When an accident happens, the first flood of emotions usually includes some form of gratitude that things weren’t worse. After the dust settles, however, the injuries and damages all start to quickly add up and take a toll. Medical bills, lost earnings, deductibles, and lost time from family and work mount to add stress and inconvenience to an already hectic life.
These losses are the basis of an insurance claim, whether it be a property damage or bodily injury claim.
Insurance Companies (Farmers, Mercury, Allstate, State Farm, AIG, AAA, and many more,) are all in business to make a profit. They are able to earn more money by delaying, denying or reducing their offers on claims. Simply stated, an insurance company will go to great lengths to avoid paying claims to third party claimants and policyholders.
The formula for the insurance company is really quite simple: Collect millions of dollars of premiums, but pay out little as possible to persons who bring claims following an accident. Insurance Companies are experts at delaying and denying claims in order to increase their profitability. Routine tactics employed by insurance companies include failing to return phone calls, delaying vehicle inspections, reimbursing unrealistically low sums for car rental, low-balling property damage and bodily injury claims, refusing to reimburse for lost earnings or medical bills, car rental, and the list goes on. One of their most used techniques is to require you to spend hours, weeks, months and even years collecting and supplying “records” for the insurance company. Here, with the passage of time, the insurance company hopes you give up and forget about the claim. At a minimum, even if you do not give up, the company will earn a high profitable return by holding on to your money as long as they can.
Neustadt & Berriz makes sure the insurance company does not get away with these tactics—Neustadt & Berriz attorneys work aggressively to get their clients legal reimbursement for every item lost: money for past and future medical bills, past and future lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, reimbursement for rental of a similar car or money for loss of use of the car even if a car is not actually rented. Furthermore, since Neustadt & Berriz cannot turn back the clock to before an accident or injury, our clients recover money for past and future physical pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, physical impairment, inconvenience, grief, anxiety, humiliation, and emotional distress.
Neustadt & Berriz have represented thousands of clients over the years and favorably resolved a very high percentage of the cases they take. The Neustadt & Berriz success rate is so high because they are experts at identifying and vigorously pursuing valid claims and the insurance companies have figured out that they are a winning team.
It’s the firm’s professional responsibility (and incentive) to maximize the value and return of your claim. The following list provide real life examples of just a small portion of the firm’s successes, though each case is different and this is not a guarantee of any particular outcome:
Automobile vs. pedestrian: $1,000,000.00. The female client was crossing the street when she was struck by a car. Neustadt & Berriz investigated the case and was able to why adverse witness and police investigation reports were incorrect. The woman struck her head in the accident and suffered from the effects of minor traumatic brain injury (MTBI).
Automobile vs. pedestrian: $300,000.00 An elderly woman crossing Doheny Rd at an unmarked crosswalk, was struck by a car driven by an elderly man. The police report blamed the pedestrian for walking into the car. After investigating the case personally, the attorney from Neustadt & Berriz was able to convince the insurance company that the police report was incorrect, and that the driver should have been able to stop if he had been more attentive and careful.
Electric gate malfunctions: A sliding gate at an apartment building was not properly maintained and it malfunctioned, failing to reverse and it squeezed a young child who was hospitalized. After the bruises cleared, the pediatric neurologist at Kaiser cleared this patient with a good prognosis. Recovery for client: $40,000 in a blocked account which will be there for him when he’s ready for college.
Intersection collision—red light dispute: This accident happened at 2 am. Each party said they had the green light and there were no witnesses. However, Neustadt & Berriz investigated the intersection and discovered that the lights were controlled by a loop (sensors at the intersection which trigger cycling of the lights) and the client was on the road which usually has the green. Confronted with this undisputable evidence, the insurance paid its policy limits.
Bicycle accident and brain trauma: Teenage client jumped his bike in a vacant dirt lot that had become a neighborhood bike jumping track. He lost control and sustained a severe head trauma and brain injury, requiring a helicopter ride from Lancaster to Mayo Hospital and later to Ranch Los Amigos. Even though the insurance company argued strenuously that the client was recreating and assumed the risk of bike jumping, Neustadt & Berriz argued that the property owner was negligent in allowing the bike ramps to be formed on the property. The insurance company paid $150,000.00.
Dangerous Road and Car Accident leads to scarred lip: After getting the insurance policy limits from the at-fault driver ($100,000.00) Neustadt & Berriz proved the roadway was negligently designed and constructed which was the reason the cars crashed in the first place. After prolonged litigation, Neustadt & Berriz recovered another $40,000.
Trip and Fall over raised sidewalk causes broken femur requiring hip replacement: A tree root from an adjacent tree raised a city sidewalk. The property owner and manager were responsible, as well as the City. Neustadt & Berriz recovered $180,000.
