Brain Injury Attorneys

What is a traumatic brain injury?

When dealing with brain injury legal cases you will hear the reference “TBI” which stands for traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries are broken into subcategories from minor to severe. At the minor end of the scale is a concussion and at the severe end is an open skull fracture with direct trauma into the brain.

If you reference the corresponding video below you can see what happens to the brain in a collision. The human skull is a collection of bones that have grown together, and the inside of the skull is not comprised of nice smooth edges, there are a lot of rough edges and textures where the bones have grown together.

The brain sits inside the skull and what happens in an accident as the skull is thrown forward into an airbag or worse a solid object and the skull stops on impact, but the brain doesn’t. The brain is still moving forward and thrown into the rough edges on the inside of a skull. Then there is the rebound of all that in the other direction. This causes tearing at a microscopic level of the brain tissue. Even with today’s modern science we do not have the ability to see these microscopic injuries to the brain, short of doing an autopsy and looking at the brain tissue under a microscope. 

Understanding traumatic brain injuries

What happens when people suffer these types of minor traumatic brain injuries (concussions) is that they go to the emergency room and are put in a CAT scan or CT scan. As an example, view the video below where you can see a CT scan image. In this image you can see the white area which is actually a collection of blood. The blood pools because of the injury to the brain and if severe enough this will be visible in a CT scan. As you can see in the video, the pool of blood is compressing the brain. In this image, the injury would be classified as a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury.

If nothing is shown in the CT scan you will read in the x-ray, radiology and emergency room records that the CT imaging was negative, in that it shows no injury.  The common misconception is that negative reading of the radiology is that it equates to no injury. By its definition, a minor TBI (concussion) will have negative radiology. Medical science just does not have the ability to see injury to the brain of a living human at the microscopic level. Furthermore, there is no medical treatment to fix these injured brain cells.

At Willis, Willis & Rizzi in our roles as brain injury attorneys we have met with many clients who report that they have not felt right since the collision which caused their injuries. As we talk with our clients further, often they don’t understand why they are not feeling better because they were told at the hospital that the CT scan was negative. However, what a negative CT scan means is you don’t have a moderate to several traumatic brain injury.  Medical science can perform treatment to address moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries. That is what the emergency room staff is looking for in a CT Scan, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have a concussion!  By its definition a concussion is going to have “normal” radiology imaging because medical technology currently cannot “see” a concussion.

Challenges in brain injury cases

There are many challenges in brain injury cases particularly when dealing with concussions sustained from the injuries because the concussion can’t be seen in a CT scan. If you break an arm or a leg, this is easy to see in an x-ray. A concussion is different and requires extensive evaluation to document the symptoms which can include:

  • Headache or “pressure” in head.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision.
  • Bothered by light or noise.
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy.
  • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems.
  • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down”.

In our brain injury cases we have had clients who have been out of work for months as they recover from a concussion. You have to take this amount of time to give the brain time to heal properly but during this time, you are not working. You’re not making money and the bills are piling up.

As brain injury attorneys we represent a lot of people with concussions. There is an old adage “Seeing is believing”. In the insurance company world, it’s almost the opposite, if they can’t see it – they don’t believe it. Since they can’t see a concussion, they question if the concussion truly exists.

This is why at Willis, Willis & Rizzi our focus is on ensuring that our clients are getting good medical care from the correct medical providers. These providers are experts in dealing with neurological issues related to concussions and ultimately can help clients recover and help us prove that a concussion actually exists.

Why hire Willis, Willis & Rizzi to handle a brain injury case?

As brain injury attorneys, we counsel our clients and tell them that their goal is to get better. Do whatever you need to do to get back to normal or as close to normal as possible. Our goal at Willis, Willis & Rizzi is to handle all of the legal ramifications of the brain injury. No one can do the treatments for you; you have to do the treatments to get better.

At Willis, Willis & Rizzi our legal team is uniquely positioned to deal with traumatic brain injury cases. We have dealt with many brain injury cases over the years. We have great relationships with the doctors and medical providers who know how to deal with a concussion. We understand the medicine involved with traumatic brain injuries. We understand when a client is not getting the treatment they should be getting.

Since our legal firm does a more boutique style business as compared to the large, mass marketed assembly line legal firms that don’t pay the correct amount of attention to their clients – we can see when a client is not getting the right amount of care.

We understand what you are going through, and because of our approach to personal injury law, we have the time and resources to monitor the situation and ensure you are getting the care that you need to get better, as well as providing the legal expertise you need to help you get your life back.

Contact us today at 330-535-2000 or fill out the request form and we can discuss your traumatic brain injury.

