Joseph F. Gaar Jr.
Joseph F. Gaar, Jr. was born in Shreveport,, Louisiana on December 2, 1958. Mr. Gaar grew up in South Louisiana and received a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies, where he graduated with honors in 1981 from Louisiana State University. Mr. Gaar graduated in the top of his class and received his Juris Doctor degree in 1985 from Loyola Law School in New Orleans. Since his admission to the Louisiana Bar in 1985, Mr. Gaar has been involved in personal injury and wrongful death litigation cases with emphasis on offshore/maritime, aviation, products liability, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, industrial, trucking and automobile accident claims. Mr. Gaar tried his first personal injury jury trial within the first year of solo practice, and obtained his first six figure personal injury jury verdict by the end of his third year of solo practice. In 1996, Mr. Gaar obtained a $4.2 million dollar jury verdict in Assumption Parish, which at the time was the largest jury verdict for that parish and one of the largest jury verdicts in the State of Louisiana for that year. Mr. Gaar has also obtained other multimillion dollar settlements and verdicts since that decision. His areas of practice include: Oil Field Liability, Offshore Construction Liability, Products Liability Law, Maritime Personal Injury Law, Jones Act Law, Aviation Litigation, Trucking and Auto Accident Litigation and General Personal Injury Law.
Mr. Gaar is an "AV" rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell (highest rating possible). In 2009, Mr. Gaar was also selected to Super Lawyers for Louisiana as one of the top trial lawyers for plaintiff personal injury cases. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Additionally, in 2009 and every year since, his peers have selected Mr. Gaar into The National Trial Lawyers Association’s – “The Top 100 Trial Lawyers” for Louisiana. Mr. Gaar is also a member of the Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Joe Gaar practices exclusively in the area of personal injury and wrongful death claims. He has negotiated settlements and litigated trials for bodily injury and wrongful death claims of various kinds and complexity, including car, trucking and auto collision accidents, defective product accidents, electrocution/burn injuries, brain injuries, amputations, medical negligence, legal malpractice, industrial accidents, oil field accidents, maritime accidents, as well as crew boat, and offshore accidents. He has represented thousands of injured persons and their families seeking reasonable compensation for legitimate injuries. At The Gaar Law Firm, Mr. Gaar and his attorneys’ provide personal attention and professional advocacy for individuals who have been injured or suffered wrongful death due to the carelessness or negligence of others. Mr. Gaar strives for legal excellence and maximum recovery for each and every client, as we believe that word of mouth referrals based on client satisfaction is, and always will be, the best advertisement of professional success. The Gaar Law Firm provides references upon request.
A Personal Note from Joe Gaar:
I am a personal injury lawyer because I like helping people who have been wronged by others. I have always felt the need to “stand up for the little guy”. While growing up, my parents always expected me to work. I spent my summers and off time working on hard manual labor jobs. I worked as a helper and laborer for welders, electricians, riggers and pipefitters. I worked on pipelines, board roads and in oil refineries. I was never afraid of hard work and brought this same mind set with me when I became an attorney. Success does not come easy, but success does come with hard work, determination and a fair amount of risk taking. We here at the Gaar Law Firm treat our clients with the respect and dignity that they expect and deserve. When taking on new clients, I constantly tell my attorneys and staff to “treat our clients, as if they were the client”, “treat people the same way you would want to be treated”, and to “put yourself in the client’s shoes”. This philosophy has brought us great success. The vast majority of our clients stay in touch with us for many years after their cases have been resolved. Today, most of our business still comes from former client referrals.
I have a large family and think of my own wife and children when representing injured clients. I think of how my client’s misfortune affects not only them, but their families as well.
I have always prided myself on doing what is best for the client. I like being a Louisiana trial lawyer because it gives me the opportunity to do something for the working men and women of Louisiana. It allows me to stand up for those less fortunate, who cannot stand up to big corporations or companies on their own.
I did not have any attorneys in my family before making the decision to go to law school. It was only after graduating from college when I had an opportunity to work for a lawyer friend of our family that I was able to appreciate what the practice of law was all about. With law, I found an occupation that involved real people and real life stories, and an opportunity to make a difference. After graduating from Loyola Law School in 1985, my first job as an associate was in a large insurance defense, maritime and admiralty law firm. I really enjoyed learning the law as a young lawyer, but could not relate with the cold heartless insurance companies that our firm defended. At depositions and hearings, I always found myself sympathizing with the injured individuals that we were opposing. So after two years of defending corporations and boat companies, I decided to switch to representing injured plaintiffs. The first ten years were extremely difficult. I started with absolutely nothing when I opened my practice. My net worth was minus $700.00. I took the cases other lawyers didn’t want and was often told that I could never win some of the cases I took. I enjoyed the challenge. With time and hard work, I had great success. The many clients that I represented sent me more clients which helped me build a reputation as a “fighter”. Insurance defense attorneys know that I will try my cases. We are not afraid to take on the big trucking, insurance and oil and gas companies, and they know it.
Our success has bred success. Now we get referrals from other lawyers and law firms, that don’t have the knowledge or financial wherewithal to handle the big cases. If you, a family member or friend has been injured, then let us help you. Call us, I promise you will be happy with the representation that our attorney’s will provide.
Areas of Practice
- Admiralty & Maritime Law
- Legal Malpractice
- Medical Malpractice
- Motor Vehicle Accidents -- Plaintiff
- Personal Injury -- Plaintiff
- Products Liability Law
- Sexual Harassment
- Toxic Torts
- Workers' Compensation Law
- Truck Accidents
- Wrongful Death Law
- Louisiana, 1985
- Texas, 1995
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana, 1985
- U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana, 1985
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana, 1985
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas, 1995
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas, 1995
- U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1985
- Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana
- J.D. - 1985
- Louisiana State University
- B.S. - 1981
Honors and Awards
- Million Dollar Advocates Forum, 1997 - 2012
- Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum, 1997 - 2012
- The National Trial Lawyers - The Top 100 Trial Lawyers, 2009 - 2012
- Super Lawyers® - Louisiana, 2009 - 2012
- Acadiana Profile - Top Lawyers – Admiralty and Maritime Law, 2013 - 2014
- Martindale Hubbell – AV Peer Review Rating, 2011 - 2014
- Litigator Awards – “Top 1% of All Lawyers in America” - 2014
- The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys – “10 Best” , Louisiana – 2014-2015
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Louisiana State Bar Association, 1985 - Present
- Texas State Bar Association, 1995 - Present
- New Orleans Bar Association, 1985 - 1987
- American Bar Association, 1985 - 1987
- St. Landry Parish Bar Association, 1986 - 1995
- Lafayette Parish Bar Association, 1988 - Present
- Lafayette Trial Lawyers Association, 1988 - Present
- Louisiana Association for Justice, 1985 - Present
- The American Association for Justice, 1985 - Present
- Texas Trial Lawyers Association , 1995 - 2012