In this week’s edition of Negretti & Associates’ Legal Beagle Podcast Jonathan interviews personal injury lawyer Brian LaBovick, author of Not a Good Neighbor: A Lawyer’s Guide to Beating Big Insurance Companies. In his book, LaBovick shows you how to navigate the paperwork and pitfalls of an automobile accident case. He shares stories from nearly three decades in practice to help you maximize benefits in this often-complicated process. You also may pick up a tip or two of how to spearfish in the coastal waters of south Florida!

Jonathan Negretti: We’re here to talk about a hot new summer read that everyone should put on their calendars to read this summer at the beach. It’s called Not a Good Neighbor: A Lawyer’s Guide to Beating Big Insurance Companies.

Brian, what prompted you to write this book?

Brian LaBovick: A couple of things prompted me to write the book. Number one, after 30 years of injury practice, you kind of develop a reputation, and you develop kind of a motif in your injury world work. Our motif has been, for the most part, to do cases of relative significance.

What ends up happening when we start down the path of a case, and we find out that a person’s file really doesn’t fit our profile. We need to try to help them out, and we want to give them an opportunity to be helped out, but their case really doesn’t demand either a lawyer to be involved or litigation to be involved. We wanted a solution for those people.

So, this book is part of that solution for a lot of people, where they can go ahead and get their own cases settled — not pay an attorney’s fee, and get the maximum out of the value out of their particular cases. And so, it’s just trying to help people. That was the main motivation.

Jonathan Negretti: We may disagree on one point. You say that not everyone needs a lawyer. And I actually agree with you on that. But the reason for that may be different between the two of us. Why do you think that not everyone needs a lawyer?

Brian LaBovick: I think that, personally, there are many situations where the lawyer doesn’t add value to the claim for the prospective client. My goal is always to add more value than we take in service in dollars. So, I want to make sure that I’m always adding more value than the person can do without the service of the lawyer.

By keeping that formula, I think that we keep our reputation intact. That’s why what I mean by situations where we don’t add enough value to the case. This book can get people where they need to go without having a lawyer involved.

Jonathan Negretti: Well, I guess we agree!

Brian LaBovick: Oh, good!

Jonathan Negretti: Because that’s exactly what I say to people. If we can’t add more value than what we would take out of the case, then there’s no reason to hire us. We’re exactly aligned in that way.

There are some attorneys that I’ve heard that don’t want cases because all they’re looking for is the big fish. All they’re looking for is the big multi-million-dollar claims, and so they won’t take anything else. It leaves a big group of the population without help — without resources when they really could benefit from a lawyer.

So, I like the way you just explained that because I agree with that idea of “If I can’t provide value, then you’re better off doing this alone.” I totally agree with that.

Brian LaBovick: I think that you and I are on the exact same page. There’s room in the market for that, right? There are businesses in the market who only want that seven-figure-and-above case. And, if you don’t have a seven-figure-and-above case, then you really don’t have a space in their business models.

That’s not my business model. My business model is to help a lot of people. I don’t want to say that we have a “mill practice,” because we certainly don’t. We don’t come close to that mill practice. There are some practices here that drag in 20, 30, 50 people a week. That’s not our practice model. But we definitely like to work on cases where we add value.

There are just some cases out there, unfortunately, at least in Florida, where the insurance profiles of all the parties involved don’t give an opportunity to the plaintiff to really get value out of having an attorney involved. That’s just a fact — a commercial fact — in my neighborhood.

Jonathan Negretti: So, we’re in a day and age where most attorneys — including myself — tout these big outcomes and these awards or verdicts, and we talk about how great we are, and we celebrate all the victories.

You take an interesting turn or twist in this book. You talk about a lot of losses. Why did you do that? You’re very humble in the way you describe things. You didn’t just go through and say, “Let me tell you about all of the seven-figure victories.” You went through and said, “Let me tell you when I got my butt handed to me.” Why did you do that?

Brian LaBovick: I think it’s important that people know that you don’t learn as much from your victories as you do from your defeats. If you’re a conscientious human being, and you care about what you do — if you care at all about learning the lessons of getting good, getting competent at being a great trial lawyer — you’re going to get losses. If you’re not trying cases, you’re not losing cases. Right? You’re going to end up losing cases you should have won, and you’re going to wind up winning cases you probably should have lost.

Six human beings on a jury, at least in Florida, get to make the decision about a case. There are six organic creatures there. I can’t control them. I’m not a Svengali. People think, “Oh, the lawyers are so good at manipulating and controlling.” But it’s just not true.

There are two very smart lawyers — or four, sometimes — on each side of a case. We put that in front of a jury, and those six people get together and create an organic outcome. Sometimes that outcome goes my client’s way and, unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t. So, I just wanted people to get a really good sense of what the lessons are out there.

So, I thank you. I appreciate the “humble” comment because I want to be a humble person. I wouldn’t say that my friends call me a humble person.

Jonathan Negretti: I read that — and I highlighted it — about the client who ran away to the circus. Is this a real story, Brian?

Brian LaBovick: It’s a real story. I mean, that was one of the heartbreak stories. There are these moments that you go through as a young trial lawyer. You take on these people’s lives.

I would take on these people’s lives. And I would take them on in a way that I truly lived them. [Their problems] became my problem, my life.

When that person came to me days before trial and said, “You’ve got to settle the case. I’m running away. I’m going to join the circus,” that left one of those scars that taught me you have to separate yourself from your client.

Just like that. That was such a deeply cut scar. I was so invested in this person’s life. For her to just be like, “I’m going to join the circus” — wow, that was crazy.

Jonathan Negretti: I’m not laughing at you, Brian. But when I read it, I did laugh. I cannot believe that was a real story.

Brian LaBovick: It’s a true story. I’ve got so many. I’m sure you do, too. After 30 years of practicing law, I’ve got so many client stories, and then so many employee stories.

Jonathan Negretti: So, tell me why is it that you think insurance companies make it so difficult for people — and are really reluctant to pay what we call fair value on claims?

Brian LaBovick: I think for insurance companies it’s a matter of data and money. They do a very good job understanding the data — the actual risk, knowing what risk they can sustain, looking forward 50 years into this time horizon of an investment perspective.

They think to themselves, “If we do this, we’re going to have this much money. If we invest it this way, we’ll have this much money. And this is how much we’ll have to give to people.”

Their risk analysis is just way better than ours. Their data analysis is better than ours. We deal in this human endeavor, and they deal in data. And this is just a matter of data for them. It’s not a human issue.

Jonathan Negretti: I think human kindness is a real thing, and I think humanity is special. I love that you said earlier that what we deal with humans, and what insurance companies do — they deal with data. You can’t lose sight, I think — maybe it’s just my naïve personality — but I think the human spirit always prevails. I just believe that. I really do.

Brian LaBovick: I do, too.

Jonathan Negretti: The data is helpful. It’s good, it’s strong. But you can’t take away that human dynamic which I think you talk about a lot in your book.

Tell me, where people can find your book, Not a Good Neighbor? Where can they get a copy?

Brian LaBovick: Oh, you can find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target, and some local book sellers — at least here in Florida. It’s super easy to find. Just type into your browser, LaBovick Not a Good Neighbor. It’s gonna pop up. You can get it anywhere, and the audiobook should be coming out in the next three weeks.

Jonathan Negretti: Are you doing the audio?

Brian LaBovick: No, no, no! You’re way better off having a professional reader than me. I asked. Because you’ve got to hire somebody to do this, And I listen to a lot of audiobooks!

In this week’s Legal Beagle Podcast, Jonathan Negretti talks about the four-day trial that Negretti & Associates just concluded. Jonathan explains why trials are hard, why trials are unpredictable, and why trials are where you find justice.

At the end of April, our firm wrapped up a four-day trial. The entire month was prep work and getting ready for that trial.

With that said, fresh from my experience of going to trial, I’d like to share my experience. My three take-aways are as follows:

  1. Trials are hard.
  2. Trials are unpredictable.
  3. Trials are where you find justice.

Sometimes, you have to go to trial. As an attorney, you find that there’s simply no way to resolve a case without going to trial.

I really do believe that you can find justice — in essence, accountability for the wrongdoing by the defendants — through trial.

