The Game Plan: A Preliminary Strategy for Success

by Aaron Gartlan

April 16, 2015 | Lawsuits

I don’t need to tell you that football is popular in the Great State of Alabama. We just so happen to be Paul “Bear” Bryant, Nick Saban and University of Alabama football fans, but you also have the Auburn University Tigers and Troy University Trojans in the state, to name a couple others. It would be hard to argue with the results obtained by this storied college football program under the guidance of their leadership, but the secret to their success is really no secret and can be applied to just about any endeavor. It entails the process of preparation and a game plan. Let us expand on that, because even though it is really simple and is no secret, it is important.

In college football, the process of successful game preparation consists of recruiting a team of the best players and coaches with a focus on strong work ethic and leadership skills and a commitment to winning and being the best. This takes a focused approach and an intense dedication to a common goal. It is not necessarily about the number of hours spent on the practice field, in the weight room or film room. Although practice and training time is vital, the focus of the practice and training should be improvement as a team and the furtherance of that common goal. The most successful college football teams have great players and coaches with leadership skills and strong work ethic, the ability to work as a team and play essential roles as necessary. They practice and play with a purpose.

Once this type of team is assembled, the coaches formulate focused game plans for every team on the schedule. Granted, the best teams play the same style of football all year. However, within the game plan, adjustments are made that take into account their strengths and weaknesses and the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent. The best game plans will play on the team’s strengths and hide their weaknesses, while using an opponent’s strengths against them, exposing their weaknesses and taking advantage of certain match-ups. Therefore, everything in the game from the play call to the execution of each play by every player is done with that same driven focus and purpose. This doesn’t not ensure victory or a championship, but it puts the team in the best possible position to enjoy that level of success. In order to get there, the coaches and players must know both teams.

So what does the process of preparation and a game plan have to do with your personal injury, wrongful death and accident case? We contend that as with David’s story, preparation and a game plan have everything to do with increasing the chance of your success in your case. Again, no one can guarantee results. However, we believe that the principles of the process of preparation and a game plan apply to any personal injury, wrongful death or accident case.

The process of preparation in your personal injury and accident case begins in the initial meeting with your personal injury lawyer, wrongful death lawyer or accident lawyer and law firm. In this meeting, you should expect to walk away knowing that there is a plan in place to prove and demonstrate the liability, injuries and damages, and overcome defenses, all in an effort to add value to your case and maximize recovery.

Early and efficient trial preparation puts the client in the best position to prove and demonstrate that full compensation in the personal injury, wrongful death or accident case serves to make the community safer, because it sets a standard that people and businesses that violate rules and expose the public to unnecessary danger will be required to pay in full measure. That is our philosophy and guiding principle. That is how we view every personal injury, wrongful death and accident case. That is the driving force behind the cases that we handle.

Like a successful college football team, our game plan will attempt to play on the strengths of our personal injury, wrongful death or accident case and hide its weaknesses, use our opponent’s strengths against them, expose their weaknesses and take advantage of certain match-ups. Everything in the practice, preparation and game plan is done with drive, focus and purpose. Therefore, the decision of when and where to file a lawsuit, every document requested, letter sent, motion filed, argument made, position taken, questions asked, and more are required to be done with that same driven focus and purpose. This does not ensure victory, but it puts the team in the best possible position to enjoy that level of success.

Remember the Biblical teaching of David and Goliath? The young shepherd did not just run impetuously towards his rival. He took the time to learn about himself. He recognized the hidden advantage of his sling, shepherd bag and five smooth stones; the hidden advantage of the assumptions Goliath would make about him, given his young age and small size; and the hidden advantage of his own huge courage with the invisible armor of God.

It’s amazing how much you can accomplish through careful preparation — through knowing yourself and your personal injury, wrongful death and accident case. The Boy Scouts have it right: Preparation is the key.


Aaron Gartlan is a graduate of Troy University and the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law who focuses his practice exclusively on representing those injured by the wrongdoing of others. He is member of the National Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In addition to his legal practice, Aaron teaches Business Law as an adjunct instructor at Troy University’s Sorrell College of Business and serves as a field artillery sergeant in the Alabama National Guard.

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