Although he spent his early years at Dollar, Burns & Becker focusing on cases involving nursing home abuse, his practice has transitioned almost exclusively to litigating truck crash cases.
“What we do for our clients is a lot like prosecutors’ work,” says Becker, “we are pursuing justice for people who are injured or killed in truck crashes. Our investigations always involve cooperation with law enforcement. We have the burden of proof at trial. If we don’t aggressively advance the case, nothing is going to happen."
An important part of the firm’s work is to provide comfort and especially hope for the families. He notes, “I have spent my entire legal career dealing with families who have lost loved ones, often days after it happened.”
"When we first meet the families," Becker says, "they are at the absolute lowest point of their lives. As we figure out how and why the crash occurred, we see them come around and have that hope and sense of purpose back, pursuing the case to prevent it from happening to another family."
“Almost without exception, these truck crashes are not accidents,” he emphasizes. “There is a reason they happened and we can, with absolute certainty, tell the family that we will do everything possible to find out exactly what really happened. Because we handle as many trucking cases as any other firm in the country, we know the patterns, we know what to look for, we know what documents they’re supposed to have, we know what their drivers are supposed to be doing, and that is why we can so effectively get to the truth. That is a comfort to people,” Becker states.
Distance does not play an important role in these types of cases. The standards are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, and those regulations apply nationwide. “It doesn’t really matter where a collision occurs,” says Becker. “We have effectively litigated in 33 states and we have outstanding experts all over the country we can draw upon.” He goes on to promise, “when we get a call from someone who needs our specialized kind of help, we are on a plane the next day.”
Becker concludes, “It’s really important that we not only do a great job, but that we do it the right way. Even opposing attorneys respect us for that. I learned early on as a prosecutor that there is no better evidence than the truth, but you have to know how to find and present it.”
He earned his undergraduate degree from Rockhurst College in Kansas City. Becker then attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, during which time he held a clerkship position for two years in the Consumer Protection Unit of the Missouri Attorney General's office. Upon graduation, he joined the Jackson County Prosecutor's office as an assistant prosecuting attorney where he worked with Tim Dollar. For five years, he tried felony criminal cases ranging from robbery to homicide. Several of the homicide trials he participated in were with Special Prosecutor Tim Dollar.
In January 1995, he left the prosecutor's office and joined Tim Dollar's law firm, where he began litigating nursing home abuse and wrongful death cases. Tim is now the managing partner of the law firm of Dollar, Burns & Becker.
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