Frequently Asked Questions

Should I have a local attorney represent me in my personal injury lawsuit, and how can I determine whether an attorney is local?

Deciding which attorney or law firm you will entrust with a legal issue as important as a personal injury claim can be a daunting task. Lawyers are licensed to practice by state and federal district, not by city or county, thus a Fresno attorney can litigate a case in San Francisco, and visa versa. When determining whether a local attorney is your best choice for legal counsel in a personal injury action, consider the attorney’s experience litigating similar cases, the results obtained, the value of your case, the costs of litigation, how accessible you need your attorney to be to you, and in which county your lawsuit will be filed. Hiring a law firm from a city other than your home town may interfere with your ability to meet with your attorney, and create additional costs when you do. Hiring a law firm from a city other than where the lawsuit will be filed will increase your litigation costs (as you pay for your attorney’s travel and lodging expenses). Conversely, hiring an attorney who regularly practices in the court your lawsuit will be filed gives a home court advantage to an attorney who knows and is known by judges and courthouse personnel.

Many Southern California and bay area lawyers claim, infer or deceptively advertise that they are local Fresno attorneys. They advertise in the central valley because television air time is significantly cheaper than the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets. They claim to be local attorneys because out of town lawyers have a reputation for settling cases below fair value rather than committing the time and expense necessary to litigate a case in the central valley.

To determine the true location of a lawyer’s practice, enter the attorney’s name or bar number here.

Notable attorneys who advertise in the central valley from other cities include:

  1. Tom Dunnion (Monterey, CA)
  2. William Berg (Alameda, CA)
  3. William Scranton (Concord, CA)
  4. Larry Parker (Long Beach, CA)
  5. Russ Brown (Studio City, CA)
  6. Lee Arter (Los Angeles)
  7. Pacific Injury Group (Los Angeles, CA)
  8. Estey & Bomberger (San Diego, CA)
  9. Ledger & Associates (Newport Beach, CA)
  10. Nadrich & Cohen (Los Angeles, CA)

What should I expect from my first meeting with Netzer & Malmo?

After you have had an opportunity to discuss the general details of your case with a member of the law firm, and appointment will be scheduled with you and either Jonathan Netzer, John Malmo or Cristian Ochoa. Although it is advantageous to conduct this meeting at the N&M office where the full resources of the law firm are housed, if injury or other circumstances prevent you from traveling to the office, Cristian and/or one of the partners will come to you.

Bring all of the information and documentation you have pertaining to your injury claim to the initial appointment. This includes photographs, diagrams, insurance information, party and witness names, police report numbers, medical billing and records, and correspondence about the claim, including email. Evidence which you have stored electronically may be brought in digital form, or emailed to in advance of your appointment.

At the first meeting, be prepared to answer questions about the circumstances surrounding your injury, medical treatment, heath history, insurance coverage, and your participation in any post-injury investigation. All information you give your attorney is confidential; and will be kept so except as you authorize its use to prosecute your injury claim.

For wrongful death claims, please be prepared to give an accurate detailed family tree, including the parents, children, siblings and spouse of the deceased, along with their full legal names, relationships to the deceased and current contact information.

The information and documentation you provide will be analyzed by N&M, and preserved for use in the prosecution of your injury claim. Missing information will be identified and obtained subsequent to the meeting. Your attorney will have you execute authorizations allowing N&M to obtain additional records, and a designation directing all insurance companies and bill collectors to contact N&M with all case related inquiries. If your case involves complex issues, once the initial information and documentation are obtained, a follow up appointment with Jonathan Netzer will be scheduled.

A general plan for the first phase of your personal injury claim will be made, including assuring that you are receiving all necessary medical treatment, and the evidence necessary to win your case is identified, investigated and preserved. After this meeting, detailed instructions on how to negotiate this important phase of your claim will be prepared and sent to you.

To schedule an initial meeting with N&M, call us at (559) 440-9800 today, or contact us!


How do know if I have a winning Personal Injury case?

Ask a Netzer & Malmo attorney; they will be happy to tell you. Consultations are always free, and there is never a fee or cost owed until your case is won.

To schedule an initial meeting with Netzer & Malmo, call us at (559) 440-9800 today, or enter your email address here.


How much is my claim worth?

This is not a frequently asked question; it is an always asked question. Many clients hire a personal injury attorney because they are being unfairly treated by an insurance company, and many seek our representation because they cannot access necessary medical care; however, all are rightly concerned about the economic impact a personal injury or death will have upon their family. After assuring access to medical treatment, maximizing your personal financial recovery in a personal injury case is your attorneys' priority.

Numerous factors go into determining the value of a claim, including the nature and extent of the harm, the severity of the injury-producing event, the costs of medical treatment, other losses (such as lost wages and/or earning capacity) and the level of misconduct of the wrongdoer. Once all factors are known, your attorneys can give you an accurate assessment of your claim value.

Personal injury claims are frequently litigated in the Central Valley, both by Netzer & Malmo, and in the legal community at large. When you are represented by an attorney with a reputation for litigating and winning cases, value may be determined by the probable outcome of a contested jury trial. Your attorneys closely monitor jury verdicts statewide to help gauge the probable outcome of a contested trial to best assist you in evaluating settlement offers.


Where can I go for medical care for my injuries?

If you are fortunate enough to have a regular doctor who is familiar with you and your health history, all of your medical treatment should be managed and supervised by that doctor. If you have medical insurance with reasonable co-pay or deductible, it is prudent to utilize in-plan care providers whenever possible.

Over the past two decades, the attorneys of Netzer & Malmo have developed working relationships with most local medical providers in the Central Valley, and can assist you in finding the right caregiver for your specific injuries. Be sure to inform your attorney of each accident-related injury suffered so that appropriate care for each injury can be arranged.

Website links for many of the medical providers who care for Netzer & Malmo clients can be accessed here.


Can I fire my current attorney?

Yes. You as a personal injury client have an absolute right to sever your relationship with your attorney at any time for any reason. Where your legal representation has been governed by a contingency fee agreement, the prior attorney is entitled to the value of the services which have been provided to you prior to disengagement. The prior attorney will have a lien for services provided on your personal injury claim, and must be paid at time of settlement. If you replace your prior attorney with new legal counsel and a new contingency fee agreement, your current and former attorneys will share a single fee. This means hiring a new attorney will not cost you money.

Upon your request, a discharged attorney (and your current attorney for that matter) must promptly give you your papers and property including correspondence, pleadings, deposition transcripts, exhibits, physical evidence, expert reports and other items reasonably necessary to your representation.

There is often a danger of damaging your claim when you switch legal representation mid-case. This danger increases as you commence litigation and approach arbitration or trial. If you are considering changing attorneys during the pendency of your claim, you must evaluate the impact this change will have on the outcome of your case. Sooner is better.

If you are dissatisfied with your current attorney, your first step should be to schedule a face to face meeting with the attorney responsible for your case. There, be prepared to candidly discuss the issues which have fostered dissatisfaction in your legal representation. Remember, an attorney does you a disservice if you are not informed of the weaknesses and negative facets of your case. Firing an attorney who is straightforward with you in favor of one who "tells you what you want to hear" is a terrible trade off for which you will likely pay dearly later.

If you believe that your current lawyer is not the best legal representative for your matter, DO NOT DISCHARGE YOUR ATTORNEY UNTIL YOU HAVE RETAINED NEW COUNSEL. You never want to be unrepresented in anything but the smallest of personal injury cases. Your new attorney will inform the prior lawyer that you have retained new legal counsel, and obtain a copy of your file.

To schedule an initial meeting with Netzer & Malmo, call us at (559) 440-9800 today, or enter your email address here.