how to talk to insurance claims adjusters after a car accident

Do you know how to talk to insurance claims adjusters after a car accident? Knowing how to provide the right information and having some negotiating tactics handy can prevent you from leaving money on the table.

In this article, where we discuss some of the more common questions surrounding how to talk to insurance claims adjusters, we highlight the importance of having a negotiating strategy when initiating an insurance claim.

Know the true value of your claim, maintain a professional tone, be mindful of what you’re saying, and only talk about the things that help your claim. You don’t need to become best friends with your adjuster!

How Do You Negotiate a Settlement with an Insurance Claims Adjuster?

First, you need to understand the full value of your claim. Claim value is a combination of a variety of factors, including but not limited to the severity of your injury, the duration of your recovery, any permanent or future medical needs, lost wages, impairments, and pain and suffering.

Understanding the value of your claim is an area where hiring a lawyer can be especially helpful. A good lawyer will take the time to work with you, understand the damages you have suffered, and properly present your case to the insurance company. At Negretti & Associates, we have developed a case valuation tool that helps us arrive at a settlement range for each case, based on specific facts.

Keep in mind that insurance companies have evolved toward using software to determine claim values. The software gives the insurance adjuster a range in which to settle the claim. These adjusters have an incentive to settle claims on the low end of the range. Therefore, you might be negotiating blindly and with someone who ultimately gets a bonus for paying you less.

Second, you need to have a strategy. There are a lot of great books out there about how to negotiate effectively. I like Chris Voss’s Never Split the Difference, which you can read online for free. Voss was a former hostage negotiator, so he has been involved in high-stakes negotiations. His techniques can be applied across the board.

Remember that you need to know what your bottom line is — and what you next move is, in the event that you can’t get to your bottom line. Some insurance adjusters negotiate fairly. Others do not.

What Should You Never Say to an Insurance Adjuster?

It’s not so much what you shouldn’t say. Instead, there are things you should be aware of when you are talking to an insurance adjuster.

People believe that the insurance industry is there to help them. That’s why we pay for insurance, right? Wrong. The insurance industry is there to make money!

Insurance companies make money by failing to pay full value on claims. Period. If you fail to make a claim or settle for less than the full value, then the insurance industry wins.

If you were going to sit down and play chess against someone, you wouldn’t start the game by telling your opponent your strategy. There is no difference here.

Once you initiate a claim with an insurance company, you are engaging in a chess match. Don’t give the insurance company your strategy by telling them things that don’t help you.

What Questions Should I Ask an Insurance Adjuster?

Simple questions you can ask an insurance adjuster are:

  • Have you ever been injured in an accident?
  • If you were in my shoes, would you honestly recommend the settlement that you’re asking me to accept?
  • Is anything else that I should know before resolving my claim, such as how health insurance subrogation and reimbursement works?
  • Is it your job to represent the other party, or to simply save the insurance company money?

How Do You Recognize a Low-Ball Insurance Settlement Offer?

It really depends on the specific facts and circumstances of your claim. However, the first offer is typically not the best offer. It is very unusual to get the highest offer right out of the gate. You have to be patient and diligent in your approach if you expect to negotiate up your offer.

If you have any questions regarding your car accident claim in Arizona, California, and Colorado, Negretti & Associates will be happy to help you find answers. We know how to talk to insurance claims adjusters, too! For a free consultation with our legal team, contact us online, call us at 1-833-827-3535, or send us a text.

someone hit my parked car and left the scene of the accident

“Someone hit my parked car and left the scene of the accident! What should I do?”

Having your parked car involved in a hit-and-run accident can be a drain on your time, energy, and money. But there are steps you can take that can help you resolve your issue faster.

At Negretti & Associates, the first thing we recommend is checking to see whether there were any witnesses to the accident. You can also check to see if any surveillance cameras in the area recorded the accident. If you strike out finding evidence on who hit you, then you may have to rely on your own insurance to repair your vehicle.

Assuming a driver hit your car and didn’t leave a note, you could also call the police to see if anyone placed a 9-1-1 call witnessing the accident. Quite often, that witness will give a description of the other vehicle, and the police can use this information to try to locate the vehicle’s owner for you. Once the driver is found, the police can collect the applicable insurance information for the other vehicle so that you can make a claim.

As a reminder, it is against the law to leave the scene of an accident without exchanging insurance information with the other driver. For this reason, if you accidentally hit another parked vehicle, do the right thing and leave a note with your contact information.

Whose Insurance Should I Call?

Even if you succeed at tracking down the hit-and-run driver, and you have collision coverage on your own policy, then we would recommend that you submit a claim through your own insurance company. Please be aware that you may have to pay the deductible pursuant to the terms of your policy. This can be both disappointing and frustrating.

Will My Insurance Go Up?

Your insurance premiums should not increase if you submit a claim and you were not at fault for the accident. There are laws in Arizona, California, and Colorado that prohibit insurance companies from raising your premiums in this situation. If an insurance company were to raise your premiums because you submitted a claim, that insurance company could lose their ability to sell insurance in that state.

Someone Scratched My Car and Drove Off. Who Should I Contact First — My Insurance Company, or an Auto Body Shop?

This depends on the severity of the scratch. It might make sense to get an estimate from a body shop to determine how much it will cost to repair your vehicle. If the cost is less than the deductible on your insurance policy, then you probably don’t want to make a claim through your insurance company.

If someone hit your parked car and drove off, and you use some pointers on what to do next, contact Negretti & Associates for a free consultation. Contact us online, call us at 1-833-827-3535, or text us with your questions.

arizona state-minimum car insurance requirements raised july 1, 2020

On July 1, 2020, something rather momentous happened in the state of Arizona. For the first time in nearly five decades, Arizona state-minimum car insurance requirements were raised.