Fall from shuttle at Hollywood Bowl leads to non-invasive back surgery: The Hollywood Bowl failed to sufficiently train their driver and he went too fast and the client fell out. Even though the client had a history of prior back problems, Neustadt & Berriz recovered $350,000.
Defective Nissan Airbag causes blindness in one eye in 13 year-old client: This product liability case helped pave the way to a recall forced by the Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission. Even though Nissan initially denied responsibility, Neustadt & Berriz sued and forced Nissan and other responsible parties to pay, recovering over $500,000 for the client.
Poorly maintained shopping basket at Home Depot tips over and fractures ankle: A shopping basket which was uneven and had worn out wheels tipped over when it was loaded with bricks, landing on the client’s leg. After ankle surgery and prolonged litigation against Home Depot, the maintenance company and the manufacturer of the shopping cart, Neustadt and Berriz recovered $223,500 for the client.
Unsafe left-turn causes intersection collision: A 42-year-old construction worker with degenerative disc disease lost three months of tile-setting work and got back to work after receiving epidural injections. Neustadt & Berriz recovered $100,000.00 for the client.
Auto versus pedestrian fractures ankle: A 33-year-old career naval sailor was run over in a parking lot in Arizona and fractured his ankle. After multiple surgeries, Neustadt & Berriz received $500,000.00 after a hard-fought battle with Allstate.
Science project goes bad and causes severe burns results in a multi-million dollar (confidential amount) settlement: A 17-year-old young man about to graduate from high school was badly burned in chemistry class experiment. Attorneys at Neustadt & Berriz filed suit against the teacher and school district after aggressively investigating the case. Crucial evidence of negligent training and inadequate safety equipment were developed in the case.
Defective bicycle forks break and cause separated shoulder: A 24 year-old Canadian citizen separated his shoulder when the forks on his mountain bike broke, sending him over the handlebars. The batch of metal used to make these forks was overly porous and weak, making it susceptible to failure. Neustadt & Berriz recovered $115,000 after hiring the metallurgist who proved the defect.
Insurance bad faith adjustment practices of delay and deny: After a roof leaked resulted in water damage, the client’s insurance company took too long to pay the claim. As a result, mold grew in the house causing property damage, and personal injury to the clients. Neustadt & Berriz took the case and sued the insurance company, ultimately getting the case settled before trial for $650,000.00.
Trip and Fall in a supermarket leads to a $75,000 settlement. The client was an elderly woman. She tripped over a pallet which was left in front of the dairy case. She suffered an injury to her foot.Trip and Fall on a city sidewalk leads to a $100,000 settlement after extended litigation. The injury to the client’s wrist required surgery.
Automobile vs. bicycle injury: A seasoned bicycle rider was injured by a left turning motorist. The injuries included fractures and road rash. The case was settled for the policy limits of $250,000, including underinsurance (similar to uninsured motorist) coverage.
A minor rear end accident causes injury a client’s low back. The client who had a history of back problems was re-injured in a fairly minor rear-end collision. His back pain worsened, and he eventually was required to have a spinal operation. The insurance company had initially declined to pay because the forces in the crash were not great, and the client had previously been going to the doctor for his back. After retaining Neustadt & Berriz, the insurance company paid approximately $125,000, and the attorneys negotiated substantial reductions in the liens of the health insurance companies.
A student was injured in a car crash, sustaining a fractured jaw. Settled for $105,000, without the need to file a lawsuit suit.
“All I wanted was for the other driver to pay my medical bills. After retaining Neustadt & Berriz, I got all my bills paid, the earnings I lost, my car fixed, car rental, and extra money for future medical expenses and compensation for pain and suffering. This was more than I thought possible.”
“I couldn’t believe it. Every time I called my attorney at Neustadt & Berriz, I actually spoke to one of them. If they were out of the office, one of the attorneys would return my call within 24 hours. I never thought attorneys would be so responsive and always so willing and available to talk to me about my case.”
“I didn’t think I had a case. After Neustadt & Berriz agreed to take my case, they launched an investigation, developed a legal theory, and went after the responsible company. It took a long time and Neustadt & Berriz really worked hard to make the insurance company give me a lot of money—the money I deserved.”
“I had never been in an accident before so I called Neustadt & Berriz. I didn’t have health insurance and had no idea how I would pay for my medical bills. They came to the hospital and told me all I had to worry about was getting better. They kept the hospital and ambulance bills off my back. They arranged for my medical care and even the surgery I needed. Neustadt & Berriz got the doctors to treat me and the bills were paid after the case was settled. I was never out of pocket any money and got a great settlement because of their great work.”