In this Legal Beagle podcast, Jonathan Negretti outlines the personal injury case types that Negretti & Associates handles, the pre-litigation and litigation case management services it offers, and the states in which his firm is licensed to practice law. Learn why each of these factors are important when selecting an attorney.
This is the third in a series of articles designed to help new and prospective clients become acquainted with Negretti & Associates. We’d like to offer this “peek behind the curtain” to showcase the inner workings of our firm — how we work and what we believe in.
By Jonathan Negretti
In previous editions of our “Get to Know Negretti & Associates” blog series, we highlighted our three core values and our staff’s unique personalities and talents. Here, I’d like to discuss the types of cases that Negretti & Associates handles, the pre-litigation and litigation work we provide, and the states in which our firm is licensed to practice law. In the final article of our series, I’ll discuss what we charge, and how we’re working to simplify personal injury.
At Negretti & Associates, we think of ourselves as a full-service personal injury law firm. We designed our firm to help clients throughout each phase of their cases — from the initial meeting to post-trial resolution. Whereas some firms have limits to the services they provide and where they are licensed to provide those services — and consequently must refer clients to other firms, once those limits are reached — Negretti & Associates can help our clients every step of the way.
That said, in this article, I’ll go into detail into why the following factors are important when choosing a law firm:
- Cases we handle: Many firms have too wide or narrow of a focus with regard to the cases they manage. When choosing a law firm try to ascertain what the firm does, and does not, take on. At Negretti & Associates, cases we handle revolve solely around personal injury law. We know what we do best, and won’t take cases that are outside our area of focus.
- Pre-litigation and litigation work: It’s important to know whether your law firm offers both pre-litigation work and litigation work. If your case can’t be resolved through pre-trial negotiations, litigation is necessary. While some firms confine their services to pre-litigation or litigation work, Negretti & Associates does both types of work.
- States in which we are licensed: Not all attorneys are licensed in multiple states. Your law firm should be licensed in the state where your injury occurred. Our firm is licensed to practice law in three states: Arizona, California, and Colorado. If your injury case occurred in any of these three states, we can help you.
Combined, our practice focus, scope of litigation services, and state licensing ensures that we can manage cases from inception through resolution. Ultimately, our clients receive a higher level of customer experience, without having to rely on the help of an outside firm at any point during their cases.
Cases We Handle
Our web site offers a detailed Cases We Handle section that outlines different types of cases that our firm takes on. I am a firm believer that when you are a jack of all trades then you are a master of none. In other words, when a law firm does different types of law, how can it be completely proficient in just one area of law?
Negretti & Associates only does personal injury law, which in itself is an exceptionally large category of law. Yet, this means that we don’t take on DUIs, bankruptcies, or divorces. We know where our lane is, and we stay in our lane. Our lane is personal injury law.
Full-service personal injury law is all that what we do. Some lawyers work in personal injury law, but only handle auto accident claims. Others only do medical malpractice or product liability claims. Our firm does all of these, and we have worked extremely hard to become proficient in all of the areas in which we practice as they relate to personal injury — from dog bites to diminished value claims, rideshare accidents, slip and fall cases, electric scooter accidents, and beyond. If you have a case that results in an injury in the states where we practice law, most likely we can be involved.
That said, I should note there are many people who get injured at work, and their cases become workplace injury claims — what are called workers’ compensation claims. Negretti & Associates doesn’t handle these types of injury cases. The field of worker’s compensation claims is an entirely different area of injury work that we do not do. However, we can provide some helpful recommendations and referrals regarding people we know, who handle these types of cases.
As far as the work that we do and why we do it, I’d like to talk about each case type in greater detail.
Auto accident claims — what we call crash claims — are pretty easy to understand. You’re driving down the road and someone hits you. You’re not at fault. You get injured. And there’s a claim. But, in this situation there may really be two claims: an injury claim for bodily harm experienced by you and your passengers and a property claim related to damage to your vehicle. Both of these claims fall under the umbrella a motor vehicle crash claim.
When you’re thinking about who to hire to represent, or when you’re working with a particular law firm, be sure to ask them whether the firm will help you recover for your property claim. This is important because not all attorneys do this. You want to make sure that if you’re going to go through the exercise of hiring an attorney and you’re going to have this relationship with your attorney, that they’re going to help you and guide you each step of the way.
At Negretti & Associates, the property work we do is really geared toward getting the client back money lost as a result of the accident. A lot of times, the client’s own policy will cover this, and the opposing party’s insurance will pay back the client’s insurance. Meantime, the party who made the claim will get their deductible back. In these instances, our role is usually guiding and steering our clients — giving them information and helping them along the way.
We do not take a fee from our property claims work, with one exception — and I’ll explain that in a moment. Rather, we try to stay involved in a case, but not so involved that everything has to be routed through us. If that were to happen, the client would not receive the full benefit of the recovery on his or her property damage recovery. We could dive into that subject and talk for hours on it. That said, if you’ve found yourself in a property damage situation, our hope is that you find an attorney that will help you, guide you along the way, and give you good information.
The one exception in which we take a fee on property work is with regard to diminished value claims. Our firm has become pretty proficient at diminished value claims over the last few years. We offer a lot of information on our web site, and invite clients to watch a 30 minute video that walks them through all of the different scenarios of a diminished value claim and how to get the best possible recovery, in the event that they experience diminished value loss.
A diminished value loss is a situation where your vehicle is damaged in an auto crash and it’s now worth less because the vehicle’s Carfax report — or any other report — has a history of being in an accident. It is possible to recover the difference between the vehicle’s pre- and post-accident value, as well as the full value of repairs, without having to sell the vehicle.
