Tragedy ~ Changes in Wind Direction

One of the most interesting cases that I have read in the last couple of years occurred in Northern California involving a traffic accident in the Trestle Glen district of Oakland. This case presents a lesson in how issues of liability can change even though the facts themselves do not change.

It involved a young lady about 18 years old. She was crossing the street in Oakland, CA in an attempt to board a bus. As she was walking across the street, she was hit by a transit bus operated by the defendants. According to the facts, it was a dark and rainy night. The police reported that she ran across three lanes of traffic against the light when she saw her bus approaching the bus stop. She missed catching the bus and instead the bus struck her. The police report had her responsible for the incident.accident_injury_attorney_pic_1_2015

The facts of the accident set out to describe three things: 1) First, the victim’s liability for running across the street against the light, in the rain, and apparently out of the crosswalk. 2) Secondly the police confirmed that initially, it was the fault of the victim, so she ‘caused’ her own injuries by her action. 3) Thirdly, there was a dramatic shift in liability. They are the same facts but we can see how liability is such a fleeting concept.

A plaintiff Attorney established that the bus driver was in the course and scope of her employment, traveling at a speed unsafe for the conditions and failing to exercise the heightened level of care that was necessary to proceed through dark and rainy weather as the bus approached the traffic intersection. The plaintiff Attorney brilliantly established that the bus stop was located in a dangerous spot. Any passengers in an attempt to board the bus would have to approach the stop in a fashion that would have exposed them to the dangers of being seriously injured, not just by the bus but by other passing vehicles. By adding that to the addition of the darkness and the rainy weather, we have a substantial danger that a potential bus passenger could not avoid. The plaintiff Attorney had a further theory that the bus driver should have easily spotted the potential passenger/injured plaintiff even under these conditions. The injury to our victim resulted in paralysis in the right leg, fractures, and an amputation of the left leg. It is interesting to see how the case moved on to a Settlement. Prior to settlement were Depositions skillfully handled by plaintiff counsel and set the case up for TRIAL. Interestingly enough, this case settled for OVER 20 MILLION DOLLARS.

This is like many of the cases that Nelson & Natale will take on and represent where liability is poor. Many of which offer a real challenge to prove liability on the part of the defendant through skillful lawyering. It goes to show the potential of a case with substantial injuries, although liability is challenging, with top notch lawyering, excellent results are a real possibility. The saying goes, when it comes to lawyering, ‘YOU CAN ONLY BE A WINNER BY CHOOSING A WINNER.’  NELSON & NATALE

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Posted in Auto Accidents, Avoid Traffic Tickets, Castaic Lake, Choosing An Attorney/Lawyer, Construction, Deposition, Injury, Injury Accidents Law, Inland Empire, Law Injury Attorney, Lawsuit, Lawyer, Los Angeles, Motorcycle Accident Injury, Orange County, Orthopedic, San Bernadino, Santa Clarita, Slip and Fall Accidents Law, superbowl, Surgery, Trial Lawyer, Work Injury | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Injury Accidents, Lawyers and Winning your Case

How to Lose your Case with the Wrong Lawyer

I’ve been representing plaintiffs for over 30 years, but at one time; I belonged to an ‘Insurance Defense Firm.’ We were well trained in representing Insurance companies we were the enemy to plaintiff Attorneys. I recently read an article in one of the magazines that I receive as a member of the ‘Consumer Attorneys of Southern California’ editorial “California Trial Lawyers.” In fact, the Attorney that wrote the article in the “Advocate” Magazine of May 2014, Steven Goldberg, wrote about the firm, in which I was a member and later became a Partner. Some of the terms he uses to describe my former firm are both humorous as well as accurate. Attorney Goldberg was representing a plaintiff at the time and our Attorney was conducting the ‘Deposition.’ He called the exchange between the two as “evil little questions calculated to box your client into testimony that will make it possible for the ‘Defense’ to minimize the plaintiffs’ damages at the time of trial.” The article was excellent. He talks about the “traps” that plaintiffs fall into when they have the wrong Attorney. There are many traps, all the way from describing the scene of the accident, an explanation to which the plaintiff Attorney should prepare his client properly and never really does, to when it’s an auto accident and how many seconds have elapsed before impact/ Also did the plaintiff see the other party before impact? All very tricky questions.NelsonNataleFBBanner

It is very important to always prepare your client for what lies ahead. Don’t ever allow your client to give an oral witness statement. That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. It tells me that that lawyer has little or no litigation experience as well as poor judgment. The challenge here is for the plaintiff Attorney to know his clients’ case intimately. He must be familiar with the plaintiff, him or her, and know the mechanics of their injury – this is the perfect place to lose a client’s case and all through the lack of preparation and experience.

