Fighting for the Underdog – Get to Know Attorney Michael Bertling
Attorney Michael Bertling had aspirations to be a police officer when he first attended UW-Platteville back in the late 1970’s. Little did he know that the law courses he would take during his undergraduate coursework would lead to a different way of upholding the law, while fighting for the underdog.
His affinity for the smattering of law classes within the Platteville criminal justice program piqued his interest and led one of his professors to suggest he continue on to law school. Mr. Bertling took this advice seriously, eventually graduating from Marquette University Law School. “While I was at MU I took part in the Moot Court program and I found I really liked developing an argument and defending my position.” This experience steered him to his first taste of personal injury law, working on the defense side of the equation. “It was a great experience, but I felt drawn to help the plaintiff. It is harder than defense because the system is often stacked in favor of insurance companies. Plaintiff personal injury allows me to help the little guy get what he is rightfully owed,” he reflects.
When Bertling considers the questions he hears from his clients, “do I really need an attorney?” is among the most common. His early experience on the defense side gives him perspective regarding the tactics of insurance providers “They are skilled at playing to people’s fears about plaintiff lawyers, telling them that it is too expensive and they won’t get any more money if they work with an attorney.” Bertling indicates that nothing could be further from the truth. “In reality, the insurance company does not have to take the client seriously without a lawyer. There are a lot of intricacies to a personal injury case that most people just don’t know about. Things that, in most cases, will help them get a larger settlement than if they if they represent themselves,” Bertling notes.
Experience is a key differentiator when working with Michael. He notes that many people think personal injury is easy so they “dabble” in it as a part of their practice area offerings. Bertling has specialized exclusively in personal injury for the past 34 years. In addition, he has a good reputation among his legal peers. “I have worked with a lot of attorneys and judges in my 34 years. They know that I serve my clients with integrity and compassion and have a firm grasp on plaintiff rights.”
When a client sits down with Mr. Bertling there is a certain ease in the conversation. He is thorough and takes the time to answer any questions they have. “One of the biggest complaints I hear from my clients who come from another attorney is that they just didn’t feel like they were in the loop. I want clients to be a part of the process every step of the way. Before any case is settled, they know every scenario. They see where the settlement will be distributed and exactly how much they will end up with. I also tell my clients that the decisions are theirs. I present every option to them, but they have complete control.”
Faith and family are the two components that help him in his legal practice. “My faith gives me strength and allows me to comfort my clients. And, my family gives me joy and a purpose for what I do every day,” He notes. “In the end, I want my clients to know that we have all been in difficult situations and it is okay to seek outside help to work through the details. I am honored to be called upon during these unfortunate times to give them peace and direction.”