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Aitken Aitken Cohn is one of California’s most respected law firms known for its client-centered focus and its landmark results.

Aitken Aitken Cohn is one of California's most respected law firms known for its client-centered focus and its landmark results.


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Our San Clemente personal injury attorneys have been recognized by Best Lawyers of America for 32 consecutive years. Best Lawyers… read more

Our San Clemente personal injury attorneys have been recognized by Best Lawyers of America for 32 consecutive years. Best Lawyers is the only purely peer review™ guide to the legal profession.


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super lawyers including
top 10 in America

Our personal injury lawyers in San Clemente have been selected as Super Lawyers since the Southern California list was first… read more

Our personal injury lawyers in San Clemente have been selected as Super Lawyers since the Southern California list was first published in 2004. Super Lawyers provides lawyer ratings of selected lawyers and helps you find the rated attorneys in your location focused on all legal issues


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Aitken * Aitken * Cohn was founded in 1872 and has earned a national reputation for the quality of our… read more

Aitken * Aitken * Cohn was founded in 1872 and has earned a national reputation for the quality of our San Clemente personal injury lawyers’ trial skills.

San Clemente Personal Injury Attorneys

Serving San Clemente Communities and All of Southern California

Have you been injured in an accident in San Clemente due to the negligence or recklessness of another driver? If so, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney will help you understand your options and maximize your chances of recovery. Read on for more information.

What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim is a civil lawsuit filed against another person, a business, an organization, a governmental entity, or an insurance carrier. A personal injury claim is based upon someone else’s negligence or recklessness that caused the plaintiff’s injury. The claim compensation is provided by law for damages related to the injury. Some of the most common damages involved in a personal injury lawsuit include:

  • Medical bills and the cost of future medical treatments
  • Property damage, such as repair to a claimant’s car following an automobile accident
  • Lost wages for work missed due to the injuries suffered
  • Loss of future earning potential, if the claimant is no longer able to work or no longer able to work at the job that he or she held before the accident
  • Pain and suffering, including both physical and mental suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Inconvenience caused by the injury

California Laws: Enabling Compensation for Personal Injury

Each state has its own laws regarding personal injury matters. Below we highlight some of the important provisions of California laws that cover this type of civil claim:

  • California law follows the doctrine of joint and several liability, in which multiple individuals or entities may be liable for a plaintiff’s injuries and each defendant is responsible for the entire amount of the plaintiff’s economic damages.
  • In auto accident cases, if the claimant is uninsured, he or she is ineligible to receive an award for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, unless the at-fault party was operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

More CA Laws Governing Personal Injury

  • A personal injury case in California must prove that the defendant (at-fault party) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff (claimant); that there was a breach of that duty of care; and that this breach caused harm to the plaintiff. For example, proving liability in a car accident case requires that the plaintiff prove that the defendant had a duty of care to operate his or her vehicle in a safe manner, and that the defendant breached his or her duty of care by operating the vehicle in a negligent or reckless manner, and that this breach caused injury to the plaintiff, which resulted in damages.
  • In medical malpractice suits, there is a cap on non-economic damages of $250,000.
  • The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is generally two years following the date of the accident. However, there are some types of personal injury suits that fall under a different statute of limitations. Medical malpractice cases, for example, must generally be filed within a year, unless the claimant was a minor at the time of the injury. Claims filed against a governmental agency in California must be filed within six months from the date of the injury, and a number of additional procedural rules must be followed. This includes claims on behalf of minors.
  • California follows a pure comparative negligence rule, which means that if you are at least partially responsible for your accident, you may still recover damages, but any damages award will be reduced according to your percentage of fault. For example, if you were found to be 10 percent responsible for your accident, your compensation will be reduced by 10 percent.
  • Strict liability applies in dog bite cases. The owner of any dog is liable if the dog bites someone in a public place or while the claimant is lawfully in a private place. On-duty government police dogs are exempted from this general rule, so long as the bite occurs during the investigation of a crime or while the police are executing a warrant. A negligence case may also be filed against a dog owner in circumstances where the dog causes a non-bite injury.
  • In product liability cases, where the claimant suffered an injury due to a defective product, anyone in the production or distribution chain for that product may be liable, including a manufacturer of the product, a wholesaler, the entity who assembled or installed the product, or the store that sold it.

