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Thomas W. James, attorney

Tom has been a trial attorney at Michigan Auto Law since 2004. He focuses his practice on serious truck and car collision cases. Tom received the Pacesetter distinction by the Michigan Association for Justice for his work representing people seriously injured in car and truck accidents.



I found the law firm staff to be very professional and caring – whenever I called, everyone took time to listen to my concerns. My lawyer Tom James especially did a great job. He listened to me with sympathy and empathy. He was very thorough and professional. I never felt like he was rushing me off the phone; he was genuinely listening to what I was saying. I was very happy with the settlement I received at the conclusion of my car accident case and the time it took to wrap everything up. I would definitely recommend Michigan Auto Law and Tom to my family and friends.

Notable cases

$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

$3.5 million settlement – tire separation accident, brain injuries

$2.5 million jury verdict, Macomb County – Commercial truck accident, wrongful death

$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 selected to the Michigan Super Lawyers list since 2013. 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.

Tom was also 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.

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
  • Dean’s List
  • Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Business and Securities Law

Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California

  • Master of Business Administration

San Jose State University, San Jose, California

  • Beta Alpha Psi Honor Society

Legal experience

  • 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, Board Member of the Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway, and Premises Liability Section; Member of the Interstate Truck Litigation Group
  • 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
  • American Association for Justice
  • Michigan Association for Justice
  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
  • Solo and Small Business Institute

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)

For help from an auto accident attorney

For help from an auto accident attorney now, call (800) 777-0028, or you can fill out our free consultation form. There’s no fee or obligation, and we’re here to answer all of your questions.

For more information on choosing the best lawyer, take a look at our Michigan Auto Law guarantee and our attorney evaluator. We also have a resource center that’s designed to answer all of your questions about hiring a lawyer after a car accident.