Nelson & Natale takes ‘over’ cases from other lawyers. As few as five and sometimes ten a month, all from other lawyers. Most Attorneys are lazy and don’t want to make an investment – their approach is “Can I get in and out quickly” and “How much money will I make in six months.” If that’s the Attorney you want, then please, we’ll give you a list of law firms that actually practice in that worthless approach and that is most of them. But does it do your case any good? Of course not. We have seen one case after another fall through the cracks and destroyed by the Attorney they choose. Do yourself a favor, choose wisely.

If you have any questions, speak to an Attorney at Nelson & Natale at (310) 641-8300. We’ll be more than happy to give you advice on your case. As a matter of fact, take a look at one of our website ‘BLOGS’ it probably covers a subject of your interest in greater detail. As the saying goes, you can only be a “WINNER BY CHOOSING A WINNER.”

Posted in Auto Accidents, Avoid Traffic Tickets, Castaic Lake, Choosing An Attorney/Lawyer, Construction, Construction Accident Injury, Deposition, HELP, Injury, Injury Accidents Law, Inland Empire, Law Injury Attorney, Lawsuit, Lawyer, Legal Help, Los Angeles, Motorcycle Accident Injury, Orange County, Orthopedic, San Bernadino, Santa Clarita, Slip and Fall Accidents Law, Surgery, Trial Lawyer, Work Injury | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Just Want to File a Law Suit. What do I do?

Injury Accident Law Suits

When it comes right down to it, I hate to file a law suit against someone. It traumatizes people. Yes, it’s upsetting. What am I going to do? I represent a client who’s a victim of someone’s negligence who’s been injured in an accident. A car has collided with them and they have suffered serious injuries. What’s worse is ‘their auto insurance company just doesn’t want to pay.’ They’re holding back. What’s my choice? I have none. I have to file a law suit. I had to file it in my wife’s case when she was seriously injured in an auto accident two years ago. I sometimes have to file against friends.52824625_f3596d1065_z

I started out 32 years ago with an attitude that if auto insurance companies did not take care of my client’s injuries and provide my client with a ‘Fair and Reasonable Settlement’ for their vehicle, their medical bills, and their pain and suffering, then I would have no choice but to sue. So back then we have kept the same model for our law firm Nelson & Natale, ready to stand by each and every client, file a law suit and go forward all the way.

Yes, it’s expensive. It costs our firm more money to do it that way. It’s easier to just settle a case at a fraction of its value. That to me is down right insulting but over 95% of all other lawyers handling injury cases settle for less than their worth and they let the “big” insurance companies get by cheating their clients. I can’t. No doubt, an attitude responsible for our firm’s success over the past 32 years. We employ over 15 staff and generate a substantial number of clients, all with no advertising – just word of mouth. As your mom or dad used to say, ‘Word of Mouth Is The Best Recommendation.’

When choosing an Attorney, locate one that has the capacity for filing law suits. As in the case of our firm. We file at least 10 law suits a month, every month, 12 months a year. Our seasoned staffs are no kids, they’ve been handling hundreds of complex cases over the years and they’ve been trained by the “Best” attorneys. Do we want to do a trial? Absolutely. If you look at our website, you’ll see that we have rung bells over the years in the million dollar cases. Other attorneys have dropped a case and we wound up with jury verdicts, some in the $3, $4, or $5 million dollars range.

Silvio and I have perfected our skills handing injury cases. We can say to anybody who’s injured in an auto accident or a slip and fall, we can help. If you want to just play around and settle the case for the payment of your medical bills, that’s fine. Your grandmother is probably your best bet. You don’t need a lawyer. However if you really want to recover for your pain and suffering and all that you’ve been through: the aggravation and often times the disruption of your family itself, then you need a law firm sensitive to your issues. Nelson & Natale is that firm. So give us a call at (310) 641-8300 and I will be more than happy to speak with you. We’ll be laying out the process for the handling of your case.

You can only be a winner by choosing a winner.