There are times when you can find accountability through settlement.

It doesn’t mean that every case needs to go to trial. Yet, unless the defendants — and really, I’m talking about insurance companies — know that you’re serious, they’re not going to take you seriously.

The case we just tried took a few years to get to trial. This is often the situation.

Clients often ask, “How long is this whole process going to take?” I used to say 12 to 18 months. That was an aggressive timeline. That timeline is nowhere close to what we’re seeing today.

The timing of going to trial has more to do with just the time it takes to get a case ready for trial.

There is work to be done on both sides of the aisle — from the plaintiff’s side to the defense side. There are depositions that need to be taken and medical exams that may need to be conducted. Just getting medical records and putting experts’ evaluations into place can take quite a while.

There are two different types of trials: bench trials and jury trials.

  • In a bench trial, a judge hears arguments from both sides and then makes the decision.
  • A jury trial is what you would probably know from TV and movies that you’ve seen. A jury of one’s peers is selected. After hearing arguments, members of the jury deliberate and decide upon the case.

The trial that Negretti & Associates recently wrapped up was a bench trial.

Trials Are Hard

Trials are hard on everyone — not just the attorneys involved, or the clients involved. They’re hard on the judicial system, too. They’re hard on the people who are tasked with making a decision about a case, whether that’s a judge or a jury. Trials are hard on the experts who are involved, as well as the support staff at law firms.

Going to trial requires a mountain of work. There’s no way to really capture this in words. You just have to live and experience it. Frankly, I would hope that most clients don’t have to live through a trial experience. It’s not a fun experience for most people.

In a personal injury context, you’re in a trial because you were hurt in some way. You’re not in trial because going to trial ends up being some sort of positive experience in the way that you would think it would be. You’re there because something happened and deeply impacted your life. An event disrupted your life, causing a need for a claim to be brought, a lawsuit to be filed, litigation to transpire, and a courtroom to be visited.

As an attorney, I enjoy trial work, and I really have a sense of fulfillment that comes along with this work. But that’s because it is what I have signed up to do. By contrast, people who are driving down the road and get hit unexpectedly in a car crash aren’t looking for a trial. I acknowledge and I recognize this.

going to trial: reflections on taking a case to trial

There’s stress involved. The prep work involved for our recent trial was pretty extensive!

We’re talking about weeks and weeks and weeks of prep — re-reading deposition transcripts, talking with our experts, thinking about trial strategy, working on the opening statement, working on the case-in-chief, which is where the plaintiff puts on their witnesses. We then worked on a rebuttal for the defense case-in-chief, which is what the defense puts on to argue against the plaintiff case. Then we formulated our closing argument at the end. All of this just takes time and a lot of work.

The testimony of witnesses can be extensive, too. You may have taken a witness by deposition earlier in a case, and then you have to take them live. In effect, you basically have to redo everything that you did in the deposition.

This often holds true for the plaintiff, who is going to be asked to sit through a deposition at some point during litigation. The plaintiff will be asked to be taken live at the time of trial, where they’re going to be asked a lot of the same questions that they were asked at the deposition.

As a case develops, you’re faced with the problem of time passing and life intersecting with the law. A crash may happen on one date. The deposition happens on some date after that. And then the trial happens on some later date, even further out in time from the date of the crash. Changes occur with the plaintiff along the way. They may be getting better or worse after suffering injuries.

Life happens. But the law is not black and white. You can’t put people in boxes or categories if a situation or event is highly transitional.

There’s a line from Jerry McGuire that I love: “up at dawn, pride-swallowing siege.” That’s what it’s like to do this kind of work. We were up early each morning and worked very late at night. We had very little sleep. Family and friends can get pushed aside, because you just don’t have the ability to focus on anything but the trial itself.

In fact, this occurred my wife. Her birthday landed in the middle of this trial. I was able to peel away for dinner, and we had some friends and family over. I was able to share a few moments with them, and then I went back to work. That’s just the reality of what we deal with. We were able to celebrate more fully after the trial.

I share this with you because it’s the real dynamics of life and what happens with trials. As the plaintiff, every day we’re talking about what happened that day — giving updates and talking through strategy. And we’re trying to calm the nerves that are there for person who has given their trust and faith to a third party — a judge or a jury — and saying “you make the decision,” because the parties involved can’t simply agree.

Trials Are Unpredictable

Weird things can happen in trial. Our trial happened virtually. I’m very comfortable talking into a little dot on my computer screen, so the experience wasn’t uncomfortable for me. But for others, who aren’t comfortable with that — especially clients and experts who haven’t done it — it’s weird to have a conversation through a computer.

Technical difficulties weren’t really apparent. We got through that pretty smoothly.

If there was one real issue for our case, it’s that people can change their testimony at trial. Incredibly, an expert who testified just flat-out lied! On the stand! And we knew it! I suspect that that expert knew it, too.

At the end of the day, all you can do is try to prove your case through prior testimony and the evidence you’re presenting. You have to hope that the trier of fact — whether that’s the judge or the jury — picks up on what you’re saying and understands where lies occurred.

At the closing argument, you have the chance to explain your position a bit better. But, as it’s happening, you can be caught off-guard. You don’t expect people to change and do an about-face during trial. People usually stick to what they said.

Most people, I think, are trying to be honest. They at least believe, in their minds, that they are being honest. I say this because there are a lot of defense experts who say whatever the defendant wants them to say. We see the same reports and findings over and over. Do I think those experts are intentionally lying? I don’t know. Sometimes they just believe they’re serving another master, and their service to that master is more important than really being fair and reasonable. When this happens, you end up in trial.

Trials Are Where You Find Justice

Earlier, I talked a little bit about accountability. I believe accountability is a byproduct of justice. You go to court to try to resolve your case, simply because you can’t reach a fair resolution somewhere along the way.

Just to be clear, I’m talking about the civil justice system here. There’s also the criminal justice system, which operates independently. Civil and criminal are the two justice systems in this country. They have different ramifications and consequences, but they’re of equal importance.

I believe that our system is set up to be a justice system. There is a civil context and a criminal context, but justice is justice. Justice is accountability for what has happened.

We’ve seen this in the news and in society at large. George Floyd’s brother, Philonise, made an interesting point after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty. Speaking about the verdict, Philonise Floyd said, “It was accountability.”

Ultimately, this is what we’re looking for from the justice system. We’re looking for some sort of accountability. We want the wrongdoer — whether it’s a criminal or civil wrongdoer — to be held accountable for what happened. That’s why I think we find justice in the courtroom.

Sometimes we can’t find justice outside of the courtroom. We certainly can’t find it if the opposing party — the defendant — isn’t going to be fair, treat our client’s situation seriously, or consider what happened in our particular case. Needing to take a case to trial can be a serious consequence of the defendant’s actions.

And so, you sometimes have to take your case to the courtroom. Yet, in doing so, you face a variety of obstacles. For example, you may face consistent denials. I found this, and I actually used this in my closing argument that in psychology, denial is really just the refusal to accept reality. It’s an interesting way to define the word denial.

When defendants deny claims, they refuse to accept the reality that accidents or crashes cause injuries. If you step away from things and look at things from a third-party perspective, I think people can agree on certain basic reality that surrounds a claim. Yet, you still get a lot of denials from the defense, and those denials are not based in any sort of reality. Those become exposed at trial. That’s a great time to do so.

You may also deal with unfair value when taking a case to trial. Unfair value is what the defendant thinks the claim is worth, as opposed to what the plaintiff thinks the claim is worth. There’s a disagreement, to be sure.

going to trial

It’s important to look our judicial system and how the justice system values a claim. We try to ascertain the fair and reasonable amount that should be paid to someone to make them whole — to compensate them for injuries that have occurred as a result of the crash.

An injury claim doesn’t need to be an automobile crash. An injury case could have a slip-and-fall context, or be the result of medical malpractice or vicious dog bite. Regardless of the injury context, fair and reasonable are important words.

Who Wins?

No one wins any sort of award by going to trial. No one wins any sort of contest by getting into litigation. No one walks away from a trial wishing it could happen again, because of the aftermath of a crash. In my entire time of practicing law, which is almost ten years, there hasn’t been one client who has ever said to me, “I would go through this again.”

