Personal Injury Attorneys Who Find the Path Forward
You can count on us to get you through the challenges ahead
A single accident can change everything. Most people don’t really think about how many aspects of life depend on your continued health – until it is gone. You may be less able to work, care for your family, and do the things you love. Your future is uncertain. Meanwhile, an insurance company is breathing down your neck, looking for excuses to make your claim go away for as little as possible – or nothing at all.
You’re facing challenges, no doubt, but you don’t have to face them alone. The Swanson Law Group has the resources and winning track record needed to stand up for injured people, including multi-million-dollar results. If you’ve been injured, contact us today to discuss your legal options with an experienced San Jose personal injury lawyer.
The elements of a personal injury case
Personal injury claims are based on negligence, a legal term for careless or reckless conduct that causes harm. To prove negligence in a personal injury lawsuit, you (the injured person or plaintiff) need to show all the following elements:
- Duty of care. The defendant (that is, the person or organization that caused your injury) had a legal duty to take reasonable care regarding your safety.
- Breach. The defendant, through action or inaction, did not meet that duty of care. Courts assess this based on what an average person would have done in a similar situation.
- Causation. Because of the defendant’s action or inaction, you were injured. It’s not enough to show that someone was careless in the vicinity of your injury; their carelessness had to cause your injury.
- Damages. You suffered tangible injury or harm as a result.
Every personal injury case requires these basic elements, but the nature of the duty of care depends on the situation. For instance, slip and fall cases are based on premises liability law, which establishes the duties of care that property owners owe to people on their premises. Motor vehicle accident cases concern motorists’ duty of care to other people on the road.
A personal injury claim is a civil matter, distinct from any criminal charges that might be brought in connection with the same issue. For instance, if you were assaulted on private property, you may be able to bring a negligent security claim in civil court against the property owner, separate and distinct from the criminal charges that state prosecutors will pursue against the person who assaulted you. Since the standard of proof is lower in civil court, you may be able to win your personal injury case even if there is no conviction in the criminal case.
We will pursue no less than full value for your injuries
Your health is a foundational part of your life, and when it’s gone, many aspects of your life can be affected. It’s not just the medical treatment and the physical pain. It’s the loss of ability to play with your children or do certain activities with your friends. It’s the extra chores and tasks that others may have to pick up because you can’t physically do them. It’s the doubt and uncertainty about your future. All those losses have value, and to be made whole again after your injury, you deserve full compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can determine the full value of your case.
"Yesenia and Cynthia did a great job of helping me get compensation for my injuries sustained during work hours. I received treatment at a chiropractor and it took a few months for me to get my compensation check, which wasnt bad at all considering the circumstances of the virus and such. Great people and I recommend them to whoever needs help with a personal injury case." - M.S.
Depending on your type of injury and the extent of its effects on your life, you may be able to pursue compensation for:
- Medical expenses, both past and future. This should include ambulance fees, hospital bills, surgery, medication, medical devices, such as prosthetics, physical therapy, and even transportation costs to and from appointments. Even a procedure many years in the future should be included in your personal injury claim, if a doctor can diagnose you and show that the future procedure will be a result of the accident.
- Lost wages and lost future earnings. If you were out of work for six weeks recovering from your injury, you should be able to claim six weeks of wages. If you are reduced to working part-time or need to take on lighter duties for lower pay, that difference in income should be accounted for. We often retain experts, such as economists, to quantify your lost future earning capacity.
- Household services, such as childcare, maintenance, cleaning, and yard work. If you must hire someone else to take on services that you previously did yourself, the value of those services should be accounted for.
- Property damage, including repairs or replacement of any damaged property, as well as modifications to your home or vehicle if necessary to accommodate a permanent, disabling injury. The goal is to recover as much of your independence and quality of life as possible.
- Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish. Pain is a difficult thing to quantify because everyone experiences it differently, but it’s real nevertheless, and especially if your injury leaves you with chronic pain, it can be a significant part of your claim.
- Loss of consortium, a legal term for damage to family relationships as a result of the injury. For instance, if the injury has affected your ability to be intimate with your spouse, that is a significant loss that needs to be compensated for.
In some cases, you may be able to recover punitive damages if the conduct that caused your injury was particularly egregious or intentional. These damages are intended to punish the defendant and send a strong message that their misconduct will not be tolerated.
The total, long-term cost of an injury can be massive, especially if your injury is permanent. For instance, a spinal cord injury can leave a victim permanently paralyzed, affecting nearly every aspect of life. A traumatic brain injury may require a lifetime of care. Even more minor injuries can have ripple effects, especially if you are out of work for some time while recovering. To an insurance company, those costs are just exposure to their bottom line, and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to pay as little as possible. To us, you’re a person whose life has been changed, and you deserve to be made whole again.
Our law firm will guide you through the personal injury process
When you’ve been injured, it’s natural to have more questions than answers. The most effective way to get those answers is to meet with a personal injury attorney in a free consultation. We will listen to your story and explain your legal options. There’s no pressure and no obligation to hire us, just candid advice about your situation.
If you do choose to hire us to handle your personal injury case, we will immediately contact the insurance company and any other interested parties to inform them that you are now represented by counsel and they need to send any further communications to us. We know how to counter the insurance companies’ scare tactics and protect your legal interests while you focus on healing.
We prepare every personal injury case we handle for trial. That starts with a full investigation to determine exactly how your accident happened, why it happened, and who was responsible. We look for compelling evidence that negligence was the cause of your injury, both to bring you accountability and closure for what happened, and to build our case for the compensation you need to move forward. We also put in the time to document every loss you’ve suffered due to your injury. We frequently retain experts, such as economists and medical professionals, to help us understand and explain to a jury how much your health is worth.
Many of the cases we handle settle out of court, because when the insurance company sees we’re ready to face them at trial, they usually come to the table ready to offer a fair settlement. Trial preparation is the only way to put pressure on the insurance company to settle a case for full value. If they refuse to pay up, though, we’re ready to take them before a judge and jury. This can be a long and challenging process, but we will be by your side throughout, letting you know what to expect and making sure you’re always prepared for what’s next.
You can afford a personal injury attorney who will even the odds
The last thing you need when you’ve been injured is another bill. That’s why we work on a contingency fee basis. This arrangement means you don’t pay us anything out of pocket; we invest our own time and advance the costs needed to move your case forward. If we win, our fee is a percentage of the money we recover for you; if we don’t win, you don’t owe us anything. You need a personal injury lawyer with the experience and resources to stand up to the insurance companies, and you can get a level playing field regardless of your ability to pay.
When you’re injured, the most important step you can take – besides getting prompt medical attention – is to talk to an attorney right away, before you talk to the insurance company. The sooner we get involved, the more effectively we can protect your rights. We also need to start our investigation before evidence disappears and witnesses forget what they saw, and we may need to take legal action (such as filing a lawsuit) before important legal deadlines expire.
In short, the sooner you contact us, the better. Don’t go it alone after an injury; get a personal injury lawyer on your side who will guide you to a brighter future. Give us a call or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.