In their corner: Lawyer goes to the mat for clients suffering from personal injuries

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News   

Personal injury attorney Ryan Piekarski has represented hundreds of clients who have suffered injuries as a result of motor vehicle collisions, slip and falls, dog bites, and medical negligence.
“I’ve also handled more unusual cases such as a man who suffered a severe back injury as a result of a negligent boat operator, a woman who suffered permanent eye injury due to a negligent homeowner setting off fireworks, and a man who fell through a rotten beam of a dock,” says Piekarski, an attorney with Moss & Colella in Southfield.

Piekarski has handled cases in Michigan’s district and Circuit courts, Federal court and Michigan’s Court of Appeals. 

“Having handled cases at nearly every level of the court system helps me keep perspective that—regardless of the number of dollars at stake—every single client’s case is as important to me as it is to them,” he says.

Some of his most rewarding work is helping seriously injured clients receive payment for medical treatment. In one case, a women broadsided by a commercial fertilizer truck suffered a head injury with permanent effects.

“Despite the growing understanding of the severity of these types of injuries, her insurance carriers refused to acknowledge the gravity of her condition,” Piekarski says. “After obtaining a significant settlement from the negligent driver and his employer we litigated her case against the insurance companies and helped her to pay the ongoing medical bills she continued to incur years after the crash happened.”

Another challenging case involved a motorcycle accident, in which Piekarski’s client and companion were riding on a rural road on their way up north.

“It was late at night and pitch black outside when a negligent driver cut them off and sped into the night—my client was forced off the road and suffered serious injuries of his head and spine,” he says. 

Despite the client having paid for insurance his whole life, the insurance company refused to pay benefits. Piekarski and his colleagues battled the insurance company for four years all the way to trial where a jury awarded the motorcyclist all the benefits owed, plus interest. 

“Even after a jury has told them to take responsibility, the insurance company has decided to continue dragging its feet,” Piekarski says. “We’re continuing to fight for the client up to the Court of Appeals to help him get the benefits he deserves, no matter how long it takes.”

A California native, Piekarski moved to Macomb County at the age of 9. After graduating as class valedictorian from De La Salle Collegiate High School in Warren, he earned his undergrad degree from Loyola University Chicago, graduating summa cum laude with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology and criminal justice.

“I was especially interested in the intersection between these subjects, focusing on the tragedy of drug addiction and the hope for rehabilitation and reintegration of criminal offenders,” he says.
While in undergrad, he spoke to alumni to help raise funding for the university and its programs.

“This was a formative job for me,” he says. “I spoke to a great many strangers from all walks of life and developed a keen sense of empathy and a sharp sense of bargaining that has helped me in my job today.”

After graduating at the top of his class, Piekarski returned to Loyola for law school, assuming he would stay in Chicago to practice.

“Although I’d fallen in love with the city, I fell further in love my wife—and since the draw to her was stronger than the pull to the city, I was fortunate to find a clerkship with Moss & Colella,” he says.

“Although I’d not anticipated a career in the field of personal injury law, I developed a passion for representing those who were injured through no fault of their own and mistreated by insurance companies and a system that was stacked against them.”

Within weeks of graduating from law school with honors and months of getting married, Piekarski began his practice as a personal injury attorney with Moss & Colella in 2012, and is a member of the Michigan Association for Justice as well as the Michigan and Oakland Bar Associations. 

In his leisure time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends. Passionate about live music, he regularly visits venues in Michigan and beyond. 

He also is a lover of the outdoors, and has traveled to the furthest reaches of Michigan and around the country, hiking, camping, and backpacking—an activity he has enjoyed since his days in Boy Scouts. 

“Working and learning from a Tiger Cub all the way to becoming an Eagle Scout in Chesterfield’s Troop 97, I learned a great deal about respect, humility, and leadership,” he says.  “I’ve carried the values I learned into my work and into my daily life.”
 

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