(From left to right) Gary Kisling, Rob Nestico and Robert Redick, and their KNR team, levels the playing field against the insurance companies who want to take advantage of the little guy.
by Ken McEntee
Taking on insurance company lawyers alone is like playing HORSE against LeBron James, insists Rob Nestico. You’re not going to win.
“That’s why you need to have legal representation from the moment you’re injured in a car accident,” advises Rob, a founding partner at Akron-based Kisling, Nestico & Redick (KNR), a law firm that specializes in personal injury cases. “People ask, ‘Do I really need a lawyer?’ The insurance company who you’re filing a claim against is going to have a lawyer and they are experts in defending the insurance company against claims. This is what they do every day. You are not going to beat them by yourself. They are going to offer you a settlement and you have no idea whether it’s fair or not. So the answer is ‘yes.’ You need a lawyer.”
KNR, Rob says is uniquely qualified to take on powerful insurance companies because most of the firm’s lawyers and support staff have worked on the other side of the courtroom, defending insurance companies. It’s like spending time in the opponent’s huddle, Rob says.
“We know their game plan,” he says. “Our experience defending insurance companies is significant because we’re able to understand what their approach to a case will be. It gives us a significant advantage over other law firms. It allows us to resolve cases short of litigation and if it goes to litigation, there is nothing the insurance company can say or do that we don’t know is coming.”
Rob spent part of his career defending insurance companies before he moved to a personal injury firm.
“The justice system is stacked against the consumer because the insurance companies are so powerful,” he says. “I switched sides because I saw the injustice that was being done.”
Six years ago he founded KNR along with partners Gary Kisling and Robert Redick.
“We started with three attorneys, two paralegals and a receptionist,” Rob recalls. “Since then we’ve expanded to 14 lawyers and a 32-member support staff, with offices in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown. We’re now expanding our main office from 12,000 to 15,000 square feet.”
The firm’s most notable successes, he says, have come from winning class actions against insurance companies on behalf of individuals who were taken advantage of. KNR has litigated successful cases throughout Ohio and some outside the state. KNR recently received national attention because of its $27.5 million settlement of Van Horn et al v. Nationwide Property and Casualty et al, a class action in which Rob represented more than 200,000 people. Other recent successes include a $1.7 million settlement for the family of a 22-year-old marine who was killed in an auto accident, an $875,000 settlement for a client hit by a tractor-trailer and a $778,000 verdict for a car accident victim. To date, the firm has secured more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts and has helped more than 8,500 clients.
Rob laughs at the mention of the term “ambulance chaser,” a not so endearing name associated with personal injury lawyers.
“When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I chase ambulances,” he says. “They laugh, but in reality, why don’t people like ambulance chasers? The so-called ambulance chasers are there to protect people; not take advantage of them. We level the playing field against the insurance companies who want to take advantage of them, and our representation doesn’t cost them anything unless we get a settlement or win a case. What’s wrong with that?”
Insurance companies in Ohio, he says, not only have a lot of money and high priced attorneys, but also are protected by a court system loaded with judges with whom they hold a lot of influence.
“I believe that local courts are very fair for the most part,” Rob says. “But as you progress into the appeals courts and into the Ohio Supreme Court, they are unequivocally protecting the insurance companies to the detriment of the common citizens who elect the judges to be fair and impartial.”
A prime example, Rob says, is the intra-family exclusion, which states that the insurance company of an at-fault driver in an accident does not provide coverage for any family members injured in the vehicle. The Ohio Supreme Court has routinely upheld the provision.
“It’s shocking, and most people have no idea it’s in their policy,” he says. “If you are traveling with your wife and children and you are in a bad wreck that is your fault, and if your wife or children are badly injured, they are not covered. Passengers should be covered. That’s why we buy policies. That’s why we pay premiums. But the Ohio Supreme Court has allowed the insurance companies to get away with it. A Stark County judge has sided with us in a case, but it is on appeal.”
If you are in an accident, especially one that results in a physical injury, Rob advises you to call an attorney as soon as possible.
Lynn Allen and her husband did. “The firm’s legal strategy was a two prong approach,” Lynn explains. “From day one, KNR approached our case as if they were going to go to court. This front loading made a huge difference in the final outcome of our case. Needless to say, my husband and I were pleased with the personalized attention and care we received from Kisling, Nestico, and Redick. Throughout our case Rob Nestico and John Reagan provided moral support and guidance in our time of need. They made themselves available every time we needed them.”
“We do a no-cost consultation and all cases are done on a contingency,” Rob says. “If you decide you don’t need representation after the consultation you don’t owe us a thing. But if you are injured, it is a mistake to try to deal with an insurance company on your own. Innocent people are injured every day and their lives are turned upside down due to forces beyond their control. We fight hard to get them every dollar they deserve.”
Kisling, Nestico & Redick is located at 3412 West Market Street, in Akron. You can arrange a no-cost consultation by calling 1-800-HURT-NOW. For more information about the firm and its attorneys, visit www.knrlegal.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.