With law offices located throughout the Bay Area, the Santa Rosa personal injury attorneys of Kuvara Law Firm work hard to ensure that our clients’ rights are protected. Our seasoned lawyers, with more than 45 years of experience, use their knowledge of California personal injury law to help our clients achieve the best possible outcome. If you have been hurt in an accident in Sonoma County, we are here for you.
Santa Rosa Office Location
131 Stony Circle
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Office Hours: Open 24 Hours
Phone: (707) 571-0405
When a person is injured because of something that someone else did – or failed to do – they may be entitled to compensation for their losses. A personal injury lawsuit may allow an accident victim to recover money for their medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and more.
Types of Cases We Handle
Our law firm has dedicated its practice to helping people who have been injured in all types of accidents. We represent clients who have been hurt in:
- Car accidents
- Dangerous and defective products (product liability)
- Medical malpractice
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and falls (premises liability)
- Dog bites
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bus crashes
- Dangerous and defective products (product liability)
- Truck collisions
- Train accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Boating accidents
Each of our cases starts with a free consultation, where we will listen to your story and offer you legal advice on how to proceed. If you decide to hire us, we will provide top-notch legal representation throughout the process.
An accident can result in a wide range of serious injuries. We have experience representing clients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI), broken bones, paralysis, neck injuries, soft tissue damage, spinal cord or back injuries, scarring, and internal organ damage. If an accident victim suffers a fatal injury, we will help their loved ones recover compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Filing a Claim for a Santa Rosa Personal Injury Matter
If you have been hurt in any type of accident, you may be able to file a legal claim against the at-fault party. In most situations, this claim is made with the wrongdoer’s insurer. Insurance companies cover a wide range of personal injury claims, including fall accidents, dog bites, auto accidents, and even dangerous and defective product cases.
Most personal injury cases are based on a theory of negligence, or the failure to use the care that a reasonable person would in a similar situation. In California, to prove that someone was negligent, you must demonstrate three elements:
- That the at-fault party (defendant) was negligent;
- That the victim (plaintiff) was harmed; and
- The defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm.
Some types of personal injury cases use a different standard. For example, for products liability cases (dangerous and defective products), California uses a strict liability standard. Strict liability is a legal concept that allows injury victims to recover for their losses without proving that the defendant was negligent, provided that they can demonstrate certain elements.
An accident victim may be entitled to recover damages for their direct financial losses (economic damages) as well as their intangible losses (non-economic damages). In some cases, they may also be able to seek punitive damages, which are meant to penalize a wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar conduct. Punitive damages are generally only available in cases where the defendant acted recklessly or intentionally.
Examples of damages that you may be able to recover include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Reduced earning capacity
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional trauma
Your Santa Rosa personal injury attorney will typically start the legal process by sending a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company. This letter will lay out the facts of the case, make a legal argument as to why their insured is liable, and then ask for compensation for your damages. The insurance company often counters with a settlement offer of their own, starting the negotiation process.
Most personal injury cases are settled before going to trial. If the insurer refuses to pay you fair compensation for your injuries, then your lawyer may recommend taking the case to court. With some exceptions, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within 2 years of the date of the accident or injury.
At trial, both parties will have an opportunity to make arguments, present evidence, and question witnesses. From there, the judge or jury will make a decision as to the defendant’s fault and the amount of damages that you should be paid.
Whether your case is settled early or goes to trial, a skilled personal injury attorney can help ensure that you get the highest level of compensation that you are entitled to under California law. Because most personal injury law firms handle claims on a contingency fee basis, you won’t have to pay anything upfront – and will only pay a fee if your lawyer recovers money for you.
I Was Hurt in an Accident. How Much Is My Case Worth?
As with most legal questions, the answer is “It depends.” Each personal injury case is unique, and the amount that you recover for your claim will vary based on the facts of your case. Factors that influence the value of your case include:
- How serious your injury is;
- The coverage limits of the at-fault party’s insurance policy;
- If you were partially at fault for the accident;
- Whether your injury will result in permanent disability;
- Your income;
- The amount of work that you missed due to your injury; and
- Whether your injury involved emotional trauma or pain and suffering.
Your Santa Rosa personal injury attorney should be able to give you a ballpark figure of the value of your case, using their experience and knowledge of similar cases. However, keep in mind that this figure is just an estimate – and that as the case proceeds, you may end up recovering more or less money.
A Government Employee Is Responsible for My Injuries. Can I Sue the Government?
In some situations, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against a government entity for your injuries. Generally, this is possible when the government employee was acting in the course of their employment and negligently caused an injury. For example, if a Santa Rosa city employee rear-ended your vehicle while driving a truck owned by the city to get to a job site, you may be able to file a suit against the city.
Importantly, there are special procedures to follow when filing a claim against a government entity. The time limit for filing this type of claim is also much shorter. For this reason, if you believe that your accident was caused by a government employee, you should contact a skilled Santa Rosa personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer for My Personal Injury Case?
After an accident, you may be approached by an adjuster for the at-fault party’s insurance company. The adjuster may tell you that they accept liability and that they want to get a check to you quickly. While it may be tempting to sign the paperwork and get paid, doing so can backfire.
In many cases, the full extent of your losses is not immediately known. You may think that your injuries are minor, only to find months later that you still have not fully recovered. If you accept the first settlement offer from the insurance company, you may end up having expenses related to the accident that are never compensated.
Even if your accident was relatively minor, it is often a good idea to consult with a personal injury lawyer. The attorney can review the facts of your case and any paperwork sent by the insurance company, and give you their opinion on how to proceed. If you decide to retain a law firm, they can work to help you get the maximum compensation that you are entitled to under California law.
What Percentage Do Personal Injury Lawyers Get?
Most personal injury law firms handle cases on a contingency fee basis. This type of arrangement means that you won’t be required to pay any money upfront. Instead, you will pay a percentage of your total recovery, which may range from 33% to 40%.
Each contingency fee agreement is different, so you should review the document carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand something. Typically, the agreement will state that you will pay a lower percentage of your recovery if the case settles, and a higher percentage if the case goes to trial. This is due to the fact that taking a case to trial can be time-consuming and expensive, so your Santa Rosa injury lawyer will be entitled to a larger fee.
We’re Here for Santa Rosa Accident Victims
Being hurt in any type of accident can be an incredibly traumatic experience. Injury victims may experience significant pain from their injuries and be confronted with mounting medical bills and other stresses. A personal injury claim can help relieve some of the financial burden on you so that you can focus on what is most important: your recovery.
At the Kuvara Law Firm, we understand how challenging the aftermath of an accident can be for our clients. We work hard to help our clients get the maximum recovery for their injuries, standing by their side throughout the legal process. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a Santa Rosa personal injury attorney, contact us today at 707-571-0405, or fill out our online contact form.
“I was in a car accident in April 2017 and got whiplash. I chose a very aggressive “alternative” route to my health care including chiropractic, acupuncture, bodywork, and therapy. Even though I had 50k in bodily injury coverage I was bullied by my insurance company that my treatment was excessive. The stress of dealing with the insurance companies was inhibiting my recovery and that is when I chose to go with Kuvara. Colby was my lawyer and was a pleasure to deal with. No longer having to deal with the insurance companies and proceed with my care, I was able to make a full recovery and all of my treatments were paid for. The settlement I received was fair and I am more than happy with it. I hope to never get in another car accident but if I do I am instantly contacting Colby.” – Robin M.