Santa Rosa Personal Injury Lawyer
If you need a Santa Rosa personal injury lawyer, contact Eric Ratinoff Law Corp at (707) 306-0752 for a free and confidential case evaluation. Whether you’re unsure if you have a case, or just have questions about the legal process, we are happy to discuss your situation and provide the guidance you need.
Eric Ratinoff has been fighting for the injured for over 25 years. His personal approach to representation, excellent legal reputation, and passion for obtaining justice make all the difference in the results we obtain for our clients. Our team has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients for matters involving traumatic brain injury, car accidents, trucking collisions, bicycle collisions, nursing home abuse, insurance bad faith, wildfire litigation, and more.
Whether it’s a car accident, traumatic brain injury, nursing home abuse, insurance bad faith matter, or any other catastrophic injury, the people we represent are worth the fight.
Some Commonly Asked Questions About Personal Injury Lawsuits
How do I know if I have a personal injury claim?
To have a personal injury claim, you must be able to show 4 things: first, that you have been injured, either physically or emotionally, second, that the responsible party was negligent; third, that his or her negligence caused your injury; and fourth, that the injury resulted in damages that can be compensated financially.
Do I still have a claim if the accident is partly my fault?
Yes. In most cases, you can recover money even if you are partly to blame for the accident. In California, this is known as “comparative fault.” It means the amount you recover in damages may be reduced by the percentage you are found to be at fault for the resulting injury. Be honest with your lawyer about all of the facts. Doing so, even if there are bad facts that may mean you are partially at fault, will help minimize the risk that the bad facts will reduce the amount of money you receive.
When should I hire a personal injury attorney?
If you have been physically injured, you or your caretaker should consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Hiring an attorney soon after your injury will ensure that important evidence and documentation may be properly collected, and that you receive the right result for your case.
It’s also important to protect your legal rights before the statute of limitations expires, which dictates how long you have before you are no longer allowed to file a lawsuit regarding your injury. Although it varies state to state and depends on the type of injury and defendant, in some cases this time period can be as short as 6 months after the injury.
What will a personal injury attorney cost?
Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning you will not pay any legal costs or fees until there is a settlement or a winning verdict at trial. We advance all upfront costs. After your settlement or verdict, your attorney will receive a percentage fee of the total case recovery, in addition to case costs. If there is no settlement or winning verdict, you won’t be charged any legal fees or costs.
Some people are hesitant to hire an attorney because of the fees they will eventually have to pay, if and when a settlement is reached. However, hiring an experienced attorney can actually increase the amount of financial compensation you receive for the accident. Generally, even after the attorney’s fee and costs are paid, you will have more money in your pocket than you would if you attempted to represent yourself. We are committed to getting you the maximum just verdict or settlement that we can.
What type of compensation does a personal injury claim cover?
Compensation for your injuries depends on several factors, including the nature and extent of your injuries, physical and emotional pain and suffering, the change in your quality of life, economic hardship or financial loss, decreased earning potential and physical impairment. This is why we invest a great amount of effort to get to know your story and how your injury has affected the fabric of your life. Depending on the type and extent of your personal injury, you may be eligible for compensatory damages, which may include the following:
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Lost wages, including overtime
- Out of pocket expenses (transportation charges, etc.)
- Pain and suffering
- Physical disability
- Permanent scars
- Emotional trauma
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of love and affection
- Mental disability
How much financial compensation can I get for my injuries?
You are legally entitled to be fully compensated for your injuries to the extent the at-fault party is responsible for causing your injuries. According to the law, you are entitled to “be made whole,” which means you should be returned to the same position after the settlement as you were in immediately before the injury occurred. Since no one can possibly go back in time and prevent the injury from happening, the law requires the negligent party to adequately financially compensate you for your injuries. This compensation is called “damages.”
You should never expect to get adequately compensated for your injuries by what the insurance company will offer. Insurance companies are in the business of making money. Their business model is to collect premiums and pay out as little as possible for insurance claims. Their adjustors and attorneys work diligently toward one purpose only, and that is to minimize the amount they have to pay you to make you “whole.” Often this means they will not even agree to pay you for all of your medical bills or lost wages, claiming the bills are excessive or the medical treatment was unnecessary.
In serious injury cases, they may dispute the nature and extent of your injuries and the impact your injuries will have on your future and type of medical treatment and care you will need for the rest of your life. In essence, they will try to minimize your claim no matter what happened to you.
Fighting the insurance industry and obtaining the best possible outcome for your case requires the assistance of an experienced and well-respected attorney. You can be certain the insurance company’s lawyers will know the amount of experience the lawyer you’ve hired has and will treat your case accordingly. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and the long history of success fighting powerful insurance companies and large corporations. When they hear from us, they know they’re in for a fight.
Santa Rosa Personal Injury Lawyer: Car Accidents
What is Auto Negligence?
Automobile accidents are one of the greatest causes of wrongful death and serious injury in Sacramento and throughout California. Almost all auto accidents stem from someone’s negligence. Negligence is the legal theory that if someone fails to act with reasonable care, resulting in the injury of another person, he or she is liable for the injuries. Proving negligence is at the heart of most car accident cases and other torts, or civil wrongs, such as slips and falls and defective products.
To prove negligence, a plaintiff (the injured party bringing the claim) must establish four main elements:
- The defendant (the accused party) owed the plaintiff a duty of care. All drivers assume a duty of care to other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and others on the roadway when they get behind the wheel. If an auto accident stems from a defective product, such as bad brakes, the manufacturer owed a duty of care to its consumers. An accident due to a roadway defect, such as a broken stoplight, comes under the duty of care of the party in charge of roadway maintenance.
- The defendant breached his or her duty of care. The defendant’s breach of care is the crux of personal injury law. It is the plaintiff’s burden of proof to convince the judge or jury of the defendant’s breach of duty, such as texting and driving or driving under the influence. The right personal injury lawyer is critical in this step, as it is your lawyer who can gather evidence and eyewitness testimonies, and use a variety of means to recreate your accident and prove its cause(s). If a car accident takes the form of a defective product case, the plaintiff does not bear the burden of proving this element.
- The defendant’s breach of duty caused the accident. It is not enough to show that the defendant was negligent, careless, or reckless in some way – his or her act of negligence must have been the main cause of the car accident. For example, if Driver A fell asleep behind the wheel just as a defective stoplight made Driver B run a red light and collide with Driver A, the defective light would be the main cause of the accident, not the drowsy driver. Despite Driver A’s negligence, he or she would most likely not be liable for Driver B’s injuries.
- The accident caused compensable damages. If a plaintiff did not suffer any damages, there is no reason to file a personal injury claim. Damages may include physical injury, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, medical bills, lost wages, the lost capacity to work, lost quality of life, and/or property damage.
A skilled personal injury attorney will strive to maximize recovery with powerful storytelling to show the judge or jury the extent of the plaintiff’s damages. At Eric Ratinoff Law Corp, we use multiple forms of advanced storytelling aided by top technologies to paint an accurate and compelling portrayal of your accident and injuries. We know what it takes to prove a car accident case, to gather and protect important evidence, conduct eyewitness interviews, hire experts, and more on your behalf.
Consult with a Santa Rosa Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love suffered a personal injury, call us today at (707) 306-0752 or toll free at (866) 527-4278, or fill out the form on this page for a free and confidential case evaluation. We are happy to come to you to discuss your situation in person, or you can visit us at our Santa Rosa office at 100 B Street Ste. 240, Santa Rosa. There is never a fee unless we win money for you, and we advance all costs associated with your claim. Contact us today for a no-risk consultation.