Posted in Auto Accidents, Choosing An Attorney/Lawyer, Construction, Injury, Injury Accidents Law, Lawsuit, Legal Help, Los Angeles, Motorcycle Accident Injury, Orthopedic, Trial Lawyer, Work Injury | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MOTORCYCLE ATTORNEYS – THE TRUTH BEHIND THEM

         So you’ve been in a motorcycle accident. Forget about that Attorney who claims to have “Special Skills” representing motorcycle riders. He’s been taking advantage of motorcycle riders for years. Sorry, but he doesn’t make a better case for you.  Quality representation of injured motorcycle riders is all about “lawyering skills” and not the Attorney who rides a motorcycle on Sundays. An Attorney who represents motorcycle riders in accidents does not equal a good lawyer.  After 32 years in this business, I can tell you that the Personal Injury Attorney who specializes in litigation and trials is really your best choice in handling a motorcycle injury case. Why is that? Just because our clients drive semi-trucks, ride horses, fall downstairs, and fuel airplanes doesn’t mean that  they can be put on the stand as an “expert”.  Although I was a carpenter and a construction foreman for 16 years, would that be helpful in a construction case? Not really! Consider that your “Motorcycle Attorney” would not be permitted to testify about your case or his so-called “motorcycle expertise” in court.  Nelson and Natale are the Attorneys who bring in those experts who are trained to testify in court as an expert.Image

  A good Attorney acts as a facilitator, he uses his talent to put on the case before the jury. Let’s say you suffered a very serious motorcycle accident.  The expert I would bring in is a seasoned former California Highway Patrol Motor Officer, who will sit in front of the jury in court in full dress uniform and support your testimony with his professional expert knowledge and skill. Would we win? I’d say we had an excellent chance. The jury could care less about the Attorney’s personal talents. Jurors want to know how the facts of the case fit together, and how the Attorney establishes liability and causation, which means the relationship of the facts of the accident to the effects of the accident.  You see it has nothing to do with riding a motorcycle.  Your attorney must have the skill similar to an orchestra conductor in order to be successful with your case.  I didn’t say piano player, or violin player, or motorcycle rider, I said conductor.

         I just signed up a client last week who was in a major motorcycle accident on the I-10 freeway just outside of Los Angeles.  He suffered major injuries. Traffic on the freeway was stopped for three hours.  We do know that an eighteen wheeler (semi truck) cut him off and caused the accident. What we don’t know is the name of the guilty party. We have many witnesses but we haven’t identified the defendant.  There’s no need to waste time, only wine gets better with age, not evidence!  I filed the lawsuit already but who do I name in the lawsuit as the party at fault? This is where we get back to my original point – “it’s all about lawyering skills”.  Trust me when I say we’ll get it done and when we arrive in court we’ll call in our expert, the former Highway Patrol Motor Officer who will dazzle the jury with his expert testimony.  These are the skills that will win our client’s case.

Nelson and Natale has been handling serious injury motorcycle accidents for over 30 years.  Don’t be fooled into choosing a lawyer just because he rides a Harley Davidson or because he worked in a muffler shop while going to law school. When it comes to having a serious accident, make rational decisions. Hire an Attorney with proven experience, a successful “track record”, because the security of your future and your family are on the line.

Remember, “YOU CAN ONLY BE A WINNER BY CHOOSING A WINNER.” Call NELSON & NATALE now (310) 641-8300

 

 

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Injury Accident Lawyer – “Making The RIght Choice”

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Experience is key!

Finding the right lawyer – that’s a lot more difficult.  There’s nothing like having the right lawyer to begin with.  It may be a painstaking task to check with friends and websites to locate the attorney, but the payoff is well worth it.  A new case was referred to us today: A twenty year old young man on a bicycle who was hit by an M.T.A. train. Unfortunately he picked the ‘wrong’ law firm to represent him.  The former Attorneys actually went to court for approval to withdraw from the case just three months after they filed a lawsuit.  I looked at their website and I saw their main practice was limited to “Business Law and Insurance Defense”. What we have is an injured plaintiff who files a claim against the M.T.A. and he goes to an Insurance Defense firm to represent him!  That just doesn’t make any sense. This plaintiff suffered permanent and debilitating injuries in the accident. 

Why would we not take this case and why wouldn’t the three other law firms that this plaintiff went to before coming to us take the case?  Well for one thing if we originally represented the client we would’ve taken it all the way to trial if necessary. That plaintiff had broken bones and required surgery due to the accident. What the other law firm did was send the plaintiff to a chiropractor rather than an orthopedic surgeon shortly after he was released from the hospital. As it stands now the case is in Discovery and the Attorneys for the M.T.A. filed a motion to get the case dismissed by the Court.  His family members came to see us today. They did not have a copy of the file nor did they have a copy of the police report. Worse yet, the plaintiff himself is living in Northern California.  The Court calendar has a “Motion to Dismiss” scheduled for March 15, 2014. 

