Long Beach Personal Injury Lawyer

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Long Beach Personal Injury Attorney

Accidents are a fact of life, but when an injury results from someone’s negligence or misconduct, the victim of that injury can file what is known as a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury laws allow you to pursue a legal claim against the person responsible for causing harm. While these types of cases may sound straightforward, tort law is complex, and your Long Beach personal injury lawyer will have to meet strict legal standards to file a complaint and see the process through to settlement or jury trial.

If you were recently injured due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Beyond paying for your medical expenses, the defendant may be court-ordered to pay punitive damages for your pain and suffering.

Best Long Beach Personal Injury Lawyer

Long Beach Personal Injury Statistics

Traffic, pedestrian, and bicyclist injuries and deaths were abnormally high in 2022. A total of 45 individuals in those categories were killed as a result of a traffic incident that year. Pedestrians accounted for 60% of traffic deaths. Motor vehicle speed was a contributing factor in many cases, the reporting found.

In December 2023, 205 Long Beach residents were injured due to physical assault. Victims of criminal assault often have the option of suing their attacker through a personal injury claim. In Los Angeles County, falls remain the single leading cause of injury among seniors. In fact, falls account for three times the number of hospitalizations as car accidents.

Average Personal Injury Settlement Amounts in Long Beach

The average personal injury settlement in Long Beach largely depends on the type of civil litigation you file. While a slip and fall injury could theoretically result in a large settlement, many are settled in the $10,000 to $100,000 range. One consideration when calculating a settlement for a fall injury is the amount of medical expenses incurred. If the fall leads to missed work or a traumatic brain injury, the settlement amounts could be considerably higher.

Medical malpractice cases can lead to settlements in the hundreds of thousands or potentially millions of dollars. Medical procedures and surgeries carry the potential for serious injury or death. Doctors and nurses typically carry liability insurance policies, meaning they are unlikely to file for bankruptcy in the event of an unfavorable personal injury complaint.

Any collision involving a commercial vehicle can be catastrophic. Negligent driving on the part of a tractor-trailer driver, for example, could lead to serious bodily injury or the death of crash victims. Given the scale of damage that can be caused by a large commercial vehicle, victims of commercial vehicle accidents can demand monetary damages in the millions of dollars, depending on the extent of the plaintiff’s injury.

Traumatic brain injury, also known as TBI, can cause long-lasting physical impairments and even death. The brain is a complex and sensitive organ. Any trauma or blunt force can lead to internal bleeding, bruising, and brain cell damage. Symptoms of these types of injuries may not manifest for days or weeks, and secondary symptoms can add further complications and health problems.

Due to the high cost of treating a TBI and the potential for paralysis and long-term disability, a lawsuit seeking monetary compensation for a TBI can settle in the millions of dollars. Having the right legal representation for any of these types of cases can improve the plaintiff’s chances of a successful outcome.

What Are the Typical Steps Involved in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Each case is unique, but there are standard steps that must be completed as part of a personal injury lawsuit. The first step is to ensure that the plaintiff has the right to sue. Despite what we’re often shown in pop culture, you can’t sue just anyone for any reason. There are laws in place that determine whether an individual has legal grounds to bring a lawsuit.

Determine Jurisdiction

Once your attorney has determined that you have standing to file a lawsuit, the next step is to determine where to file the lawsuit. This is often at the county courthouse where the defendant lives and works. Failing to find the right location to file could lead to the case being dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The terms “venue” and county are sometimes used interchangeably. If you are unsure where the defendant works and lives, your attorney can research that information.

Draft a Demand Letter

Before a lawsuit is filed, your attorney may send a demand letter. This legal document outlines the injury and details of the case, along with a demand for compensation. At this early stage, the defendant may pay the amount demanded, ignore the letter, or open a dialogue that can lead to negotiations. If the amount demanded in the letter is not given, your attorney can begin drafting an official complaint.

File the Complaint

A complaint letter is a legal document that contains documentation of the injuries. These documents also describe the circumstances that led to the accident. Your attorney will use this evidence to make compelling arguments about why the defendant is liable and should compensate you for your injuries.

