San Mateo Personal Injury Attorneys

Personal Injury FAQs

If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to another person's negligence or intentional act, you may be confused about what your legal rights and options are. This page is intended to answer some of your questions.

Why do I need a personal injury lawyer?

When you or a loved one suffers an injury that is the result of someone else's actions or negligence, it seems logical that that party would want to compensate you for your injury or that the insurance company will provide a fair settlement. Sadly, this rarely happens. Insurance companies are in the business of settling claims for a little as possible. Insurance companies promote their adjusters based on how little they pay out. The adjusters know the law and do everything they can to take advantage of people who are not fully aware of their legal rights. Navigating through the complex maze of personal injury law requires knowledge, experience and resources that only a personal injury attorney can provide. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury, you will definitely want a personal injury lawyer who focuses on this area of the law so that you can obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

What does my lawyer have to prove to win my case?

In order to win a personal injury case, a plaintiff must prove four things:

  1. The defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care to act like the "ordinary" person would act in a similar situation.
  2. The defendant breached this duty of care.
  3. The plaintiff did, in fact, sustain injuries.
  4. The defendant's breach of care resulted in or contributed to the plaintiff's injuries.

The process of meeting these legal obligations requires a competent, experienced personal injury attorney who is experienced in this area of the law.

How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?

Personal injury lawyers almost always accept cases on a "contingency fee" basis. This means that unless we win your case, we do not get paid. Personal injury lawyers receive a percentage of the award as their fee. Most fees will be between 33% and 40%. Your chance of obtaining a large settlement is much better if you hire a personal injury lawyer, regardless of the fee. Your case will result in a greater award if you hire a skilled attorney to represent you.

What types of injuries are considered severe enough to file a personal injury claim?

Examples of serious injuries include:

  • Head injuries
  • Second and third degree burns
  • Broken bones
  • Amputations
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Organ damage
  • Paralysis
  • Loss of hearing
  • Loss of vision
  • Loss of speech
  • Death

What kind of damages will I be compensated for?

There are two types of damages that you may be entitled to - Economic Damages and Non-economic Damages.

Economic Damages may include:

  • Present and future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future wages
  • Disability
  • Partial disability
  • Medical equipment and assistive devices
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychological services
  • In home nursing care
  • Medication costs
  • Property damage

Non-economic Damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Mental anguish
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Depression
  • Loss of consortium
  • Potential shortening of life

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, get legal help by calling the experienced personal injury attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP today for a free case evaluation (800) 900-0863.

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