We’ve had some fantastic outcomes from the cases we’ve managed. But not one of our clients has ever said to me they would go through their experience again. In other words, they would not give up their health and wellbeing — their physical health and mental health — for some sort of compensation, whether that’s some sort of check written by the defendants or otherwise.

Having gone through the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21, people have developed a deeper understanding of how really important our health and wellbeing is. Now, more than ever, we value not just our physical health, but also our mental health.

The pandemic was a leveling factor. Everyone knew of someone who was affected in some way. Whether it was a friend, whether it was a family member, we had concern for people with preexisting underlying medical issues. I think that overall, our society — humanity, itself — began to look at our health as more important than anything else.

In turn, I think this new perspective has benefitted plaintiffs everywhere. I think people have been reminded of the fragility of life in many, many subtle ways. The people who sit on juries, coming out of what we have all experienced, I think will have a more compassion in their hearts. We are more acutely aware of what it means to be stripped of things without our consent — or, conversely, being involved in a situation that we did not choose to become involved in.

A Closing Argument

Although I will reaffirm that trials are no fun for everyone to a certain extent, there is a sense of purpose in getting into a trial, telling a story and having that story heard by others, and then reaching a resolution that is fair and reasonable. In a way, the process of going to trial allows for closure.

Until it gets resolved, a case can be like an open wound. It doesn’t really ever get fully resolved until you find some closure in and through our judicial system — through the justice that our Constitution allows. For me, this ability to provide support and achieve a sense of closure — and the sense of purpose that comes along with this role — is very powerful.

I’m proud of the work that we do. I’m thankful for the clients who trust us to handle their cases and and give us the freedom to do the work required to help them find justice.

going to trial: reflections on taking a case to trial

To those defense attorneys, insurance companies, and defendants that might watch this, we’re not going anywhere. This is not just me speaking for myself and the attorneys at my firm. I am speaking for all plaintiffs everywhere and the attorneys who are proud of the representation they provide. We will continue to tell our stories so that people can be aware of what’s really happening.

pre litigation vs litigation

When attorneys talk about personal injury cases and the law firms that handle them, you’ll sometimes hear the terms “pre-litigation” and “litigation.”

But what do these two terms mean? Let’s keep things simple. An easy way to think of pre litigation vs litigation is this: pre-litigation means “before I file a lawsuit” and litigation means “after I file a lawsuit.”

Pre-Litigation and Litigation Law Firms

If you are choosing a personal injury law firm to take on your case, it’s especially important to know the difference between these two terms. Here’s why:

  • There are law firms that handle just pre-litigation work. They will manage a case up to the point when a lawsuit is filed. As a case progresses and it becomes evident that a lawsuit must be filed, a pre-litigation law firm will typically hand-off your case to another law firm that handles litigation.
  • There are law firms that specialize solely in litigation work: taking cases to trial.
  • There are law firms that handle both pre-litigation work and litigation work. Negretti & Associates is this type of law firm.

What is the difference between pre-litigation and litigation? You can describe the two simply, as follows: pre-litigation is a case before filing a lawsuit and litigation is when a lawsuit has been filed. Here, Jonathan Negretti explains why it’s important to understand the difference between the two and why Negretti & Associates handles both types of cases, from start to resolution.

Why Negretti & Associates Handles Pre-Litigation and Litigation Cases

At Negretti & Associates, we’re situated somewhere in the middle between being a pre-litigation firm and litigation firm. That’s because we handle cases from start to finish — or “from start to resolution,” as we call it. In other words, from the first day a client hires us until the case resolves, whether that’s through a settlement or through a jury trial, we handle cases every step of the way. We won’t hand you off to anybody else.

I say describe our law firm as being somewhere “in the middle” because we have become more litigation-focused in the last few years. We’ve realized that we can be a great benefit to our clients this way. So, we’re filing more lawsuits and taking more cases to arbitration. As a result, I think we’re getting get better results from the people we’re suing. Typically, those people are represented by insurance companies — the organizations from which money is being collected.

Before You File a Lawsuit: Working Toward a Settlement

Before you file a lawsuit, you should keep in mind that you have a deadline to do so. The legal term for this is the” Your deadline for filing a lawsuit depends on the state where your accident happened.

Negretti & Associates has offices in Arizona (in Phoenix), Colorado (in Denver), and California (in San Diego). Each of these three states has different rules for how long you have to file your lawsuit following the date of the accident. If you don’t file, you lose the right to your claim.

Let’s say that you had an auto accident in Arizona, where you have two years from the date of your auto accident to file your lawsuit. If you don’t file, you lose the right to pursue your claim any further.

Before you file your lawsuit, you’re working toward getting better, getting the medical treatment you need, and hopefully getting back to the way you felt before the accident.

If all of this happens in a period of time that’s less than two years from the time of your accident, Negretti & Associates will collect all of the information related to your case — including lost wages and your pain and suffering — and we’ll assemble what’s called a demand package. We’ll send the demand package to the insurance company and try to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.

If we agree, as a team (we think of our clients as part of our team), that we have reached a fair resolution to your case, then the case gets settled, and you never have to file a lawsuit.

After You File a Lawsuit

In the event that you haven’t achieved a fair settlement through pre-litigation, then we have to consider the reality of filing a lawsuit.

Once you file a lawsuit, you engage the courts. You open the door to having a third party involved in your case. Things change.

  • Before you file a lawsuit, it’s really just you and the defendants who are represented by their insurance company.
  • After you file a lawsuit, it’s you, the defendant, the judge that oversees your case, and the jury that eventually will hear the trial.

Once you get into litigation, you have a different dynamic, because of the way the court system works. You also have deadlines, pursuant to court rules, that you have to abide by. Those same deadlines aren’t necessarily applicable to you before you file a lawsuit — absent the one big deadline, that you have two years to file the lawsuit before you lose the right to the claim.

Not only will you face additional deadlines, but you’ll encounter mandatory requirements, depending on where you are, that you’ll have to attend a settlement conference. What’s more, you’ll find mandatory disclosure requirements, where you have to disclose certain information to the opposing party, and they’ll have to give certain information to you. These things don’t necessarily come into play before you file your lawsuit.

The Pre-Litigation “Vacuum” Compared with the World of Litigation

In a situation where you’ve had a car crash, before you file a lawsuit, you’re really looking at things in a vacuum. You’re looking at what happened from the date of the accident going forward, providing information as needed, and trying to reach that fair and reasonable settlement on your case.

Once you get into litigation, that vacuum kind of goes away. You transition into an exploration into the claim that you’ve made. At this point, the difference between pre litigation vs litigation becomes particularly evident.

As the plaintiff’s attorney in litigation, Negretti & Associates faces the burden of proving your claim for the car crash — along with the injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering associated with your accident. Meantime, defendants don’t really have a burden of proof. But they do love poking holes in your case, to avoid paying you full value on your claim. They’ll start looking at past medical records and other issues that may be going on in your life — all in an effort to avoid compensating your fairly.

Considering Litigation? Be Aware

Once you cross over the “pre-litigation vs litigation” threshold, and once you start to live in that world of litigation — meaning, you’ve filed a lawsuit — the entire scenario changes quite a bit.

For this reason, at Negretti & Associates, we make our clients aware of what that scenario might look like. We have some pretty comprehensive conversations with our clients. We sit down and we talk about this reality and what this means.

This doesn’t mean that you should be fearful of litigation. We’re not saying to avoid litigation. But you should understand what happens in litigation, because the last thing you want to do is file a lawsuit, get into litigation, and then wish you hadn’t done that. You won’t want to be trying to find ways out of your case, presenting a disadvantage to not only you but obviously to everyone involved in the lawsuit.

No one likes to sue anyone else. There are some people out there who will raise their hands and say, “I like to sue people, but I don’t like to sue people.” As an attorney, I sue people out of necessity.

Ultimately, no one wants to be in a lawsuit. The defendant — the actual person who was in the car crash with you — doesn’t want to be sued. The defendant is at the mercy of an insurance company that won’t be reasonable or fair to you. Because of this lack of reasonableness and fairness, you’re required or forced to file a lawsuit.