Truck Accident Attorneys

Truck Accident Attorneys Akron, Ohio

Misconceptions by personal injury attorneys when dealing with truck accident injury claims

At Willis, Willis & Rizzi we have been attorneys for hundreds of trucking accident injury claims. We have found that one of the biggest misconceptions by other personal injury lawyers in these claims is to treat a trucking accident the same as a car accident. In reality, these are completely separate worlds. A trucking accident injury, from a legal standpoint requires a completely different approach than a car accident injury because truck drivers and truck companies are governed by a vast array of regulations in addition to the basic responsibilities of operating a motor vehicle on our roads. There is an entire government body of federal regulations that truck drivers and companies must abide by before a trucking company even lets a truck driver on the road.    

How Willis, Willis & Rizzi approaches trucking accident injury claims

When we receive a trucking accident case in our office, our initial thoughts are that this story didn’t start with what happened on the road that particular day. As trucking accident attorneys, we understand that there are chapters in this story that happened before the accident and injury. We want to look at what happened before the truck driver ever got on the road that day. You can separate trucking accidents into 3 categories:

  1. Before the driver ever got on the road, did the trucking company properly vet this driver? Did the company look into and determine is this a safe, responsible driver?
  2. The second category we investigate is was there driver error. What was the conduct of the truck driver? Was the driver intoxicated? Was the driver fatigued? Was the driver operating the truck recklessly?
  3. The third category we look into is the truck itself. Was there a problem with the truck due to a mechanical issue or failure to inspect?

In terms of looking at the actual vehicle collision there are many regulations that govern truck drivers in terms of their driving. The federal government regulates how many hours a truck driver can be on the road. Was that truck driver a fatigued truck driver? Was the driver driving in excess of the amount of hours they were allowed to drive? Truck drivers are under a lot of pressure to get a load from point A to point B; time is money and the faster they can deliver their load, the better the truck driver looks. 

In our experience trucking companies almost always take the approach to fight liability. They will tell you their truck driver was perfectly trained and doing nothing wrong. But in our digital age, what many people don’t know is that these truck drivers are being video recorded while they are driving. There are cameras in the truck cab with someone in a driver’s hub many miles away watching that driver. This information, this evidence, is in the hands of the trucking companies, and you need an experienced trucking accident lawyer to use every legal tactic available to get access to this evidence to determine if that truck driver was doing something they shouldn’t have been doing when the accident occurred.

What are the challenges for a lawyer in a truck accident injury claim?

In our experience as lawyers for truck accident victims we have faced many challenges. Concealment. Obfuscation.  The insurance companies that insure these trucking companies have immense resources at their hands and have crisis response teams that in our opinion are present to engage in damage control in a trucking accident. This happens before we have even learned about the case.

When we get involved as attorneys in a trucking accident our goal is to determine what information is available, and to get access to those documents and information. Much of the information that we want to see in terms of that driver’s qualifications, whether that truck was properly inspected that day, and whether that truck driver should have been on the road in the first place is in the possession of the trucking companies and their insurance providers. Those are documents that we need to see that they control. There is a lot of battling to get those documents through the court process, and Willis, Willis & Rizzi are skilled at gaining control of the documents needed in a trucking accident case.

Determining fault and liability in a trucking accident injury claim

When determining fault and liability in a trucking accident injury claim often times trucking companies will claim they are not liable because the driver was an independent contractor. There are federal regulations that state whether the driver was an independent contractor or not, the driver works for the trucking company and the company is responsible for the conduct of that driver.

Many times, in these cases we are not only making a claim against the driver, but also a separate claim against the trucking company itself for their negligence in even hiring that driver, or their negligence in even retaining that driver despite behavioral or other concerns that came up while that driver was working for that company. We have brought direct claims against trucking companies for their failure to properly train or supervise that driver.

There is the conduct on the road at the time of the accident that the truck driver and company are liable for as well as conduct before the accident even occurred. And through the legal process we can often show that if a trucking company had done their jobs properly in training and supervising drivers or ensuring proper maintenance and inspection of the truck vehicle, we would not be dealing with the trucking accident today.

Why hire Willis, Willis & Rizzi as your Truck Accident Attorneys

Over the last 15 years, Willis, Willis & Rizzi has handled hundreds of truck accident cases and in our experience it is vital to get into the case as early as possible. There are letters that need to go out to protect information. There are things that we can do with regulatory agencies and the trucking companies themselves to let them know that we are involved and telling them that they need to save these documents because if litigation comes, we will be asking for these documents. We have the tools and resources to get our hands on this information, and we also know what steps to take if we feel like we are not being allowed to get access.  We have the awareness and experience to go around the trucking companies to get access to information through the federal agencies that regulate truck drivers and trucking companies.