More About San Clemente Personal Injury

Personal Injury Statistics

Below we highlight some important statistics regarding personal injuries in the United States:

  • According to information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accidents and unintentional injuries accounted for 30.8 million emergency room department visits in 2015, and 92.2 million individuals sought treatment from their personal physicians for such injuries.
  • Unintentional injury is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Unintentional falls caused 34,673 deaths in 2016.
  • In 2016, there were 40,327 motor vehicle traffic accident deaths in the U.S.
  • According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, in San Clemente, 387 victims were injured or killed in traffic accidents, with alcohol a contributing factor in 10 percent of the accidents.
  • On average, 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury each year. Males, young children, and older adults are those most likely to suffer a brain injury.
  • Falls and motor vehicle accidents are the leading causes of brain injuries.
  • Although males have a higher rate of nonfatal injuries than females, studies have shown that nonfatal injuries among females have been increasing since 2005.
  • As of 2016, unintentional injuries accounted for more than 5 percent of the deaths of infants in the United States.
  • Accidents are the leading cause of death for people 25 to 34 years old.

Types of Personal Injury Claims

While car accidents are a common cause of injuries and personal injury claims, there are many other ways a person can sustain an injury in an accident. Here is a look at some of the types of personal injury cases that may be filed:

  • Motor vehicle accident cases, including those that involve cars, trucks, boats, buses, trains, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicyclists
  • Product liability cases, with defective products that include motor vehicle parts, medical devices, food, pharmaceutical drugs, and more
  • Medical or professional malpractice cases, including those that involve birth injuries, anesthesia errors, medication errors, surgical errors, and misdiagnosis
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect cases
  • Premises liability cases, which involves injuries caused by an unsafe condition at a private residence, place of business, or public area. The most common premises liability case involves slip and fall or trip and fall injuries; however, others include playground, swimming, elevator, and theme park accidents.
  • Dog bite cases
  • Workplace injury cases
  • Wrongful death cases. These claims are filed against a person or entity whose negligence or reckless actions caused a person’s death. These cases are usually filed by or on behalf of the decedent’s family members.

We want to listen and offer solutions within our power to help.

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Our Primary Focus is You, the Client

Aitken * Aitken * Cohn is nationally recognized for its success in the courtroom – but we’re most proud of our client-focused approach. From the free initial consultation to the final court proceedings, our case strategies are entirely informed by your needs. Our personal injury lawyers in San Clemente strive to maintain regular, consistent communication to ensure that we are as transparent as possible regarding case status, investigations, or any other legal decisions we make along the way.

Additionally, we understand just how financially devastating a personal injury can be for you and your loved ones. That’s why we represent your interests on a contingency fee basis – you don’t pay any initial fees, and there are no upfront costs. If our injury lawyers don’t secure a favorable settlement or verdict on your behalf, your total legal costs are zero.

we're here to help.

Wylie Aitken

Founding Partner

He was recently inducted in the LawDragon 500’s “Hall of Fame,” is repeatedly designated a “Southern California Super Lawyer,” and is featured in the Best Lawyers in America and The… read more

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Richard Cohn


Known as a persistent, aggressive trial attorney who takes a “turn every stone” approach toward the legal matters he handles, he has received numerous awards and accolades for his results…. read more

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Darren Aitken


Darren has been recognized and awarded consistently throughout his career for his professional accomplishments and was named the Orange County Trial Lawyers “Top Gun–Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year” in… read more

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Chris Aitken


Chris graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and Political Science Major. He obtaines his Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Southern… read more

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Casey Johnson


Casey obtained his Juris Doctorate degree from USC Law School in 2002, graduating in the top quarter of his class. At USC Law School, he was a member of the… read more

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Michael Penn


After graduation, he returned to Tokyo and worked at Toyo Corporation. Mr. Penn obtained his Juris Doctorate degree from Chapman University School of Law in 2004, and was elected student… read more

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Atticus Wegman


Atticus has been recognized by his colleagues who awarded him the 2019 Orange County Trial Lawyer Association’s Young Gun Award. He has also been recognized as a Rising Star by… read more

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Megan Demshki


Megan received departmental honors in both Political Science and Peace Studies.  Megan served as Chapman University’s Student Body President from 2012-2013. As Chapman University Student Body President, Megan worked to… read more

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Ashleigh Aitken

Of Counsel

Ashleigh is a former federal prosecutor, practicing in the Los Angeles and Santa Ana Office of the United States Attorney in the Central District of California. While serving as an… read more

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we're here to help.

Wylie Aitken
Richard Cohn - Partner
Darren Aitken - Partner
Chris Aitken - Partner
Casey Johnson - Partner
Michael Penn - Associate
Atticus Wegman - Associate
Megan Demshki - Associate

Over a billion dollars won for our clients

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catastrophic injury


truck accident


product liability


wrongful death

any case.
any client.
any courtroom.

