Erika Contreras is a partner at Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP and focuses her practice on catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, and motor carrier liability cases. Licensed in California and Nevada, Ms. Contreras has obtained millions of dollars in awards for her clients, including many seven-figure and eight-figure verdicts and settlements.
Some of Ms. Contreras results include:
- Casillas v. Landstar Ranger, Inc: Ms. Contreras was part of the trial team that obtained a $34,555,220 jury verdict for a 19-year-old man who suffered a below-the-knee amputation after he was hit by the trailer of a semi-truck while he was standing on a sidewalk. The truck driver drove a 55-foot-long trailer over the sidewalk, striking Casillas’ bicycle and knocking him to the ground. The rear wheels of the trailer ran over his left leg, causing him severe injuries which resulted in a lower leg amputation.
- Sepulveda v. Yucaipa- Mesa Joint Unified School District: Ms. Contreras worked alongside firm partner, Robert Glassman, and obtained a $15,750,000 settlement for the wrongful death of a 13 year old girl who died as the result of a mismanaged asthma attack at school. More importantly, Ms. Contreras and Mr. Glassman were able to obtain five non-monetary terms which included more training for employees to help prevent this type of tragedy from ever happening again.
- Newland v. County of Los Angeles: Ms. Contreras was part of the trial team awarded a $13,935,550 jury verdict to a man who was seriously injured when he was struck by a car while walking on a sidewalk in Norwalk, California.
- Preza v. City of Hawthorne: Ms. Contreras worked alongside Brian Panish and Rahul Ravipudi to obtain a $13,000,000 settlement in mediation for the children and parents of a woman who was killed when her car was hit by a Hawthorne, California police officer.
- Doe Minor v. Roe Property Owner: Ms. Contreras represented a three year old who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury when the child fell from the third floor down to the second floor of the apartment complex due to inadequate stairwell railings. Shortly before the preference trial date, Ms. Contreras obtained a $10,000,000 settlement for the minor.
- Gomez-Gonzales v. Joe Heger Farms: Ms. Contreras was part of the trial team awarded $5.1 million jury verdict to a woman who suffered serious orthopedic injuries after the vehicle she was driving collided with a commercial truck that had illegally crossed into her lane.
Ms, Contreras serves on the Latina Lawyers Bar Association Board of Directors and is recognized among Los Angeles Magazine‘s Top Women Attorneys in Southern California. She has also been named to the list of Southern California Super Lawyers since 2020 and named among the Best Lawyers in America since 2020.
In 2022, Ms. Contreras received the Trailblazer Award from the Latina Lawyers Bar Association and was honored among other Latina Trailblazers including the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, the Hon. Patricia Guerrero.
In 2023, Ms. Contreras was the recipient of the California Lawyer’s Attorney of the Year Award (“CLAY”) by the Daily Journal for her work on Sepulveda v. Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District. The CLAY Awards is awarded annually to a select group of attorneys throughout the state “for achievements with a significant impact on public policy, the law, the profession, or a particular practice area.”
Born and raised in Los Angeles to Mexican immigrants, Ms. Contreras uses her background to connect with her Spanish speaking clients and help them navigate the legal system with trust and confidence. She and her husband have four children and reside in Cerritos, California.