Walker Law, LLC, 135 East Main Street in Lexington, focuses primarily on catastrophic injury litigation, but for legendary attorney Billy Walker himself, it’s always been about helping people.
Walker actually started his career teaching at an all-black school in rural South Carolina, where the stark differences in quality and opportunity in education were shocking.
“My mother got me a job, and none of the parents could read and the children wore the same clothes every day. They were anxious to read, but they didn’t learn it,” Walker said. “And it was an eye-opening experience for me. It changed my life in terms of understanding the handicaps people who are different from me have to experience. I went to a public school, the difference in the quality of education was stark and disturbing. I said I could help these people more as a lawyer than I can as a teacher.”
After earning his law degree from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, Walker practiced law for many years before finding his niche in an area of litigation that was almost unheard of. In the 1980s, South Carolina experienced a rash of catastrophic burn injuries due to faulty gas cans, and Walker knew he could help.
“It was an epidemic and people had horrific burns. I met the founder of the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia, and that was a game-changer for me”
Walker took the case of a young man who suffered from burns across 80 percent of his body from a go-kart accident. Because the gas tank was placed over the exhaust manifold, the gasoline ignited and injured the boy severely.
“The kid got compensated for his horrific burns, and he's now doing well in life and overcame his injuries to the extent he could. I went back to Dr Still and told him about the case and that he also got paid.”
Dr. Still’s burn center treated any person, regardless of pay, for their injuries, so compensation was desperately needed. The two men began working together to help burn victims who suffered from others’ negligence.
“Dr. Still advocated for this, and I would help him help the patient. We would find the money to pay Dr. Still’s work, and that's how I got into burning cases and I've done them all over the country,” said Walker. “The problem was you had great doctors doing the burn work, but they weren't getting paid very much. The doctors realized that there was a place in the world for somebody to help those clients get paid, and that’s what I do. ”
Today, Walker Law continues to help people who have catastrophic injuries, something that Walker feels passionately about.
“If somebody loses a limb or somebody gets burned, I do serious injury. I don't do fender benders. I'll take a case to help somebody who needs help,” he said.
Walker continues to be a legendary courtroom attorney in South Carolina, but his work in advancing advocacy for burn victims has a lasting impact.
“I have no intention to retire. I like what I do, and I like how I help people,” said Walker.
For more information, call Walker Law LLC at (803) 359-6194 or visit walkerlaw.org.