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How Erik Peterson Became a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Erik Peterson, partner at Bostwick & Peterson, is a nationally recognized civil trial lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice cases, holding the highest medical malpractice settlement in California history. Beginning his career as a defense attorney for doctors, Erik’s mindset shifted significantly as he spent more years in the courtroom, ultimately leading him to become a plaintiff's attorney. He shares what influenced his decision to switch from defense work to representing plaintiffs.

“Who do you want to serve?”

While Erik was in college in Santa Barbara, California, the high-profile RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company trial was simultaneously unfolding in the same town. Inspired by the ground-breaking and very public medical negligence trial, Erik considered a future in law. He recalls thinking, “I want to be in the courtroom.”

After graduating from the University of San Francisco School of Law, Erik began his career as a defense attorney, representing doctors in medical malpractice lawsuits in San Diego. During this time, Erik faced plaintiffs, learning firsthand the devastating toll medical negligence can have on an individual and family members. He realized that he empathized more with these individuals than the defendants leading him to ask himself, “Who do you want to serve?”

The answer came to him easily. After putting in late nights and weekends building cases to defend doctors and hospitals, Erik realized that he preferred serving those who needed someone to be their advocate, people with lifechanging injuries due to medical negligence.

“I felt sympathetic, and I that I needed to be on the other side, serving the victims.”

Erik Peterson’s Medical Malpractice Cases Bring Life Changes to Many

Over the course of Erik’s three decades in the medical malpractice field, his record of success has empowered and facilitated change for those who have been injured or suffered due to medical negligence or malpractice. Erik has obtained several seven-figure and even some eight-figure results including a California record of $17 million in a birth injury settlement in 2019. He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America©, named to Super Lawyers® for 15 years, and is top-rated by for professional legal ability and ethics.

Learn more about top-rated California medical malpractice lawyer Erik Peterson here.