Saint Petersburg Civil Trial Lawyer Scott Johni always knew he wanted to become an attorney, but in 1986 when he was a 19-year-old student attending Eckerd College, a life-changing car crash propelled him on his career path in injury law. The victim of a negligent, uninsured driver, Johni survived a fractured C2 vertebra, considered among the most severe of spinal cord injuries. The injury caused him to experience temporary paralysis necessitating major surgery followed by extensive physical therapy.
“When I survived the crash in ’86…I was given a second chance, is how I look at it,” says Johni. “I can empathize with a lot of people who come into my office, because I’ve been there and I understand. That’s probably the most rewarding thing, is just the helping of other people. I like to at least think that that’s partly why I survived that accident.” Over the last 23 years, Johni has worked to bring justice to those who have been hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence by trying cases and negotiating fair settlements for his clients in the areas of personal injury, consumer litigation and class action litigation on both sides of Tampa Bay.
Johni says that debilitating physical injuries and economic consequences that people are left to deal with after car, motorcycle or pedestrian accidents are the biggest challenges his clients face, especially when the person at fault is uninsured or underinsured.
“In the blink of an eye things can change,” says Johni, which is why he says it’s a point of pride for the small staff at The Law Office of Scott Johni, P.A. to take good care of their clients. “We have a real personal touch as far as our office. Our clients know us, they know me and I’m the lawyer, they know my office staff, they get prompt responses; great service. We take great pride in that, our personal touch.”
Johni quips that his wife, Lisa, is instrumental in running the firm. “I always say she’s more important than I am to the actual day to day running of the office.” The couple started working together in 1995 and then in December 2015, they made the move to work full time out their St. Pete office on Dr. MLK Jr. St. N. Lisa Johni has worked in every office capacity, from claims handling, accounting, and the management of the various administrative aspects. “It either works for you or it doesn’t, working with your spouse, and with my wife, Lisa, it’s always worked well for the two of us.”
Another thing Johni notes as unique about his office is that while the vast majority of personal injury cases settle, he has a lot of trial experience. “What differentiates my firm from a lot of firms out there is that I try a lot of cases,” Johni says. “There are cases that need to go to trial.”
Besides representing victims of accidents, Johni also contributes to the St. Petersburg area by volunteering at the front desk of the Ronald McDonald House in the Bayfront complex, something he’s done since the late 1990s. He and his wife are also active in the Canterbury School of Florida, where their daughter is a student. They also support the Junior League of St. Petersburg, Museum of Fine Arts, Lawyers for Literacy, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Guild, and the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida.
Johni says his best advice to people to avoid the financial struggles that often result from unforeseen accidents is, “You have to protect against everyone else out there who has minimal or street legal coverage… so if you’re hurt you need to protect against other people not having enough insurance by purchasing Uninsured motorist coverage on your own automobile policy . You cannot be over insured.”
The Law Office of Scott Johni, PA is located at 2600 Dr. MLK, Jr. Street N, Suite 300. For more information, call (727) 520-7376, 813) 286-2811 or visit their website at www.johnilaw.com.