Keith R. Clifford of Clifford and Raihala, S.C. has been selected to be President-elect of The National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA), which board certifies trial lawyers nationally. He is the first Wisconsin attorney to serve on the NBTA Board and to be elected as its President-elect. Clifford is double board-certified by the NBTA as a civil trial and civil pre-trial specialist. Currently fewer than 4% of all practicing attorneys are certified by an ABA-accredited or state-sponsored certification board.
In January 2017, Clifford & Raihala recovered $885,000 for their client who had suffered a severe concussion and spinal fracture when a young motorist ignored a stop sign and caused a violent collision. The client now suffers persistent headaches and other disability from her traumatic brain injury.
The insurance company initially refused at first to offer fair compensation, so Attorney John Raihala filed a lawsuit to force the insurer to treat his client fairly. Raihala put together a team of doctors to help win the case, including a brain specialist who works with the Chicago Bears professional football team. “We do whatever it takes to help our clients and we didn’t give up,” said Raihala. That commitment made the insurance company pay $885,000, nearly two times their earlier “final” offer.
In late 2016, Clifford & Raihala obtained $1,000,000 for a woman whose car had been rear-ended by a commercial van. That collision caused the client to suffer a head injury leaving her with persistent double vision.
The client’s injuries were not clear at first, so Clifford & Raihala advised her to resist a quick settlement that would have failed to pay her full compensation. Later, after the actual extent of her injuries became known, the insurance company refused to pay a fair amount. Clifford & Raihala then filed a lawsuit and fought for their client and obtained a $1,000,000 settlement from the insurance company to help their client and her family recover.
In spring of 2014, Attorney John Raihala settled a case for the wrongful death of a 47-year-old bicyclist. The man biking in a designated bike lane in Madison when a flatbed tow truck made a left turn in front of him. Despite efforts to resuscitate him at the hospital, the collision was fatal. During the investigation, police discovered that the left turn signal of the tow truck was not working at the time of the accident, meaning the bicyclist had no time to react.
The case was settled before filing suit and the client received a $2,000,000 settlement. “This was a wrongful death and it was important that the family received compensation for their tragic loss,” commented Raihala.
Clifford & Raihala, S.C. obtained a $724,600 settlement for its client after filing suit. The client was severely injured in a car accident when a vehicle drifted across the centerline and into oncoming traffic, colliding with the client’s vehicle. The client suffered a cervical “hangman’s fracture” as well as a severe heel fracture. The resulting injuries required two separate surgeries and 12 weeks in a wheel chair. The client now lives with a permanent limp.
The case was settled through mediation. “My client was first offered just $300,000, less than half the final settlement,” said Attorney Keith Clifford, “but we continued to fight because we knew our client deserved better.” The client received special damages including $74,000 towards the client’s medical expenses, $69,000 for home care services, and $20,275 for lost wages. The total settlement, including the special damages, amounted to $724,600.
Attorney Keith Clifford and John Raihala obtained a $575,000 settlement to compensate their client who was injured in a bicycle accident. The client was in the bike lane when a woman opened her car door, obstructing the client’s path. The client was thrown into the air, collided with another vehicle and landed in the street. As a result, the client suffered from fractures to his cervical spine, clavicle, pelvis and seven ribs, as well as lacerations to his kidney and a collapsed lung.
Clifford and Raihala successfully resolved the case in mediation. “We felt that it was important to settle this case without a trial so that our client could receive compensation and begin to move forward with his life,” commented Clifford. The total settlement amounted to $575,000 including $39,000 for lost wages and consulting contracts and $75,000 for medical expenses.
In winter of 2014, John Raihala and his team won a settlement of $550,000 for the estate of a woman involved in a personal injury auto accident case. Several weeks prior to her death, the victim was a passenger in a car accident caused by a negligent driver who failed to yield. Although she hit her head on the seat of the car, she did not experience symptoms until the following morning when she was treated for a concussion and released from the emergency room. Several weeks later, she again experienced symptoms but was treated and released. A week later she suffered from a series of acute ischemic strokes, caused by the earlier head injury. The strokes eventually lead to her death.
The defense attorney argued that her death was a result of a previously existing condition, not the accident. However, Raihala discredited this by calling upon the subject’s neurologist who confirmed that the collision “was a substantial factor in causing the patient’s severe encephaolopathy and subsequent strokes which ultimately led to her death.”