We feel that that type of experience in these trucking accident cases is invaluable. There are too many personal injury attorneys that lump trucking accidents in the same category as car accidents. They only look at the injuries and base the value of your case on the injuries alone. At Willis, Willis & Rizzi we look at the case in a much broader way that goes beyond the injuries in the case. There is the injury, and there is what happened before the injury, what led to the accident even happening in the first place. We feel that what happened before the injury adds value to the trucking accident claim.

Contact us today at 330-535-2000 or fill out the request form and we can discuss your trucking accident injury case.

Personal Injury Attorneys – Why Willis, Willis & Rizzi?

Why Hire Willis, Willis & Rizzi As Your Personal Injury Attorneys?

If you have been injured in an accident and you feel like you are stuck on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere with a pirate ship full of insurance adjusters and their mumbo jumbo lobbing cannon balls at you, the personal injury attorneys at Willis, Willis & Rizzi are the equivalent of the entire US Navy Seventh Fleet coming over the horizon. The dynamics and the narrative change. Answers are had. Often our hard hitting approach leads to personal injury claims settling earlier rather than later.

When we accept your personal injury case, here is what we do:

  • We take care of our clients
  • Every day, every attorney in our firm works solely on representing injured people – nothing else.
  • We have been doing that for 35 years.
  • We help our clients find good competent medical care.
  • We help our clients make sure the right party is paying the medical bills.
  • We help our clients make sure they have the money they need to survive.
  • We help our clients get paid the compensation they deserve.
  • In short, we help clients recover medically and monetarily.

Here is what we do not do:

  • We do not represent insurance companies – never have.
  • We do not represent big business interests – never have.
  • We do not waste our time with advertising on TV, radio, buses or billboards – never have.

WHY?  – we don’t need to.  We take care of our clients and in turn they refer us the vast majority of our personal injury work.  We also get referrals from other lawyers, judges, doctors, friends and family.

We have tried, arbitrated, mediated and settled thousands and thousands of personal injury and wrongful death claims. We have all the resources to handle your serious injury or death claim. 

If you feel like you are alone in your struggle, you need not be. We are dedicated to helping our clients with personal injury claims through these trying times.

It Costs the Same, So Why Be Just Another Number?

All attorneys in personal injury cases work on what’s called a contingency fee which means the attorney only gets paid a percentage at the end of a case, and only if there is a recovery. And the contingency fee percentage is very similar from law firm to law firm. Try to think about it this way: if you had to choose which restaurant to eat at for dinner and the bill at the end of the evening would be exactly the same, would you choose to eat at a fast food restaurant, or would you choose to eat at the best restaurant in town? So why go to the legal equivalent of a fast food restaurant?

That’s why you should consider Willis, Willis & Rizzi for your personal injury case. We are not the equivalent of the advertising fast food restaurant in the legal world. Call us today at 330-535-2000 or fill out the request form and we can discuss your claim.

Product Liability Lawyers

What are some examples of defective product liability cases?

At Willis, Willis & Rizzi, located in Akron, Ohio we have litigated a wide variety of defective product liability cases that have caused serious injuries to our clients. These injuries have resulted from defective products such as air bags, cars, dental tools, medical tools, medical devices, construction scaffolding, guns, directional drilling equipment on a gas rig, and even children’s toys just to name a few.

If you have been injured by a product and you feel it was not your fault, contact us today and we can discuss your situation and advise you if there may be a defective product injury case.

What are the challenges with defective product liability cases?

The biggest challenge in a defective product liability case is that every product is different, and attorneys are not engineers or subject matter experts on every product in the marketplace. The law firm you choose to represent you must be willing to reach out and find the experts on the product in question, as well as research and learn as much about the product themselves as possible. Knowledge of the product is always a challenge since the manufacturer of the product obviously knows more than everyone else involved in the case. But by seeking out product experts and digging into the product information, competent lawyers can level the playing field with product manufacturers and start to unravel why the product failed. Did the manufacturer try to save money by shortening up the manufacturing process to make the product cheaper? Was there an engineering/design flaw in the product? Was the product not maintained properly? These are challenging questions as many products are very complex with many people involved.

At Willis, Willis & Rizzi we go to great lengths to become experts on the product in question, to get into that world and understand what went wrong. It can be a very intense investigation with product research and testing.

Do manufacturers try to avoid responsibility in product liability cases?