If anyone might enjoy lawsuits — absent the poor souls who have decided to be defense attorneys — the insurance companies probably do. They really do buy down what they have to pay to people if they didn’t file lawsuits. And, so, I think they probably enjoy that reality.

Remember, the slow-moving process of litigation can wear on people. It can be very challenging for people to get all the way through litigation without losing interest and certainly without being fearful of the unknown. With that said, if you’re considering litigation, rely on your attorneys. Trust your attorneys. Make decisions with your attorneys. But don’t let them make decisions for you.

Questions About Pre-Litigation vs Litigation? Contact Negretti & Associates

If you’re seeking a law firm in Arizona, California, or Colorado that handles pre-litigation and litigation, give Negretti & Associates. We’ll be happy to help you find answers to your questions. For a free consultation with our legal team, call us at (602) 531-3911 in Arizona, (619) 777-3370 in California, or (720) 636-3444 in Colorado. You can also contact us online or send us a text.

plaintiff dies during lawsuit arizona law

What happens when a plaintiff dies during lawsuit? Arizona law requires that certain steps be taken to continue the claim in the event of a party’s death, on behalf of either the deceased plaintiff or defendant.

Unfortunately, attorneys find themselves in this situation from time to time. At Negretti & Associates, we’ve had to deal with this situation on numerous occasions. We have had plaintiffs — our clients — pass away during our pursuit of their claim. We have also experienced defendants passing away while we are pursuing a claim against them. When either instance transpires, a case is left in a peculiar state.

Here, we’ll provide an overview of how Arizona law addresses situations in which the plaintiff or defendant passes away before a case is resolved.

Rule 25 of Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure

Rule 25 of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure states: “If a party dies and the claim is not extinguished, the court may order substitution of the proper party. Any party may file a motion to substitute. If the motion is not made within 90 days after the statement noting the death is served, the court must dismiss the claims by or against the decedent.” See Ariz. R. Civ. P Rule 25(a).

Ariz. R. Civ. P. Rule 25 goes onto to state that the decedents’ personal representative may be substituted as a plaintiff or defendant and that the action shall proceed in favor or against the remaining parties.

There is a lot to unpack in Rule 25 of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure. Read the statute carefully to understand the requirements and the timeline you have to operate under.

Barragan v. Superior Court 469

In addition, there is Arizona case law on point to address with this situation. In Barragan v. Superior Court 469 P.2d 92 (Ariz. App. 1970), the Court further clarified Rule 25 by holding that a petitioner may open probate to have a special administrator appointed for the purpose of later substituting a personal representative for the estate of the decedent.

Questions to Consider

When a plaintiff or defendant dies during a lawsuit, the situation can spider-out in countless ways, causing everyone involved in a case unnecessary stress.

Questions that an attorney might want to consider include:

  • Did the plaintiff or defendant die before you filed your lawsuit?
  • What if the case was settled prior to the death of one of the parties?
  • If you are an attorney representing a client, does your fee agreement allow you to talk to someone on behalf of your client, should he or she die?
  • Did the party die after your filed, but prior to serving your lawsuit?
  • On the plaintiff’s side, who is entitled to any proceeds that flow from resolving the claim?

If you find yourself in a situation where the plaintiff or defendant has died while a claim is in process, but you still have questions, give Negretti & Associates a call. We will walk you through the process to ensure that your claim can continue forward. You can reach as at (602) 531-3911 in Arizona. You can also contact us online or send us a text.

types of personal injury cases

What are the most common types of personal injury cases? What categories of personal injury cases are not as common today, but are growing in frequency and could become more common in the future?

For the most part, most people know what a personal injury case is. But, to summarize the concept briefly, personal injury law cases involve bodily injury, mental anguish, shock, sickness, disease, or disability resulting from another party’s failure to exercise reasonable care. In essence, personal injury law cases are when the negligence of one party causes personal harm to others.

People typically associate personal injury law with car accidents because car wrecks are the most common cases. However, there are a lot of other cases that involve personal injury that people don’t normally think about — such as rideshare accidents and electric scooter accidents. As technology evolves, new types of products and services have emerged.

Here, we’ll survey the most common case types and offer links to articles that we have published. We have a host of content already available if you’re interested in diving deeper into these different types of cases.

Car Accidents

Did you know that there are 6 million car accidents in the U.S. every year? That equates to roughly 16,438 cases per day. That is a lot of car crashes! For this reason, car accidents are the most common types of personal injury cases.

But there’s good news: new technologies — such as self-driving mechanisms, lane assist, and automatic braking — are helping to reduce the number of accidents. Car accidents in the U.S. are declining at a rate of approximately 2 percent each year.

Negretti & Associates has published several articles related car accidents:

When an accident happens, we suggest consulting with an attorney, because an attorney can be an incredible resource when you go through the process of resolving a case. It can be helpful to talk with a personal injury attorney and at least discuss what options are available to you.

What are the most common types of personal injury cases? What types of personal injury cases could become more common in the future? As part of his Legal Beagle Podcast, attorney Jonathan Negretti discusses the types of cases he sees most frequently and those that he expects to see more often.

Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice cases represent another common category of personal injury, but they can be incredibly difficult to pursue. Not only are they cost prohibitive, but there are challenges in the law that make these cases difficult. These laws don’t necessarily protect the doctor or the medical practitioner, but they do force the injured party to consider whether or not these cases are worthy of pursuing. A great interview we had with medical malpractice attorney John Ager highlighted some of these issues.

At Negretti & Associates, in our experience of handling medical malpractice cases, we can tell you that medical malpractice attorneys may look at 100 cases before representing one. There’s a very low ratio of acceptance for this type of claims. This is because a case has to have three main elements:

  • First, you have to identify that a mistake occurred with the medical procedure or experience that you were having.
  • Two, you have to show that the mistake led to some sort of injury, and that injury probably has to be fairly significant.
  • Three, there must be damages resulting from the injury. In other words, you must have some sort of debilitating outcome because of something that went wrong — the mistake that occurred.

You probably won’t know whether these elements are applicable to your case without having a more in-depth conversation with an attorney. If you think you have some sort of situation, give Negretti & Associates a call. We’ll be happy to evaluate your case and discuss it with you, even if we don’t take your case. What’s more, we’re not going to charge you for our time in evaluating your case, in the event that it may have been related to some sort of medical malpractice.

Wrongful Death Cases

When lawyers talk about wrongful death cases, it means that someone has died as a result of a personal injury. Commonly, people associate wrongful death cases with crashes, in which someone has died as a result of the crash, resulting in a wrongful death claim. That said, it’s important to understand that wrongful death claims can occur through a number of types of personal injury cases — for example, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, construction defects, and product-defect cases.

If you are a beneficiary or potentially the personal representative of the estate of the person that was killed as a result of a person-injury claim, it’s important to have a conversation with an attorney. Here’s an example illustrating why. Negretti & Associates once helped a woman whose husband passed away as a result of an electric scooter accident. She was seeking answers to the case before she could put this experience to bed and move forward with her life. We spent about a year investigating the case for her. There ended up not being a claim that she wanted to pursue, so we parted ways. We didn’t charge her for any of our time or the costs that we spent investigating that because that’s the risk we accept doing this work. As attorneys, we are in the business of trying to help people find answers. We found those answers for our client, and she was able to move forward knowing that she had done everything she could to look into that potential claim.

Premise Liability Cases

Premise liability cases are also among the most common types of personal injury cases. Premise liability hinges upon the concept that property owners have a duty to “safekeep their property,” to use a legal term. In other words, property owners are responsible for the premises that they own, and have a duty to inspect and protect those that are on their property from injury.

Premise liability can impact virtually every aspect of our lives. It can involve a residential setting, where someone’s on your property at your house. It can come in a commercial setting, while you’re at a grocery store. A recent interview we had with premise liability expert Todd Springer helped illuminate the elements of premise liability law. When reviewing a case, an expert may ask questions such as these: 1) Were conditions hazardous? 2) Were hazardous conditions readily identifiable by someone? 3) Did the property manager provide notice of the hazardous conditions to persons on its premises? Failure to provide notice is a key element of premise liability law.

Product Liability Claims

Another common type of personal injury case is product liability claims. This is where someone sustains an injury or harm due to use of a defective product. In some cases, manufacturers simply fail to provide adequate warning about how their products are to be used.

