Sam Smith, paralegal at Helgesen, Houtz & Jones

About Samantha Smith

Samantha is an extraordinary paralegal. Jack Helgesen, our firm founder, says she’s an “engaging, smart, energetic advocate. In my forty years of lawyering, I have never seen a paralegal with a better combination of personality, intelligence, training, and character.” Sam is a great listener and a client favorite. Most of Sam’s clients have been injured in tragic accidents. When she takes a person’s case (her choice), she becomes their friend and vigorous advocate. Jack recalls, “we had a woman who was injured by a defective product. Sam and I investigated the case, and I decided not to take it. Sam disagreed, promising me that she would find a way to win. Six months later, we gave the client a large settlement check. Sam’s strategy was perfect and our client was ecstatic.” Samantha is a very good writer and an eager reader. She has a curious mind and loves puzzles. She pays attention to details in her clients’ cases, just as she unraveled mysteries in her prior career as a police crime scene technician. When other lawyers in the firm have a difficult legal task, they give it to Samantha. “Sam can do it,” they tell us. She’s smart, and she is the only person in the thirty-eight year history of our law firm to have a Master’s degree in paralegal studies (George Washington University). Don’t assume she’s studious and boring. Sam would much rather be outdoors, driving her Jeep over back roads and sleeping under the stars with her husband Josh and her daughter, Jenny. When she’s home, Sam and Josh sometimes play video games and eat pizza all night. She has many pets. Sam hates injustice and likes helping distressed people. She works well with opposing attorneys and insurance companies but she is not a pushover. “If you want to understand Sam,” Jack says, “you should see her on the roller derby track. She’s really good.” We could go on and on about Samantha. You really should meet her.

Compensation for Personal Injury

“A study conducted by the Insurance Research Counsel suggests people who suffer bodily injuries in an auto accident due to driver, manufacturer and/or government negligence win 3.5 times more in settlement compensation while represented by an attorney than injury victims who don’t hire a personal injury attorney.” Quote from’s article Will I Get [...]

By |2021-02-12T21:30:15+00:00February 16th, 2021|Personal Injury|0 Comments

Choosing the right personal injury firm for you

You may be familiar with this idea. It goes something like this: “Service, Time, or Settlement – pick two.” In other words, you can have: Excellent and fast service but the settlement is low; Fast service with a reasonable settlement but the service is not excellent; or A high settlement with excellent service [...]

By |2021-02-02T21:55:24+00:00February 2nd, 2021|Personal Injury|0 Comments

Mediating a personal injury case

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need.” -Mick Jagger What is mediation? Mediation is an alternative way to resolve your personal injury claim before going to trial. Are you required to mediate? Mediation is encouraged in Utah and a [...]

By |2021-01-08T22:04:40+00:00January 11th, 2021|Personal Injury|0 Comments

Striking a deal without an attorney

Common Mistakes for Unrepresented Claims: Settling for too little Settling too fast Not providing the right evidence Not understanding lien processes Over or under-confident Not understanding all the losses that can be claimed Taking on battles yourself can be appealing. But let me tell you from my own personal experience it is [...]

By |2020-12-29T19:35:37+00:00December 29th, 2020|Personal Injury|0 Comments

Understanding medical liens

Six Common Liens in Personal Injury Cases Medical Lien – A lien between you and your medical provider. Health Insurance Lien – A lien with private or employer-funded health insurance plans. Medicaid Lien – A lien with benefit recipients, which is governed by federal and state law. Medicare Lien – A lien with benefit [...]

By |2020-12-29T19:02:25+00:00December 14th, 2020|Personal Injury|0 Comments

Did you know? Wills and trusts for the younger generation

According to a new survey, “A staggering 78 percent of millennials (ages 18-36) do not have a will. Even more surprising is that 64 percent of Generation X (ages 37 to 52) doesn’t have a will…” ______________ “Just 4 out of 10 adults have a will.” Hi! Samantha here, Jack Helgesen’s [...]

By |2020-11-24T20:19:02+00:00November 30th, 2020|Estate Planning|0 Comments

Did you know? Giving your testimony in a deposition

The American Bar Association’s Witness Rules for Depositions ___________________________________ Speak slowly and clearly. Pause after each question. Listen to objections and instructions. Tell the truth. Short answers are best. Do not answer unclear questions. Ask for a break if needed. Read documents carefully. Do not conclude instructions. A deposition is when you [...]

By |2020-11-13T21:41:37+00:00November 16th, 2020|Personal Injury|0 Comments

How medical records impact your personal injury claim

According to   Ross Koppel, a leading academic in the world of health IT,  about 70 percent of medical records have the wrong information. “There are millions of records out there and screw-ups happen,” he said. Most errors are irrelevant to health outcomes — for instance, a record might state that a patient hurt [...]

By |2020-10-30T22:31:48+00:00November 3rd, 2020|Personal Injury|0 Comments

Did you know? You shouldn’t waive your underinsured coverage

According to the Uninsured Motorist Statistics for 2019, 13% of drivers in the U.S. do not have insurance. For those that do have auto insurance, do they have enough insurance in case of an accident or injury? Have you ever thought about who pays for your losses if you are injured in [...]

By |2020-10-20T17:34:17+00:00October 20th, 2020|Personal Injury|0 Comments
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