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One minute you were healthy, active, working hard, and taking care of your family. The next minute you were injured due to someone else’s negligence. Accidents can happen that quickly, but the consequences of them—including pain, emotional distress, and financial burdens—can last a lifetime.
If you were injured in an accident, our experienced California personal injury lawyers can help you understand the legal resources available to you.
Our results have garnered awards and national recognition, including Trial Lawyer of the Year awards in 2006, 2008, and 2010. Our founder, John Gomez, is a Yale alumnus whom Super Lawyers rated the number one attorney in San Diego for 2015 and 2016.
While this is not an exhaustive list, some of our case results include:
While every case is unique and past results are no guarantee of future outcomes, if you or a loved one were seriously injured in any type of accident due to someone else’s negligence, we’d like to hear about your case and answer your questions.
Personal injury is a legal term used to describe the damages that one incurs due to an accident caused by negligence. California’s Code of Civil Procedure indicates that the term applies to both physical injuries incurred in the accident as well as property damage. Generally speaking, however, a personal injury claim primarily involves physical injuries that have caused the victim pain and distress and have required medical treatment and other expenses.
Often, the first step for recovering damages after an accident is to file a third-party claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, if possible. The insurance company then investigates the claim, evaluates the damages you’re seeking, and either denies a claim or offers a settlement.
Unfortunately, the objective of an insurance company is often contrary to the objective of an injured victim. The insurance company is in the business to make money, which means avoiding paying those who were injured by their policyholders.
Typically, the settlement offered fails to take into consideration all of the damages that the victim incurred and will continue to incur, including the need for medical care and other services far into the future. However, California law provides another avenue through which accident victims can seek compensation for the damages they’ve suffered: the personal injury lawsuit.
As explained by the American Bar Association, a personal injury lawsuit is based on liability and damages. Liability is established by proving that the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries and the resultant expenses (known as damages). Proving negligence is a three-step process that involves showing:
Damages refers to the monetary award that a plaintiff can recover as a result of a personal injury case. California law can award three types of damages in personal injury claims: special damages, also known as economic damages; general damages, which are also called non-economic damages; and punitive damages. Here is a look at each of the three damage types, and some of the expenses that fall into each category.
These are awarded for out-of-pocket expenses such as:
General damages are also known as pain and suffering damages. This category involves compensation for the psychological and emotional injuries that resulted from the injury. Some examples of general damages include:
Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for particularly egregious, reckless, or intentional actions. To obtain punitive damages in a personal injury case, California requires plaintiffs to prove that the defendant’s actions resulted from:
The jury determines the amount of punitive damages and bases its award on how bad the defendant’s conduct was, how severe the plaintiff’s injuries are, and whether the amount is sufficient to punish the defendant and discourage similar conduct in the future.
One can become seriously and permanently injured in many ways. We have experience handling the cases of clients that fall into the following practice areas, among others:
The television and movie portrayal of lawyers would leave one to believe that the only thing they do is argue cases in court. While litigation is certainly a part of the services a personal injury lawyer may provide, your personal injury lawyer may perform other important tasks for you, including:
Your pain and the expenses of your injury may go on for a lot longer than you realize. A quick settlement provides little long-term benefit except for the insurance company, which banks on accident victims taking these low, early settlements.
A personal injury lawyer will look at all the details of the case, as well as looking down the road—and seeking opinions from doctors and other experts—to determine not just what you will need to cope with your injuries for years to come. Furthermore, personal injury lawyers are well-versed in the tactics used by insurance companies to reduce or deny claims, including using a victim’s own words against him or her and attempting to deflect the blame for your injuries from their policyholder to you. This is why you need to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Handling some of San Diego’s biggest personal injury cases, in the past decade John Gomez and his legal team have collected more than $350 million for clients, including more than 60 awards of more than $1 million each. We provide our clients with the legal experience, resources, and a track record to get them the compensation they deserve and to hold wrongdoers accountable for the damage they caused.
While many lawyers push for their clients to settle, we are always comfortable going to court to pursue a verdict that reflects the true cost of our client’s injuries, if necessary.
For a free, no-obligation consultation and case review, contact us online or call us at (619) 237-3490.
No Fees Unless We Recover Money On Your Behalf