What inspired me to practice personal injury law?
I was 9 and imagining the win. My mother was driving me to my basketball game. My older sister came along to support me. While on the road, I thought about practice and replayed our team's game-plan in my mind. Suddenly, I heard a brief scream followed by a chaotic and unnerving ritual of ear-piercing crunching metal, shattering glass, and screeching tires. I found myself being thrown forward with incredible force. My arms, legs, neck, and head flung forward. My fingers were crushed against the front passenger seat. My seatbelt was the only thing holding me back, but it was cutting into my chest with intense pressure. I had no control over my body. My heart was pounding as I heard the sound of metal crumpling and glass shattering around me. I felt helpless, like I was at the mercy of some unseen force. The fear and confusion were overwhelming, and I couldn't believe what was happening. The car was spinning out of control.
When the chaos finally came to an end, I could smell burning tires, electrical components, and car fluids. Smoke filled the cabin. The blaring sound of the car's busted horn was deafening.
My mom, barely conscious, desperately asked if my sister and I were ok. I couldn't breathe. I was coughing and gasping for air. The impact was so forceful that I had the wind knocked out of me when thrown forward into the seatbelt. I had cuts, burns, and bruises running from my neck down to my hip and across my stomach. My fingers swelled up from being crushed against the front seat.
I could hear my sister. She was in pain. The airbag burned her face and broke her nose. My mom's face was also burned and she suffered major nose, neck and knee injuries. Her knees swelled up to the size of large grapefruits, which later required surgery. Her toe was broken. Her face was red from the airbag.
Then the realization of what had just happened hit me, and I felt a surge of emotion. We got out of what was left of my mom's car. The scene looked unreal. My mom's car nearly flew off a 200 foot drop off on the other side of the street after being struck by another vehicle blindly reversing out of a driveway into the road we were traveling. We were alive, but I was unsure about my health. I was able to breathe again, but each breath sent agonizing pain throughout my chest and stomach. I had to lie down on the ground on the side of the road gripping my stomach in unbearable pain. My wrist, hand, and fingers were in pain from the impact against the front seat.
My mom will never recover back to her pre-injury state. While my physical injuries healed, the memory of that traumatic event left a lasting impression. I learned a lot from my personal injury experience and through that came my desire to help others who suffered injuries at the hand of wrongdoing. My personal experience enables me to connect and understand my clients' injuries on a greater level and to passionately advocate for their recovery.
What's important to me?
I am passionate about helping people and community-building through environmental stewardship. When people think about personal injury, they commonly think about someone being injured because of someone else's wrongdoing such as the case of a car accident caused by someone violating the vehicle code. My personal injury practice involves these common personal injury matters. However, there is a much larger culprit of personal injury and death. Over 150,000 people die each year due to extreme weather events, water shortage, climate change, and environmental factors. It is estimated that over 2,000 more deaths could occur each year in the United States as a result of climate change. Researchers have found a correlation between extreme and abnormal weather events and increased violent crimes, falls, car accidents, drowning, suicide, and assault. Millions of people have lost their homes and have been forcibly displaced by weather-related events. I have personally experienced the destruction of California wildfires, which have become more destructive due to extreme weather. Just as I care about personal injuries suffered by people within my community, I also care about the environment around those people. Our health and wellbeing depend on our environment. I am involved in my community through restoration projects after devastating wildfires and engaged in education to promote conservation and environmental stewardship. California is an amazing state and I want the communities and people that come after us to have the same amazing experience that I enjoy today.
Who have I helped?
My passion lies in helping individuals recover from their physical and emotional pain and trauma. I am driven by the desire to see my clients not only regain their health, but also receive the compensation they rightfully deserve for their suffering. Whether it's representing victims of car accidents or handling premises liability cases such as slip-and-falls, trip-and-falls, dangerous conditions on the property, dog attacks, food poisoning or defective products, I take pride in being a voice for those who have been wronged and in need of justice. With each case I take on, my goal is to fight tirelessly on behalf of my clients and help them secure a brighter future.
For personal injury cases, the majority of people I've helped were injured in car accidents. However, I have also handled cases involving a wide range of premises liability matters like slip-and-falls, trip-and-falls, and dangerous conditions on premises, and helped people injured by dog attacks, food poisoning, and defective products.
What motivates me?
I am motivated by the challenges of each case and the opportunity to overcome them. Personal injury cases present significant challenges due to a variety of factors, including:
- Liability determination: Determining who is at fault for the injury can be challenging, especially in cases involving multiple parties or complex circumstances.
- Evidence gathering: Gathering and presenting strong evidence to support the injury claim can be difficult, as it requires a thorough investigation of the accident or incident.