Many misconceptions are circulating about diminished value. We try to dispel those. It’s work that we really do to help clients engaged with our law firm, because to me it’s disappointing that the insurance industry has chosen to fight these claims and not pay fairly for the losses that people experience. If you have any questions after spending a little time on our web site, please call us. We’ll point you to the private video and will give you even more in-depth information that you can use and then hopefully get your claim resolved. If we end up taking that claim and handling it, we do take a fee on that because of the added work that is required to handle those claims.
Rideshare accidents are exactly what they sound like: accidents involving Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare providers. If you’re a passenger and you’re hit — or if you’re a driver and you’re hit by another vehicle, and didn’t cause the accident — we can help with your claim.
Electric scooter accident claims have exploded in the last few years, where you see Bird, Lime, and other companies stage scooters on sidewalks and invite people to ride them, without prior training or proper safety equipment. When scooter riders get in a wreck and are severely injured, we help with their claims.
Slip and fall claims can happen in all different ways and all different manners. I think we’ve run the gamut on the types of slip and fall claims that you can possibly have, but it doesn’t mean that we’ve exhausted all possibilities. We simply have a really good proficiency as it relates to slip and falls.
Dog bites, too, are self-explanatory. When a dog bites you and you get injured, you’re entitled to recovery, according to the laws in Arizona, California, and Colorado.
Product defect claims is an area of law where we’ve spent a lot of time. Negretti & Associates had a case that lasted five years, where we sued a host of people related to a vehicle that had airbags that didn’t deploy when they should have. A client testimonial video that we have on YouTube tells the story. The case was a mountain of work, as well as a long journey to get to a resolution. But we did it and the client is doing much better because of it.
Finally, medical malpractice is another area of personal injury law that we practice. This is another case type that may seem self-explanatory. If there is a situation where a medical provider in some way falls below the standard of care — meaning he or she did something that shouldn’t have been done and you’re harmed because of it. These types of claims are terribly difficult to pursue, for a variety of reasons. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t claims to be made. It’s simply important to understand the difficulties in pursuing medical malpractice claims. If you’re looking to hire a medical malpractice attorney, you’ll want them to be forthright with you about the challenges inherent in your potential case.
Pre-Litigation and Litigation Work
When you’re considering law firms to work with, another distinction that you should be aware of is whether or not the law firm offers both pre-litigation work and litigation work.
What’s the difference? Pre-litigation is when you’re injured in some way — for example, through an auto accident, a slip or a fall, a dog bite, a medical malpractice case, a product liability case, an e scooter accident, or a diminished value claim — and you’re looking to recover, or be compensated, for your injury.
Some attorneys will only do the case work-up until a lawsuit is filed. Likewise, there are attorneys who do the work only after the lawsuit is filed.
At Negretti & Associates, as a full-service personal injury firm, we do both pre-litigation and litigation work. Not only do we handle all different types of cases in the injury arena, but we also litigate those cases. We’ll handle your claim from the beginning and will do our absolute best to get it resolved for you.
If it makes sense that we resolve your case, you’ll be involved in the process. It’s a team effort, and you’ll be a part of the team.
If we cannot resolve the case, then we’’ll have to file a lawsuit on the case. We’re not afraid to file a lawsuit and certainly not afraid to take cases as far as they need to go. If going to trial is necessary to get the proper result for our client, then we’ll take the case to trial.
If you are a potential client of ours, and you’re evaluating law firms to work with, I encourage you to ask your firms whether they offer both pre-litigation and litigation work. If they say that they will file your lawsuit, ask them whether they handle your case when the lawsuit is filed, or whether they hand it over to another attorney. If they do transfer cases to other firms during litigation, you’d be faced with learning how to work with a different law firm — different attorneys, different work styles, and having to tell your story all over again. All of this takes additional time and energy.
States in Which We Practice Law
Negretti & Associates is licensed to practice law in three states: Arizona, California, and Colorado. We have offices in Phoenix, San Diego, and Denver. Every state has its own licensing requirements for lawyers. It’s not as if you become an attorney and you can just practice everywhere. You have to be licensed in a state to practice law there.
That said, when you’re choosing an attorney to represent you, it is important to know whether the attorney is licensed in the state where the accident occurred, and whether the attorney can file or handle your case in that state.
Here’s an example of why you would want to know whether your law firm is licensed to practice in the state where the accident occurred. Let’s say you reside in Arizona. Prior to COVID-19 — back when we were able to travel freely — you visited Disneyland with your family. On your way, you got into an accident, your family was injured, and your entire trip to Disneyland was ruined. Upon returning to Arizona, you received follow-up, post-trauma medical care.
California has really different laws from Arizona. If your Arizona law firm is not familiar with California law, you could be losing out on your potential recovery. You run the risk of your legal counsel misunderstanding the law and not doing things properly to have your claim fully resolved to your benefit.
What’s more, it’s important to have a law firm that is licensed in the state where your lawsuit may need to occur. To take the example above one step further, if a lawsuit needs to be filed and your attorney is only licensed in Arizona, he or she wouldn’t be able to file a lawsuit in California. Most of the time, the lawsuit must be filed in the state where the injury occurred.
If you live in California, but are injured in an accident while visiting Denver, you’ll need to file your lawsuit in Colorado — not California. You’ll want to make sure that the law firm you’re hiring has the capability, knowledge, and wherewithal to represent you adequately in the location where your injury occurred.
That said, if you end up being in a situation where you have an accident in Arizona, California, or Colorado, give us a call. We’ll talk to you about the differences in the law between those three states. For a free consultation with our legal team, contact us online, call us at 1-833-827-3535, or send us a text.