Koester & Bradley, LLP

Koester & Bradley, LLP

Koester & Bradley is a Personal Injury Law Firm in Champaign Illinois. Since 1895 the firm has been assisting clients across Central Illinois to receive compensation from auto accidents, medical malpractice, defective products and general injuries.

Firm Overview

Although many years have passed since the Firm's inception, the guiding principles have remained constant. We strive to provide the highest level of representation and counseling to our clients at the time they need it most. Koester & Bradley is both proud of and thankful for its long history in Champaign-Urbana and Central Illinois. The firm devotes a great deal of time educating the community on a variety of issues and advocating for consumer protection. You will certainly see the firm's partners Tom Koester and Ryan Bradley around the community whether watching a show at the Krannert Center or volunteering at a local charity.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligent actions of someone else, or have lost money due to a fraud, you need a local personal injury law firm with the experience and resources needed to provide skilled support for your claim. Don't trust your right to a TV Lawyer from Chicago, or the biggest ad in the Phone Book. At Koester & Bradley, LLP, we have the financial and legal resources needed to provide a high level of support for even the most complex accidental injury cases. There is no upfront charge for any type of personal injury case, which is handled on a contingent fee basis. If there is no recovery, there is no fee. Contact us today--we are here to help.

At Koester & Bradley, we are locally based and nationally recognized and are ready to guide you through the most difficult times.

Main Office

Main Office
801 W. Springfield Ave
Champaign, IL 61820


(217) 337-1400


(217) 337-1607


Free Initial Consultation?

Koester & Bradley always offers free consultations.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

We handle the vast majority of our cases on a contingent basis meaning that we get paid a fixed percentage of the total recovery and we do not get paid unless we win. This model allows us to work quickly and diligently on a case and to achieve the best result possible.

Hourly Rates

$200.00-$500.00 per hour for non-contingent cases.

Office Information

Office Hours

Koester & Bradley is open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.

Emergency After Hours


Trucking Accident

Champaign Urbana, and Central Illinois are Hot Beds for Trucking Accidents. Koester & Bradley, LLP has the Experience and Knowledge to Handle these Complex Cases.

Koester & Bradley, LLP understands the added hazards associated with semi-trucks. Semi-trucks are essential to the transportation of goods in our country. This fact is especially clear in Champaign County and in Central Illinois where the major highways of the heartland intersect. They are also incredibly dangerous machines that are everywhere on the highways and roads. Semis have larger blind spots on both sides, they carry heavy cargo (some of which can even leave debris on the roadways), they take much longer to stop, they can tip easily, their drivers can be mentally exhausted and the list goes on.

Smaller vehicles in semi-truck accidents often receive the brunt of the injuries. These injuries can include brain damage, spinal cord damage, paralysis, and even death. In 2007, there were over 6 million highway accidents; trucks constituted 3.7 million of those accidents. 63% of all of the accidents in 2007 involved a truck.

In Illinois, the statistics are just as staggering. While the Illinois Department of Transportation has only published conclusive data for 2011, over 17,000 Illinois vehicle accidents involved a large truck. While this is only about 6% of all Illinois automobile wrecks, Central Illinois trucking accidents are generally far more catastrophic due to the immense size differential of the vehicle. Furthermore, trucking companies are notorious for destroying information about accidents and are only required to keep data logs for 6 months. This is why you will need the assistance of an Illinois trucking attorney to preserve your rights after a collision.

At Koester & Bradley, LLP, we have decades of experience in helping those injured in automobile and semi-truck accidents. Victims must act quickly in order to receive compensation for their injuries because time limits may eliminate the victim's rights. Trucking companies are highly regulated by State and Federal Agencies such as the Department of Transportation and it is vital to make sure that all regulations are complied with. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, call right away and let our competent and experienced attorneys help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Our attorneys handle trucking cases on a contingent fee basis with the fee being a percentage of the recovery. There is no fee if there is no recovery.