Typically, the initial reaction from product manufacturers is the product was used improperly, or the victim used the product improperly. There are situations where this may be the truth, but certainly not all the time. Again, this is where the lawyers in the case have to dig in and find the product experts to help ascertain what went wrong with the product. There are many different specialists we can rely on such as engineers, metallurgists, medical device experts, and so on.

Oftentimes what we have seen in our cases is that manufacturing has tried to reduce cost or speed up the manufacturing of the product by using cheaper materials or processes. For example, using spot welding instead of full length welding. This may make sense to the engineer in the lab where the product was designed, but in practical scenarios in rough environments often the products won’t hold up to the stress.

Why should I hire Willis, Willis & Rizzi as my product liability attorneys?

We are a boutique law firm; we get 100% behind the personal injury cases that we decide to accept. That is where the difference lies between Willis, Willis & Rizzi and other law firms you may be considering for your defective product liability case.

The types of cases that we like to accept are those for which the individual has had life-altering injuries such as the person will not be able to work in the same job or profession or enjoy the same quality of life for which they were accustomed. We have a very strong background in dealing with experts in the medical field on those types of life-altering issues.

When litigating a defective product injury case there are two important considerations when choosing an attorney or law firm to represent you. We discussed earlier the requirement to be a “product expert” for the product in question, to be able to try the product liability aspect of the case. But the attorney or law firm must also have expertise in trying the personal injury side of the case and this is something that Willis, Willis & Rizzi deals with on a daily basis. Whatever your personal injuries are, we have dealt with the types of medical experts the case requires to get our clients the most favorable result possible.

We are a small law firm located in Akron, Ohio and we put all our resources behind the cases that we accept in the personal injury field. We do not do mass volume, assembly line production of personal injury cases. When we take on your case you get extraordinary care, attention, and dedication that you wouldn’t get from a larger law firm that looks at your case as just another number.

That’s why you should consider Willis, Willis & Rizzi for your product liability personal injury case.

Call us today at 330-535-2000 or fill out the request form and we can discuss your case.

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Is there a different approach an attorney should take with a motorcycle accident claim vs. an automobile accident claim?

At Willis, Willis & Rizzi in Akron, Ohio our approach to representing victims involved in motorcycle accidents is different than our approach for an automobile accident claim. And when you are looking for a personal injury lawyer to represent you when you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to select a personal injury firm that understands what you are going through, and how to approach representing your interests against the insurance companies who will want to change the narrative of your case.

When an individual is involved in a motorcycle accident the level of injuries involved is typically far greater than an automobile accident. When you are in a car you are far more protected due to seat belts and air bags than when you are on a motorcycle. Injuries involved in a motorcycle accident are typically due to putting the motorcycle down on the pavement, physically coming in contact with the other vehicle, or oftentimes being ejected from the motorcycle.

Are there challenges in dealing with insurance companies and motorcycle accident claims?

In our experience in handling many motorcycle accident injury claims we have recognized that there is still a stereotype involved with motorcycle drivers. Often insurance companies will suggest that since our client is on a motorcycle, they must be part of an outlaw motorcycle gang, or they were a daredevil on the bike and attempting tricks on the road and speeding.

When you have a motorcycle injury claim it’s important to find a good personal injury attorney who can be your advocate and dispel the perception that the insurance company will want to portray, that you are a reckless operator simply because you were driving your bike through the Metro Park on a sunny summer day.

Why should I hire Willis, Willis & Rizzi as my attorneys to handle my motorcycle accident claim?

When you are injured in a motorcycle accident it’s imperative to hire a personal injury firm that realizes motorcycle accidents are not your typical rear-ended motor vehicle collisions. These are serious collisions with serious injuries, where the insurance company is hoping to portray you in a negative way, and to make the jury believe that since you ride a motorcycle, you must have been reckless and that was the cause of the accident, not their insured.

We feel it’s critical to have a personal injury firm on your side that can get in at the beginning stages of your case and change the narrative that the insurance companies will certainly want to portray.

At Willis, Willis & Rizzi of Akron, Ohio we feel our firm is well-equipped to represent victims involved in motorcycle accidents because we understand the stereotypes that you will face from the insurance companies.

We have represented clients involved in motorcycle accidents that have involved minor injuries all the way through to fatalities. We have seen the whole spectrum of motorcycle accidents.

What we can tell you is that when dealing with motorcycle accident insurance claims whether it involves minor injuries or more severe injuries it’s imperative that you obtain a personal injury lawyer who can immediately step in and change the narrative. The insurance companies will want to portray what they feel happened on the road that day, and they will do just that unless you have representation that knows how to make the insurance companies understand that it didn’t happen the way they are want the jury to perceive how the accident happened.

