CA Car Accidents: How To Get On Equal Footing With Insurance Companies

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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Insurance companies employ, or retain, some of the best attorneys to represent them in California car accident cases. It only stands to reason that you should hire the best attorney to get on equal footing. But, how do you know which attorney is right for you?

Empower yourself

Just as you would consult with a surgeon about how many operations he or she has performed in the past, you should empower yourself by asking a car accident attorney what his or her experience is with dealing with insurance companies. Matthew Nezhad, a California attorney whose practice is dedicated to handling personal injury claims and cases for injury victims throughout California, explained why this is so important – especially in California:

Most attorneys in California will tell you that they want to take on your personal injury case. They’ll tell you that they know exactly what they’re doing; but if you look up their background information, they may have never handled one of these cases before. With our firm, you can see that we have years of experience in these matters. In fact, all we do is handle personal injury cases. The insurance companies know that we’re aggressive. We’re not going to give up just because we’re going up against an insurance company. We have the resources, the knowledge and the skills needed to go against them and obtain the maximum recovery for our clients.

So, it’s very important to get an attorney who is experienced in personal injury or auto accident claims to ensure that you get the maximum recovery and that the insurance company knows and respects the attorney you’ve hired. They need to know that if they don’t play ball or pay up, then they’re going to have to go to trial – and eventually, they’re going to lose.

Avoid CA lawyers who settle right away

Nezhad told us that as more and more lawyers get their state license and are admitted to the bar, there’s a great deal of competition – and some take on more than they can handle. He explained:

Many attorneys want to take on as many cases as they can and, although I hate to say it, it becomes like a mill. They’ve got tons and tons of cases coming in. The actual attorney is not even spending time on the cases. Their assistants are the ones who are working on the cases; and you’re not going to get the result or recovery that you need on your case. The beauty of our practice is that we are a boutique type firm that selects the cases we want to work on and we don’t handle cases on a high volume. That means we can dedicate the amount of time that is really needed on a case. We have an attorney overseeing your case from day one to make sure that we maximize your recovery.

Understanding the difference between CA claims and lawsuits

Many people think that by hiring an attorney in an auto accident case, or by filing a claim, that you’re actually filing a lawsuit against the individual that caused the accident. However, Nezhad told us that isn’t true. He continued:

What you need to know is that when you’re involved in an auto accident, the system is set up in a way where you present a claim to the other side and their insurance company and you let the claims adjusters or the insurance companies handle that claim. So, you’re not filing a lawsuit against anyone. You only file a lawsuit against someone when they caused your injuries, they’re not paying you for it and you’ve got medical bills and other damages that you would have to pay out of pocket. That’s the only time when you would file a lawsuit.

Look for firms who offer a free consultation

Whether you think you want to file a claim or a lawsuit, it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney who can evaluate your situation and outline your options. We asked Nezhad if his firm offers free consultations. Without missing a beat, he told us, “Absolutely. In fact, we have individuals who call us from time to time with general questions and we take the time to talk with them and then tell them exactly what to look for and what to make sure they’ve secured in order to prevail on their claim. Whether you hire us or not, you have absolutely nothing to lose. It’s just one phone call away and we’ll talk to you and figure out what you need to do to make sure that your interest is secured and / or that you are protected.”

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