Filing the claim is an important legal step that sets the stage for either a settlement offer or trial. Once filed, the defendant must respond within a set period of time. If the defendant fails to do so, it could lead to a default judgment against the defendant.

Meeting filing deadlines must be followed by both parties. Once the case is filed, both parties will begin examining the evidence. This is also known as the pre-trial discovery phase. An active lawsuit allows either side to subpoena information. Depositions are recorded testimony that can provide factual evidence for trial. When the evidence favors your case, the other side may be more willing to consider negotiating a settlement.

Negotiate a Settlement

A settlement can benefit both sides to some extent. For plaintiffs, a settlement means that the case is resolved, and the injured party can focus on recovery and moving on. A negotiated settlement is usually below what the plaintiff ideally wants but more than what the defendant wants to pay. There is an element of compromise in most settlement agreements.

Go to Trial

When both parties cannot agree on a settlement, the case will go to trial. This can extend the timeline for your case by months, if not longer. Courtrooms have limited time for trials, and both parties must agree on a set date once it becomes available.

During the trial, both parties present evidence and make legal arguments. This can take days or weeks, depending on how complicated the case is. Oral testimony is often a key source of evidence during a trial. At the conclusion of the trial, a judge or jury decides the outcome.

For civil cases, the plaintiff must show that a preponderance of evidence shows that the defendant is responsible for injuring the plaintiff. If the plaintiff wins, then the judge or jury decides how much compensation should be awarded.

How Long Do I Have to File for Medical Malpractice in California?

For most cases, the deadline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is generally three years. It is recommended that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Long Beach, California, to ensure that you do not miss this important statute of limitations. If you suffered an injury due to the negligence or misconduct of a nurse or doctor, you may be entitled to compensation.

Medical malpractice lawsuits can result in high settlements or jury awards because the injuries that can result from a mishandled surgery or procedure can be significant. Malpractice can result from an act or omission.

Common examples of grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit include:

  • Surgical errors
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Diagnosis errors
  • Failure to recognize symptoms
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Childbirth errors

In California, your attorney will need to prove four points:

  • That the doctor or nurse had a duty of care
  • They did not fulfill that duty
  • As a result, you were harmed (financially, emotionally, physically)
  • You are entitled to monetary damages

Successfully litigating a medical malpractice case requires experience handling similar cases. Your lawyer will gather patient records and testimony when building your case. Medical errors are not uncommon, so the standards for succeeding in a medical malpractice lawsuit require proving that the injuries incurred by the plaintiff were far beyond what would be reasonably acceptable for a patient seeking medical care.

The amount of your claim will be based in part on the extent of your physical injury, medical bills, lost wages, and any punitive damages to compensate you for pain and suffering.

What Might the Defendant Try to Argue?

As the plaintiff, you and your attorney must prove four points: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. The defendant can argue that you have not met the legal burden of proving these four elements exist in your case. Undermining even one of these areas can be enough to weaken your case. Having a strong attorney in your corner can help you defeat these counterarguments. Here are some of the more common ways a defendant may try to undermine your case.

Your Injury Wasn’t Caused by the Defendant

The timing of your injury in relation to the negligent act on the part of the defendant is critical. The timeline of events must show that the defendant’s actions caused bodily harm to you or a loved one. The defense may argue that your injury was inflicted before or after the incident in question. For example, opposing counsel may try to argue that your back injury was pre-existing and not caused by a car collision.

Simply raising doubt about the timing of your physical injury can be enough to weaken your case, which is why having an attorney who is willing to thoroughly investigate your case is critical. Having a pre-existing condition does not mean that the plaintiff is never eligible for monetary damages. It is just one of many factors that must be considered.

No Injury Occurred

A successful personal injury lawsuit must show that the plaintiff experienced physical injury as the result of actions caused by the defendant. Both parties are able to submit opinion reports from medical experts. These reports may not always agree. Before filing suit, your personal injury attorney in Long Beach will carefully review your medical records to ensure that you have a strong case before filing suit in California.

Even when an injury is not in dispute, the defense may argue that the injury is not extensive enough to warrant monetary damages. In an attempt to minimize your pain and suffering, the defendant’s lawyer may try to argue that your recovery was speedy and a possible sign that your injury was not significant.