The new law is codified in the Arizona Revised Statutes under Section 28-4009. Auto insurance policies issued or renewed after July 1, 2020 must pay at least:

(i) $25,000 because of bodily injury to, or death of, one person in any one accident.
(ii) Subject to the limit for one person, $50,000 because of bodily injury to, or death of, two or more persons in any one accident.
(iii) $15,000 because of injury to, or destruction of property of, others in any one accident.

These three numbers — $25,000/$50,000/$15,000 — represent new limits that are paid out to another person if a motorist is at fault in an accident. You cannot purchase insurance for less than these limits.

The Arizona Legislature passed the state bill that put these new limits into effect — State Bill 1087 — in May 2019. The bill was signed into law by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on Friday, June 7.

Previous Coverage Limits Had Become Outdated

When you receive your renewal notice for auto insurance — or if you are currently shopping for new insurance — the quotes you receive may look a little different. This is simply because Arizona state-minimum car insurance requirements have been raised.

The previous coverage amounts for motor vehicle accidents were $15,000 per person, per accident; $30,000 total accident; and $10,000 for property damage.

The problem with the old limits is that they were based on cost-of-living equations that were established in June 1972, when a McDonald’s Quarter-Pounder with cheese cost just 70 cents. These days, the same burger costs $3.79. Only the number of calories has remained the same!

Due to inflation, limits that seemed quite adequate nearly five decades ago had grown completely inadequate over time. Medical expenses and the cost of vehicles were much lower in 1972. Today, you can no longer step foot in an ER for less than a few thousand dollars.

Bill’s Passage Overcame Insurance Industry Resistance

The insurance industry was adamantly opposed to this move. Time and time again, this bill had been brought to the Arizona Legislature in one form or another by various organizations, including one that I belong to — the Arizona Association for Justice. Time and time again, it did not pass.

Why did insurance companies want to keep Arizona car insurance minimums so low? Frankly, under old amounts, they could pay out less, should someone be in an accident.

Because payout limits were so low, insurance coverage was not protecting people injured in automobile accidents. That’s why the Arizona Association for Justice and like-minded organizations fought so hard to increase these limits.

Accident Victims Have More Protections from Out-of-Pocket Costs

Assume that you’re in an auto accident. You go to the emergency room and get a normal workup. You may not have any broken bones, but you’re given some imaging, as a precaution. Later, you go through physical therapy, and start to feel better.

The cost of medical care just for these simple procedures and therapies could well exceed $15,000 — and possibly total $25,000.

  • Under the old limits, if someone only carried Arizona state-minimum car insurance, the most you could receive per accident was $15,000. If the person who caused the accident did not have any additional money to contribute to this claim, to help you pay off all your medical bills, you would be forced to pay the $10,000 out-of-pocket for an accident that was not your fault.
  • Under the new limits, insurance coverage would reimburse you for that $10,000 differential — up to the new $25,000 limit.

Keep in mind that this analysis does not account for pain and suffering or lost wages.

Of course, there are people who carry much more than the minimum limits. I encourage you to do the same, if your economic situation allows.

Vehicle Damage and Arizona State-Minimum Car Insurance

Today’s vehicles have more features than ever, which is reflected in higher sticker prices. Yet, this also means that vehicles’ values can suffer quite a bit more damage. Frame damage or deployed airbags can result in a total loss.

Unless you’re looking for an older model or a used vehicle, it’s very difficult to find a vehicle under $10,000 these days. Anything new costs far more than $10,000.

Now that property damage limits have been raised to $15,000 — from $10,000 — it’s more likely that Arizona state-minimum car insurance will more fully cover damage to newer vehicles.

Higher limits make it more possible to recover what’s called a “loss of use claim.” These are the expenses related to renting a vehicle while your vehicle is either being repaired or declared a total loss, as well as time needed to find a new vehicle.

Higher limits also allow more accident victims to be compensated for their diminished value claims. A vehicle loses value because of the simple fact that it was damaged in an accident. Even though it’s repaired, it’s still worth less.

Arizona law states that you do not have to wait until you sell your car to collect for that difference in value.

To illustrate how diminished value works, imagine the following scenario:

  • Let’s say that your vehicle was worth $20,000 before an accident.
  • After an accident, it receives $8,000 of repairs. The insurance company chooses to repair it and not declare it a total loss.
  • However, your vehicle is now worth less, because it was in an accident.
  • You order an appraisal from an auto expert, who tells you that your vehicle lost $6,000 of value due to the accident. Therefore, not only should the vehicle receive $8,000 in repairs, but you should also be compensated for $6,000 in diminished value.

In sum, the old $10,000 limit did not provide enough coverage to repair vehicles, compensate owners for their loss of use, or account for diminished value.

Kudos to the Arizona Association for Justice

Higher Arizona car insurance minimums reflect values the Arizona Association for Justice emphasizes: to serve the community, to protect the rights of the public, and to make sure that injured victims are protected in the event that they get hurt due to someone’s negligence.

With that said, a big thank you goes to Jeff Trachtenberg of the Arizona Association for Justice. Jeff is a stalwart in our community and absolutely pushed hard to increase the limits in Arizona, so that they caught up with other states’ limits. He created a better environment for those who are injured in accidents, and those that need to take advantage of these new insurance limits.

If you have more questions about new Arizona state-minimum car insurance, or if you’re just curious about what kind of coverage you should have, give Negretti & Associates a call. We can help make sure you’re protected. Contact us online, call us at 602-531-3911, or text us with questions.

negretti & associates' carissa johnson helps fellow accident survivors

Following a life-threatening accident in 2011, Carissa Johnson faced an arduous, two-year recovery that involved multiple leg surgeries.

Negretti & Associates Administrative Assistant Carissa “CJ” Johnson was involved in a horrific accident in April 2011. While she was on a sidewalk, an out-of-control SUV hit her, pinning her against the guardrail of a nearby parking lot, nearly claiming her life.