Wrongful Death

In Champaign-Urbana, Koester & Bradley, LLP has the compassion and experience to help you through hard times in a Wrongful Death Case

"Wrongful death" refers to claims brought by survivors of a person who has died as a result of negligence or other wrongful conduct of another party. The recovery in such suits is for lost financial support, for loss of companionship, friendship, society, love, affection, and grief of those related to the person that died. Generally, those who bring wrongful death actions are family members, and often even extended family. Wrongful death actions are often times the only remedy for the surviving family members to receive the proper compensation from the at-fault party under Illinois Law. Many times Wrongful Death cases are filed along with Survival Action claims which compensate the party that died for their pain and suffering during life.

Wrongful death claims are usually filed by next of kin and/or beneficiaries of the deceased individual in order to recover the following damages: (1) expenses associated with the death (funeral and/or medical bills), (2) lost benefits, (3) loss of companionship, protection or care, (4) loss of inheritance, (5) pain, mental anguish and suffering of the decedent's survivor(s), and (6) punitive damages.

Statute of Limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Illinois
Wrongful death actions are governed by 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 180/2. The statute of limitations is two years in Illinois and begins to run on the date of death.

Koester & Bradley, LLP understands that wrongful death cases are particularly sensitive. At the same time, Koester & Bradley, LLP recognizes that, just as in regard to personal injury cases, time is often of the essence in wrongful death cases. In Champaign-Urbana, there is generally a two year time period to file Wrongful Death claims. Our experienced local attorneys handle every case with the appropriate level of sensitivity and tenacity. Truth be told, there are simply not many law firms in the Champaign-Urbana area capable of handling wrongful death cases.

Koester & Bradley, LLP provides services in regard to Wrongful Death primarily in Central Illinois. However, our excellent relationships with other law firms nationwide have allowed us to expand our services to other states including but not limited to Indiana, Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Koester & Bradley, LLP has achieved substantial recoveries for:

Motor vehicle and car accidents including ATVs

Semi-Tractor Trailers

Railroad crossing collisions

Defective roadway design or manufacture

Defective products and Pharmaceuticals

Medical negligence

Just as in other personal injury actions, insurance companies will take advantage of the bereaved by making quick settlements. It is vital to never speak to any Insurance representatives before contacting an attorney. Central Illinois insurance companies do not have your best interest in mind. Koester & Bradley, LLP can ensure that your rights are protected while treating you and your family with the compassion that you deserve during your difficult time.

Wrongful death cases are handled on a contingent fee basis with the fee being a percentage of the recovery. If there is no recovery, there is no fee.

Auto Accident

Koester & Bradley has been assisting individuals injured in automobile accidents for decades in Champaign County Illinois and Beyond. We have the experience and resources to handle any type of vehicle wreck.

The car accident attorneys at Koester & Bradley, LLP in Urbana have provided representation to various injured individuals. We have also successfully represented the survivors of individuals killed as a result of the operation of highway vehicles including auto accidents and accidents involving buses, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles. We also work with victims of accidents involving aircraft, trains, and off-road vehicles such as ATVs, snowmobiles, and farm tractors.

In addition to handling cases involving negligent operation of vehicles, our attorneys have handled cases involving the design of vehicles.

To best support the claim of a car accident injury victim, our car accident lawyers in Champaign-Urbana must be able to prove that the defendant caused the accident and determine precisely what happened to cause an injury. However, circumstances behind accidents can be complex and difficult to prove for many reasons.

Illinois contributory negligence law requires an injury lawyer to prove the degree of fault for everyone involved. If the victim shares 50 percent or more of the blame, he or she may not be able to collect compensation from others involved. In addition to driver negligence, many other factorssuch as damaged or dangerous roadways or improperly repaired vehiclescan contribute to a car accident. A car accident attorney must be able to accurately identify all causes to determine all parties at fault.

Our law firm has substantial experience in working with accident reconstruction experts and various other experts such as experienced engineers and professional vehicle operators.