Contact Willis, Wills & Rizzi, 330-535-2000, Akron, Ohio or fill out the request form on this page today to help you with your motorcycle accident injury claim.

We Have The Answers!

What Is Enough Insurance?

The time to figure it out is now – not when you need it.

It is a tough conversation when someone is badly injured or killed and there is very little insurance to cover the mountain of medical bills, the lost earnings, the shattered dreams and the other life altering events that are coming down the road.  In the State of Ohio, $25,000 per person in liability coverage is all that is required by law to be legal to drive. Is that enough coverage for you if you are seriously hurt by another driver?

Concealed carry firearms and permits are a hot topic. I have heard people state that the reason they carry a firearm is not because they expect trouble but that they don’t expect help if there is trouble. So, they are protecting themselves. I ask though, what is more likely, getting into a serious collision or getting into a situation where you would actually pull a gun to defend yourself? I believe the odds are more likely that you are in a collision and need good insurance coverage as opposed to getting into a situation that compels you to pull a gun.

The bottom line is, if you are not insuring yourself for an amount that you believe you are worth, why are you expecting others to do that for you?  If you don’t expect help in a gun fight, why do you expect help in a collision?  Why are you not protecting yourself in this situation?

As an example, we will discuss a recent conversation I had with a client who was hit head on by a lady who went left of center. He was badly hurt. He spent 2 months in a hospital, was finally released home but needs a lot of physical therapy still. He can barely walk with a walker and can’t lift one arm. He is not going back to work and will be applying for social security disability.  His medical bills to date are over $500,000.  The lady who caused the collision has $300,000 in liability coverage. That puts her in a very high category. You could watch the next hundred cars go by and would be hard pressed to find someone with more liability coverage.  Still, it is not enough in this situation.

Her insurer is willing to pay the entire $300,000 limits BUT in exchange they want a full release of the lady who caused the collision.  My client exclaimed that $300,000 was not enough. I asked how much coverage he had to see if there would be any additional coverage available through his insurer. He only had $50,000 in coverage. In Ohio, his insurer gets a credit of the at fault driver coverage, (in this case $300,000) toward their coverage so since $300,000 is more than $50,000 my client’s insurer is not obligated to pay anything.

So, my client is not too happy about the situation. We could file a lawsuit and in a few years get a trial and win a verdict that is turned into a judgment and then try to collect from the lady who caused the collision who by this point would have filed bankruptcy. So, there is very little point in spending more money and time to pursue a judgment that will take years and garner no real results.

If my client had underinsured motorist coverage for say $1,000,000.00 then he would have up to $700,000 available from his insurer. A one million dollar umbrella that provides uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is not as expensive as you might think. It is worth asking your insurance agent about this coverage.

But make sure it includes uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Article by Mark Willis, Attorney

Car Accident Attorneys – Do I Need To Hire One?

Car Accident Attorneys – Do I Need To Hire One?

If you have been injured in a car accident, you need a personal injury attorney, and you should not delay in researching attorneys and deciding on hiring one.  The longer you wait, the more time the insurance companies have to make behind-the-scenes decisions that often hurt your personal injury claim.  As just one example they will start paying your insurance coverage (that you paid for) out to medical providers, even though you have health insurance, and those dollars could have instead gone to you to pay your medical deductible, copays, etc. 

Someone who knows what they’re doing needs to take control of the claims process, and you don’t want that to be the insurance company, who will start manipulating the process in their favor and against your interests.  You need an experienced personal injury attorney to take control of this process to prevent the insurance company from playing the system to reduce what it rightfully owes you.

You also need an attorney for a whole different reason:  There is never a good time for a car accident.  It severely disrupts your life.  The days and weeks following a car accident are chaos; filled with people calling you from several different insurance companies, medical providers poking around for more insurance information, oftentimes ambulance-chasing law firms and chiropractors blowing up your phone to try and grab your business.  You are often missing work, lacking transportation, and not knowing who to trust.  These other issues can start to snowball on top of the initial car accident and begin to create even greater financial stress and hardship.  And you’re dealing with all of this while in pain and trying to get medical care.

The insurance companies are hoping that you handle this initial chaos incorrectly.  They hope that you get bogged down in phone calls and online claim forms, fail to get the medical treatment you and your doctors feel is necessary, and fail to hire an attorney.  That allows the insurance company to kneecap your case.  Basically, when you are finally ready to discuss getting your car accident case resolved, the medical side of the case hasn’t been handled the way it should’ve been – dramatically lowering the amount they have to worry about paying you.