Recently, CJ opened up to Negretti & Associates Principal Jonathan Negretti about her accident, how she got through her recovery, and how her attorneys ensured that she was compensated for her indescribable misfortune. You can listen to the full conversation in the July 2, 2020 episode of Negretti & Associates’ Legal Beagle Podcast.

CJ says her family’s decision to find attorney representation after her accident was “the best decision we could have made.” Had she not hired an attorney, she reflects, “I don’t think that I would have pursued healing and recovery like I needed to.”

For Negretti & Associates, CJ’s story mirrors who we are as a law firm. Several members of our staff have endured terrible accidents first-hand. What we have learned has given us a deeper empathy for our clients as they manage the repercussions of their accidents and injuries. CJ often draws upon her own experiences to provide clients with valuable insights about the recovery process.

While she never imagined working at a law firm, CJ has come full circle in her life. To be able to help others as they mend their lives after a tragedy is, in her words, a blessing.

Jonathan Negretti: Tell me about what you were doing before this accident occurred that brought you to the place and time where the accident happened. What was the back story that led you to where this accident occurred?

Carissa Johnson: Back in 2011 I was doing some fitness modeling and some random modeling jobs. This happened to be a promotional modeling job that I was doing. I was working on a job that was in partnership with Segway, and it was for a doctor’s convention. We were in downtown Denver handing out promotional materials. We were just along the sidewalks talking to people as they were heading to the convention center.

Were you on Segways?

Yes. We were on Segways. But at the time of the accident, we were actually stationary on the sidewalk. We would move around occasionally. At this point in time we were just chilling on the sidewalk with our little pamphlets, ready to talk to people.

And then what happened?

It was our second day on this job — 7:45 in the morning. We had just gotten the day started. My friend and I were working on the job together. We were just talking, getting ready to hand out some material when I heard some sort of crash. I looked up and I saw an SUV that looked out of control. It was headed directly for us on the sidewalk. And it was going full speed.

So, I just looked down. I was, like, “Oh yeah, I don’t think I’m gonna survive this.” And I shut my eyes, said a prayer, and I thought I was going to meet Jesus. The next thing I knew, I felt the impact. I was hit and then hit again. The SUV actually slammed me into the steel-rail fence that was from of a parking lot by the convention center. I was hit and pinned — and I was still conscious. And the SUV wasn’t moving.

I was going crazy because I couldn’t get out. My legs felt like they were getting severed off. I was yelling for help, and I didn’t feel like any help was coming. So, I bent over the rail and tried to pull myself out. I was like, “I’m gonna pull off my legs just to get out of here.” I thought that was my best option at the time.

How did that work?

It didn’t. I pulled as hard as I could. And then I think at that moment I blacked out, maybe for 30 seconds. In that time an ER doctor, who was headed to the conference and just missed getting hit, saved me. He came over and had the SUV back off my legs, then caught me, set me down on the ground, and checked to make sure I was okay — which I clearly wasn’t, but I was alive. That’s my nightmare in a nutshell.

Did things slow down at all? Meaning, did time seem to go slower than normal? Or did it all happen just extremely fast?

It definitely slowed down. It was very ironic, when I think about it. I should have had time to move because it seemed slow. I literally had my life flash before my eyes, and it felt like forever. I saw this monster vehicle headed toward me and, yet, time did slow down. It’s very weird how that happened, and I am just still surprised to this day that I survived. It’s a miracle for sure.

It’s amazing because the car was probably going 35 miles per hour. The driver had sped up to try to beat a red light. I found out later that there was a driver in the middle lane, who had tried to make an illegal left turn onto a one way street. He was, like, “Oh yeah, there’s my turn.” He hit the rear of this SUV, who was already driving kinda aggressively, trying to beat the yellow light. I think when that happened, the guy just lost control and let go, jumped the curb, hit the trash can and nailed me. So, if he’s going 35 miles per hour, no doubt that was pretty darn fast by the time I heard the other two cars hit. No doubt it was fast, but in my mind, it was very, very slow.

This story made international news because there was an article on a website called The Mirror, which is out of the UK, that covered this story. I suspect part of that was because of your involvement in the fitness community and how you had risen to the pro level in that industry. But also because of the horrific damage that was done to your body. I think — if I remember from that article — you credited the Segway as actually helping you a bit. And, if not for the Segway, you felt like you could have been even more damaged or possibly paralyzed. What did you mean by that?

That is correct. All of this is ironic to me, but I feel like the Segway elevated me just enough to where when the SUV hit me, that it didn’t hit my internal organs. Instead, the brunt of the impact was my legs and not my organs, ribs, and my whole core. I’m pretty short, so the Segway added height and took off a little bit from the impact. It elevated me just enough to where I didn’t die.

You underwent multiple operations and had titanium rods inserted in your legs. Is that both legs, or just one leg?

Both legs. Well, actually, I had rods and pins inserted in both legs, because I had compound tibia and fibula fractures in both legs, and a compound left ankle fracture. So, I had a bunch of hardware connecting me together. And it took forever. It didn’t look like the bones in the left leg were going to fuse back together, but they finally did six months later.

Because I’m so involved in fitness no one ever thought I was going to get back into it, because of the trauma and everything my legs have been through. It was really intense. But I couldn’t shake it. I can’t shake the fitness bug. I did everything that I could to get back into the gym and back working out.

But I felt like a well-worn machine by 2013, which was two years later. I was squeaky. I was creaking. I could relate to the 70-year-olds in the gym when it was cold. It was horrible. I was in a lot of pain. I couldn’t run, so I underwent additional surgeries to have the rods removed. I went through two additional surgeries to have all of the hardware removed.

After the accident and after you recovered a bit, did you immediately go and look for an attorney to help you? Or were you trying to deal with it on your own? Tell me about that experience.