More Testimonials

My attorney was Thomas James. He was absolutely wonderful. Him and his associates did a great job on getting information that they needed to help my case. He went beyond too do his job. He explained things to me that I would understand. I would recommend him and your firm too family members and friends. Thank you Tom for everything you have done for me.
I was involved in an auto accident and didn’t know where to turn. I stumbled upon Michigan Auto Law on the internet. I worked with both Jeffrey Bussell and Thomas James. Michele, along with Robin, also helped to make this process smooth for me. I was impressed with all the work everyone did. I plan on recommending others to Michigan Auto Law.
I could not be happier with how things went. Tom and Steven walked me through the entire process from the beginning to a successful conclusion.
My brother and I were both injured in a auto accident. I was searching for a law firm online and decided to go with Michigan Auto Law. Tom and Jeff Bussell took great care of the both of us. They made this entire process smooth. I am very thankful for having the both of them on my case. My brother and I are extremely happy with the outcome.
I was researching law firms and came upon Michigan Auto Law. From my very first call to them, I felt welcomed. Tom, Michele, and Robin were a great team. They have all treated me with a great deal of respect. I will definitely be recommending other people to Michigan Auto Law. This is the best place to come to if you are injured in a accident.
Tom was very professional and nice to me. He explained the entire process in great detail. Robin and Michele were always available to me and answered any of my concerns. Everyone has been great here at Michigan Auto Law.
My experience with Michigan Auto Law was great from day one. From the very moment I met Tom, he expressed great care and concern for me. I never felt as if I were just a number. His assistant Michele was great as well. Both Tom and Michele were on top of everything for me. I could not have asked for a better team to handle my case. I am extremely happy and definitely plan on recommending others to this firm.
Tom and Jeff are two great attorneys here at Michigan Auto Law. The customer service level here is excellent. They were both very responsive and attentive to all of my concerns. Everyone here is very professional. I have already referred several people I know to this firm. You will not be disappointed!
from Dearborn Heights
Everyone that I had contact with was very nice especially, when it came to questions and making sure I was ok. I would like to really thank Carol Birnkrant, Michelle Gerken and Tom James. You guys are awesome.
from Detroit
Working with Michigan Auto Law was a great experience. Tom is a great attorney. He helped me so much throughout my case. Michele was also awesome in this process. She was such a great help. I cannot thank her enough for her patience and understanding with me. Tom and Michele are a great team and I will recommend them to others involved in an auto accident.
from White Lake
Tom was great! Anytime I called he answered all of my questions and concerns. He was extremely respectful of me and my time. Tom handled my case wonderfully. Michele and Robin were also great and really pleasant with me. I am very happy with Michigan Auto Law and what they have done for me. I plan on recommending others to this firm.
from Munger
everything about my experience with the firm was excellent!
from Saint Clair
Let me just say when I came to Michigan Auto law I was working with Michael. He was great, very thorough, and explained to me in detail this whole process. I began to work with Tom. He is an excellent attorney. Tom exercised a lot of patience with me. He truly fought for me. I will definitely be recommending others to this law firm.
from Canton
I can remember the first day I called. I was in so much pain, and afraid. Brandon spoke with me. Once I spoke to him I knew this was who I wanted to take care of my case. The entire staff of Michigan Auto Law is very professional. They bent over backwards for me. Tom has made this process so easy for me when working with him. I am very satisfied and happy with outcome of my case.
from Canton
Tom James, Michele, Robyn, Jeff B, Larry G all could not have been more gracious, compassionate or professional. Each interaction left me feeling better, safer, protected. They have very high standards and it shows. I am so grateful for you taking me under your wing. Thank you! I will highly recommend you to anyone who will listen!
from Detroit
Let me start by saying this is a great firm. I have already referred someone here. My attorney Tom was great. He was very thorough with helping me to understand my case. Tom has a great personality, and is highly organized. Robin is a part of Tom's team. She was a great help to me as well if I had any questions or concerns. Any questions I had were answered very quickly which was very impressive.
from Clinton Township
This is a great law firm. All of my questions were answered. They made sure that we were well inform informed of the process after I was injured in the accident. Michele was also very good in assisting me with my case. Everyone that I have dealt with here has been nothing but professional. I will definitely refer others to Michigan Auto Law.
from Robbinsville
Tom is the best. Everything went smooth. He answered all my questions and concerns. I never had to ask many questions because Tom kept me very informed. Michele was also great. She helped me out a great deal. If you are ever hurt in an accident you should definitely come here. I will be recommending anyone and everyone to Michigan Auto Law.
from Warren
This is a firm that believes in communication with their clients. Robin, Michelle, and Tom are a powerhouse trio. Michelle and Robin were very instrumental to me as well. They were very empathic concerning my injuries. Tom has spent a lot of time with me and exuded patience to the utmost. I have never felt rushed or brushed to the side. All lines of communication were open for me. They care about their clients. I have, and will continue to refer people to this firm. I want to also give a thanks to Larry Gursten who offered to help me and gave me his personal phone to contact him if I had any questions or concerns.
from Ypsilanti
My cousin and wife referred me to this firm, as they were previous clients. I had never been involved in an accident so I did not know how things worked. Tom is an extraordinary attorney. He answered all of my questions, explaining the law as well as my rights. Tom and Michelle checked in with me to see how I was doing and helping me with my case. The staff is very very friendly. I met Steve, who was kind to me and he answered my concerns. I am always going to recommend this firm and tell them how I was treated here. This is a caring and companionate firm. If I could give them 100 stars I would indeed.
from Taylor
Working with Tom was great. It was a very stressful situation but Tom made everything easier to deal with. He was very straight forward with the entire process from beginning to end. Nothing was a surprise when it happened. Tom, Michelle and Robin were always keeping me informed on what was going on with the case. I would 100% recommend Tom and Michigan Auto Law.
I wanted to take a moment to write about just how happy my husband Jeff & I are with the way everything went at Michigan Auto Law. We have never gone through this process. It was nice to be represented by a place that genuinely had me & my family’s best interest at heart. I actually told my lawyer Tom James when we were wrapping up our case that the only thing we'd miss in this process was him. He is a very smart, hardworking, very personable individual. He never once was cold or "all business". He treated Jeff & I like we mattered, and genuinely had our best interest at heart. We greatly appreciate all of the hard work, phone calls, & meetings that went into this process & genuinely appreciate being treated so kindly EVERY SINGLE TIME we interacted with anyone at your firm. Something as simple as Michelle, our paralegal, calling me to discuss things, every single time, I was always greeted with a pleasant tone, always asked how I was doing, how I was feeling....small gestures such as that made such a difference. We've spoken volumes to our families about the character of the individuals at Michigan Auto Law, & will not hesitate to recommend you. Again, thank you to Larry Gursten, Robin, Michelle & Tom for all of the hard work and dedication that you all put into making sure that Jeff & I were treated fair & right.
from Sterling Heights
I hurt my shoulder in a car accident. Michigan Auto Law came highly recommended. They helped me with every stage after the accident, including walking me through my No Fault lawsuit and the case for my injuries. My insurance company tried to give me a hard time, but my lawyer Tom and his team didn't let them. I was surprised the insurance company treated me this way because I had serious pain. I received all of my No Fault PIP benefits thanks to their support. Tom works with you and tells you what to expect. He was there for me in court, over the phone, any time I needed him. I have absolutely no complaints.
from Livonia
Tom James is a very knowledgeable attorney. He did everything for us when my father was in a car accident. He explained things in the way we needed and his paralegal Michele and secretary Robin were also always there to answer all of our questions. He did a great job. He's a great guy. We would recommend him, because we are happy with our settlement and our experience at Michigan Auto Law.
from Warren
Tom is a great lawyer. He's patient with his clients and I'm happy with the experience. Its been beautiful. Anytime I call, he answers my calls and I have absolutely no complaints. I highly recommend Tom. He's done his best with my case and it shows in my settlement.
from West Branch
My experience with Michigan Auto Law was super pleasant. My lawyer Tom James was extremely helpful. He gave me the reassurance that everything was going to be fine, because auto accidents obviously are never easy and it's a frustrating situation to be in. He was right. I'm here and I'm finally getting the medical help that I need which will give me relief from this pain I'm in. Tom handled my No fault case and secured my benefits from my insurance company and he settled my pain and suffering case. I'm very happy with what he did for me. I've never been through anything like this and there's no place I would have rather gone than Michigan Auto Law. It's a very nice firm that took care of me. Thank you, Tom. I also want to note that I referred my niece here and she's very happy as well.
from Hale
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.
from Farmington Hills
I live in Canada, but I'm an American citizen and I was in an accident in Michigan when I was visiting. I went online because I didn't want to go with anyone in Sarnia. I thought Michigan would have been a better fit for me. The lawyers at Michigan Auto Law seemed to be rated the highest, so I went with that. My lawyers Tom James and Brandon Hewitt helped me tremendously. Brandon started off my case and he's a great guy. He always had an answer to my questions and e-mails. Then my case turned over into litigation with Tom. He was excellent and friendly, too. I would definitely go back to Michigan Auto Law again. I'm happy with my experience. They were able to have contact with Canadian attorneys while working on my case.
from Chelsea
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.
from Allen Park
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.

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MAL Attorney Thomas James

Thomas James

Michigan Auto Law

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 60 reviews
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