practice on catastrophic injuries that include traumatic brain injuries and injuries that require the analysis of lost wages and long-term medical care. Sadly, many attorneys don’t consider this aspect of litigation because it is too costly or time consuming.

I consider it too costly NOT to investigate this on behalf of my clients. After all, if their life has been forever changed, they MUST receive the necessary compensation for the rest of their life. I consider it a duty to the community to accomplish this goal. If I fail, my client may well become a burden to taxpayers because they will have to rely on government entitlements."

In your opinion, what is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

"Knowing that on a daily basis, I have helped at least one fellow citizen. It’s very empowering and humbling."

What advice do you most often give your clients & why?

"The types of insurance to have to best protect themselves."

What is your educational history and what educational and professional requirements were necessary to become a lawyer?

"I attended a private secondary school and was a history major in college. I chose that major because so much of the law is based on the historical evolution of nations. Additionally, history majors read and write a lot and I felt that was a good background not only for law school but the practice of law itself."

Have you ever had any ethical problems which you have encountered in your career? If yes, how did you resolve such problems? If no, what steps do you take to avoid ethical issues?

"Lawyers are constantly faced with ethical dilemmas and the ramifications of doing something unethical-even accidentally- is more harsh than any other profession. In a way, that’s a huge compliment to what we do. Because we are so revered and can wield so much power professionally, it comes with tremendous personal responsibility to use that power for the right purposes. Some of the common ethical dilemmas that I’ve faced usually involve a conflict of interest, or doing something that favors one client to the detriment of another.

When I am confronted by this, I always err on the side of caution and full disclosure. First, I consult the rules of professional responsibility to be my guide; then, I advise my clients of the ethical dilemma and give them the opportunity to seek outside counsel. This helps to avoid an ethical problem in advance. If I am unsure of the best way of handling the issue, I request an advisory opinion from the Bar Association. That way, I have a pronouncement from my governing body to rely upon."

What are the best and worst aspects of your job?

"Best - I get to make a great living helping others. Every day I know I’ve helped at least one person-a wonderful feeling, indeed!

Worst - the stress that comes with it. It’s a heavy burden when another person’s well-being is reliant upon your skills, work ethic, and determination. It’s not something you leave behind when you leave the office. If you care, you live it. That can be dangerous if you want to be a good family person because you have to be very careful to balance all of it. Many lawyers cannot.

Divorce, substance abuse and depression run rampant in this profession. Having a loving and understanding spouse is essential but they cannot by any means be too passive. Lawyers by their very nature are aggressive and self-assured. Therefore, the spouse of a lawyer needs to know when to comply and when to fight back. My wife is fantastic with that and I am so thankful that she recognizes this."

Do you prefer to work in a team or on your own? Who do you rely on for support in your office and why?

"No successful lawyer can do it on his or her own. Having a competent support staff is essential. I rely most heavily on my secretary and paralegal. Sometimes, those are the same person. The reason is that there are so many facets to lawyering that if you try to do it all, you won’t be good at any of it. Learning where and how to delegate is essential. Our staff understands that every person makes an impression on our clients.

How comfortable they feel and the attention that is given them is essential to our success. Particularly, my paralegal makes it a point to know as much about my clients and cases as I do. If I cannot speak with a client because I am in a deposition or court, she can answer any of the clients needs so that at all times they are catered to accordingly."

Why We're The Right Choice

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New Orleans Injury Attorneys

After being involved in an unexpected accident, we understand that involving the legal system is not your first choice. However, you may be entitled to recover money to compensate you for your injuries and losses and we strongly advise you to hire the Cossé Law Firm. While you focus on your recovery, we will fight to maximize your compensation.

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