When I was hit, I honestly didn’t know what to do. I was just very thankful to be alive. It was an interesting experience, because I was working — workers’ comp was involved, as well.

There was a woman who showed up in my hospital room. I call her my angel. She was my case manager and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have health insurance at the time, and it was terrifying. I didn’t know how everything was going to work out. It was amazing to have the case manager come in.

And then later someone was, like, “You know, this is really an intense thing that you went through. There are a lot of moving parts — a lot of different parties involved. You should probably get representation.”

My family and I were both so unfamiliar with the process. We didn’t necessarily want to sue anyone. Yes, it was horrible, but accidents do happen. Yes, I almost died. But I didn’t know whether we should do anything.

Eventually, we decided, “Okay. Everyone else has legal representation. We should probably pick up representation, as well.” It was the best decision we could have made.

How did you find your attorney?

It was through recommendations. I think a family friend recommended the attorney that we went with, because we had no idea where to start. We knew we didn’t want to go with one of the ambulance chasers on TV, because that is definitely not our style! Their image is not anything that we wanted to deal with.

After you hired this law firm to help you, I imagine you were educated on the process and what the next steps were. And they walked you through everything up until the case concluded?

Yes, they did walk me through the process. They helped streamline it. Of course, if I hadn’t picked up attorney representation, I don’t think that I would’ve pursued healing and recovery like I needed to and should. They helped guide me in that direction and make sure that I did take care of my wellbeing and that I did try to get back on my feet. They helped me know that I shouldn’t feel guilty for trying to get my life back. They helped guide, guide me the whole process.

It was really scary at times, and I was really anxious and nervous about it all — especially when I thought about it possibly going to trial and having to defend myself about this accident that I was legitimately hurt in. That broke my heart. I never wanted to go there. I felt like that would be the worst thing: I had to endure all this and then I would have to fight to, to tell the adjusters that Yes, I am hurt. Obviously, my life was set back tremendously.

Again, I’m lucky I’m alive. It helped to have them there for me through this whole recovery process. I do still keep in touch with them. It was a sure blessing to have them even though, again, I never thought I would need an attorney for anything like this. It was a good decision.

Fast forward to today. You’ve worked for our firm for a few years now. How surreal is that you now help people who have gone through something similar to what you went through — people who are unfamiliar with the process, who are uncomfortable with even talking to an attorney or someone that works in an attorney’s office? How does that make you feel?

I honestly can’t believe that I’m in the place that I am, and that everything has come completely full circle. I never envisioned this. I knew I wouldn’t be able to work like I did before, because of my PTSD, et cetera. To have the opportunity to work for a firm who helps injured clients and help them understand the process — help people who are probably a lot like me … “I don’t want to sue these people, but I’m hurt, and I don’t know what to do” — it is the best feeling. It really is.

I am so thankful to work with Negretti and just the caliber of people that we have. I know everyone just has the best heart and it truly feels incredible. I never would have imagined that I would be able to help people like I was helped in my time of need. So, it’s a huge blessing. I love it so much and it breaks my heart for what a lot of our clients have experienced, and for some clients who are probably coming to our firm soon. I’m glad that we can be there for them and help them through terrible times in their lives, and hopefully make things better and help them get back to their lives.

You’re a modern-day success story. Not only did you get back into the fitness competitions and excel and do very, very well, you found yourself working for a law firm. It was very organic. And it’s really neat that we have you as part of the team. You’re not only exceptional at what you do, but you have such a big heart and you’re so caring. And that’s important to the people that we represent.

I tell all clients, and I really believe this, CJ, that all of our clients have the chance to get back to doing the things in their lives that are important to them. And I think it’s so great that you get to give back in this way. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of our team and for jumping on today’s podcast and sharing your story.

Thank you.

parking lot accident fault

In parking lot accidents, who’s at fault? How is accident fault determined?

In truth, the answer depends on a variety of factors. Typically, one driver will have the right-of-way, and the driver who infringes upon right-of-way during an accident is at fault. However, right-of-way isn’t always clear, and can depend upon a parking lot’s unique design.

Another factor that may play into determining parking lot accident fault is whether one party had the “last clear chance” to avoid the accident. In other words, even if the plaintiff — the driver suing for damages — demonstrated negligence in connection with an accident, he or she can still recover damages if it is proven that the defendant could have avoided the accident, using reasonable care.

Complicating things further, parking lot accidents often happen on private property, meaning the police most likely will not generate a report regarding the accident.

Because there are so many issues that can influence a determination of parking lot accident fault, Negretti & Associates offers these answers to commonly posed questions. If you need assistance determining whether you have a legitimate parking lot accident claim in Arizona, California, or Colorado, schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team today.

What is parking lot right of way, and how does that affect a determination of fault?

Generally speaking, a driver who violates right-of-way rules will be considered negligent and, in turn, at fault. There are some general principles of parking lot right of way:

  • Drivers in a thoroughfare — a lane that exits to a street — usually have the right-of-way over drivers trying to exit from the “feeder lanes” that flow into thoroughfares.
  • A driver who is moving out of a parking space must yield to a driver traveling down a feeder lane. If you are driving down a parking lot lane and someone reverses into your vehicle without looking, they would be responsible for any accident that may occur.

The at-fault, or negligent, party can be held responsible for damages related to an accident, ranging from car repair expenses, medical bills, and potential lost earnings.

Are car accidents in parking lots “no fault”?

No. One party has to be at fault in order for there to be a legitimate accident claim. For example, in Arizona, there is a legal authority that allows a jury to assign whatever percentage of fault they feel that each party bears. However, one party does not have be 100% at fault for the other party to be able to recover damages.

Who has the right of way when pulling out of a parking spot? Who is at fault in a car accident when backing up?

