Thomas W. James has been a trial attorney at Michigan Auto Law since 2004. He focuses his practice in auto accidents, first-party lawsuits, attendant care claims and insurance coverage disputes. With more than 25 trials, Tom is a tenacious advocate for his clients. He’s passionate about holding insurance companies accountable for refusing to honor their legal obligations and their promises to customers.
Tom was able to get me a really good bus accident settlement from Genesee County
By Joel Peterson, Hale March 31, 0016
I was involved in an accident with a school bus in Genesee County and I had gone to the administrator in charge and she basically told me to fly a kite. I knew I had some medical issues so I called Michigan Auto Law, when I realized this law firm handles things for Michigan car, truck and bus crashes. I was very happy after that. The office got a hold of me right after I called. I talked to my attorney Tom James for a while and we set the course for my case. And the lawsuit was filed. I've had to have major surgeries and although my insurance company cooperated in the beginning, they recently started giving me trouble. But Tom fought to make sure my benefits were covered. As for my pain and suffering case, this law office was able to persevere, keep me on track, keep me informed of what was going on, and got all the right people together to get the information they needed. In the end, everything was okay like Tom promised it would be and we were able to get a really good settlement from Genesee County. Tom is a fantastic individual and attorney. He did all of the background and research and had extensive knowledge of the law. I felt he was on top of the game the whole time. So were his legal professionals Robin and Michelle. They were very instrumental and keeping me informed and answering any questions I had. It was a very excellent experience overall. In a rating of 1 to 10, 10 being the best, I would rate them as an 11.
Tom worked very hard to get me a settlement I'm happy with after a truck tire hit my car
By Kathy Hunt, Chelsea July 17, 0015
I was driving and the wheel came off another driver's car and struck my car. It wasn't just any tire, it was a commercial truck tire. I felt like my injuries were significant enough that I was due some compensation for it. I decided to hire Michigan Auto Law because of their large presence on the Internet. They looked like a solid company and they only deal with car and truck accidents, so I liked that. Tom James was a very helpful attorney. He worked very hard to get me a settlement that I'm happy with. Tom and his team, his paralegal Michele and his secretary Robin, were always there when I needed something or had a question. I also had faith that Tom had full knowledge of the auto accident laws and in the way he litigated my case. The way he explained the auto laws and what to expect in my case was also thorough and understandable. This was a stress-free experience and I highly recommend Tom and his team at Michigan Auto Law.
Focused on my well being and helping me out
By Derek, Allen Park June 24, 0015
Sometimes people are intimidated by lawyers or think that lawyers are just people out there looking to make some money off of you. But everyone I interacted with at Michigan Auto Law constantly asked my how I was doing personally before getting focused on the monetary side of things with my case. The experience was focused on my well being and helping me out. I noticed this when Larry Gursten drove out to my house to see my parents and I. He would call me on my cell phone and made himself available to me anytime I needed to talk to him. He is the founder of the firm, but he still wanted to be available to me for anything I needed. Tom James handled my case. He was very encouraging as well with helping through the process and knowing what to expect in legal proceedings like the deposition. Tom was really helpful in giving me an understanding of what was going on - what the different scenarios were and possible outcomes. He was very knowledgeable and I know Tom and his team, which consisted of his awesome secretary Robin and his knowledgeable paralegal Michele, did way more than I saw. They took the ball and ran with it, but if I needed absolutely anything, getting in touch with them was never a problem. I'm very pleased with the outcome of my case. I wouldn't expect anything but the best from Tom and this firm. They showed that they all worked extremely hard for my settlement. I'm extremely thankful for how it will help me down the road with my medical needs.
Tom knew what I was going through and he understood me
By Marsha Miller, Flat Rock January 23, 0015
I was rear ended in a car accident and hurt my neck. I had no idea the car accident would affect my life the way it did. But Michigan Auto Law helped me through everything. My lawyer Tom James is very personable, he listened - he's everything. He knew what I was going through and understood me. He was thorough. He helped me to understand what was available to me through No Fault insurance and was extremely knowledgeable on the laws. This should have been told to me by my insurance company, but it wasn't. Tom helped me get all of my No Fault benefits and I'm very happy with the settlement he got me for pain and suffering. He got me the maximum we could get. I'm thankful for his expertise and his knowledge.
