By Alexander Germanis
No matter one’s economic status, what walk of life one comes from, or what age one may be, ultimately the most important thing is one’s health. Maintaining our health is such a factor in our lives, we spend thousands of dollars on insurance, purchase gym memberships, pay extra money for organic foods, and the list goes on.
But no matter what pains someone may take to preserve one’s health, there is always still a chance someone else may endanger it through their negligent behavior.
Such errors in judgment and action can cause pain, suffering, economic hardship, or even loss of life. At such times, when life seems most unfair, there are those at Kanoski Bresney Law who can help you navigate the system, fight for compensation, and help you restore some fairness and balance to your life.
Fighting for the Little Guy
In the late 1970s, a young lawyer named Ron Kanoski joined a law firm based out of Quincy and Rushville, Illinois. Although that firm had a huge stock of personal injury cases, they had little desire to delve into them. Despite his age, Ron decided he’d purchase that portion of the business and handle the cases himself. Over the next 40 years, he expanded what was now his own firm—all with one goal in mind: fight for the little guy.
It was this same desire that drew Todd Bresney to what is now Kanoski Bresney. Now the senior partner of the firm, Todd arrived albeit after walking a slightly different road than his predecessor.
Born and raised in Hudson, IL, Todd did not want to sit behind a desk his entire life, so he instead pursued a degree and started down the path to mastering the business world. But, oddly enough, it was because of a friendly wager proposed by a college buddy that Todd pursued a new course.
“Members of a law club in college were giving speeches to have a vote on who should be on their executive committee,” Todd recalls fondly. “My buddy bet me ten bucks I couldn’t get elected. So I stood up in a crowded room of strangers in my flip-flops, shorts, and t-shirt—everyone else was in suits—and I started talking.”
Not only did Todd get elected, he joined their trial advocacy or mock trial program, in which he and his team placed very well in national competition. “I really enjoyed it and thought maybe this is for me,” he says.
Earning his law degree from Chicago-Kent Law School, Todd was drafted by a law firm where he specialized in insurance defense. “If somebody got hurt because of unreasonable mistakes made by other people—encompassing auto, vehicular, premises, product liability—I was the guy who would be hired to try to defend the case at jury trial for the insured individual or corporation who made the mistake,” he explains. “I did that all over the country.”
When Todd decided to move back to Central Illinois and settle down, so too came his decision to jump sides, so to speak. “I typically won on the defense side for big insurance companies,’” he shares, “I wanted to see if I couldn’t help the little guy on the other side.”
The Truth of Personal Injury Law
With any high-profile profession, there are always commonly held misconceptions and personal injury law is no exception.
Typically, Todd says, the injured party’s lawyer is not the one who instigates a lawsuit; it’s that individual’s insurance company wanting to preserve its bottom line. “They disagree on the value of harms that were caused by their insured. It’s a fundamental disagreement that will always exist because when you have a corporation that is worried about the bottom line it’s antithetical to what is full and fair compensation under the Constitution. So they’re never going to agree.”
Another misconception is that the responsible individual’s insurance company is the only insurance company with which a personal injury lawyer needs to deal. The injured party’s health insurance company rightly believes the guilty party’s insurance company should cover the former’s bills. Unfortunately, until a jury determines fault or there’s a settlement, the wrongdoer's insurance company does not have to pay anything, by law.
This leaves the injured person in a sort of limbo, needing to pay everything out of pocket, if that’s even possible. With unpaid bills and mounting medical costs a person’s credit can also be negatively affected.
What They Do
Being injured or even losing a loved one because of someone else’s error in judgment is bad enough, but the minefield of paperwork, bills, and bureaucracy one must navigate as a result of that error only makes things worse.
Walking one through that minefield is what Todd and the other attorneys at Kanoski Bresney pride themselves in doing. “Not only do we try to get full and fair value for the harms and losses our clients suffer, but a lot of area doctors, hospitals, and clinics know we’re very good at getting their bills paid,” Todd states. “We evaluate a case for all the hidden potential areas of recovery for liability insurance coverage, so after the bills are paid and even after our fees and expenses, there is still full and fair compensation for our clients.”
Should a loved one be lost due to negligent behavior, Kanoski Bresney is there to establish trusts if there had been no will and make sure any governmental benefits are maintained. “We do a full 360 degree analysis of what our clients need, so at the end of the day they are much better off than if they were without a lawyer,” Todd assures.
In the Business of Safety
Growing up in Normal and Hudson, Todd understands the importance of community and how safety starts and ends at that level. “Since we’re in the business of enforcing safety, we like to try to give back in the same type of terms,” he says. “To me, a corporation should be more than just there to make money. We should give back to the communities in which we live and work.”
For Kanoski Bresney, giving back takes many forms. “We started a campaign where we give out children’s bicycle helmets,” Todd begins. “We’ve probably given well over a hundred helmets out to the children of the communities in which we practice. We support police, especially through a fund for police who fall in the line of duty. We also donate turkeys every year to various homeless shelters.”
Kanoski Bresney also participates and contributes to the Cook County Bar Association 107th Installation and Awards Program, Rushville Smiles Day Parade, Easter Seals of Central Illinois, Boys and Girls Club of Central Illinois, Bloomington High School Drama Club, Rushville Industry High School Music Boosters, Normal Community High School Cheer Team, and Angel Tree.
Something Todd recently started is the Stand Up to Distracted Driving Scholarship, in which five recipients each receive a $2,000 scholarship.
“I’m very proud about what we started this year,” Todd adds, “We give the money to young men and women who have had an experience with distracted driving that affected them.”
Through his professional experience, Todd is acutely aware of this rising problem in our communities. “One of the things we see more often than not is heartbreaking loss caused by people distracted by these little machines we keep in our pockets,” he says. “It’s something that really affected me hard and we want to help out.”
A Better Understanding
Ultimately, Todd understands what really matters is people’s health and wellbeing. “I’m a runner and when I got plantar fasciitis I wasn’t able to run for close to a year,” Todd shares. “It depressed me; it hurt when I was walking; I was angry a lot. I started to think how this little, tiny thing really affected me, affected my health. At the end of the day, our health is all we’ve got—all we’ll ever have.”
Federal and state constitutions entitle anyone to make a claim when their health has been negatively affected by someone else’s unreasonable behavior. Having someone at one’s side that can understand one’s suffering but also knows how to work within the system is an invaluable ally. Todd Bresney and his colleagues at Kanoski Bresney can be that ally.
“I enjoy helping people,” Todd says. “A sad proviso is when you do what I do for a living, a day doesn’t go by where you don’t see tragedy. But when people say ‘Thank you’ or ‘I didn’t think I could do this without you and you’ve really made a difference,’ that’s what keeps me and our lawyers going.”
Kanoski Bresney has offices in Bloomington, Champaign, Decatur, Macomb, Pekin, Quincy, Rushville, and Springfield. To schedule a free case consultation, please call them at (888) 826-8682 or visit them on the web at www.ucount2.com.
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