The firm's beginnings, in Chico, California, date back to 1967 and the representation of numerous victims of a major flood which destroyed Marysville, California, The flood was caused by a shoddy and defectively constructed levee. No such case in the area had been brought before, and there were substantial recoveries for our clients. Since that time, the firm has evolved into its present focus and continues to be proactive in major injury accident and damage cases of all kinds.
My entire focus is on representing injured people in major injury accident and damage cases. These include those who have suffered personal injury in motor vehicle accidents, injuries caused by defective products, or the misconduct of others, including abused or neglected elders, victims of child abuse, and governmental liability. Because my practice exclusively represents personal injury victims, I can focus on one area of the law.
1. I had the honor of representing an incredibly bright and talented young woman who had been seriously abused and molested as a minor. The suit was brought against the abuser (a family member) and the person who was to supervise her in her placement. The supervising adult was aware of the history of the abuser and placed her in that person's care regardless. The insurance company tried to settle for a minimum amount, but we were able to increase the settlement by 500% following a careful, thorough and methodical pursuit of wrongdoers. The result was $500,000 in excess of insurance coverage. The money helped this young woman go to college, get counseling, and start her adult life with less strife. She now has a professional career and a solid family.
2. A young couple who had been recently married was traveling south on Highway 99 from Chico towards Gridley. An oncoming driver who was a student worker for California State University, Chico, was very tired. She had worked all weekend helping students in a seminar. Her CSUC bosses asked her to drive some seminar participants to the Sacramento Airport, despite her telling them how exhausted she was. She fell asleep at the wheel on her way home from the airport, crossing into oncoming traffic and into a field. The oncoming car swerved to miss her and hit my client's car, killing the young wife as well as the elderly couple driving the oncoming car. We obtained significant damages from the University for the young husband for his injury and the wrongful death of his wife for placing a driver on the road who should not have been there.
3. A local nurse had decided, along with her doctor, that it would be best to have her ovaries removed as a preventative measure due to family history of ovarian cancer. She went into a hospital for the surgery and was given anesthesia. The surgery was successful and she moved from recovery to a regular care room on the floor. The medical staff missed a notation in her file that she was allergic to morphine and placed her on a morphine pump for pain control post-op. They did not use a pulse oxymeter to monitor the oxygen in her blood. Her family came to visit but she was sleepy so they left. A short time later, when dinner was being delivered, the hospital personnel discovered she was not breathing because the morphine had depressed her respiratory function. The medical staff revived her but by then she was brain damaged and in a persistent coma. She ended up in a vegetative state that lasted seven years before she passed away. The settlement provided for her care as well as for her two teenage daughters for college education and beyond, and for her husband who had lost his wife.
4. A young man earning his way through college obtained a temporary job in a rice receiving station. The station was of an old design and the rice silos funneled the rice to an auger at the bottom of the bin. While cleaning the bin, his foot slipped on the defective grate and into the auger. His left leg was cut off. We learned that the property was not owned by his employer and that it was in violation of numerous safety regulations, including the design of the auger. Consequently, we were able to obtain a large award of both cash and a monthly income in addition to his worker's compensation. He has retrained, completed his schooling, is fully employed in a job that accommodates his prosthetic leg, and leads a stable life.
3120 Cohasset Road
Chico CA 95973
Yes, our initial consultation in personal injury matters is free for as long as it takes.
For personal injury we are percentage based only and this is all on a contingency. That is, our fees are limited to a percentage of what we win.
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Nicole Plottel speaks Spanish. Interpreters are available on short notice.
Originally, I was a public defender with extensive trial work. After a few years I moved to a firm that had done major personal injury trial work for decades. With that firm, I began handling primarily injury and accident cases and discovered that the subject was challenging and that I could make a difference in my clients' lives by obtaining awards for my clients to help restore their lives. Over the years I have found it very rewarding to have made a positive impact on the lives of those who have been injured or abused.
As an injury lawyer, I believe that education affords awareness. It is important that people understand their rights. When they can recognize what the law holds, they are better positioned to understand the reasons for pursuing a particular defendant for a particular jury.
Documents prepared by clients are a very clear window of what they believe about their case. I encourage my clients to prepare any information they can to help me understand their case. A personal injury lawyer must understand his client, and these communications are vital to their goal.
I have coached clients who wish to pursue their own actions, and would be willing to do this if those persons were in a good position to represent themselves as well. Clients must understand that people, even experienced personal injury lawyers, are not the most effective advocates for their cause.
I was fortunate to have been able to work my way through college and law school. I worked as a laborer in the Bay Area oil refineries and also worked numerous part-time jobs.
Upon graduating from law school and passing the Bar examination on the first attempt, I started as a deputy public defender in Northern California. After two years, I was hired as an associate by Goldstein, Barceloux & Goldsteing, a leading personal injury firm in San Francisco and Chico, California. I then practiced on my own for 12 years before becoming a partner with my former associates and creating our current partnership.
I believe growing up in a blue collar family and working in oil refineries as a young man to put myself through school taught me invaluable lessons in life, survival, and personal responsibility. My daughter nearly died at birth and had multiple medical challenges in the first five years of her life. This has shaped and molded me to understand firsthand what family pain truly is.
I am very persistent when I take on a case and ensure that I know every detail of the liability and the injury so I can represent my clients carefully and forcefully. After years of practice I often anticipate what the opposing lawyers will argue before they argue it. My preparation is careful and very detailed and I remain firm and persistent throughout the case.Personal interests:
I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling with them in Mexico and the Sierras. I have many pictures in my office of my kids and the fish they have caught over the years.
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