If you don’t hire a personal injury attorney, this initial chaos will fall on you, or perhaps your family, and you will probably make several missteps, because after all, you have a life; you don’t normally battle insurance companies. 

Bottom line: only if you are uninjured, and just have damage to your car, can you get through this fairly easily without an attorney.  If you’re injured, do not delay, begin looking for a personal injury attorney right away.

What if I can’t afford a car accident attorney?

All attorneys in a personal injury case work on what’s called a contingent fee; meaning we only get paid at the end of the case, and only if there is a recovery.  If for whatever reason it turns out there is no recovery, then you will not be paying any fee to the attorney.  In the initial stages of a personal injury case, we will be exploring if there is any insurance in the case to collect in order to obtain a full recovery for you. At Willis, Willis & Rizzi of Akron, Ohio we will be exploring the insurance situation at no cost to you.

When you come in and sit down with our personal injury attorneys, you are going to have a long interview process with us.  You will be sitting down with one of our attorneys, unlike some of our competitors who have shuffled this off to staff.  After many years of practicing personal injury law, our interview process continues to evolve because there is always a lot of information that we need to collect and understand, to hit the ground running with your case and be able to handle any issues that could potentially come up in your case.   Every case is different and every client is unique, so our attorneys want to meet you, to know who they’re fighting for and to make sure we understand the issues specific to your case. 

After that free initial interview, if both parties decide it makes sense to work together, then you will sign an attorney-client agreement and that agreement provides that we get paid only if you get paid, and that happens at the end of the personal injury case.  

There is one thing you can’t afford:  Going it alone. The insurance companies have spent the last several decades manipulating the process wherever possible to reduce the value of your case.  You need an experienced and motivated personal injury attorney fighting through that with you, shoulder-to-shoulder.

What if the other driver doesn’t have auto insurance?

It is a very common situation in car accidents for one of the drivers to not have car insurance, we see this all the time in our personal injury cases. In those situations, the most important thing is if you have what is called “uninsured, underinsured motorist coverage”. It is readily available as most insurance providers offer it to you. It is worth reviewing your auto insurance policy to make sure you have it, and if you don’t then take the steps to add it to your auto insurance policy, because that is what protects you and your family.

There is a lot of work that goes into determining if the other driver involved in your car accident doesn’t have insurance. For example, we may have a car accident case come in where the police report indicates that the other driver has insurance, but it turns out that they don’t. In this situation, our team has to dig deeper to discover if that car was garaged at a family members house or the driver was listed on someone else’s insurance policy.  Additionally, if the vehicle did not belong to the driver, did they have permission to drive it? Does the person who owns the vehicle have insurance?  Were they on the job or driving an errand at the direction of another?  Were they driving for Lyft or Uber, which could mean that there are 2 separate policies covering the same driver and car.

In many car accident cases, it’s clear if the other driver has insurance. But when it’s not – the team at Willis, Willis & Rizzi will dig deeper.

Why should I hire Willis, Willis & Rizzi as my car accident attorney?

There are a lot of attorneys out there who have a much more business-oriented approach to the practice of law than the personal injury attorneys at Willis, Willis & Rizzi, located in Akron, Ohio. When you visit our office, you will meet one-on-one with a personal injury attorney. That’s not true with the majority of our competitors in the personal injury attorney area. Our approach to personal injury cases is that meeting with our clients directly is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also just a better way to represent you if we can hear your story and understand first-hand what your injury has done to you and your family.   It makes everything we do more effective.

Additionally, we take pride in the lengths that we go to obtain the proper evidence you will need to maximize your recovery.  In more serious personal injury cases you are going to need a medical doctor to be an advocate for how badly you have been injured, and what that means for you now and for the rest of your life. Securing that doctor and their testimonials can be a real challenge in the practice of personal injury law, and it’s something that the team here at Willis, Willis & Rizzi works tirelessly at on your behalf.   

We often hear some of our competitors looking for ways to resolve cases without this testimony.  To us, this makes no sense in most cases.  If we will need that testimony in court (which we would), then we’d rather have it as soon as possible, as the case will likely resolve better/faster and potentially even without going to court.

The number one way of getting your case resolved without lengthy litigation is to acquire the doctor’s report as soon as possible. There is a great deal of work that goes into securing this report, but once we have it, that communicates to the insurance company in no uncertain terms that we are ready for trial. This is a key part of what we do in our personal injury cases.

Overall, we have a much more client-oriented approach than you will find in many other personal injury law firms. When you call our law office in Akron, Ohio you will speak to a real person who will put you in contact with one of our personal injury attorneys. We are proud of our staff and have highly trained paralegals who provide critical support in every case, but when you visit our office, you will meet with an attorney, and most of your contact throughout the case will be with a personal injury attorney.