Defendants often have a lot at stake during a lawsuit, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that they may try to argue several points to delegitimize your pain and suffering. They may even try to say that you caused the accident. This is where having experienced legal counsel matters.

The lawyers at Duque & Price will carefully prepare and investigate your case to lower the risk that opposing counsel will bring forward counterarguments that have merit.

Our attorneys will thoroughly cover every venue the opposition may take when litigating your case by:

  • Conducting a thorough investigation of your case
  • Carefully collecting all medical records and statements related to your injury
  • Retaining testimony from professionals in the medical field who can describe your injuries and how they may affect your future
  • Evaluating the extent of your injury to calculate present and future lost income

Each of these steps is critical to proving the claims of your case. A strong case based on evidence is one of the ways to rebut allegations that your injuries are not significant and the result of negligence on the part of the defendant.

How to Find an Experience Personal Injury Attorney

Filing a personal injury lawsuit in California requires working with an attorney who has passed the bar examination and is qualified to practice law in the Golden State. The field of law is vast, so you’ll want to hire legal counsel who understands California’s personal injury laws and statutes.

While some attorneys practice many areas of law, they may not have experience representing clients who have suffered injury from medical malpractice or a vehicle collision with a commercial vehicle.

One good place to start is through referrals. Ask a friend, family member, or co-worker who successfully won their lawsuit. Questions you might ask this person include:

  • Did the law firm respond promptly to the questions you had?
  • Did the lawyer listen intentionally to your personal concerns and goals?
  • Did the lawyer keep the largest settlement possible, given the circumstances of the case?
  • Was the attorney prepared to go to trial?

Once you find suitable candidates, review their past clients’ reviews. A quality law firm will publish reviews on its website. During your consultation, pay attention to how closely the lawyer is listening to the particulars of your case. Are they taking notes, or do they seem distracted? Litigating a personal injury case requires careful attention to detail. Your attorney should be able to articulate the merits and potential challenges of your case.


Q: How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge in California?

A: Personal injury lawyers charge an average of $250 to $500 per hour, depending on where they practice, what they practice, and how long they have been in the law profession. Typically, lawyers who have had more professional success charge a greater hourly rate. This rate is applied to any time spent working on a client’s case. Working with an experienced attorney is often worth the extra upfront cost.

Q: What Is Considered Personal Injury in California?

A: Personal injury is defined as physical harm or damage done to someone’s body. This is different from damage to property. Personal injury cases are civil in nature, meaning the judge or jury cannot send the guilty party to jail. Unlike criminal cases where jail or prison time are possible punishments, only monetary fines can be levied in civil court.

Q: How Long Do Most Personal Injury Cases Take to Settle?

A: Most civil lawsuits take several months or longer to resolve. Rushing a case could lead to missed opportunities to maximize monetary damages in your favor. Important evidence may have been under-examined or undiscovered during the first weeks of discovery. Another factor determining your timeline is whether the case is settled or requires a jury trial. Trials generally add months or several months to any case’s timeline.

Q: Are Back Injuries Hard to Prove?

A: Back injuries can be one of the harder physical injuries to prove. In cases where a victim suffered broken bones and torn ligaments, X-rays and other forms of imaging can provide clear and compelling evidence of injury. If the pain results from an injury that is not easily detectable, your lawyer may rely on an expert witness to provide an account of how the incident could have caused injury and pain. Your attorney may also have to prove that your pain is not from a pre-existing condition.

File Your Long Beach Personal Injury Claim Today

When reckless acts lead to serious injury, the courts can award compensation to the injured party. The legal counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney can greatly improve the chances that your case is resolved favorably. Our law firm has helped many clients in California successfully reclaim lost quality of life through strategic litigation. Don’t risk your future on an inexperienced law firm. Contact Duque & Price today to schedule your consultation.

Practice Areas


Brain Injuries

Brain Injuries


Burn Injury

Burn Injury


Bus Accidents

Bus Accidents


Car Accidents

Car Accidents


Construction Accidents

Construction Accidents


Dog Bites

Dog Bites


Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Accidents


Premises Liability

Premises Liability


Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death


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