The driver leaving the parking spot has the duty to pay attention. If you begin to pull out of a parking spot with caution and restraint, you have the right-of-way. If an oncoming driver were to hit you in that scenario, the other driver may be at fault for the accident if he or she neglected a “last clear chance” to avoid the accident.

If only one car is moving at the time of the accident, the driver of the moving vehicle would typically be held at fault. If a driver backed into your car when it is legally parked, the other driver most likely would be held at fault.

What if two cars backing up at the same time hit each other?

The answer to this question may boil down to reasonableness and, ultimately, witnesses. If you are paying attention and you start backing out of a parking space, but the other driver isn’t paying attention and you hit each other, it is going to be your word against theirs. So called “he said, she said” disputes typically do not work out in the plaintiff’s favor. Therefore, a witness who can testify as to what happened may be the determining factor in resolving parking lot accident fault.

Can you prove that the other driver was speeding?

Possibly. Most newer vehicles have a “black box” that records all data from any accident — including the speed of the vehicle prior to impact. To be able to download black-box data, so that it can be used in a case, typically a car expert must be hired. If the vehicle is repaired after the accident, or too much time passes following the collision, the data could be lost. For these reasons, it is critical to have black-box data downloaded as soon as possible after an accident.

Someone hit my parked car and drove away without leaving a note. What should I do?

It is unlawful to commit a hit and run accident. You can check with the businesses in the area to see if their surveillance cameras recorded the event. If you successfully obtain a license plate number or description of the vehicle, the police may be able to assist you with tracking down the vehicle who hit your parked car.

Does insurance cover hit-and-run accidents in parking lots?

If you have collision coverage on your policy, it should cover you in the event that someone hits you and runs from the scene. However, you would be on the hook for your deductible.

Is there such a thing as parking lot accident insurance?

No, there is no such thing as parking lot insurance. Logically, you don’t need something that doesn’t exist!

Your insurance policy will cover you if you have proper coverage. If you are unsure of what coverages you have, give Negretti & Associates a call and we will review your policy to educate you on the coverages that you have purchased.

Contact us online, call us at 1-833-827-3535, or text us with questions about your parking lot accident case. We can ensure that you are taking all the necessary steps toward getting the compensation you deserve.

how to prove you are not at fault in a car accident

Let’s say you’ve been in a car accident and it’s not your fault. To you, it’s obvious that you didn’t cause the accident. Yet, to the contrary, the other party in the accident won’t accept fault. What do you do?

If you need a “crash course” on how to prove you are not at fault in a car accident, Negretti & Associates Attorneys at Law will be happy to be your guide. Licensed in Arizona, California, and Colorado, our attorneys can lead you every step of the way, by collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and hiring experts who can demonstrate that the other driver was at fault.

The process of proving you’re not at fault in a car accident starts with collecting evidence. The best thing you can do to prove that you’re not at fault is to have independent evidence supporting your version of the incident. This can come in the form of things like photographs, third-party witnesses, police reports, surveillance videos, body cam footage, and 911 audio.

It is possible that the opposing party will do the right thing and admit fault. But don’t count on that, especially once insurance companies get involved!

How Fault Is Determined in Car Accidents

In the context of personal injury claims, fault is really something that is determined by a judge or jury. A party may accept responsibility for an accident in an attempt to resolve a claim. However, it is a misconception to think that anyone other than a judge and jury can determine fault.

The police who investigate an accident do not determine fault. Your insurance company does not determine fault. The other party’s insurance company does not determine fault. A witness alone cannot determine fault. Any of the above may factor into determining fault in a specific case, but none are solely responsible for adjudicating fault.

In a more general sense, fault can be determined by relying on the laws where the accident occurred and by looking at the particular facts of circumstances of the accident itself.

For example, in Arizona, one law — ARS 28-772 — states that a vehicle turning left must yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic. However, there are plenty of scenarios where the presumed “right-of-way” vehicle runs a red light and hits the left-turning vehicle. Although the law presumes that the left turning vehicle is at fault, the particular facts and circumstances of that incident would be helpful in reaching a final determination of fault.

For this reason, it’s important to consult with an attorney to go over the facts of your accident, to achieve a better understanding of who might be at fault.

Disputing a Determination of Car Accident Fault

In order to properly dispute fault in a car accident, you have to gather evidence that will help a judge or jury understand and accept your story. Your testimony will typically not be enough to dispute fault.

Although you will always be your own best advocate, it’s important to have a legal team on your side. A law firm can help you gather the necessary evidence and guide you through the process, because of their experience in dealing with disputed fault cases.

Can You Dispute a Police Report?

This may not surprise you, but police reports can be wrong. Police officers are human beings and are capable of making mistakes just like everyone else. The question is whether the mistake is fatal or not. In other words, what does the mistake mean to your case?

If the mistake is the color of your vehicle, that probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to your case. However, if you are quoted saying something that you didn’t say, that may be more important to your case.

At the end of the day, generally speaking, police reports are not admissible as evidence in car accident cases. Certain parts of the police report may be admissible, whereas others are wholly inadmissible. If you believe that a mistake in a police report is something you need to worry about, consult with an attorney.

How Do You Fight an Insurance Claim Made Against You?

If you have automobile insurance at the time of your accident, your own insurance company has a duty to defend you against claims being made against you. This is not to say that your insurance company is truly looking out for your best interests. It simply means that they will handle the claim being made against you and hire and pay for a lawyer on your behalf, if needed.

The important thing to understand is that these claims adjusters and lawyers work for the insurance company. They do not care about you and will not “fight” to protect you.

If you need help with solving the riddle of how to prove you are not at fault in a car accident, reach out to Negretti & Associates today. Call us at 602-531-3911 in Arizona, 619-777-3370 in California, or 720-636-3444 in Colorado. Or, you can contact us online, or send us a text.

