Matthews & Higgins specializes in civil litigation representing the interests of individuals, businesses and insurance companies. With decades of trial experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants, we have successfully represented clients in all matters of personal injury and wrongful death, products liability, premises liability, employment law, commercial litigation, construction litigation, insurance coverage and disputes, wage and hour disputes, and other areas.
Matthews & Higgins works with national insurance companies on a wide variety of insurance matters in both state and federal courts. We are also experienced in mediation, arbitration and negotiation. Our experienced trial attorneys deliver professional, cost-effective legal services for the protection of our clients. We strive to promote excellent representation in a civil, professional and ethical manner, yet aggressively representing the interests of our clients.
Insurance Law/Bad Faith
Along with our experience in insurance coverage matters, we assist insurers and policyholders with issues arising from claims of insurers’ wrongful refusal to provide coverage under a policy, or failure to adequately defend a policyholder who has been sued. There will be occasional cases in which the verdict exceeds policy limits. We have the expertise to guide our clients through the legal and factual issues involved in those cases and defend their interests. We also possess the experience and expertise required for issues unique to claims arising from hurricanes or other natural disasters.
Wrongful Death and Personal Injury
Our attorneys represent insurers and individuals involved in controversies and serious injuries related to negligence by operators of motor vehicles, property owners and manufacturers. Our detailed understanding of Florida’s automobile, insurance and liability laws means we understand the different sources of recovery available to car accident victims and their families as well as the various theories of liability that enable those victims to collect from the parties who caused them harm.
Commercial & Condominium Law
A major part of our practice is representing businesses in commercial disputes. Experience is so important in this area and we have been involved in business litigation since the inception of our firm. Additionally, the law specific to condominiums, homeowner associations and similar entities and representing either the association or its individual members is an area in which we are well versed.
Our attorneys have extensive experience handling premises liability matters from pre-suit through trial. We have litigated premises liability matters involving claims for injuries sustained on properties due to alleged defects on the premises or acts of negligent third parties, including claims of injury as the result of falls, inadequate security, or negligent maintenance of the premises. We represent both landlords, operators and victims in claims involving rape, robbery or other intentional acts on the premises.
Federal Civil Practice
Our firm has a premier practice in the area of civil rights. We litigate cases in the areas of police misconduct, sexual harassment, and discrimination under federal or state law. Many attorneys and law firms tend to avoid litigating matters in the federal system, given the differences in procedure and trial practice—our firm does not. In fact, our lawyers prefer to litigate and try cases in the federal system if that venue is warranted and favorable under the facts of the case.
Our firm is dedicated to obtaining justice for our clients, even if that means taking cases to the highest appellate courts available and exhausting all avenues for redress. As a civil trial firm, we are especially cognizant of the appellate considerations in every case we handle; whether disposed of by summary adjudication or tried to verdict.
Mediation is an important part of any litigation or dispute in today’s environment. The benefits and cost savings from a successful mediation or arbitration cannot be overstated. We have the experience and know-how needed to prepare and present one’s position at mediation or arbitration. Mr. Matthews is also a certified mediator.
Perhaps no area of the country has as many disputes and litigation involving construction than the State of Florida and south Alabama. We have the experience and knowledge of the construction industry and its practices, as well as relationships with experts, to represent owners, contractors, subcontractors, design professionals or others in the construction industry. Whether it is pre-suit resolution, arbitration, mediation or litigation, we have the background and skill to be successful.
Real Estate Litigation
With over 50 combined years practicing in the Florida Panhandle and Southern Alabama area, and through good times and bad in the real estate market, Matthews & Higgins is uniquely qualified to represent its clients in virtually all real estate matters, including litigation. Our long relationship with developers, associations, buyers, sellers, real estate agents and other professionals can work to the benefit of our clients in this specialty area.
State, Local & Municipal Law
Our attorneys have expertise and knowledge in the areas of powers and liabilities of state and local government and municipal corporations, including matters such as land use and zoning issues, and municipal employment disputes. We have represented numerous municipalities, counties, law enforcement agencies, as well as the State of Florida.
Products Liability Litigation
We have prepared and tried a large number of product liability cases ranging from claims for catastrophic injuries involving serious and permanent disabilities such as brain damage and paralysis to claims for wrongful death. Our experience includes defending against claims involving multiple parties to class actions arising from a number of different products, including allegations of defective design, defective manufacture, and failure to warn.
General Liability Litigation
Our largest practice area is general liability litigation. Representing insurance companies, private businesses, and governmental entities, our years of experience gained through a defense-directed practice allow us to quickly and correctly analyze issues, risks, and exposures for litigation. Our clients rely on our abilities to anticipate and vigorously defend claims for damages, including class actions and multi-party, multi-jurisdictional matters. Whether in discovery, deposition, or trial, we aggressively protect our clients’ interests by putting in the necessary preparation, asking hard questions, and revealing the weaknesses in our opponent’s position. We take great pride in our long history of successful client representations in state and all federal courts. Our attorneys strive for excellence in a broad spectrum of cases for both carriers and self-insured businesses, including: automobile accidents, dram shop liability, employment-related liability, premises liability, security issues involving third parties, serious personal injury, serious truck accidents, transportation liability, wrongful death.
No amount of education, experience, or licensure can fully protect a person from the possibility that he or she may someday be sued for an act or omission arising from their work. Our firm has experience and success representing other professionals, in addition to physicians. One of our principals is a former certified public accountant. The law and trial presentation are unique in professional liability cases and disputes, as are the stakes to one’s livelihood and profession.
Our firm represents corporate and business clients as well as individuals involving employment-related claims. We work with our clients’ management and supervisors to help avoid liability before any actions are taken which may give rise to a potential claim and litigate from pre-suit through appeal any employment claims that are made against our clients.