The most common — and most popular — case involving a product defect claim is the McDonald’s hot coffee case. There are a number of misconceptions about this case, but it has significant merits as a personal injury case. Unfortunately, there was so much PR spin around this case that the public was given an inaccurate depiction of what really happened. I urge you to educate yourself about this case. McDonald’s eventually admitted that they did not warn their customers of the risk of injury that their scalding-hot coffee posed. This is why the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit is known as a product liability case.

And, if you were to read our article about the five most famous product-liability cases, you might be a little astounded and maybe a little upset about the egregious conduct of some of the companies who made this list.

We’re not arguing that consumers do not bear some responsibility with some of these cases. What we’re asserting is that there is a point at which that burden shifts to the maker of the product to protect all of us, as consumers, against harm. When you buy or use something, you rightfully expect it to be safe. Yet, when a business fails to warn people that their product could hurt someone, then a product liability case should be expected.

Defamation Cases

Defamation is another key area of personal injury law, and it’s one that we don’t talk about a lot, because defamation claims can be very complicated. Of course, personal injuries can be physical. Defamation cases, by contrast, can be emotional in nature — they seek recovery for damage done to one’s reputation.

Defamation typically comes in the form of either libel or slander. The difference between the two is simple:

  • Slander is spoken defamation.
  • Libel is written defamation.

When people talk about defamation claims, they often — and unfortunately — use slander and libel interchangeably. But they’re not the same.

We often hear about these claims in the context of the entertainment industry, and that’s because these claims have to be actionable. There have to be damages, and the things either said or written have to be untrue. If the statement is true, the case does not entail slander or libel.

When bringing about a defamation claim, not only must the statement made be untrue, but you also have to prove that you experienced damages as a result of the statement. Damages have to be more significant than hurt feelings. We need to prove actionable damages. An example would be a former employer defames you in some way, which prevents you from getting a job that has an annual salary of $100,000.

You must show that statements were made — perhaps something in writing, which would be libel, or something spoken, which a third party can corroborate. The statement would have to be harmful and dishonest, causing a lost job opportunity.

Again, defamation claims are difficult. You need to understand that opinion is different from statements of facts. If someone gives an opinion about something, that isn’t necessarily the same thing as giving and stating a fact about a person. If you think you have this sort of situation, then give us a call, and we’ll talk through it and see if there’s an actual claim to pursue.

Dog Bite Cases

Our survey of the most common types of personal injury cases would not be complete without a discussion of dog bite claims. Were you aware that there are roughly 4.5 million dog bites every year in the U.S.? This is a truly remarkable statistic.

Dog bite claims are governed by their own unique sets of rules. The most important thing that you should be aware of is that dog bite claims usually carry with them what’s called a one-year statute of limitations — a deadline of one year, from the date of the bite, to bring your claim, or file your lawsuit. If you don’t file your lawsuit within one year, you could lose the right to your claim.

At Negretti & Associates, we have offices in California, Arizona, and Colorado. Laws are different in each of these three states. For example, see our article about dog bite laws in California. Depending on the state in which the bite happens, you may automatically have a claim, regardless of any sort of defense that can be offered. In states such as Colorado, there could be defenses, where there has to be a history of a dog’s biting behavior in order to bring a claim.

Defenses commonly offered by dog owners include provocation, where it is argued that the bitten party provoked the dog. There are other defenses that could be used by the dog owner. Regardless, dogs shouldn’t be biting people. If you’ve been bitten and injured, then more than likely there is a claim to pursue. There could be a source of recovery — through homeowner’s insurance, for example.

That said, if you were bitten by a dog and you think you have a claim, give Negretti & Associates a call. We can talk about circumstances that surround your event, and we can decide if there’s a claim to pursue.

Less Common, “Emerging” Types of Personal Injury Cases

At this point, I’d like to turn our attention to the personal injury cases that are not as common — but they’re ones that Negretti & Associates takes pride in pursuing. We take on some of these cases simply because we think it’s our duty as attorneys to do so. We take on other cases simply because there aren’t many attorneys doing these claims, and we think people need help representing them.

The first one of these is diminished value claim, where your vehicle loses value due to its accident history. Even though your vehicle is repaired, it is worth less, because it sustained damage during a car crash at some point in time.

At Negretti & Associates, we try to educate people on these claims. Car owners really are equipped to bring about diminished value claims, and it makes no sense to give away a chunk of one’s recovery to an attorney, simply to process papers. However, insurance companies sometimes make things very difficult on car owners, and it might make sense to involve an attorney to pursue these claims.

We offer a ton of information about diminished value claims on our website. In fact, we have a 30-minute video, where we walk through a lot of different scenarios and talk about how to protect yourself. If you’d like to watch that video, send us a note on this page or call us.

Another type of case that is not as common, but is becoming more common, involves electric scooter accidents that you can rent for short-term rides. Bird and Lime are two of the biggest electric scooter brands, but there are many others in the marketplace. These are those electric scooters that are put out in high-traffic areas where you can swipe your credit card, use an app, and off you go. Next thing you know, you’re racing down the street at a high rate of speed. Scooter injuries can occur by when a rider is hit by a vehicle, when a pedestrian steps out in front of you, or when you simply have to jump off the scooter because the brakes fail, or there’s a sharp turn or pothole that you cannot negotiate.

Electric scooter accident claims can be very complicated. To use a scooter, you must fully agree to the user agreement, which may have an arbitration provision. In effect, you cannot file a claim against the scooter company in a court of law.

What’s more, most scooter brands are based in California, so you must work with an attorney that is licensed in that state. At Negretti & Associates, we’ve had attorneys from all over the country ask us to help them pursue these cases, because we are licensed in California. A scooter injury can occur in any state. For example, a rider could be injured in Georgia. However, the arbitration hearing needs to be held in California, requiring a California-licensed attorney.

If you are injured on an electric scooter, then definitely give Negretti & Associates a call. We’ll talk with you about what happened. There aren’t many firms that handle scooter accident cases. We think that people should be better educated about scooter liability laws and understand what their rights are, as they relate to bringing a claim for an injury that occurs on an electric scooter.

Rideshare accident cases are an emerging type of personal injury case, as well. These are cases that usually involve Lyft or Uber, in situations where you get into a car crash. You could be a passenger, a driver, or the driver of another vehicle that’s hit by a rideshare driver who is either driving a passenger or going to pick up a passenger.

There are specifics about these cases that change what insurance is available, such as the status of the ride at the time of the accident.

We have published a variety of articles on rideshare accidents on our site, including:

Questions? Contact Us!

If you have been involved in a personal injury case and you’d like to discuss your circumstances with an attorney, contact Negretti & Associates for a free consultation. Call us at (602) 531-3911 in Arizona, (619) 777-3370 in California, or (720) 636-3444 in Colorado. You can also contact us online or send us a text.

famous product liability cases

What are the five most famous product liability cases of all time? Negretti & Associates has curated this list of product liability cases that have grabbed headlines, captivated the public’s attention, and continue to be remembered years after going to trial.

When you use a product, you put your trust in the company that produced that product. You expect the product to work as intended.

Unfortunately, sometimes products are simply defective, and serious injury may result. Perhaps the product wasn’t designed correctly, or there may have been a problem manufacturing it. Sometimes, manufacturers simply fail to provide adequate warning about how their products are to be used.

All of these outcomes fall under the umbrella term of product liability cases, or what are also called product defect cases.

Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants, a.k.a. “The McDonald’s Hot Coffee Lawsuit”

Probably the single most famous and misunderstood product failure case involved one person suing McDonald’s over a spilled cup of scalding-hot coffee. The case was a media sensation, and was the subject of a documentary in 2011, aptly titled Hot Coffee.

On February 27, 1992, 79-year-old Stella Liebeck was sitting in the passenger seat of her 1989 Ford Probe with hot coffee on her lap, after going through a McDonald’s drive-through window. Her grandson was the driver of her car, which did not have cup holders.

While the car was parked, so that Ms. Liebeck could add cream and sugar to her coffee, Ms. Liebeck placed the coffee cup between her knees. As she removed the lid of the cup, Ms. Liebeck pulled the far side of the lid toward her. In the process, she spilled the entire cup of scalding-hot coffee on her lap. Ms. Liebeck was wearing sweatpants, which absorbed the coffee and kept it clinging to her skin.