By Jonathan Negretti, principal, Negretti & Associates

Negretti & Associates has thrived as a remote law firm since its founding 2012. In this recent interview with Litify, Jonathan Negretti offers his perspective on starting and managing a remote law firm.

In March 2020, as COVID-19 spread across the United States, many law firms were abruptly forced to shutter their doors and ask their staffs to work from home. For a lot of law firms that still utilized paper files or the occasional typewriter, this posed challenges. For more forward-thinking and tech-savvy law firms, this was less of an adjustment.

For Negretti & Associates, years before COVID-19 became a factor, we sought to establish ourselves as a premier remote law firm. Operating within a virtual environment was one of the core tenets of our success. Yet, growing to three offices in three different states while maintaining a virtual environment was not easy.

Our team works remotely on a daily basis. Rather than wasting time commuting, we are answering emails and making early morning phone calls. We can be available and responsive when others are not. Working with a remote team has compelled our firm to continually refine our communication process, to ensure that clients are represented effectively.

From time to time, I am asked for pointers on how law firms can build and maintain a remote work environment. If you are patient and follow these five tips for managing a remote law firm, you’ll find that it’s actually possible for your firm to thrive in a virtual environment.

Tip 1: Get the right people, then get out of their way

To have a healthy work environment, it is essential to have the right people in place. But once you’ve done that, you have to get out of their way. Don’t micromanage!

Even though your employees are working remotely, you must trust that they are still working toward a common goal. That common goal must become the bedrock of your environment.

One mistake that I see people making is that they think that because everyone is working from home, that they don’t — or can’t — have office drama. That’s simply not true. The drama may be greatly reduced, but it still be there. If you have the wrong people on the bus — people who I commonly refer to as “toxic” — they will disrupt your company culture.

People also think that for their employees to work from home, employees must inherently be self-starters. This is true to an extent. Yet, more importantly, you must manage people with a mindset that emphasizes flexibility. People want to work when they can be most productive. Sometimes people are most productive early in the morning, others are more productive late at night.

We are not clock-watchers at Negretti & Associates. We focus on the service that we provide to our clients, rather than making sure every employee is sitting at their virtual desks at 9 a.m.

Lastly, we allow people to opt-out. We tell every new employee that working from home can be tough. Working remotely may not be for them. We understand this, and will accept one’s decision to leave. We don’t try to force square pegs into round holes!

remote law firm - jonathan negretti“You must manage people with a mindset that emphasizes flexibility. People want to work when they can be most productive. Sometimes people are most productive early in the morning, others are more productive late at night,” observes Negretti.

Tip 2: Develop good systems

To allow your employees to get the resources that they need and do their jobs effectively, you must have systems in place.

At Negretti & Associates, we invested heavily in technology to make sure that our lawyers and support staff have access to everything that they need. If you are employed at Negretti & Associates today, you literally can work with a laptop and smartphone — from anywhere in the world. This is because we have a CRM platform called Litify, which is like an all-in-one program for our employees to use.

With Litify, you can do everything from review medical records to text clients directly from the software system. Additionally, when we get snail mail, it’s all scanned in and uploaded to Litify. Employees can browse the mail received on that given day or go directly to the client file to review the specific piece of mail that corresponds to the client’s case.

We also use a firm calendar system that syncs with Litify to keep track of client calls, internal and external meetings, as well as vacation time and upcoming deadlines.

Tip 3: Meet clients face-to-face through your computer

The idea of working remotely is a beautiful thing. However, meeting clients face-to-face may seem tricky.

Before COVID-19, I would have said it’s very challenging to get your employees to embrace a software platform like GoToMeeting, Zoom or WebEx. Post COVID-19, everyone seems comfortable with this software. Families are meeting with each other online now more than ever before. Doctors are meeting patients virtually. Companies are utilizing this software for happy hours and lunch meetings.

This software is a great way to meet your clients face-to-face without leaving the comforts of your home office. Clients seem to prefer the ease of meeting their attorney online, rather than having to drive to an office across town. It is a win-win for everybody and allows for more efficiency in scheduling and hosting client meetings.

Tip 4: Schedule social interactions with your staff

I don’t think I realized the importance of social interaction between employees until more recently — after the COVID-19 lockdown went into effect. Although some people love working in solitude, even the most introverted people can feel a little claustrophobic or a bit disconnected while working from home on a regular basis.

To fend off feelings of isolation, we typically have a weekly staff call on GoToMeeting, so that we can turn on our cameras and see each other. We supplement these with firm-wide happy hours and video breakout sessions.

Tip 5: Be ready and willing to adapt and evolve when necessary

Working virtually requires that you adapt to ever-changing market conditions, as well as evolve and allow for new sources of productivity.

Being a smaller law firm has given us the advantage of being able to change course on a dime. But we accommodate change in a balanced way. We don’t institute change without careful consideration, and we also don’t get stuck in “paralysis through analysis.”

If we decide that we can do something better and it helps our clients, then we incorporate it. If we find an easier path for our clients, then we will adapt to incorporate these changes.

Nothing is off limits at our firm. We don’t have the mentality that “this is how we’ve always done it,” or “that tradition can’t be messed with.”

Alan Arkin was quoted as saying that “either you’re growing or you’re decaying; there’s no middle ground. If you are standing still, you’re decaying.” We don’t stand still at Negretti & Associates!

At the end of the day, working in a remote law firm can be very fulfilling and enjoyable. It can give you an exceptional work-life balance. At the same time, for your virtual law firm to flourish, you must have the right environment.

One thing is certain: the old, antiquated law firms that occupy big office buildings are like the T-Rex. They will eventually become extinct.

uber insurance claims

Whether you’re the driver or a passenger in an Uber accident, or if your car has been in an accident with an Uber driver, the process of filing an Uber insurance claim is no different from filing a claim with an insurance company.