We had full confidence in Tom because of his legal knowledge and the kind way he treated us
By Chelsea Pray, Chesterfield November 12, 0014
I got t-boned by a giant car. I was in the hospital for a month with life threatening injuries. My father called Michigan Auto Law after a recommendation from a friend to learn about whether I had a case. We never considered another law firm because of the way we were initially treated. The response time was within minutes, our questions were answered and meetings were set up. Tom James represented me. Every time I needed something or had a question, he helped me and my family - even things that didn't have to do with my lawsuit like my social security. Tom handled everything for me so we didn't have to worry about the litigation or the lawsuit. He kept us up to date and we had full confidence in Tom because of his legal knowledge and the kind way he treated us. I've already recommended Tom and Michigan Auto Law to several people.
Tom is a wonderful attorney who is willing to do anything for you
By M. J. H., Macomb August 06, 0014
I was driving to work and a man coming from a parking lot hit my passenger side and it threw my car to the other side of the road. My van was totally damaged and I had a bad head injury and other injuries that caused me to get surgery on my neck, shoulder and knees. My friend told me I would be in good hands with Michigan Auto Law. I was in bad shape and knew I needed help so I called. I had a great attorney, Tom James. He's a wonderful person who is willing to do anything for you. Tom's paralegal Michele was also helpful, as well as his secretary Robin. They helped me with everything during my lawsuit and even other questions outside of my lawsuit. Tom is an awesome, friendly person. He was always there for me and very easy to reach and communicate with. My family and I always recommend Tom. The verdict Tom got me will help me survive as I heal from my injuries.
I'm happy Tom was my attorney
By Tammie Dubose, Detroit July 29, 0014
I was involved in an injury on a construction site. I got hit by a commercial vehicle that caused me to be off work and in the hospital for my back surgery. I reached out to Michigan Auto Law for help with the injury lawsuit process. With this being my first time ever filing a lawsuit, it was kind of scary to me because I didn't quite understand some of the terminology of a lawsuit case. But my attorney Tom James took that all away. He was very accurate. He was very precise and he was very professional. He came to me and gave me clarity of any questions I had. He made me feel comfortable and confident. He was always there to answer my phone calls. Whether it was by text or e-mail, he would always answer me and give me a clear understanding of what was going on and what to expect through the whole process. His paralegal Michele was also extremely helpful. Tom took me down the right path. He worked very diligently and hard for my case to be settled. From the start to the end, it was everything I needed with professionalism, promptness and understanding. I'm happy to have Tom as an attorney. I would refer Tom and Michigan Auto Law to anyone.
Thomas and his team made sure I got what I was due after the accident
By Gary Clark, Clinton Township June 20, 0014
I'm pleased with the services from Michigan Auto Law and my attorney Thomas and his paralegal Michele. They helped me with my No Fault lawsuit after my car accident pain and suffering case. I was clueless as to the law. But Thomas broke it down for me, let me know what was going to happen and what my rights were. It gave me insight into the world of accident law. Through this all, Thomas and his team got me all of my No Fault benefits, including the at home replacement services, lost wages and proper medical treatment. They made sure I got what I was due after the accident. The team kept me up to date every step of the way - calling me, checking on me and making sure everything was alright. The services were really great, and I will recommend Michigan Auto Law to anyone who needs help.
Tom treated me like a person, not a number
By Charlotte Levett, Redford April 21, 0014
I was hit by a commercial truck driving in my van. I was told I didn't have a case. But attorney Tom James stepped up to the plate and said he would fight for me. My insurance company was helpful at first, but then stopped being helpful and cut off my No Fault benefits. Tom was fantastic. He got me my benefits and a great pain and suffering settlement. He and his paralegal Michelle were very businesslike, courteous, helpful, professional - all of the above. Yet they were very down to earth and treated me like a person, not a number. It was really important to me. You have to trust the people you're putting your issues out there. Tom hit a hit home run for me.
Tom James left no stone unturned in my car accident case
By Joe Curry, Traverse City February 10, 0014
Tom James is a very thorough attorney. He left no stone unturned in my car accident case. Tom got all my medical bills paid. He was very responsive and answered my questions whenever I needed. I was happy with the way I was treated. Tom is very professional but he is also very personal. I would strongly recommend Tom to anyone.