Ms. Liebeck suffered third-degree burns on her pelvis and underwent skin grafting. She was hospitalized for eight days. She was partially disabled for two years after the incident, while she received medical attention for her burns. Her pelvis was left permanently disfigured.

Ms. Liebeck brought a claim against McDonald’s for failure to warn of the extremely overheated coffee that they were serving to customers.

Outcome: McDonald’s dragged out the case for years, and appealed the original verdict of $2.8 million dollars. Ms. Liebeck eventually settled for something significantly lower amount: $640,000.

The McDonald’s coffee lawsuit is easily one of the most famous product liability cases. Unfortunately, the plaintiff in that case, Stella Liebeck, was vilified unnecessarily; some called it a frivolous case. In this video, Jonathan Negretti sets the record straight on why this was a worthy lawsuit.

General Motors Faulty Ignition Switch Case

From 2000 through 2004, General Motors produced vehicles with faulty ignition switches, which would shut off engines while driving, thereby disabling airbags from inflating. The design defect led to at least 124 deaths and nearly 300 injuries.

However, the story doesn’t end there. An attorney in Georgia, Lance Cooper, discovered that GM committed fraud by covering up the ignition switch defect for more than 13 years. GM had secretly redesigned the switch without changing the part number to try to avoid being caught.

Outcome: GM agreed to pay more than $900 million dollars to settle cases related to deaths and injuries stemming from the faulty ignition switches. What’s more, the auto manufacturer recalled more than 30 million vehicles worldwide in 2014.

Takata Airbag Case

When you mention airbags, most people think about massive recall involving the Takata airbags. In 2014, Takata, one of the largest airbag manufacturers in the world, began notifying auto manufacturers of a defect that would result in millions of automobile recalls.

More than 40 million vehicles are said have Takata airbags. The company’s defective airbags have been linked to 16 deaths and hundreds of injuries over many years.

Takata manufactured faulty airbags dating back to the early 2000s. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the airbags had defective inflators that can rupture on deployment, shooting metal fragments at vehicle occupants.

Shocking information has come to light regarding what the Japanese auto parts manufacturer knew about potential defects in its airbags more than decade before any recall was made.

According to two former Takata employees, in 2004 the company retrieved 50 airbags from scrapyards and conducted secret tests on them. In two of the tests, the steel inflators cracked, causing the parts to rupture. Engineers were so alarmed by the findings that they immediately began developing fixes in anticipation of a recall. However, no recall was made at the time. For Takata, the legal implications have been astounding.

Outcome: Takata has been ordered to pay $1 billion dollars to automakers and those injured due to its airbags. In 2017, Takata filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States, and its surviving assets were purchased by its largest competitor.

Bullock v. Phillip Morris: Big Tobacco on Trial

In 2002, tobacco giant Phillip Morris was ordered to pay punitive damages of a staggering $28 billion to lung cancer sufferer Betty Bullock, 64, of Missouri. The jury in the case accepted Ms. Bullock’s claim that her tobacco addiction was caused by the company’s failure to warn her of the risks of smoking.

Ms. Bullock had started smoking in the 1950s when she was 17. She argued that Phillip Morris concealed the dangers of cigarettes with a widespread misinformation campaign that began in the 1950s.

Ms. Bullock, whose cancer had spread to her liver, was awarded $850,000 in compensatory damages and $28 billion in punitive damages. The case was appealed and eventually settled for $28 million, or one-tenth of a percent of the original jury award.

Bullock v. Phillip Morris was a watershed moment for the tobacco industry. It was the single largest verdict of an individual plaintiff in history.

Outcome: As a result of the verdict, individual lawsuits flooded the courts across the country. Attorneys general, representing each state, had already negotiated a master settlement agreement with four of the largest tobacco companies. The agreement effectively changed public policy and set aside billions of dollars dedicated to healthcare costs.

Dow Corning Silicone Breast Implants

In the late 1970s and into the 1990s, more than 170,000 women suffered rupture, leakage and illnesses associated with Dow Corning silicone breast implants.

Since its founding in 1943 as a joint venture between Dow Chemical and Corning Glass, Dow Corning grew to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of silicone-based products. The company began producing silicone breast implants once there became a large demand for these products in the medical industry.

Evidence showed that Dow Corning personnel were aware of the risks associated with their silicone implants, and that they knew about the production problems with their products on the market.

The Food and Drug Administration introduced mandatory problem-reporting programs in the 1980s. This gave implant manufacturers the opportunity to recognize and analyze any complaints and potential problems associated with their products. As a result, there was no mandatory recalls or penalties for product defects before that time.

Dow Corning found itself deep in litigation concerning their products and raw materials. Its legal troubles grew to an international scale. In 1993, the company entered into an agreement with different plaintiffs who claimed they had suffered injuries from the defective silicone breast implant products.

In May of 1995, facing 20,000 lawsuits and 410,000 potential claims filed in the global settlement, Dow Corning filed a Chapter 11 reorganization with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The corporation also proceeded to seek further injunctions against the litigation for medical products they produced and distributed. Protection orders were requested against implant plaintiffs who had ongoing trials against related defendant corporations, in an effort to protect themselves from later lawsuits.

Eventually, a jury in Louisiana found that Dow Corning knowingly deceived women by hiding the health risks of silicone used in breast implants.

Outcome: Dow Corning entered into a $3.2 billion payout to settle claims made against them. Dow Chemical assumed full ownership of Dow Corning on June 1, 2016.

The Bottom Line

When corporations try to cover-up defects in their products and fail to warn users of the hazards of using their products, product liability lawyers are ready to stand up for those who have experienced damages, injuries, and loss of life.

If you believe that you’ve experienced injury or damages related to a product defect, reach out to Negretti & Associates for a free consultation with our legal team. Call us at (602) 531-3911 in Arizona, (619) 777-3370 in California, or (720) 636-3444 in Colorado. You can also contact us online or send us a text.

mcdonald's coffee lawsuit

The McDonald’s coffee lawsuit — Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants — is probably the best example of a product defect case. It garnered worldwide news coverage, and was wickedly popular. But I would argue that while people may think they know this case, much of what they know is wrong.

The plaintiff in McDonald’s coffee lawsuit was vilified unnecessarily. The spin that was put on this case by the marketing folks at McDonald’s is awe inspiring. The money that McDonald’s spent to try to convince us that they did nothing wrong — that, instead, someone was trying to take advantage of McDonald’s — is staggering.

McDonald’s Coffee Lawsuit Facts

Let’s set the facts straight about this case:

  • On February 27, 1992, 79-year-old Stella Liebeck was sitting in the passenger seat of her 1989 Ford Probe with hot coffee on her lap, after going through a McDonald’s drive-through window. Her grandson was driving her car, which did not have cup holders.
  • After her grandson parked the car, so that Ms. Liebeck could add cream and sugar to her coffee, Ms. Liebeck placed the coffee cup between her knees. To remove the lid of the cup, Ms. Liebeck pulled the far side of the lid toward her. In the process, she spilled the entire cup of scalding-hot coffee on her lap.
  • Ms. Liebeck was wearing sweatpants, which absorbed the coffee and kept it clinging to her skin.
  • Ms. Liebeck suffered third-degree burns on her pelvis and underwent skin grafting. She was hospitalized for eight days. She was partially disabled for two years after the incident, while she received medical attention for her burns. Her pelvis was left permanently disfigured.

The McDonald’s coffee lawsuit is probably the best, and most famous, example of a product defect case. Unfortunately, the plaintiff in that case, Stella Liebeck, was vilified unnecessarily; some called it a frivolous case. In this video, Jonathan Negretti sets the record straight on why this was a worthy lawsuit.

Now here’s the part that most people aren’t aware of regarding the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit: Ms. Liebeck offered to settle her case for $20,000, which would simply cover her medical expenses at the time. McDonald’s offered her a whopping $800.

The case went to trial. The jury awarded Ms. Liebeck $2.8 million dollars, which is the equivalent of two days of coffee sales for McDonald’s.

