If you are an injured Latino or Hispanic worker in Santa Ana, Garden Grove or Riverside, attorney Rhonda Nielsen is ready to help you take on the insurance companies.
“Somebody who doesn’t know the system, which is the average injured worker, has no shot at getting everything to which they’re entitled,” Nielsen says. “That’s why people need representation. They just cannot do it on their own. We are the voice for those that don’t have one otherwise.”
Nielsen is motivated by a passion to help individuals who have been injured in serious car, workplace and other accidents. Her years of legal training and experience, and her ability to speak fluent Spanish, enable her to help both English and Spanish speakers in the communities of Santa Ana, Garden Grove and Riverside.
Nielsen benefited from growing up in Hawaii and traveling the world with her family. Her experience with different cultures and languages has broadened her understanding of the many people she has helped.
Nielsen obtained her undergraduate degree in languages at the University of Colorado, focusing on French and Spanish. She now considers Spanish as her second language. Her language skills have been one of the firm’s key elements for success. The firm is located in an area where 75 percent of the population is Latino.
After securing her undergraduate degree, Nielsen pursued a master’s degree in counseling. She completed all the necessary coursework for this career path before deciding to pursue a law degree.
As she began her legal career, she focused on personal injury and workers’ compensation claims. She recognized that many Latino/Hispanic workers needed her legal services.
“They’re the ones that are most injured at work, because they do the heavy labor,” Nielsen says. “They are the roofers. They are the carpenters. They are the plumbers. They are the field workers, where people get hurt.”
She adds, “Once they’re injured at work, everything goes south for them because they’re income is disrupted, which disrupts their family, which disrupts their whole social structure. So they need a lot of support and legal help.”
Nielsen takes pride in helping injured clients stand up to insurance companies.
“An individual cannot really represent himself or herself adequately against highly trained insurance professionals,” she says. “The adjuster’s job is not to give them the benefit to which they’re entitled. People have to recognize that insurance companies are for-profit organizations. They are happy to receive premiums, but they are not happy to write checks for benefits. The insurance companies are beholden to the stockholders, not the injured workers. But we are here for the injured worker. That’s who we fight for.”
“We handle all over the crossover claims,” Nielsen says. “A lot of times people are injured at work, and they will have a workers’ compensation case. We help with those. Additionally, they may also have a third party case, but they may not realize that. So we explore his or her case to determine if someone else may be responsible, whether it is another worker on the job site, a truck driver, or some other third party. They do not need two different firms to handle those two different cases. We do both.”
Nielsen also focuses on injury cases involving motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, off-road accidents, and other sporting accidents. She and her husband are avid motorcycle and off-road enthusiasts. Nielsen owns and rides a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Her other interests include surfing, snow skiing and golf.
She and her husband are also active in church and ministry activities. Her husband is a chaplain in the Black Sheep Harley Davidsons for Christ. Nielsen has traveled abroad on several South American mission trips, functioning as an interpreter in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Peru.
One of the guiding principles in Nielsen’s life is to help people who need professional and personal support.
“My husband’s vision and my vision are really about public service and ministry,” she says. “Our occupation, vocation and avocation are tied into being a service-related couple in our professional lives as well as our personal lives.”