Car Accident - Confidential Settlement
Couple Values Attorney's Personal Experience and Knowledge of Auto Accidents
What Joseph Ranieri remembers distinctly about Dec. 26, 2005 is the sight of a Ford Ranger pickup truck ramming into the back of his new, leased Cadillac CTX.
Ranieri and his wife, Linda Hahn - both Realtors in Fountain Valley -- were returning home from San Diego after having breakfast with friends the day after Christmas, when a speeding pickup truck driver slammed into the back of their car.
"The scary thing was Joe saw him coming," said Hahn who was driving at the time and slowing down with traffic that had stopped for two little dogs that were running around on the 8 Freeway. "He said to me 'I think we're going to get hit from behind.' Three seconds later the vehicle plowed into our car."
Linda jammed her right foot hard on the brake to avoid hitting the car in front. Although their Cadillac was totaled, no one seemed to be injured at the time. The couple rented a car and drove from San Diego to Fountain Valley. They drove that car straight to the emergency room. The ER doctors told them to see their primary care physicians and they did.
"We were both very stiff and sore the day after," Hahn said. "My husband had trouble lifting his arm and I had shooting pains in my right leg."
Both Hahn and Ranieri decided that it was best to consult with a personal injury attorney so they could protect their legal rights and help pay for the treatment of their injuries. Hahn went online. She started researching a number of firms and came across Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys Web site.
"We did a lot of research about the firm and asked people we knew about them," she said. "Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys seemed to have a good reputation and they specialized in auto accidents and personal injury law. At this point, we felt comfortable setting up an appointment with them."
If first impressions count, the very first impression Ranieri had of the firm was good enough to convince him, he said.
"The ambience, the decor of the office told me right away that these were successful attorneys," he said. "Everything looked professional. That was a good start."
Hahn said she was even impressed by the warm manner in which she was greeted by the receptionist.
"She offered us water, she was gracious," Hahn said. "We felt comfortable right away."
But their meeting with Shannon Barker and with founding partner John Bisnar, firmed up their decision to hire Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, Hahn said.
"Mr. Bisnar was cordial, knowledgeable and very sharp," she said.
Ranieri said he had talked to several attorneys over the phone, but didn't care for some of the others he talked to.
"I was really impressed with the way Mr. Bisnar answered my questions," he said. "I had a lot of questions, but he really had all the answers. And they explained to us how this was going to work and what we can expect from them."
What really convinced them about his knowledge was the fact that John had himself been in an auto accident, Hahn said.
"I felt good about his knowledge of the subject because he had experienced it first-hand," she said. "He knew what we were talking about and what we were going through. That was very important for us."
According to John that experience was a significant factor in his choice of profession. John's accident came during his first month in law school in 1974. He sustained serious injuries in the crash. But the attorney who represented him did not do his job the way he was supposed to. He missed a products liability claim and did a poor job negotiating the settlement. It was that experience, horrible as it may have been, that motivated John to represent injured people and taught him how to and how not to represent clients.
"I vowed to be the attorney I wish I had," he says.
So when it came to this couple's experience, John knew right away what questions or concerns they may have had because he had been in their shoes. John explained to them that they should continue with their medical treatment - and they did. Both had to schedule appointments with their chiropractor and went in three times a week for treatment. It seemed to go on for months, Ranieri said.
"I had a stiff neck and back, problems with my left arm, shoulder pain and stiffness," he said. "As for Linda, her right leg was in bad shape because she applied the brakes hard to avoid a pileup on the freeway." She also suffered from neck and shoulder injuries because she was gripping the steering wheel tight when the accident occurred.
But thanks to Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, "everything was taken care of," Ranieri said.
"It went really smoothly and we got a fair settlement that we were happy with," he said. "They just handled everything perfectly."
And the office always did a great job of keeping them informed, Hahn said.
"Whenever they found out about a new development, they let us know and that was very nice," she said.
Ranieri said he and his wife would not hesitate to refer Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys to their family and friends.
"They clearly are good at what they do," he said. "We were out looking for the best representation we could get and with Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, we got the best."