However, Ms. Liebeck would never actually get that money. The court reduced her award to the six figures. Eventually, she settled for something significantly less, as McDonald’s continued to appeal the case.

Still, to this day, when you ask people if they’ve ever heard of the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit, most will shake their heads and say something like, “Didn’t that lady sue McDonald’s for a million dollars?”

Failure to Warn: A Key Element in Product Liability Law

At the end of the day, McDonald’s admitted that they did not warn their customers of the risk of injury that their scalding-hot coffee posed. This is why the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit is known as a product liability case.

There are a few different types of product liability cases, such as when an airbag fails to deploy or when an e-cigarette blows up in someone’s face. There’s a reason we don’t allow lead paint in toys or allow mercury in our food.

Yet, when a business fails to warn people that their product could hurt someone — as we saw with what happened to Ms. Liebeck — then a product liability case should be expected. When you buy or use something, you rightfully expect it to be safe.

As you can see, product liability cases are often complicated and are not always as they appear.

At Negretti & Associates, we pride ourselves on our willingness to turn over every rock in our pursuit of holding people accountable. If you have experienced a product liability case, let’s talk.

For a free consultation with our legal team, call us at (602) 531-3911 in Arizona, (619) 777-3370 in California, or (720) 636-3444 in Colorado. You can also contact us online or send us a text.

In this Legal Beagle podcast, Jonathan Negretti explains what his law firm charges to represent clients. He goes on to illustrate what a client might receive in recovery — whether the case goes to trial or is resolved prior to trial. Further, he explains how his firm strives to simplify personal injury claims for its clients.

This is the fourth and final article in a series 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 articles of our Get to Know Negretti & Associates series, we talked about our core values, our staff’s unique personalities and talents, the types of cases that we handle, and the states in which we practice law. This week, I’d like to discuss we charge for representation and what our tagline “Simplifying Personal Injury” means.

Talking about what a law firm charges remains a bit of a taboo in the legal profession. I’m not really sure why. Regardless, I want to explain and be very transparent with you about how our relationship with you, as the client, is structured, and what you would ultimately pay for our representation.

Two Types of Contingency Fees

If you visit our site’s Our Process page, you’ll see an illustration of what we charge and how those numbers break out. We explain this so that you, the client, are fully informed on the representation that you are agreeing to when you sign up with us.

The example we use lists two different types of contingency fees:

  • If we can get your case resolved without having to file a lawsuit, then our fee is 33% of that recovery.
  • If we have to file a lawsuit then our fee increases to 40% of that recovery.

Why are there two types of contingency fees? Once we file a lawsuit, the rules change, the amount of time changes, and our involvement — in terms of our ongoing participation in the case — changes greatly. To offset that, we increase the contingency fee to our clients.

But remember, our fees are contingent on recovery. In other words, our fees are dependent on our ability to recover something for our clients. It is simply a percentage of the recovery. We receive a percentage of the amounts we recover for our clients.

If we don’t recover anything, we don’t send our clients a bill. Clients don’t see letters from us saying, “Here’s an invoice for all of the hours we spent on your case.”

We offer a sample illustration of how this works, using basic numbers. If we recover $100 for our client, and we do so before a lawsuit is filed, our fee is $33 — one-third of the total recovery. If we were to recover that money after a lawsuit is filed, even if we went all the way to trial, our fee is 40% of that recovery, or $40. The balance that remains is left for the client.

Legal Costs

However, I want to be clear that not all of the remaining balance goes to the client, because our firm must also be reimbursed for legal costs that we incur during the recovery process. Legal costs are what we spend to represent you to get your case in a position where it can resolve fairly for you, the client. Those costs can include ordering a police report, acquiring medical records, doing depositions, and hiring experts — if the case ends up in litigation.

Legal costs can vary greatly depending on the path that your case takes towards resolution. At Negretti & Associates, we don’t mark up our costs. We do not ask for more than what we spend. Further, in an effort to minimize what the client would have to spend out of pocket, we pay those fees on behalf of the client up-front, and ask to be reimbursed when a case concludes.

Let me take the previous illustration one step further. Imagine that our firm spent $5 in legal costs while working on your case, and we got the case resolved before we filed a lawsuit. Our fee would be $33, and an additional $5 atop that. Our firm would receive $38, leaving $62 for the client, right?

Again, in an effort to be completely transparent, not all of the remaining $62 goes to the client. Medical providers may be owed reimbursement, as well. Health insurance may have interest in the recovery. Point is, there may be other parties that need to be paid from the total recovery. In effect, the client may not receive that full $62 difference, after our fee and legal costs.

So, sticking with this same illustration, let’s say that the client owes a medical provider $10. Now, $48 of the total goes to the law firm, to compensate the law firm for legal costs it advanced, as well as $10 to a medical doctor who provided treatment. This means client gets the remaining $52.

To summarize:

  • $100 in recovery
  • – $33, which goes to the law firm for its work
  • – $ 5, which goes to the law firm for legal costs
  • – $10, which goes to the medical provider who provided treatment to the client
  • Balance: $52

The balance is what is remitted to the client as their part of the case’s settlement proceeds.

Ask Yourself “What Will My Recovery Be?”

Before settling a case, before signing anything from your law firm — ours included — I encourage you to ask, “What will my net recovery be?”

Net recovery is an important term. It simply means what you are going to put in your pocket when a case reaches its conclusion. This doesn’t need to be explained in fancy terms. It’s simply, “What do I get? What is my in-pocket amount? What am I going to walk away from this case with?”

It sounds nice when an attorney says, “Look, I got you a $100,000.” You might say, “Great! How much am I going to get?” But the attorney would say, “You get $2,000.” This just means that $98,000 went to everybody else! This doesn’t seem like a fair deal! However, if you were to get $20,000, and you were able to keep maybe $10,000 or $12,000 of that, this seems like a much better deal.

Make sure that you ask the law firm that represents you — and I say this with ours in mind, as well — to “show me the breakdown.” At Negretti & Associates, we aim to be transparent. For this reason, we provide a settlement breakdown for every single case we handle. We show our clients exactly what they are going to receive, what we are going to receive, what doctors are going to receive, and what might be due to a health insurance company or other third party that’s owed money. We openly share this with our clients.

What’s more, we make sure our clients have all their questions answered before they sign anything, so that they are not left wondering why everyone else is paid so much, while they did not receive as much.

We do our best to try to be fair to our clients on the back end through our representation. If we can reduce medical outstanding bills or liens — those are what providers would hold in case they treated the client without receiving any compensation — we try to reduce those outstanding monies owed, so that the client does receive a fair in-pocket amount.

We’re not in the business of taking a case simply so that we get paid, so that doctors get paid, and the client gets nothing. We remember that the client is the injured party — the reason that the whole case started in the first place. The client should be fairly compensated for what happened.

If a lawsuit is filed, and our firm’s contingency fee percentage rises to 40%, the same breakdown applies:

  • $100 in recovery, after lawsuit
  • – $40, which goes to the law firm for its work
  • – $ 5, which goes to the law firm for legal costs
  • – $10, which goes to the medical provider who provided treatment to the client
  • Balance: $45. This is what is remitted to the client as their part of the case’s settlement proceeds.

Keep in mind that our fees and costs are two different things, and they are broken out. Our fees change based on where a case is at — whether it can be settled in prelitigation (before a lawsuit), or if it is resolved after a lawsuit is filed. We share this information to be transparent with our clients, so that they can have a good understanding of how our relationship works.

Before even signing up with us, talk to an attorney at our firm — whether it’s me or one of the other very capable attorneys at our firm. As us about how this works. Make sure you understand the terms of our representation, and ensure that your questions are answered, so there aren’t any surprises at the end.

Simplifying Personal Injury

Now, I’d like to switch gears and talk about our firm’s tag line, of “simplifying personal injury.” We adopted this tag line because I think attorneys in general overcomplicate the practice of law. There really isn’t a reason to overcomplicate the practice of law.

At Negretti & Associates, we try to use terms and explanations that make sense to everyone, without having to sound smarter than we really are.

Here’s an example: You may have heard, or may be aware of, a term called a statute of limitations. This simply means the deadline by which you have to file your lawsuit. Otherwise, if you don’t file your lawsuit within a window of time — in most personal injury cases, it’s two years — you lose the right to bring your claim.