Very kind and very smart lawyer
By A.F., Warren January 17, 0014
Tom did everything in his power to make sure that my long term disability company did not try to take my benefits when I was injured in a car accident. He's a very kind and very smart lawyer. He made sure I stayed informed about what was going on with my case. He made sure he returned my phone calls in a timely fashion. I got a great settlement thanks to Tom.
Helped me immensely after a garbage truck hit me head on
By K.K., Dearborn December 17, 0013
I was hit head on by a garbage truck. I called Michigan Auto Law because I started having back pain and wanted to know about my rights. They helped me through the process because I didn't know what I should do. Tom James was my lawyer and he was very kind. He and his paralegal Michelle are very patient and great at explaining everything. When I called, I never felt like I was bothering anybody. And if I ended up leaving a message, they were both really quick to get back to me and respond. I'm thankful for the help they gave me and that my lawsuit is over. Tom got me a great settlement.
Thoroughly pleased with Tom and Michigan Auto Law!
By Joie Vawter, Walled Lake November 21, 0013
I was in a head on car accident. I knew that it was bad and I knew I was going to need help navigating how to figure everything out. Tom James was the one who helped me through it. He is a very compassionate lawyer. He's very informative. He walked me through the whole entire process and answered every question I had. He's very efficient. Didn't waste my time or my money. I appreciated the way he helped me navigate the system, and in dealing with the auto insurance companies. When they wouldn't talk to me, Tom was able to step in and deal with all of the business with the insurance companies and myself on my behalf. He kept me at ease from start to finish and he's extremely knowledgeable. He went over and beyond during my case. He even helped me with a couple of additional things that came up during my case not related to auto accident law. I was very pleased with my settlement. Since I've been with Michigan Auto Law, I have referred four people happily and confidently, knowing I'm sending them to the right place. I will gladly send anybody that I know who needs help when they've been in a car accident in the future. I am thoroughly happy with Tom and Michigan Auto Law!
The best at handling catastrophic auto cases
By Kaye Lockwood, Lansing August 20, 0013
My husband was in a car accident and he was smashed pretty bad in a head on collision. He spent months in the hospital. We didn't need just any lawyer. We needed attorneys who specialized in catastrophic auto lawsuits. So we did some research and we found out that Michigan Auto Law was the best at handling catastrophic auto cases. In our case, the insurance company never made a real offer, so we had to go to trial. Steven Gursten and Tom James were our trial lawyers. They explained things very well to us. They didn't want the insurance company taking advantage of us so they fought for us in trial. They were very personal. They made a lot of calls and explained each step along the way very well: what our options were, where we were at in the trial... they kept us abreast of everything. Even though we were in a different city, it still felt like we had a local attorney, because they made house calls due to my husband's disability from the crash. We felt like Steve and Tom were our friends because they were so kind and made us such a huge priority. We are very happy with the trial results they were able to get for us in a timely fashion. The great trial results have given closure in my husband's healing process. I'd also like to give thanks to their paralegal Laurie Chase. She helped us on a daily basis. She was calming and just awesome. I can't say enough about Michigan Auto Law and the professionalism of this law firm.
Light at the end of a dark tunnel
By Donald Jones, Newberry October 08, 0012
I live in the Upper Peninsula and the attorney we had didn't know how to handle auto cases and messed it up. We found Michigan Auto Law and they turned it around. They were a light at the end of a dark tunnel. This firm took us from where we didn't know where to start - a hopeless feeling - and they guided us to the end. We were really sinking. My accident injuries were so bad and I didn't know how to support myself. Tom James, you couldn't ask for a better lawyer. He answered all the questions. Everything was positive, he kept telling us not to lose hope. But he told it like it was and didn't give us false hope. Everything he told us was right on. Now we have satisfaction and we are comfortable and happy. I couldn't say thanks enough. There are no words to express how thankful I am.