Wrongful Death Attorneys

Wrongful Death Attorneys in Akron, Ohio | Willis, Willis & Rizzi | We Have The Answers!

 

What is considered a wrongful death?

A wrongful death case is the result of personal injuries to your loved one that resulted in their death whether immediate or over a period of time, and the death was due to the conduct of another party.  At Willis, Willis & Rizzi we have dealt with a wide variety of wrongful death cases. In some cases, it’s very clear what the cause of death was such as a motor vehicle crash or some other traumatic event such as a fall or something falling on an individual. We have also handled cases where there was an environmental or chemical exposure, ground water issues, industrial accidents, or other various causes which take time to develop and/or are not so obvious.

What happens, legally, when someone dies?

When someone dies, there is a non-human entity created in the legal world. It is called an “estate”.  A corporation is another form of a non-human legal entity. When someone dies, an estate is created in the law for the purposes of handling the affairs of the deceased. The estate will pay bills that are owed, collect money that is due, conduct business and/or prosecute or defend legal claims; including claims  for injuries. Estates are watched over by the probate courts. The probate court will ensure that all matters related to the deceased individual’s estate are handled correctly and that all necessary parties are included in the case. A fiduciary/manager/ trustee will be appointed by the probate court to be the representative of the estate and conduct business on its behalf.  The fiduciary will report to the probate court on the affairs of the estate.

Who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim?

In Ohio, like other states, there exists a wrongful death statute. If a person dies as a result of their personal injuries, the estate has a claim (on behalf of the deceased) for the injuries, lost earnings, other damages and medical bills that were incurred. Additionally, the statute says there is a certain class of people that are presumed to be injured by the death of a loved one. The statue specifically identifies parents, a spouse and/or children as members of a class that are presumed to be injured people who also have a claim for their damages and injuries due to the death of their loved one.

The probate court will determine who is eligible to make a claim, and what the value of that claim will be based on the details of the relationship. For example, a minor child who loses a parent may not only have the emotional loss of love,  care and comfort , but also the loss of financially providing for their needs and care moving forward into the future.

What is gained by filing a wrongful death claim?

When a wrongful death claim is made, it provides the opportunity to discover what is out there in the way of recoverable assets. At Willis, Willis & Rizzi we recently had a case where an elderly woman was killed in a car crash, and the insurance company of the at fault driver did not want to reveal how much insurance coverage was available. By law, we are entitled to know that information if we file a lawsuit. If we don’t file a lawsuit, the insurance company doesn’t have to reveal the amount of insurance coverage. Often times we have seen insurance companies play games like this in an attempt to conceal how much insurance coverage is available. By filing a wrongful death claim and lawsuit, it provides the power of the court system through subpoenas to research and determine the full extent of what is recoverable on behalf of the estate.

What if minors are involved in a wrongful death claim?

In a wrongful death claim if there are minor children and their parents are killed, a guardian will be assigned by the probate court. Often times the parents would have had a will that names a guardian to care for their children. Typically, the probate court will go along with this request but ultimately the court has the power to appoint whomever the court feels is the best guardian for the children.

Money that is recovered through a wrongful death case can be set aside by the probate court to be used to provide the necessary care for the children as they grow up.

Are there time constraints in filing a wrongful death claim?

When considering making a wrongful death claim it’s important to remember that each state has a prescribed time limit within which claims can be brought.  It is important to figure out early on what that time limit is. This is another reason to consult with competent legal counsel.

Why should I hire Willis, Willis & Rizzi as my personal injury attorneys to handle my wrongful death claim?

In any type of personal injury situation, if you have medical bills or miss time at work, you are going to need a personal injury lawyer. In this type of situation there will be multiple legal issues involved and you simply will not be equipped to deal with or recognize those issues. In a wrongful death claim situation, there will be even more entities and claims involved. It’s important to have professional and experienced advocates arguing on your behalf for the best possible outcome. Remember also that insurance companies will not simply hand you money on a wrongful death claim. Insurance companies will also want the power of the probate court to document and protect their interests as well.

At Willis, Willis & Rizzi we have a vast amount of experience in dealing with wrongful death claims. We have handled wrongful death claims in multiple states for all types of injuries from traumatic to environmental or chemical exposure.

