Attorney Spotlight: Brian Van Allen

At the Law Offices of Belgum, Fry & Van Allen, the attorney who starts on the case stays on the case. Our proven track record of prevailing in actions against defendants and their insurance carriers is due in large to our assigning an experienced attorney who remains at the lead, taking aggressive action while working on a contingency basis.

In this attorney spotlight, meet Brian Van Allen, 2019 recipient of the National Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 40 under 40 honor and 2020 Super Lawyers Rising Star.

What made you decide to get into law?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by great speakers. Growing up, I loved telling and listening to stories. A school counselor remarked that I was “conflict oriented.” In terms of a career, I wanted a field where I could earn a living making a big, positive difference in people’s lives. Litigation is the place where it all came together.

What is your most vivid memory of law school?

One night, I got a call from a fellow student alerting me to an angry bat that had managed to find its way into her apartment. At 11:00 p.m., I drove to her place to catch it, armed with nothing but a pillowcase. The mission was accomplished (and the bat was fine).

What practice areas do you specialize in?

I specialize in elder and/or dependent adult abuse cases and neglect in skilled nursing homes, as well as medical malpractice.

Describe one of your most rewarding and fulfilling cases.

I represented a young family whose lives were turned upside down because of the negligent care that the mother received while pregnant with her first daughter. Mom suffered from preeclampsia, a life-threatening condition to her and her unborn baby. Due to the failures of several doctors and healthcare providers the mom had trusted, her preeclampsia went undiagnosed. She gave birth under emergency circumstances and her baby suffered significant brain damage.

We fought for over five years to bring this family justice and to compel the healthcare providers that caused this tragedy to pay for the lifetime of care of that the baby would need. It culminated in an over 35-day trial.

What is the largest settlement or award you have secured for a client?

$1.75 million in the previously described case, an amount that was severely and negatively affected by the paragon of injustice that is the MICRA statute’s $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages.

What is the single most helpful piece of advice you can give to a client?

Be honest with your attorneys even if it means telling us things you think are bad for your case. The “bad facts” inevitably surface. We will do a much better job representing you if we know them at the outset.

One fun fact that clients might not know about you:

I get an allergic reaction from legal dramas.

Quick, a restaurant recommendation in the area:

Menkoi Ya Ramen in Claremont. You can’t beat the house-made noodles.

Favorite place to vacation?

I would rather go somewhere I have never been than repeat a destination.

Hobbies and pastimes?

I have no hobbies, I never get sick and I don’t take vacations.

What are you most passionate about?

My greatest passion is the relentless pursuit of improvement in this practice of law and representation of our clients.

Learn more about Brian and the rest of the team at the Law Offices of Belgum, Fry & Van Allen here.