Nobody has more passion and knowledge about Michigan auto laws
By James Fairley, Jackson
Steve Gursten and Tom James are the best of the best truck accident lawyers. Nobody has more passion and knowledge about Michigan auto laws, and this is exactly what I needed after I was injured in a truck accident. Combine that with compassion for their clients and ability in the courtroom, and they are unbeatable. Steve and Tom make you feel like a member of their families, which you are during a trial. As far as I'm concerned, they did what my wife and I thought was impossible. They found and won a record judgment in a county not known for large judgments - Jackson County. Thanks again to Steve Gursten, Tom, Larry, Elize, Laurie and all the rest of the staff of Michigan Auto Law, who had a part in this great victory. Thank you very much, Jim and Kim Fairley.
He was a fantastic attorney and my future is brighter because of him and the people at Michigan Auto Law.
By Vanessa Hicks, Battle Creek
I was on my way to the doctor's office and before I knew it, we were rear-ended as part of a five-car accident. I hit my head against the wall and broke my neck, and I started having blackouts. I was really hurt, and confused on what to do to pay for my medical bills and take care of myself. I found Tom James, a car accident attorney with Michigan Auto Law in Farmington Hills. Tom worked it all out for me. He's very professional, very pleasant and very, very patient. There were times I'd call him quite a bit, but he would take his time and explain to me what's going on. Everybody else from the receptionist to his secretary at Michigan Auto Law was always very pleasant with me. Because of the broken neck situation, medical personal were saying it was a possibility that I could die. I would call Tom upset and crying. He would always make me feel better and get me on the right track. The settlement Tom got me will help me rest better and now knowing that I'm going to live, I think it was fair. I'm going to see a friend this week who was hit by a car. I have every intention of mentioning Tom James to her. He was a fantastic attorney and my future is brighter because of him and the people at Michigan Auto Law.
$7 million settlement, Oakland County– Confidential auto accident
$5.6 million jury verdict, Macomb County– Truck accident, brain injuries
$3.5 million jury verdict, Jackson County– Semi-truck accident, brain injuries
$2.3 million jury verdict, Jackson County– Commercial truck accident
$2.1 million jury verdict, Washtenaw County– Rear-end car accident, brain injury
$690,000 arbitration verdict, Wayne County– Attendant care case, brain injury
$432,000 arbitration verdict, Wayne County– Attendant care case, brain injury
Tom has been a Michigan Super Lawyer since 2013. In 2011 and 2012, Tom was a Super Lawyer Rising Star. He obtained this recognition for his work advocating for his clients and volunteering within the legal community as an educator in the fields of trucking litigation and auto accident law. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement and is limited to the top 5% of Michigan attorneys.
In 2011, Tom was named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly Up and Coming Lawyer. According to the legal newspaper, Up and Coming Lawyers are attorneys who have been practicing for a decade or less, but who have already distinguished themselves from the thousands of other Michigan attorneys with their accomplishments. Tom was chosen for his extensive work as a trial attorney, as he had tried more than 25 cases, and has earned several multimillion-dollar, record-breaking jury verdicts for people injured in auto accidents within his first years of practice.
In 2010, Tom was named a Michigan Association for Justice Pacesetter. This is a recognition that highlights noteworthy Michigan attorneys excelling in their fields. Tom received this award because of his work in the legal community assisting other attorneys in the field of No Fault and Truck collision cases. The Michigan Association for Justice is an organization of more than 2,000 personal injury attorneys who are dedicated to helping accident victims.
Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, Michigan
Graduated with Honors
Journal of Business and Securities Law, Editor-in-Chief
Captain of three national mock-trial competitions
American Trial Lawyers Association President, student chapter
Michigan Association for Justice President, student chapter
Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California
Master of Business Administration
San Jose State University, San Jose, California
Beta Alpha Psi Honor Society
Michigan Auto Law, Farmington Hills, Michigan
St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office, Centreville, Michigan
Memberships and affiliations
Michigan Association for Justice, Executive Committee Member
American Association for Justice, Executive Committee Member
Negligence Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, member
American Civil Liberties Union, Member and Pro Bono volunteer
No Fault Speaker
State Bar of Michigan Negligence Law Section Annual Convention
Solo and Small Business Institute
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
Michigan Association for Justice
Truck Accident Litigation
American Association for Justice
New Jersey Association for Justice
Kentucky Association for Justice
Auto Accident Law
ICLE (Institute of Continuing Legal Education)
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