Personal Injury Defense Attorney in California

I have 18 years experience as a personal injury lawyer. My experience includes working as an insurance personal injury defense attorney for a large law firm defending insurance claims for Zurich, Allianz, Cigna, AXA, Progressive Insurance, Liberty Mutual, etc., throughout California including Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose. My hourly rate is $450 per hour.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Have a quick question? I answered nearly 1500 FAQs.

What is your experience and fee in defending personal injury cases?

In personal injury cases, defendants are able to assert several legal defenses such as comparative contributory negligence, assumption of risk, pre-existing conditions and statute of limitations, in an effort to undermine the plaintiffs assertions. These defenses seek to either reduce or eliminate the liability of the defendant by challenging the plaintiff’s level of responsibility, the cause of the injury, or procedural technicalities such as the standing to sue.


As a personal injury lawyer in California for the last 18 years, I possess a significant repertoire of skills coupled with consistent client success stories. Throughout my career, the most notable part was insurance defense claims for large insurance companies such as Zurich, Liberty Mutual, Progressive Insurance, etc, which entailed successful litigation for high level cases regarding spinal injuries, brain injuries, and wrongful death. Through this process, I gained profound knowledge about the details of personal injury law, which allows me to provide my clients with strong arguments that may support their cases. The defining characteristics of my approach include a meticulous eye for detail, a vast knowledge of the medical aspects of personal injury, and a determination to ensure the best possible results for my clients. I am as dedicated to the profession as I am dedicated to rendering professional service of the highest quality, and it is why people involved in personal injury defense trusts and avails of my dependability.

Hour Rate

The standard of my hourly rate for the personal injury defense is pegged at $450 per hour. I require a $15,000 retainer.

What does a personal injury defense lawyer do?

A personal injury defense attorney is a type of lawyer who is usually hired to defend individuals or corporations, such as businesses, or insurance companies, who have been sued based upon allegations of causing personal injury to another person. Their role involves several key responsibilities:

  1. Case Analysis: They start with a detailed study of the case to grasp the facts, the amount of the alleged injury, and the law applied by the plaintiff, who was injured and initiated the filing of a lawsuit. A proficient personal injury defense lawyer meticulously scrutinizes the case details, ensuring a thorough understanding of the complexities involved in personal injury claims.
  2. Evidence Gathering: This will involve gathering all necessary documents, statements from witnesses, medical records, and any other piece of evidence that can help the case of the defense. The personal injury lawyer’s expertise in evidence gathering is pivotal, particularly in compiling medical records and witness statements that are crucial for the defense’s strategy.
  3. Legal Strategy Development: They formulate a legal tactic that consists of the plaintiff’s injury extent, the defendant’s liability, or both. This plan relies on the facts and the law. When developing a legal strategy, a personal injury defense attorney considers the intricate nuances of personal injury law, tailoring their approach to each unique case.
  4. Negotiations: In most cases, personal injury cases are settled outside the court system. The defense attorney will conference with the plaintiff’s attorney – or plaintiff, if unrepresented – in order to settle within the parameters acceptable to his client. The negotiation skills of a personal injury lawyer are often instrumental in reaching an out-of-court settlement, balancing the interests of the defense with the demands of the plaintiff.
  5. Litigation: If the case is taken to court, the client lawyer steps forward to defend his or her client. This includes giving introduction and conclusion statements, developing supporting material, questioning the witnesses, and making legal objections and arguments. In litigation, the role of a personal injury defense lawyer extends beyond the courtroom, encompassing the preparation of compelling material and strategic questioning of witnesses.
  6. Advising the Client: In the course of the work, they notify their client of the case’s development and counsel their client on legal entitlements and obligations, foreseeable hazards, and possible outcomes. The personal injury lawyer’s responsibility includes keeping the client well-informed about the legal proceedings, offering insights into the implications of various legal decisions.
  7. Compliance and Ethical Considerations: They ensure that the defense is done in a respectful and upright manner as per the applicable laws and court procedures. Ethical and compliant conduct is a hallmark of an experienced personal injury defense attorney, ensuring that all legal actions adhere to professional standards.

A personal defense attorney floor objectives to reduce his liability and financial openness emanating from a personal injury claim. However, they use their legal acumen along with negotiating abilities for solving the case without the help of the court procedures or protecting their client’s interests in a proper court setting.

How does a personal injury defense attorney defend a client from a injury lawsuit?