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

Tom Koester and Ryan Bradley believe the skills of Champaign-Urbana personal injury law firms or any other local law firms must extend beyond legal knowledge. The complexity of personal injury cases requires injury law firms to have strong investigative abilities and access to specialized resources to unravel the details behind what really happened in every accident case. Without this level of understanding and evidence, obtaining full compensation for your injuries and other losses may not be possible. When you bring your case to Koester & Bradley, LLP, you can be assured your case will be handled meticulously to ensure the best possible results.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

At Koester & Bradley we believe that all clients should educate themselves on their cases and the issues involved with pursuing their claims. We strive to provide this information on our website and blog network, but also spend a great deal of time counseling our clients on both the positive and negative aspects of each case and the relevant legal issues. Further, our belief in education extends to our alliance with other outlets that provide solid legal information such as NOLO.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

We will always review documents prepared by clients to assist us in seeking compensation for their injuries. We cannot, however, sign our names to documents, or place text written by clients on our letterhead without having control over the end product. This being said, we always want our clients to assist us with their cases.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

While we want our clients to get the best possible results at Koester & Bradley, and to that end we focus on representing our clients ourselves. We always want our clients to be involved and active in every part of the litigation process and constantly communicate with our clients to educate them on the process and receive their feedback. This being said, we do not give legal advice to clients and then send them to the courthouse on their own. This practice does not serve the best interest of the client. If our services are not needed for the client to recover fully, we will communicate this fact and allow the client to pursue the case pro se. We do not , however, provide "coaching."

How frequently does your firm use mediation, arbitration, or collaborative law to resolve cases?

Mediation, Arbitration, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution procedures are incredibly helpful and beneficial for most clients. At Koester & Bradley we frequently mediate and arbitrate a wide variety of cases. These cases include all types of personal injury and also insurance coverage matters which are frequently arbitrated. Our number one priority is to maximize our client's recovery and many times alternative dispute resolution is the best way to do so. A mediation allows for a neutral and experienced party to allow both sides to compromise and come together without the expense or time required for all out litigation and trial. This benefits our clients in that it reduces the cost of litigation which puts more of the recovery in the client's pocket. Our desire to use mediation, arbitration, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution at Koester & Bradley does not, however, mean that we are unwilling to try cases. Instead, we focus on preparing every case that we undertake for trial to maximize recoveries. Finally, the ultimate decision to mediate and arbitrate lies with the client and we are there to help every step of the way.

What are your firm's strengths and style?

Koester & Bradley is in every way a modern Law Firm. While we have been practicing law in Central Illinois since 1895 our strengths are our tenacity and our efficiency. Due to our local ties, and our investment in the best technology and infrastructure possible, we are able to handle the most complicated cases in a fast and efficient manner. Furthermore, a reputation as the premiere trial lawyers in Central Illinois precedes us. This allows Koester and Bradley to achieve the best possible result for clients. We are not a law firm based on flashy advertising or empty threats. We work up every case with the thought of going to trial, and backup our work with the level of tenacity and intelligence seldom found in the Champaign-Urbana community. We like to think the Koester and Bradley is the perfect blend of modern efficiency in traditional values.

Does your firm provide pro bono legal services or otherwise participate in your community?

Pro bono activities and charitable outreach are two of the cornerstones of Koester & Bradley's set of values. We are active members in our community and constantly provide pro bono legal service to those in need within our community. These cases are chosen on a case-by-case basis, however it is not uncommon for us to devote hundreds of hours to pro bono activities each year. These activities range from helping not-for-profit organisations establish new Charities, to representing individuals they cannot afford Legal Services.

What are your policies about dividing work within the firm to make the process most cost-effective for the client?

A Koester & Bradley only are experienced attorneys handle the major decisions of your case. We have assembled the premiere staff of legal Professionals in Central Illinois to assist us in pursuing significant recoveries for our clients, and we pride ourselves on our efficiency and individual service. Your phone calls will always be returned by an attorney in a timely manner, and we always like to hear from our clients. At Koester & Bradley, our clients are more than numbers and have been since 1895.

What experience or education distinguishes your lawyers from others?