The statute of limitations depends on where you the injury occurs and the type of case that you have. The statute of limitations for a dog bite case may be one year, depending on the state where the bite occurred. It’s important that you understand this deadline. If you don’t file your lawsuit to preserve your right to bring that claim — meaning you’re not protecting yourself — then you could lose the ability to bring that claim, and then there would be no recovery.

To keep things simple, we just use the word deadline when we’re talking about a statute of limitations. We understand the legal term statute of limitations, and that’s what the law says we have to abide by, but ultimately, we’re talking about a deadline. You have to file a lawsuit within a certain amount of time.

In law, we often use terms like prelitigation and litigation. But what does litigation mean? It refers to when you file a lawsuit — when you start the process of bringing a claim and involving the courts or a third party, such as arbitration. There are cases where we file an arbitration case — and it’s very similar to a lawsuit, but the process is a little bit different.

When you file a claim, you file a lawsuit. You’re now formally making it known that this is the position of your case, and you’re changing the way that it’s structured. Most of the time, once you do that, you involve a law firm on the other side. By contrast, before you file a lawsuit, you are usually just working with an insurance company, trying to get the case resolved through their claims adjustment process.

So, when I say that we are simplifying personal injury law, what I mean is that we are trying to explain things in a way that makes sense. This is why we explain our fees and costs on our web site in a very basic form, so that we are not using numbers that people can’t comprehend, or that people don’t understand. We try to talk like human beings.

When you hire us, you’ll find that we are different than the old-school law firms with imposing mahogany bookshelves and over-the-top chandeliers in their lobbies. That’s not who we are, because I think that’s not what people care about. I think people really care about connecting with the person representing them. I think they care that the person representing them actually cares about them.

People want to understand what is being explained to them. I don’t pretend to be an expert at finance, but when I talk to financial advisors, I want them to explain things in a way that I understand. I don’t want to shake my head because they are using big terms. I don’t want to be afraid to raise my hand and ask questions, because I’m afraid they are going to think less of me. I want to be able to say, “Look, I don’t understand what you are saying right now. Explain this to me in a way I can understand.” We try to do that every step of the way at Negretti & Associates, and that’s what we mean by simplifying personal injury.

We try to make the process of working with us simple, so that you understand things, and that you are fully informed as we progress. We try not to make it a challenge for you to be represented. You have enough challenges in facing the situation that caused the injury and receiving treatment from doctors and medical professionals. The last thing you want is a complicated process in the legal representation that you chose to engage in, to get your case resolved. We try to make it simple for you, the client, so that your process is straightforward and makes sense. At the end of the day, you should receive what we call fair compensation for what happened to you.

Throughout this Getting to Know Negretti & Associates series of articles, I hope that we’ve done a decent job of opening the curtain and showing you a little bit more about our law firm, why we do the work that we do, how we do the work that we do, and the people who do the work that we do.

If you have any questions about this don’t hesitate to call us. For a free consultation with our legal team, contact us online, call us at 1-833-827-3535, or send us a text. We don’t shy away from picking up the phone and having conversations. There are no dumb questions, and we really mean that! You shouldn’t feel silly asking questions about the representation or about where your case is headed or about why is this happening versus this? Don’t be afraid to ask us questions when we are representing you.

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.

In his Legal Beagle podcast, Jonathan Negretti talks about the three core beliefs of Negretti & Associates: No Pressure, Honest Evaluations, and Giving Back. Watch now to get the true meaning behind these words.

This is the first in a series of articles designed to help new and prospective clients become acquainted with Negretti & Associates. We offer this “peek behind the curtain” to showcase the inner workings of our firm — who we are, how we work, and what we believe in. Other articles in this series explore our staff’s unique personalities and talents; the types of cases that we handle and the states in which we practice law; and how we charge for representation and what our tagline “Simplifying Personal Injury” means.

By Jonathan Negretti

At Negretti & Associates, there are three tenets, or beliefs, that we stand for each and every day — 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These are: No Pressure, Honest Evaluations, and Giving Back. Collectively, these are our core values.

No Pressure

When I started to do more personal injury work, I quickly realized how highly competitive this area of law can be. There are a lot of law firms. You hear them on TV. You see them on billboards, light-rail trains, and buses. There are a lot of people out there doing this work, and a lot of them are very good attorneys. The fact that they advertise or market their services takes nothing away from them or their work. However, because there are so many people doing this work, the search for new cases is highly competitive. It has also become high-pressure. Clients are encouraged to sign immediately with the first law firm they talk to. This didn’t feel right to me.

If I were injured and looking for representation, I’d want someone to talk to me like a human being. I’d want to have a conversation, and I’d want to feel like I have the opportunity to reflect upon what was said, talk to my loved ones, and then decide what’s best for me. I wouldn’t want to be put in a situation where I’d feel pressured — like a customer at a used car lot, where if I didn’t buy the car now, it would soon be gone. That’s just not the way that the legal profession works, and it’s definitely not the way that I think personal injury law should work.

For this reason, at Negretti & Associates we have a no-pressure environment. If you’d like to talk to us about your case? Great! And if you’d want advice? Awesome! We’re happy to help!

When you talk with us, you won’t be pressured into signing with us. We’ll tell you about what we charge. (We explain this on our website, too, and we’ll talk about that in a future podcast and blog post. Talking about fees is kind of a taboo in our profession.) We’ll share with you our thoughts about your particular situation, and then we’ll tell you to take time to think about our conversation.

If you want to hire us because you think we’re the right folks to be representing you, then great. We want this to be a marriage, in a way — a partnership where you’re just as committed to what we’re doing as we are to what you’re doing. That’s the only way this works.

So, no pressure!

Honest Evaluations

If Negretti & Associates can’t benefit your situation, then we don’t want to steer you in the wrong direction. There are many law firms that will take cases regardless of client fit, and the law firm will be the only party to benefit in the case. In such instances, the client won’t receive anything. But that’s never stated up front, or even discussed. Many law firms will gobble up a bunch of cases, to the detriment of the clients they represent.

We don’t do that. When we look at a case, we’ll tell you, in all honestly, whether we think there’s something that we can do. We’ll see if we can help you — and we’ll want to help you.

We handle a wide variety of personal injury claims. Personal injury is a big category of cases, spanning dog bites, automobile accidents, product liability (for example, airbags and fuel tanks that explode), medical malpractice, diminished value claims, electric scooter accidents, slips and falls, and more. We take on all of these types of cases. But, in order to perform well, we need to be honest with every client that we represent. We don’t take cases where we don’t think that we can benefit people.

We try to be a resource. We share lots of information with people. In the event that we can’t help prospective clients, we at least equip them with information they can take and move forward.

We don’t reject cases because of size. We don’t turn down clients because their case isn’t worth enough to us. We say, “Look, if we can’t provide a benefit to, and you can’t see a benefit, then there’s no reason you should be hiring us.” Honesty is the best policy.

Giving Back

Negretti & Associates has a charitable arm, called Negretti & Associates Making a Difference. Every year, we donate thousands of dollars to charities, both local and national. We partner with a different charity every quarter.

It’s really important to us as a firm to support these charities and do more than just write a check. While the money that we offer to these charities is incredibly important to them, so is the tangible work that we do. For example, we’ve had a partnership with a food bank, where we provided in-person volunteer work — filling bags of food, which we also delivered.

When a case reaches a conclusion, we offer our client the option to donate a certain portion of the settlement proceeds to the charity that we’ve partnered with during that particular quarter. When the client chooses to do give, we match the donation 100 percent.

After all, if the client is willing to forego some of the money that really was secured to make them whole — to put them back in the position they were before the personal injury — then we feel it’s only right that we match that. We’ll take some of the fees that we receive as the law firm and give those back to a charity.

While I do a lot of philanthropic work on my own, the Giving Back aspect of Negretti & Associates has been very important to us from the beginning. Over time, our charity mission has exploded. It continues to evolve and become even better each and every day.

If you have questions about your personal injury case, give Negretti & Associates a call. We’ll talk through your questions and make sure you walk away fully informed. For a free consultation with our legal team, contact us online, call us at 1-833-827-3535, or send us a text.