Yet, the key thing to remember is be careful about what you report to Uber or the company handling the insurance claim. Insurance claims adjustors may seem to be on your side as they collect information from you. Behind the scenes, they are looking for ways to reduce liability and save money.

Therefore, before starting your claim, consult with a law firm that is familiar with rideshare accidents and Uber insurance claims. At Negretti & Associates, we have handled many Uber claims and are familiar with Uber’s claims-handling process.

We have prepared this list of answers to common questions as a way of highlighting the potential issues that may arise when filing Uber insurance claims.

How do I file a claim with Uber?

James River Insurance Company is the claims handling company for Uber. You can Visit for more information. New claims must be submitted in writing by mail, email, or fax.

Before initiating a claim with Uber, however, Negretti & Associates suggests that you contact us first. This is because insurance companies can use a variety of techniques to limit payouts.

Negretti & Associates can provide you with valuable advice that may end up saving you a lot of heartache later. We can help you avoid the potential for your answers to be used against you later.

If an Uber driver hit my car, and it’s the Uber driver’s fault, whose insurance covers the accident?

If you are in an accident with an Uber driver, the driver’s insurance and Uber’s insurance — or a combination of the two — should cover your damages.

There are varying levels of coverage provided to Uber drivers. Coverage depends upon the status of the driver at the time of the accident. Still, the driver’s personal insurance may apply. Uber may also be required to cover additional losses, depending on different factors.

If you get in an accident involving an Uber driver, contact Negretti & Associates first, and we’ll help unpack the details of your situation.

If I am the passenger in an accident, should I report the accident to Uber? Do I call Uber customer service?

Ultimately, a claim will need to be reported to Uber if you intend to pursue a claim against them. Remember, what you say and how you say it is important!

Contact Negretti & Associates before starting an Uber insurance claim. We will prepare you for that conversation. If you end up hiring us to represent you, we will contact Uber on your behalf.

I am an Uber driver. How and when does Uber insurance cover me?

Uber discusses its insurance program in the Help section of its website. The company provides varying levels of insurance coverage at different phases of a ride.

Uber’s automotive liability coverage “starts the instant you tap ‘go’ on the Uber app to wait for a ride request.”

As the driver waits for the ride request, Uber maintains automobile liability coverage to drivers on their behalf in amounts of at least:

  • $50,000 for the driver’s liability for bodily injury per person case of a covered accident.
  • $100,000 per covered accident.
  • $25,000 for property damage for which you are responsible for in a covered accident.

While the driver is traveling to pick up the rider, and while the passenger’s ride is in progress, Uber provides:

  • Third-party liability coverage: This encompasses bodily injuries or damages caused to riders, people in other vehicles, pedestrians, or property.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage: This insures driver and riders while a passenger trip is in progress, and another driver is at fault, but either does not have sufficient insurance coverage, or flees the scene of the accident (a “hit-and-run” accident).
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage: Uber writes that this will “kick in” for a driver “as long as you maintain comprehensive and collision coverage on your personal auto insurance.” Uber states it will “provide physical damage coverage for your car up to its actual cash value, regardless of who is at fault.” For the coverage to apply, the driver must pay a deductible of $1,000.

Uber also tells drivers that, “If you’re in an accident during this time, you don’t need to file a claim with your personal auto policy. You can submit a claim directly from the Uber app or by contacting support.”

As an Uber driver, do I need to report my accident to Uber? Will Uber notify my insurance company of the accident?

If you are an Uber driver, you might have an affirmative duty to report your accident to Uber, pursuant to your agreement to drive for Uber. Yet, this doesn’t mean that you lose your rights.

It is possible that Uber will notify your insurance. With the advent of blockchain technology and smart contracts, insurance companies are investing in new, innovative ways to handle insurance claims processing. Regardless, we would not count on Uber notifying your insurance provider.

If you hire Negretti & Associates to handle your claim, we will put your insurance on notice of the claim that we have made against Uber. This is important because your insurance coverages may also apply in the event of an accident involving Uber.

The experienced accident lawyers at Negretti & Associates can help you successfully navigate your Uber insurance claim. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation and evaluate your case. Contact us online, call us at 1-833-827-3535, or send us a text.

lime scooter injury lawsuits

An electric scooter accident of any kind can be damaging both physically and financially — especially if your injury is significant. You may find yourself feeling very overwhelmed and unprepared to deal with the complexity of your case.

Even a highly experienced injury attorney will admit that scooter injury cases are unlike any other type of accident cases. They have many moving parts:

  • Cities’ scooter usage laws are constantly evolving.
  • The fine print found in scooter companies’ user agreements can be thousands of words long and difficult to decipher.
  • And, as medical bills pile up, it can be critically important to carefully examine medical coverage available in auto and homeowner’s insurance policies.

If you’ve sustained a Lime scooter injury, it’s best to find a lawyer with experience in Lime scooter injury lawsuits — such as an attorney at Negretti & Associates. Our attorneys know electric scooter laws, and we can review your case to determine liability and calculate how you can recover damages related to your accident.

To help guide you in your claim process, we offer these answers to commonly asked questions about Lime scooter injury lawsuits.

I have been injured while riding on a Lime scooter. What steps should I take after my accident?

First, get the medical care that you need. Not only will treatment speed your recovery, but your examination will document the scope and severity of your injuries.

Second, call the police and have a report written. Ask the police to impound the scooter.

Third, take photos of the scooter, the accident scene, and your injuries. Be sure to take a photo of the QR codes or other identifying information on the scooter.

Finally, call Negretti and Associates before contacting Lime to start a claim.

How do I prove liability for my Lime scooter accident?

Liability, or what is more commonly known as “fault,” is ultimately decided by a jury. However, you can certainly do things to strengthen your Lime scooter accident case.

