Santa Rosa Hate Crime Lawyer

Hate crimes are some of the most disgusting acts of violence to happen. No person should be attacked for being who they are. If you or a loved one recently were the victim of a hate crime, the Santa Rosa hate crime lawyer at the Law Office of Kasra Parsad may be able to help you recover financially. We can help with the legal process by answering your claims-related questions and helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.

best personal injury lawyer in the North Bay, Kasra Parsad

California’s Hate Crime Law Protects Your Characteristics

Codified in California Civil Code section 51.7, the Ralph Civil Rights Act of 1976 prohibits violence to any person or their property based on that person’s actual or perceived characteristics. The Ralph Act allows a private citizen to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator of a hate crime. In 2020, 1,054 hate crimes were committed against persons and 483 hate crimes were committed against property in California. Of those attacks, 65.8% were motivated by race. All persons in California have a civil right to be free from violence committed against them or their property because of:

    • Sex
    • Gender
    • Gender identity
    • Gender expression
    • Race
    • Color
    • Religion
    • Ancestry
    • National origin
    • Disability
    • Medical condition
    • Genetic information
    • Marital status
    • Sexual orientation
    • Citizenship
    • Primary language
    • Immigration status
    • Age
    • Political affiliation

It should be noted that the Legislature explicitly made clear that the above-mentioned list is illustrative and not restrictive. Additionally, liability attaches if the perpetrator perceives you to have some characteristics belonging to a protective group, even if you do not. If you aren’t sure whether you were attacked for your perceived characteristics, contact our Santa Rosa hate crime lawyer today. 

What Must Be Proved For A Hate Crime Lawsuit?

Ralph Act claims differ from case to case. This is because a violation of the Ralph Act can be committed based on violence or based on threats. To succeed on a Ralph Act claim based on violence, a plaintiff must prove:

    • The defendant committed an act of violence against the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s property,
    • A substantial motivating reason for the act of violence was the perception of the plaintiff’s position in a protected class, and
    • The violence was a substantial cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

A Ralph Act claim based on threats is slightly different than one based on threats. To succeed on a Ralph Act claim based on threats, a plaintiff must prove:

    • The defendant intentionally threatened violence against the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s property 
    • A substantial motivating reason for the threats of violence was the plaintiff’s perception of a protected class
    • A reasonable person in the plaintiff’s position would have believed the defendant would carry out the threat and been intimidated by it, and
    • The threat was a substantial factor in the plaintiff’s losses or harms suffered.

What Damages Are Available For A Ralph Act Claim?

A successful Ralph Act claim allows a plaintiff to recover monetary damages to compensate them for their actual harm. Our Santa Rosa hate crime lawyer can help you obtain damages for:

    • Loss of consortium for your family during the ordeal
    • Medical bills
    • Lost wages
    • Pain and suffering
    • Loss earning capacity
    • Other financial losses connected to threats or violence (I.e. moving costs, mental anguish, emotional suffering from living in fear, additional security at home or work)

These damages must be at least $4,000. However, the Ralph Act allows a jury to triple the number of damages. Additionally, a civil penalty of $25,000, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and injunctive relief may also be awarded to the person whose rights were violated.

What To Do If You Were The Victim Of A Hate Crime

After being the victim of a hate crime in Santa Rosa, there are important steps you can take immediately following your injury to help build a strong claim. After your injury, take the following steps:

    • Report the incident to law enforcement, then ask for a copy of the police report when available.
    • Get to a place of safety.
    • If security footage of the hate crime exists, try to get a copy.
    • Take photographs of the scene and the person who perpetrated the hate crime.
    • Collect contact information from any eyewitness who may have seen the hate crime.
    • Go to the hospital for medical care
    • Document the incident while it is fresh in your head.
    • Contact the Law Office of Kasra Parsad to discuss your claim with our Santa Rosa hate crime lawyer.

How Long Do You Have To Bring a Claim?

The Ralph Act does not specifically list a specific time to bring a claim. Courts will apply one of two different statutes of limitations depending on the nature of the allegations. A two-year statute of limitation applies to liability arising out of common law neglect or personal injury, and a three-year statute of limitations applies to statutory actions. As soon as possible you’ll want to contact our Santa Rosa hate crime lawyer to determine whether you have a valid claim that can be timely brought. 

How Can a Santa Rosa Hate Crime Lawyer Help?

At our firm, we believe you should not have to accept being a victim of a hate crime without a fight. You and your family deserve justice, answers, closure, and the right compensation when someone attacks or threatens you based on your characteristics. We will do everything in our power to help you alleviate the pain and help you recover the compensation you need to move on with your life. Civil rights claims are often complicated and involve complex procedural requirements. The Law Office of Kasra Parsad can help explain the requirements and guide you throughout the process. As soon as possible, you’ll want to contact our Santa Rosa hate crime lawyer to assess your options. You never know how a competent lawyer may be able to help you, so there is nothing to lose by getting in touch with our office. Our complimentary consultation comes at no cost and we work diligently on your behalf. 

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