There’s no way our Firm can actually take over this case and complete the Discovery Answers in time to meet that Discovery deadline.  I have mentioned many times before, that a major injury case should go to a law firm that actually specializes in “Major Personal Injury” cases.  The difficulty is that as a client you have to pick through a lot of incompetent lawyers in order to find an Attorney who has the skill to handle the case.  Sorry to say but many Lawyers would like to make a fast buck. Shame on them. We are trial Lawyers playing in a high-stakes playground against Defense Attorneys who are extremely talented in getting plaintiffs’ cases thrown out of court.  It’s critical to spend the time to find the right Attorney who is skilled in these Major Injury cases. Anything short of that and your case will be over before it starts. Call NELSON & NATALE now. (310) 641-8300

Remember, “YOU CAN ONLY BE A WINNER BY CHOOSING A WINNER.”

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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney and “Winning”

“WINNING” WITH INTEGRITY

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Nelson and Natale Personal Injury Law Firm

If you have had a recent accident or you’re looking for an attorney to take over a case for a friend or relative who’s recently had an accident, then you have a big job cut out for you. Let me tell you that you landed in the RIGHT PLACE. The reason we picked this title is because integrity is SO fundamental to being a good lawyer. Trust is a necessary characteristic of anybody who works for you. Do you trust your husband or wife? Your CPA/Accountant?  Your doctor?…… Then you should also trust your lawyer. The definition of integrity is forthrightness, virtue, incorruptible……. This should be basic criteria for your Lawyer, the one you select to rely on for advice and counsel.  If it’s not, or you don’t consider trust a fundamental quality, you won’t understand my message. NELSON and NATALE is an Exclusive Personal Injury Law Firm. We’re different from most other Law Firms because we do what’s called ‘litigation’— filing a lawsuit, serving it and forcing the case into the court system to take on the big Insurance Companies. My name is Dan Nelson and I’ve been in this business for some 32 years.  My partner Silvio Natale is a brilliant trial lawyer with 28 years of experience. I brought him on board some 23 years ago. Our firm only represents victims in personal injury accidents, which covers everything from AUTO ACCIDENTS, MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS, SLIP AND FALLS, ELECTRICAL INJURIES, DOG BITES, etc. We have handled over 10,000 cases to settlement or trial verdict. Our staff of 12 law clerks are specially trained, knowledgeable and dedicated to helping our clients navigate through the process of litigation and fighting the big Insurance Company.

No one really wants to go to Trial.  Unfortunately at this time in history insurance companies are offering no money for pain and suffering or very little to settle a case. However, since our reputation precedes us, they know this firm’s policy is to file a lawsuit and drag them into court. If you have had a serious injury there’s no better place for you to seek quality legal representation than at our firm NELSON and NATALE Personal Injury Attorneys. Selecting the best personal-injury firm is no easy task. It does take some thought.  You must first focus on experience and character. If you’re looking on the internet at ads, or you have a referral from a friend you could be making a big mistake. NELSON and NATALE is organized and staffed specifically to take cases to Trial. Please understand that most cases will never get to Trial, however, unless your lawyer is in a Trial firm and has a history of successfully winning against the big Insurance Companies you will be at a tremendous disadvantage. I was 40 years old before I earned my law degree … Yes I was busy, I started out as a laborer in Construction, became a Carpenter, a Contractor, Registrar and Admissions Officer at UCSD (San Diego campus), Director of Admissions at California Western University (San Diego), Senior Deputy for the County of Los Angeles, Foreign Service Officer U.S. Department of State (Washington DC). After graduating from law school, I became a Partner in the Insurance Defense firm of Biesty, Nelson, McCool, and Garrety. Our clients included Allstate Insurance, The County of Los Angeles, Progressive, Financial Indemnity and a dozen more companies.  Yes, a somewhat high octane employment history with more management experience than the current President of The United States. The point I’m making is that your Attorney’s character should be to serve others with honesty and integrity, and with a little luck success will be yours.  Most of these personal qualities are sadly missing in many businesses today and in particular among Attorneys in the practice of law.

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Los Angeles Injury Accident Lawyers

I recently ran across a two-page ad for a law firm in Beverly Hills.  They claim to be a ‘Trial Firm’ specializing in major injury cases. Although the ad was brilliant, it was a total misrepresentation. My firm ‘substituted’ in on one of their million-dollar cases. I personally wouldn’t hire these Attorneys as interns never mind as lawyers. Briefly, the case involved a major crushing injury to the foot of a 15-year-old girl. She suffered an amputation, and has major disfigurement to her foot and leg. The current case has a minimum value of $2 Million with a possible high-end of $5 or $6 Million. These Attorneys have a bad reputation and the defendant’s Insurance carrier knew it and as a result made an offer of only One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100k) which the lawyer tried to get our client to accept in full Settlement of her case. When she met with her surgeon he was outraged and he had her give us a call. We took the case over. When we received the file I did read the Deposition transcripts that her Attorneys had taken, unfortunately they were actually worthless. They also had left off two defendants as well as failed to add a government claim to the case.  My client will likely file a lawsuit against her former firm.