A personal injury defense attorney incorporates various tactics and approaches when handling their respective client in a personal injury lawsuit. The method that the defense undertakes is dependent on factors of the case, such as the type of injury, the circumstances in which it occurred, and the law that applies to the situation. Here are key strategies and steps involved in defending against a personal injury lawsuit:

  1. Investigating the Incident: The lawyer will first carry out a detailed investigation of the occurrence. This involves collecting all the pertinent information, looking at the accident reports, carrying out the witnesses’ interview, and compiling evidence which could be pictures or video clips from the scene.
  2. Reviewing Medical Records: They will go through the plaintiff’s medical records in order to ascertain the nature and the severity of the claimed injury. This may include seeking advice from medical professionals to determine the nature of injuries, if they correspond to those alleged, or arise from the occurrence. Personal injury lawyers employ a diverse range of defense tactics, each tailored to the specific circumstances and legal nuances of the case they represent.
  3. Determining Liability: The counsel will first determine whether their client is legally liable for the injury. This means evaluating the facts surrounding the accident and using the relevant points of law to find out whether their client violated the duty of care.
  4. Challenging Plaintiff’s Claims: The lawyer may dispute plaintiff’s facts, the nature of the injuries, or the relationship between the occurrence and the injuries. They could claim that the plaintiff was already suffering from a certain condition prior to the accident or that some other factors led to his or her injuries.
  5. Negotiating Settlements: In that case, most of the times, the defense counsel will attempt to enter into a compromise with the plaintiff’s counsel in order to evade the burden and hazards of a trial. They will then determine an appropriate amount of the settlement depending on the merits of the plaintiff’s case and the possible damages.
  6. Litigation: In the event the matter is before a court, the defense counsel will appear on behalf of his client in every legal process. This entails filing appropriate legal pleadings, discovery (deposing the plaintiff’s attorney and other witnesses), cross-examinations of witnesses, and introduction of evidence to contest the validity of the claims.
  7. Developing Legal Defenses: In some cases, the attorney may decide to apply particular legal defenses including contributory negligence, assumption of risk, or statute of limitations.
  8. Advising the Client: During the process, the attorney provides guidance to their client on legal planning, vulnerabilities, and anticipated results of the claim. The final aim of a personal injury defense attorney is to limit the client’s liability, either by coming clean on court decisions or through an out-of-court settlement to avoid the risk of a trial.
  9. Compliance and Ethical Practice: The lawyer makes it possible to follow all tactics of defense based on legal and moral guidelines.

Since every personal injury case is unique, the defense will use a strategy that matches the specifics of the case at hand.

What are all the defenses to personal injury claims?

Defendants in personal injury cases can use different legal defenses to dispute the claims alleged against them. The viability of these defenses varies depending on the circumstances of each case, such as the type of tort, jurisdictional laws, and the facts surrounding the injury. Here are some common defenses used in personal injury claims:

  1. Comparative Negligence: This defense contends that the plaintiff contributed to or wholly caused his or her injury. In this theory, if the plaintiff is the beneficiary of compensation, then the amount may be reduced by the percentage attributed to the plaintiff.
  2. Contributory Negligence: Just as comparative negligence, this defense states that the plaintiff was somehow at fault for his or her injury. In various jurisdictions having contributory negligence rules applied stringently, the plaintiff is precluded from recovering any amount if he is found to be at least a little negligent.
  3. Assumption of Risk: When the plaintiff chose to get involved in an activity that has inherent risks of injury the user of this defense. In its defense, the plaintiff chose to participate, thereby assuming the risk of injury.
  4. Pre-Existing Conditions: The defense may argue that the injuries to the plaintiff were prior, that is, they were pre-existing conditions that the incident in question did not cause. It is a medical evidence defense focused at the injury caused to assert that the defendant was not at fault.
  5. Statute of Limitations: People filing for personal injury claims are also required to file their claim within the specified time required in legal practice, also known as a statute of limitations. If the plaintiff files the lawsuit outside this period, the accused can use this to seek the dismissal of the lawsuit.
  6. Release of Liability Waiver: If the plaintiff signed a waiver, clearing the defendant of any liability in the event of injuries occurring, the defense can argue that the plaintiff lost his or her rights to sue.
  7. Intervening or Superseding Cause: This defense states that another incident that was not anticipated came in between and was the direct cause of the harm to the plaintiff, not the defendant’s action.
  8. Lack of Causation: A defendant may claim that there was no direct connection between what he or she is being accused of and the harm that the plaintiff suffered. This defense attacks the immediacy of the injury, whereby the injury did not occur immediately after the incident in question.
  9. Necessity or Duress: Rarely, a defendant may plead that their conduct was justified by the circumstances or had been done under duress.
  10. Self-Defense or Defense of Others: If the injury was caused as a result of self-defense or defense of others, then this can also be a defense that can hold weight in cases where physical altercations were involved.
  11. Governmental Immunity: Sovereign immunity laws limit government agencies and employees from being liable to personal injury lawsuits under some circumstances.
  12. No Breach of Duty: Claiming that they did not breach a standard of care owed to the plaintiff. This is frequently used in cases of slip and fall, as the defendant argues they maintained their property responsibly.

Every one of these defenses is overlaid with its peculiarities and requirements, and their victory is built upon this evidence and associated legal arguments. In practice, defenses are frequently combined so as to limit or escape the responsibility of a defendant.

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