- Medical evidence: Establishing the extent of the injury and its impact on the victim's life can be complex, as it often involves evaluating medical records and obtaining expert medical testimony.
- Insurance company tactics: Insurance companies may try to dispute the claim, delay payment, or offer a settlement that is lower than what the victim deserves.
- Statute of limitations: The timeframe within which a personal injury claim must be filed can vary by state and is often limited, so it's crucial to act quickly to ensure that the claim is filed within the necessary timeframe.
- Negotiating a settlement: Personal injury cases often require negotiations with insurance companies or the liable party to reach a fair settlement. These negotiations can be complex and time-consuming.
The joy felt by my clients after solving these challenges is most rewarding and continuously fuels my determined advocacy at each stage to uncover information that can be used to help their case, address weaknesses, and develop strategies to successfully resolves their case.
Pain and suffering are considered subjective because they are an individualized experience that cannot be objectively measured or quantified. Factors such as the victim's emotional state, previous experiences, and personal perception can all impact the level of pain and suffering they experience.
Having had similar experiences to those of my clients, I can understand the emotional and physical toll that an injury can take. My empathy and understanding help advocate better for my clients. Applying my own personal experience in a violent car wreck to understand my clients and their pains makes me an effective advocate to tell their story and get them the recovery they deserve. This connection I feel to my clients' cases motivates me resolve their challenges and get them the recovery they deserve.
What's it like to work with me?
Legal fortitude is a sense of strength and resilience in the face of a difficult legal challenge. Working with me and my firm will feel like getting a strong dose of legal fortitude.
When you are overwhelmed by a personal injury, it can be a confusing and stressful time. When you hire my firm, you can expect a sense of security and, reassurance knowing that you have someone on your side who is fighting for you.
Our firm has your best interests at heart, and you can feel confident that your case is being handled with the utmost care and attention. We listen to your concerns, explain your options, and guide you through the legal process with compassion and empathy. We use our knowledge and expertise to build a strong case for you and advocate on your behalf so you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery. Our clients feel a sense of peace of mind and feel empowered and supported throughout the legal process.
What have I accomplished?
Before practicing as an attorney, I was certified by the State Bar of California as a certified law student while in law school where I served several civil litigation attorneys with my primary focus on personal injury law. My work resulted in numerous settlements for parties involved in personal injury matters. One of the first cases I worked as a Certified Law Student was a head-on auto collision, which resulted in severe injuries to the parties involved. My work uncovering supplemental insurance contributed to a $1.25 million settlement for our client.
The Witkin Award for Academic Excellence, honoring the legacy of California's foremost legal scholar, B.E. Witkin, is a privilege reserved for California's accredited law schools that have joined the program. To participate, schools must not only be accredited by the State Bar of California or the ABA, but must also have a designated award administrator. At the conclusion of each semester or term, the award administrator submits the names of students who achieved the highest grade in eligible courses, including civil procedure, ethics, family law, bankruptcy, and remedies. In the event of a tie for the top grade, the award administrator will assess attendance, class performance, and overall GPA to determine the sole winner. Moreover, students who earn the highest grade in multiple eligible courses may receive more than one Witkin Award.
I received Reuters Witkin Awards for Torts, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law I, Constitutional Law II, Criminal Procedure, Real Property II, and Entertainment Law. I received my Bachelors of Arts from California State University, Northridge in Journalism, Communications and Related Studies. I received my Juris Doctor from University of West Los Angeles, School of Law. I graduated with magna cum laude honors, which means "with great praise" and is only awarded to those within the top 10% of their class. I was also on University of West Los Angeles's Deans' List from 2012 to 2015.
The AVVO Clients' Choice Award is a distinction reserved for attorneys who have received a minimum of five 4 or 5-star reviews on Avvo within a one-year period. This award recognizes lawyers who have consistently received high praise from their clients, indicating a commitment to providing exceptional legal services. I received the Clients' Choice Award for 2018 and maintain a full 5-star rating on AVVO.
The AOATL "Top 100" comprises of highly experienced lawyers who have been recognized as leading practitioners in their specific field of law and geographic region. These individuals have earned a reputation for exceptional skill and knowledge, and have been distinguished as among the best in the industry. I have received AOATLA “Top 100” awards for 2018 and 2020 in the area of personal injury law. Click Here.
America's Best Advocates is a neutral and exclusive third-party rating organization with the objective of making it effortless for individuals to discover the finest attorneys and law firms. Their Top Attorney Lists serve as a one-stop destination for prospective clients seeking Top-Rated Attorneys and Firms. Only those who receive an invitation are eligible to be rated by this firm, ensuring impartiality in their evaluation process. I was selected and listed as “Top 10” for personal injury in 2021. Click Here.