Personal Injury Law in San Jose, CA

Were you hurt due to another’s negligence in San Jose? If so, it may have far-reaching consequences such as a loss of wages or extensive medical treatment. Personal injury law allows an injured person to get damages if the responsible person acted recklessly. A personal injury attorney in San Jose, CA can help navigate the lawsuit to make sure you receive all of the compensation you deserve.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law in San Jose relates to the legal process of getting compensation for an injury caused by someone else’s negligent behavior. These cases involve one party, the plaintiff, trying to seek financial compensation for expenses incurred and money lost as a result of the defendant’s reckless behavior. These cases involve both parties’ insurance companies and may even settle before proceeding to litigation.

Examples of Personal Injury Claims in San Jose, CA

Some personal injury claims are more common than others. However, almost any incident that ends with a physical or mental injury could qualify, depending on the circumstances.

A few of the most common personal injury claims are:

  • Car Accidents
  • Slip and Fall
  • Dog Bites
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Workplace Accidents
  • Burn Injuries

Most Common Injuries in San Jose 

The most recent data available from the California Department of Public Health reports that motor vehicle accidents are the second-highest cause of hospitalization for non-fatal injuries. Santa Clara County reported 10,656 emergency room visits for unintentional crashes in 2015 alone. It’s a sobering fact that personal injuries from car accidents are the third-highest reason why someone living in San Jose visits the ER.

Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in San Jose, CA

Once you determine that you wish to proceed forward with a personal injury action in California

A lawsuit begins when a complaint is filed with the court and served on the defendant. The complaint alleges your assertion as the plaintiff that the defendant’s negligent behavior resulted in damage to your body or mental state. As the process proceeds forward, you may have to go through depositions, independent medical evaluations and document production. This discovery process is lengthy and ends in either settlement or a court appearance.

In California, the mediation process occurs after discovery if both parties haven’t agreed already. Your lawyer is highly likely to have tried to settle leading up to this point. If a mediator cannot facilitate a deal, then the only option is to go to court.

California Personal Injury Settlement

With most personal injury cases, insurance companies and injured parties prefer settlement negotiations rather than going to court for a trial. You may wonder how much you should seek in your settlement and factors that impact the final amount.

There’s no guarantee of recovering damages for any lawsuit, but it’s worth considering precedence for Santa Clara County. The county reached a $500,000 settlement in 2010 for an incident that involved the deaths of two bicyclists struck by a patrol car. To set proper expectations for yourself, discuss the non-economic damages with your attorney before guessing about punitive damages.

If the other party has insurance, the insurance company likely wants to settle out of court to avoid leaving the final settlement decision to a jury. Settlements benefit injured parties as much as they do insurance companies. This is because accepting a settlement means you receive compensation sooner rather than later. Also, by going to court in CA, that means you risk not receiving any compensation at all.

Damage Awards in California

If your California personal injury lawsuit goes before a judge or jury, your legal team will be ready with a request for damages. In personal injury cases, there are three types of damage awards a court may order the defendant to pay to compensate you for the damage he or she inflicted.

Special compensatory damages reimburse you for things such as lost income, medical bills and insurance deductibles. You submit receipts proving these losses.

General compensatory damages are subjective. If you receive special compensatory damages, you may also collect general damages. If your injury was particularly painful, you might request that the judge order the defendant compensate you for the pain and anguish.

Punitive damages are the most rarely awarded and are up to the court. The judge or jury may determine that the defendant’s negligence was particularly heinous and the resulting injury to you was equally horrific. 

California does not have a limit or “cap” on damages in personal injury cases, except for the following circumstances:

  • $250,000 cap for medical malpractice
  • Injuries suffered while driving under the influence
  • Damages inflicted while fleeing from a felony crime
  • Not having insurance during an accident where you’re at fault

Statute of Limitations in San Jose, CA Personal Injury Law?

The injured party may have a set amount of time to file suit for a personal injury case. State law establishes statutes of limitation. Commonly, the plaintiff’s injury or discovery of the injury begins the statute of limitations. However, the latter factor is trickier, as the plaintiff will have to prove when the injury was first realized.

The state of California gives citizens two years to file a lawsuit for personal injuries. If you discover an issue related to an accident within that time in San Jose, you can still take action with exceptions for some circumstances.

We recommend you speak with a personal injury lawyer for this matter. Don’t wait too long and miss out on receiving the compensation you deserve for your injury. 

Work With an Experienced San Jose, CA Lawyer

Pursue a personal injury claim in San Jose against the responsible person if you are dealing with an injury caused by someone else. One of our experienced lawyers can help you navigate your personal injury claim. We can even help you connect with an attorney across California state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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