Our Track Record

With over 100 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn have had a tremendous amount of success in securing favorable awards and settlements for our clients. Some of our recent successes include:

  • A $4,200,000 settlement for the family of a man killed in a head-on collision between a passenger train and a freight train in 2008. The collision was the worst in U.S. commuter rail history, with 24 people dead due to the negligence of a train engineer who had been reading and sending up to 180 text messages a day while on the job. The court found that the engineer was texting when he went through a stop signal twenty-two seconds before the crash occurred. In addition to the $4.2 million settlement, our legal team also obtained a $975,000 settlement for the adult son of another rider who died in the crash.
  • A $3,200,000 settlement for the family of a man and his 12-year-old daughter, both of who were killed when an out-of-control tractor-trailer careened through an intersection and hit several vehicles, signs, and stores. The driver of the tractor-trailer knew that his brakes were overheating, but continued driving despite a warning that he was going to wind up in a high-traffic area with an improperly maintained vehicle.
  • A $2,100,000 settlement for a five-year-old child who lost sight in his eye when he opened an improperly locked maintenance gate that had improperly designed hinges that snapped back as though spring-loaded, causing a metal protrusion that was part of the lock to penetrate his eye. The child was forced to endure five months of intense medical treatment and more than ten surgeries.
  • Three full days of mediation over the course of several months led to a confidential settlement for the family of a 14-month-old girl who suffered a permanent, traumatic brain injury after hospital nursing staff failed to monitor a shunt that had been used to drain fluid from her brain and skull, which caused a build-up of intracranial fluid in her head.
  • A $2,675,000 settlement for the widow and young daughter of an off-duty California police officer who was struck and killed in an intersection by an inattentive driver.
  • A $2,575,000 settlement in a medical malpractice case that involved a fall in a hospital.
  • A $1,290,000 settlement and waiver of a worker’s compensation lien of over $110,000 for a glazier foreman who was injured when a 16-foot long 2×4 piece of wood, which served as a guardrail on the 20th floor of the building he was working on, broke free, fell, and struck him in the back of his helmeted head. The man was knocked unconscious for a brief time and also suffered a fractured spine in the accident.
  • A $1,000,000 settlement for a client who suffered a fractured skull, a traumatic brain injury, and a broken nose when, while working at a construction site, he was struck in the head by a large piece of debris that was thrown from an upper level of the apartment building.
  • A substantial verdict for a man who fell at a theme park and suffered symptoms that appeared to be the result of a spinal injury. He was taken to the hospital, where he underwent a CT. Medical professionals misread the CT as negative, and thus removed spinal precautions, such as a neck brace and backboard, which caused a shift of a spinal fracture and resulted in permanent spinal injury and paralysis.

How We Can Help

As one of California’s most respected personal injury law firms, Aitken * Aitken * Cohn is known for impeccable trial skills and aggressive representation of its clients. We have extensive experience litigating personal injury lawsuits. We keep the number of clients that we represent small to ensure that we are able to provide our full attention and focus to just a few cases at a time.

For the high-quality service that we provide our clients, Aitken * Aitken * Cohn has garnered recognition from several justice organizations and has received national awards, including:

  • Being named to Best Lawyers’ “Best Lawyers in America” listing
  • AV rating from Martindale Hubbell
  • Ranking on the U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers’ “Best Law Firms” list from 2009-2019
  • Lawdragon 500’s “Leading Lawyers in America” listing
  • Aitken * Aitken * Cohn founding partner Wylie Aitken was the youngest president in the history of the California State Trial Bar
  • A 10.0 superb rating from Avvo
  • Membership in the American Association for Justice, which advocates for a fair and efficient justice system that safeguards the rights of victims
  • Super Lawyers’ state ranking for outstanding lawyers
  • 2009-2018 honoree from Irish Legal 100, an annual list of the most distinguished professionals of Irish descent
  • Recognition from the Orange County Business Journal as one of the best places to work.
  • Recognition from Civic 50 Orange County as one of the most charitable companies in the county

Reach Out to Aitken * Aitken * Cohn Today for Legal Guidance

If you were injured in an accident or lost a loved one due to the negligence and recklessness of another person, contact us today. Call Aitken * Aitken * Cohn at (714) 434-1424, or contact us online, to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and case review.

client reviews

This firm is 100% reliable and trustworthy.

No question about it, this firm is 100 percent reliable and trustworthy. I felt very comfortable about continuing my case with this firm based on the first impression they gave me: professional.

Jose L.

Extremely competent and really cared about our family.

The law firm provided us complete guidance and direction in our legal matter, but at the same time, they didn’t make our decisions for us. It sure was nice to have confidence in knowing we were going to be taken care of.

Andrea and Larry W.

This firm has a great reputation, even amongst other lawyers.

I was referred to by a lawyer friend and had Richard Cohn as my attorney. He was personable and compassionate, and took his time explaining everything to me. His assistant was also very personable and easy to contact.

Corinth C.