The Sauter Sullivan Law Firm is both lucky and proud to have female lawyer Carolyn Caruthers on their personal injury legal team. She graduated from Saint Louis University Law School in 2003, and began her career on the defense side of personal injury, representing the interests of insurers. After two years of defending big business against “the little guy and gal”, she became disenchanted with that role. “I just didn’t enjoy it,” says Caruthers of her stint working in insurance defense. “I got no personal satisfaction out of it because no one there cared about the injured person. It was all about money and giving personal injury victims as little or no compensation as possible for their lost wages, medical needs, pain or suffering. After a couple years, I just couldn’t take it any more. I had no dog in the fight.”
Caruthers joined the Sauter Sullivan firm in 2005, glad to have made the switch to helping people who were injured through no fault of their own. “I am so much happier now, fighting for injured people’s rights. It’s so much more personal…I get to interact directly with my clients as individuals, as real people who need help. These are people’s lives we’re talking about, and now I feel like I’m on the right side of the fight. As a woman attorney…a female attorney…I feel like my natural sense of compassion, my innate sense of wanting to help others…is helping me make a difference for people.”
Her experience working on the insurance defense side of things makes Caruthers a better advocate for her clients, and that background gives her a real edge over personal injury attorneys that have never lived on the other side. “I know how the insurance companies think, and how they approach personal injury cases they’re defending against. I know what’s in their heads,” she notes. That can be an incredible advantage, and Caruthers uses that insight to the benefit of her clients. She’s proven her skills, talents and bulldog tenacity time and time again, and it shows in the results and settlements she gets for her clients.
“I always try to do my very best for each and every one of my clients,” Carolyn tells us with genuine enthusiasm. “I get real satisfaction when my hard work gets people the compensation they deserve after a personal injury where someone else had a responsibility to make things right for them. As I said before, these are people’s lives! Nothing is more satisfying than seeing how winning cases has positively affected the lives of my clients who’ve been wrongly injured…and my clients are so thankful that someone cared and helped them get the compensation they deserve. For me, that’s what it’s all about.”
Matthew Sauter, a founding partner at Sauter Sullivan, is glad they have such a competent attorney at their firm. “She really does a great job for her clients, and she’s an important part of our team,” says Sauter. “I’ve been in this business for a long time, and when I first started practicing personal injury law, it was a field dominated by male attorneys. It’s refreshing to see excellent female attorneys like Carolyn make a successful career in personal injury law. She’s such a valuable asset to our firm.”
Of course, gender makes no difference when talking about competency and ability as an attorney. But there are times when some clients prefer to have a female lawyer representing their interests, especially when their case involves children, or pregnancy, or when a female plaintiff’s case involves sensitive medical issues where they are just more comfortable discussing potentially intimate details with another woman.
“I’m a working Mom,” says Caruthers. “I’ve been married for a long time and I have two young children myself, a boy and a girl. I can relate to many of my female clients in a way that my male counterparts simply can’t. It’s critical to have a strong client/attorney relationship with open communication, and sometimes the fact that I’m a woman helps a client feel more comfortable discussing intimate details that are important to their case. That being said, my caseload is filled with both male and female clients.”
Caruthers has successfully handled a wide variety of cases for her clients, including slip and falls, workers’ compensation, car crashes and truck accidents, brain injuries, wrongful deaths, and even simpler things like dog bite cases. For Caruthers, it’s all about doing her best to help people who’ve been injured and getting them all the compensation they deserve so they can get on with their lives.
She sums up her success this way: “I am very knowledgeable about the law…I’m organized, efficient and a good communicator. I know how to present cases to win, whether fighting for a fair settlement or taking a case to a jury trial. My experience working on the other side in insurance defense gives me a competitive edge. I like to think I’m personable and approachable and know how to listen to people’s problems when they come to me for help. Maybe sometimes I listen too much!” she laughs. “But that’s OK, because I learn lots of details that might help my client’s case, and I hope it makes my clients feel better because they know I really do care.” What’s the biggest measure of her success? “I win the vast majority of the cases I take on for my clients, and they send me lots and lots of referrals.”