In a wrongful death case, at some point there will be a hearing at the probate court, and the probate court will being looking at the personal injury attorney or attorneys who handled the wrongful death claim for the estate. The court will either have confidence in what the personal injury law firm has done in the past, or the court will not. At Willis, Willis & Rizzi we have handled enough wrongful death claims over the years that the courts are comfortable with us doing the work and accepting what we present to them.  This only comes from years of experience and trust between the probate court and the personal injury law firm.

 

Call us today at 330.535.2000 and speak directly with one of our attorneys and see how we can help you, or fill out the contact form on this page. 

I’ve been in an accident, do I need to hire a personal injury attorney?

I’ve been in an accident; do I need to hire a personal injury attorney?

When you have been in an accident, it can be difficult to know if you should hire a personal injury attorney to represent you. If you have sustained injuries and will have medical bills, you will also have legal issues associated with your personal injury claim.

If you’re not injured and there is not much damage to your vehicle, you can generally handle these types of situations without too much bureaucracy or insurance claim investigation. But once you start incurring medical bills due to personal injuries, then these claims can get very complicated, and you will have legal issues for which you will need an experienced personal injury attorney. Whomever is issuing those medical bills for your injury treatment will be looking for payment, and if your health insurance provider is paying them, your health insurance will be looking to you to get reimbursement.

We have had many situations with clients where they have handled their claims on their own and thought everything was resolved and settled until they hear from their health insurance provider that they need their money back, often for more money than the client received in the initial settlement. There are many legal issues involved in personal injury cases like the one described above.

The reality is personal injury cases have rules that have been defined by the insurance companies, and unless you have a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney like the team at Willis, Willis & Rizzi handling the case, it would be very difficult to handle the claim on your own and have a favorable outcome.

Call us today at 330.535.2000 and speak directly with one of our attorneys and see how we can help you.

Insurance Companies & Personal Injury Claims Investigations.

The insurance company is telling me my personal injury claim is under investigation. What does that mean?

After you have been in an accident or have incurred some other personal injury that requires an insurance claim, and you have reached out to the insurance company, or they have contacted you, the first conversation does not go like this:

“We’re sorry our insured hit you. What can we do for you? Let us stop by and pick up your medical bills. Let us drop off some money to cover your lost wages. Let us know when you have picked out a new car, and we’ll go down and pay for it.”

What you will typically hear in that first conversation is “the claim is under investigation”.

What does that mean?

And you are left wondering “What is there to investigate? The police already investigated and cited the other party.” The insurance company will also tell you “We need to take your recorded statement.” This recorded statement is usually not to investigate and determine who was at fault, it’s about the insurance company trying to contain and control your claim and to delay paying the claim as long as possible. The insurance company knows that you need the claim settled so you can get a rental car or have your car repaired or replaced, or get your medical bills paid. It’s simply a tactic to delay paying the claim or get you to accept less on the claim so that you can get the issue resolved.

What insurance claim investigation really means in personal injury cases.

When an insurance company insists they execute a recorded statement with you as part of the personal injury claim investigation, they will ask for a lot of background information about you, as well as inquire about your injuries. During this investigation process, the insurance company is gathering information about you and making an evaluation regarding if they feel you are someone that a jury would sympathize with, or that a jury would not like. They are listening to you speak and gauging your level of vocabulary and education, they are getting information so they can do a background check on you.

When an insurance company says “investigation” and you may be thinking it’s an investigation to process the claim, it’s really a tactic by insurance companies to evaluate you and decide how they are going to handle the claim, and how much they feel they can get away with not paying on the claim.

How do I prepare for an insurance claim investigation in my personal injury case?

When you are faced with an insurance claim investigation whether for property damage or personal injury, what can you do to prepare for the investigation? The process is all about the documentation generated as part of the claim, and one of the key pieces of documentation is the police report. The police report usually lists out what the contributing factors are in the accident, who caused the collision, and who was cited. These are all important items to know regarding your claim and case.

How can Willis, Willis & Rizzi help me with my personal injury insurance claim investigation?

At Willis, Willis & Rizzi we help our clients understand that most times, insurance claim investigation is really a keyword for “delay”. It is said in our industry that insurance companies live by the “3 D’s”: delay, deny, defend. When you have the sense that an insurance company is simply trying to delay processing the claim instead of trying to help you, that’s a strong indicator that you need to hire a team of personal injury attorneys

It’s our belief that clients need to be focusing on recovery and getting back to their pre-injury state of health in both mind and body. Let the team at Willis, Willis and Rizzi deal with the bureaucracy and administrative “junk” associated with insurance company claims investigations. We have the experience and expertise to handle insurance companies and position our customers for the best possible outcome in your personal injury or accident claim investigation.

Call today 330.535.2000 or fill out the contact form on this page.