For example, photographing and documenting important information related to the Lime accident can be very helpful in convincing Lime to accept fault for the accident. If your Lime scooter malfunctioned in some way, it is vitally important that you preserve that scooter, so that your attorney and expert have a chance to inspect the scooter before Lime tries to repair it.

Is it possible to sue Lime for my injury? How do I file a Lime scooter injury lawsuit?

Lime has a mandatory arbitration provision in its user agreement. It reads, “We each mutually agree to resolve any justiciable disputes between us exclusively through final and binding arbitration instead of filing a lawsuit in court.”

That closing phrase — instead of filing a lawsuit in court — clearly states that you cannot sue Lime in open court. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have a claim, it simply means that you may not be able to make your dispute public. At Negretti & Associates, our Lime scooter attorneys are familiar with this arbitration provision and how to navigate injury claims appropriately.

What am I entitled to as compensation for my injuries and costs?

If you are able to prove your claim against Lime, you would be entitled to medical expenses incurred and likely to be incurred in the future. You may also be able to recover for your past and future lost wages as well as pain & suffering. Your total compensation depends greatly on the severity of your damages. Make no mistake, Lime is not going to make this easy on you and will not willingly pay you for your injuries.

Is there a Lime scooter class action lawsuit? Why not join a class-action lawsuit?

To answer this question, we must turn to Lime’s user agreement once again. Lime’s user agreement has a class action waiver, which restricts riders from filing and joining a class action lawsuit against the company. You surrender that right when you click through the app when you first sign up.

The waiver reads, “We each mutually agree that by entering into this agreement to arbitrate, we both waive our right to have any dispute or claim brought, heard or arbitrated as, or to participate in, a class action, collective action and/or representative action, and an arbitrator shall not have any authority to hear or arbitrate any class, collective or representative action (“Class Action Waiver”).”

Is there an average value for a Lime scooter injury lawsuit or claim?

No. Unfortunately, the values of these injury claims are all over the map. Additionally, since riders are bound to binding arbitration, and most settlement agreements contain confidentiality clauses, there isn’t a lot of information in the market about average claim value.

At Negretti & Associates we don’t worry about averages. You are not average and shouldn’t be treated as such. We believe your claim is unique to you and should be treated accordingly.

If you have other questions or would like a free case evaluation, get in touch with a Lime scooter attorney at Negretti & Associates now. Contact us online, contact us online, call us at 1-833-827-3535, or send us a text. We can ensure that you are taking all the necessary steps towards getting the compensation you deserve.

lime scooter lawyers

If you’ve sustained a Lime scooter injury, it’s natural to wonder if there’s anything you can do to be compensated for your accident. How do I file a claim? How do I prove my case? How can I find help?

Electric scooter accidents can be confusing and difficult to navigate. You might find yourself feeling very overwhelmed and unprepared to deal with the complexity of your claim.

No matter what, the dedicated electric scooter accident lawyers at Negretti & Associates are here to help. Reach out to Negretti & Associates today for a free consultation about your case. Contact us online, call us at (833) 827-3535, or send us a text.

To help you understand your options, we’ve prepared the following series of questions to consider when hiring a Lime scooter lawyer.

Why is important to choose an experienced Lime scooter lawyer — someone who has familiarity with scooter law?

An experienced attorney can lead you step-by-step through the Lime accident claims process. Lime has an extensive user agreement. Not only is it long — more than 6,500 words, requiring about a half hour to read — it’s designed to limit Lime’s responsibility related to any injuries that occur while riding one of their scooters.

It’s therefore very helpful to have a lawyer who is familiar with the intricacies of this user agreement — as well as other scooter companies’ user agreements — and can advocate on your behalf accordingly.

Watch Negretti & Associates’ Jonathan Negretti on AZTV 7’s Daily Mix show, discussing scooter accident liability, and how the fine print found in scooter companies’ terms-of-service agreements can impact riders.

Should I hire a Lime scooter lawyer near me? How does it help to have a lawyer who is familiar with my local and state laws?

As we just discussed, it’s very important to find an attorney or law firm with experience in Lime scooter injury accidents. Yet, it’s equally important to choose a lawyer who is licensed to practice law in the state where your accident occurred.

Every state has its own unique laws that govern claims. If your lawyer does not have knowledge of local and state laws where your accident occurred, your ability to recover the full extent of your damages could be compromised.

Keep in mind that, when it comes to where a case can be heard, some scooter companies’ user agreements have language that selects the state for you. Please be aware of this when researching attorneys.

At Negretti & Associates, we have offices in Arizona, California and Colorado. If you have experienced a Lime scooter accident in one of these states, please give us a call to discuss your claim.

How can a Lime scooter lawyer help me determine who is liable for my accident?

A lawyer who has handled Lime scooter accidents can help investigate the facts and circumstances of your particular accident to determine fault. Most Lime scooter lawyers also work with experts who can be hired to help determine fault.

Is there anything unique about Lime’s user agreement in relation to my case?

Yes. For example, in its user agreement, Lime has a binding arbitration clause. As a result, it means that you are not able to sue Lime in open court. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have a claim — it just means that you may not be able to make your dispute public. Negretti & Associates has handled quite a few Lime claims and are familiar with Lime’s arbitration provision and how to navigate your claim appropriately.

Is there a Lime scooter class action lawsuit? Why not join a class-action lawsuit?

Everything with Lime claims hinges on the scooter company’s user agreement. Lime’s user agreement does not allow users to start or join a class-action lawsuit. There is a class-action waiver provision buried in its user agreement. You surrender the right to join a class-action suit when you when you first sign up on the Lime app and click the “I agree” button.

Take all the necessary steps toward getting the compensation you deserve in your Lime scooter accident. Trust the experienced scooter lawyers at Negretti & Associates to help you with your claim. Contact us online, call us at (833) 827-3535, or send us a text.