Most people are one serious injury away from losing everything: their job, their home, their savings. If you've been hurt due to someone else's reckless misconduct or negligence, our Santa Cruz personal injury lawyers can help you pursue compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. You can't control the actions of other people, but you can control who handles your case. Our lawyers have won more than $300,000,000 for clients throughout California. We’ve obtained substantial settlements and verdicts in a wide array of cases, so you can rest assured that we have the resources, knowledge, and strategies to provide effective representation. The initial consultation is free, and we work on a contingency fee basis. Schedule a case review today by calling 1-800-GO-HARRIS.
What Kinds of Claims Does Harris Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?
- Bicycle Accidents
- Motorcycle Collisions
- 18-Wheeler Accidents
- Public, Tour, & Other Bus Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Slip & Falls
- Premises Liability
- Car Accidents
- Turo Accidents
- Boat Accidents
- Spinal Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Burn Trauma
- Train Wrecks
- Rideshare Vehicle Accidents
- Dog & Other Animal Attacks
- Scooter Injuries
- Airplane & Other Aircraft Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Other Personal Injuries
Does My Personal Injury Claim Have Merit?
As you might suspect, each personal injury claim is unique, so there’s really no way for us to determine if your case has merit until we’ve met with you, listened to your story, and evaluated the relevant facts and evidence. If you’re not sure whether you have grounds for a claim, it may be helpful to know the factors that must exist in order for a personal injury case to be successful. To obtain an award of damages, you’ll have to prove liability, causation, and damages. Let’s take a closer look at these three concepts:
- Liability: A defendant can be held liable for a claimant’s damages if the defendant’s intentional wrongdoing or negligence was the proximate cause of the damages. However, if strict liability applies to your case, a finding of fault won’t be necessary to hold the defendant liable. To win a negligence claim, you’ll have to prove how the defendant (or perhaps the defendant’s employee) breached the duty of care owed to you. This would require your Santa Cruz personal injury lawyer to demonstrate that a duty of care existed and how that duty was breached. To win an intentional tort claim, your attorney must prove that the defendant intentionally caused your injury. If strict liability applies, which may be the case if you were bitten by a dog or injured by a defective product, your lawyer won’t have to prove negligence or intent, but he or she will still have to demonstrate what caused your damages.
- Causation: You won’t be able to win a settlement or verdict unless you’re able to prove causation. In other words, just showing that the defendant was negligent and that you’ve incurred medical bills won’t be enough to obtain a financial recovery. Evidence of causation may include the police report, video recordings of the incident, statements from eyewitnesses, accident reconstruction expert testimony, and photos of injuries. The insurance company may dispute causation if you wait too long to visit a doctor or if you had a pre-existing condition that was aggravated by the accident; however, even if you had a pre-existing condition, you may still be entitled to compensation.
- Damages: After establishing liability and causation, your Santa Cruz personal injury attorney will have to prove the types of damages incurred and their value. Proving damages can be just as complicated as proving liability—sometimes even more so. This is especially true if you intend to pursue compensation for future medical bills or loss of earning capacity. It may be necessary to bring in financial, vocational, and medical experts to provide testimony regarding your prognosis and the financial losses you’ll incur as a result of your injuries. Settlement calculations can be complex, but at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we can apply widely accepted formulas to help you fight for the highest possible payout.
What If I Was Partially to Blame for the Accident?
If your own negligence contributed to the accident, your award of damages may be reduced by your percentage of fault. Unlike other states, California law allows personal injury victims to seek compensation even if they were more than 51 percent at-fault. Still, it’s important that you consult a skilled personal injury attorney in Santa Cruz who has experience handling cases involving shared liability. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we know what it takes to minimize the percentage of fault assigned to our clients.
Set up a Free Case Assessment with a Santa Cruz Personal Injury Lawyer
Send us a message or call our 24-hour phone line at 1-800-GO-HARRIS to schedule a free consultation. We can come to you if you are unable come to our office.