At Koester & Bradley we are trial attorneys. This means that we do not simply take cases and hope to settle them because we are afraid to go to court. Tom koester has been a trial lawyer in the Champaign-Urbana Community for over 25 years and has tried over 100 lawsuits. Ryan Bradley has tried numerous lawsuits to verdict and also has a strong background in business and finance which allows Koester & Bradley to handle complicated financial, banking, and securities cases there are other firms in our region are ill-equipped to handle.

Ryan Bradley

Koester & Bradley, LLP

Ryan R. Bradley focuses his practice almost entirely on civil litigation including mass torts, especially defective medical devices and drugs, automobile accidents, wrongful death, medical negligence, products liability, and general personal injury. He is also involved in class action litigation as well as business litigation. He is leading the Metal-on-Metal hip litigation for Koester & Bradley, LLP and is actively involved in the General Reinsurance Class Action Litigation.

Ryan leads the firm's mass tort and business litigation team and has been devoting much of his time to pursuing claims arising out of the defective metal hip prosthesis system. He has also been pursuing claims against other medical device manufacturers.

Mr. Bradley devotes considerable time to pro bono activities by assisting the under-represented in the community and consults with start-up companies and businesses in the areas of litigation prevention and marketing.

Ryan spends a large portion of his time outside of the office trying to keep up with his three girls and one son.

When away from civil litigation, Ryan is a professor of Business Law and past President of the Board of Directors of the Mother's Morning Out Preschool. Ryan Blogs at www.illinoisplaintiffslawyer.com, which addresses numerous issues regarding personal injury law and civil litigation.

Ryan graduated from Vermont Law School, South Royalton, Vermont, in 2006 after spending his first year of legal education at the University of Richmond School of Law. He is a 2003 graduate of Loyola College in Maryland where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration cum laude and a Presidential Scholarship. He was a four-year letter winner on the Varsity Men's Tennis team, and was an all-conference academic team selection all four years as well.

Ryan is presently running the Firm's Syngenta Viptera Litigation by representing local farmers.

Ryan is a National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 Selection and was selected as a nationally Emerging Lawyer from the Leading Lawyers Network.


Bar Number: 6289112
Illinois, 2006


Vermont Law School
JD, 2006

Loyola University in Maryland
Business Administration, 2003

Thomas Koester

Koester & Bradley, LLP

Mr. Koester has practiced law in Champaign County for over 30 years following his graduation from Drake University Law School. His first 11 years of practice were at the Champaign County State's Attorney's Office where he prosecuted thousands of felony criminal cases including sexual assaults, child abuse and a number of Champaign County's most infamous murder cases. He participated in the prosecution of the sexual assault case in which DNA evidence was used for the first time in the State of Illinois.

Since joining the firm in 1994, he has concentrated his practice in civil litigation to the areas of wrongful death and personal injuries including those resulting from medical negligence and automobile collisions. Tom has obtained the two largest medical malpractice recoveries in the firm's 120 year history at $3,500,000.00 and $3,200,000.00 respectively. He has tried well over 100 jury trials in State and Federal courtrooms throughout Central Illinois.

Tom's dedication to his clients and the Champaign-Urbana community is clear in all he does. This has led to him being regarded as one of the most talented trial attorneys in Central Illinois in a variety of practice areas. Mr. Koester's prominence as a trial lawyer has been recognized nationally as well as by many organizations such as Martindale-Hubbell and a Top 100 ranking in the National Trial Lawyer's Association.

In addition to his practice of law, Tom frequently serves as a guest lecturer at various bar association seminars including the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Trial Lawyer's Association and the Champaign County Bar Association. In addition, he has also been an invited speaker at the University of Illinois School of Nursing, and the Champaign-Urbana Rape Crisis Center. He has also given numerous trial demonstrations at the University of Illinois School of Law's trial advocacy program.

Mr. Koester is an avid Big Ten sports fan and a well-known supporter of the local arts including the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and the Champaign-Urbana Ballet. Tom enjoys golf and spending time with his two grown children and his wife, Brenda.


Bar Number: 6182007
Illinois, 1982


University of Iowa
Political Science, 1979

Drake University School of Law
JD, 1981

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