To add insult to injury, I was flabbergasted to see that that firm ran a 2 – page ad for their law firm blatantly pretending to be everything that they are not. Their contemptible reputation is embarrassing to all of us Lawyers.   Yes I know it happens all the time.  It’s about reputation, it’s about trust, and it’s about honor. Since we practice law, it’s also about legal talent and skill. NELSON and NATALE is a solid Law Firm. Almost all of our clients come from Referrals. We are fortunate that way. “A good referral is priceless.” If you would like to discuss your case please don’t hesitate to CONTACT ME DIRECTLY.  Don’t forget:  it all starts with your lawyer.

NELSON and NATALE is here for you. CONTACT US AT (310) 641-8300.  Don’t forget, “You can only be a winner by choosing a winner!”  CALL US NOW!

Posted in Auto Accidents, Avoid Traffic Tickets, Castaic Lake, Choosing An Attorney/Lawyer, Construction, Construction Accident Injury, Deposition, HELP, Injury, Injury Accidents Law, Inland Empire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WHERE DID ALL THE “GOOD” LAWYERS GO?

In the last couple of years I’ve noticed the trend among many Personal Injury Lawyers is to take on a Personal Injury case they know they can’t handle and if they can’t settle, they send it out to another attorney to handle the litigation and trial. What that means is that if you were seriously injured and you hire a Personal Injury attorney the likelihood is probably about 95% that your present attorney won’t handle your case if he can’t settle it.

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You will have a second attorney to file your lawsuit and prepare for trial.  It’s a sad state of affairs when your Personal Injury Lawyer doesn’t  have either the skill or experience to handle litigation and trial.

Both my partner Silvio Natale and I had a “life before law”.  Silvio’s father and brothers were all in the cement business and his father was a contractor.  I personally spent nine years in construction,  eventually  reaching the level of journeyman carpenter.  My first job after graduating from San Diego State was as Assistant Registrar at the University of California at San Diego. Later,  I became a Foreign Service Officer in the United States State Department stationed in Washington D.C..  When I realized that my destiny was probably going to be  living on the East Coast or assigned to some foreign country,  I decided to turn in my resignation.  I moved back to Los Angeles and I began law school.  My  internship was  with an Insurance Defense firm that represented about 12 different insurance companies and I became managing Partner.  The benefit of having interned at an Insurance Defense firm, as you might expect, was invaluable training for a new attorney and caused me to really learn the business of how insurance companies work.

Unfortunately today, new lawyers graduating from law school hang up their shingle and begin practicing law without experience, skill, or even a mentor.  We pity their poor clients these Attorneys represent. I’m guessing, but you probably have a a 95% chance of inadvertently having one of these lawyers represent you.  The quality of their legal work is horrible.  Most of the time we can unravel the problems and breathe life back into the corpse but sometimes the damage is fatal and it’s way too late for the client.

Yes, that was 32 years ago when I started out in a  Personal Injury law firm, and Silvio has no less than 28 years of developing his trial skills.  Personally, I learn  something new every day. If you are a prospective new client and want “The Best” skilled representation, find an attorney that specializes in serious personal injury cases, one who has and has a reputation for Personal Injury litigation and trials, not somebody who just settles cases.

Nelson and Natale is a moderately sized firm with 15 highly trained staff, the newest of whom has no less than eight years of legal experience.  If you have been seriously injured, find a law firm that will be able to take your case all the way to trial, if necessary.

NELSON AND NATALE is there for you. Don’t hesitate to contact THE LAW FIRM OF  NELSON AND NATALE. We will give you a ‘free’ and complete evaluation of your case and put you back on track. Don’t forget, “ You can only be a winner by choosing a winner!”

YOU CAN CONTACT US BY CALLING (310) 641-8300. DO IT NOW!

Posted in Auto Accidents, Avoid Traffic Tickets, Choosing An Attorney/Lawyer, Construction Accident Injury, HELP, Injury, Injury Accidents Law, Law Injury Attorney, Lawyer, Motorcycle Accident Injury, Orthopedic, Slip & Fall, Surgery, Trial Lawyer, Work Injury | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment