Skip to Content


About Our San Jose Injury Attorneys

Needham Kepner & Fish LLP is a San Jose personal injury law firm with extensive experience handling a variety of personal injury cases. We can help with all types of auto accident cases as well as premises liability and nursing home abuse cases.

For more information on filing a personal injury case in California, please call us at (408) 716-1668 or use the contact form on our website. We offer free initial consultations that can help explain your potential legal options for filing a case.

  • Elder Abuse FAQs

    • What are California’s elder abuse laws?
      California has the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. This law prohibits the following behavior directed towards anyone 65 years of age or older:
      • Physical abuse
      • Psychological abuse
      • Neglect and endangerment
      • Financial exploitation
      California elder abuse laws also allow victims to file civil lawsuits for damages against their abusers. If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from elder abuse in California, contact our elder abuse attorneys today.
    • What kinds of physical abuse qualify as elder abuse in California?
      Under California’s elder abuse statute, physical elder abuse encompasses many types of force. Physical abuse in California can mean:
      • Assault
      • Battery
      • Assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to cause bodily injury
      • Unreasonable physical constraint
      • Deprivation of basic needs, such as food and water
      • Sexual assault
      • Physical or chemical restraints for punishment or any other purpose not authorized by the physician
    • What are the warning signs that elder abuse or neglect is occurring?
      There can be many warning signs that your loved one is suffering from elder abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, these signs can be easy to miss. Look for physical changes. A common sign of nursing home abuse or neglect may include sudden weight loss or dehydration. These signs may indicate that food, water or medication is being withheld. You should also keep an eye out for any bruising or bedsores. Additionally, take note of any mood changes or depressive episodes that your loved one exhibits, especially if it is out of character. Any of these signs may indicate that elder abuse or neglect is occurring.
    • When should I call Adult Protective Services in California?
      When elders are victims of neglect, exploitation or abuse, the Adult Protective Services (APS) Agency can help. Each California county, including Santa Clara County, San Mateo County and Alameda County, has a local agency and can be reached through a 24-hour elder abuse hotline. When you suspect abuse has occurred in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you should report it. You can contact the APS directly to report your complaint or request assistance. Upon receiving the report, the APS will then work closely with local officials such as law enforcement, doctors and nurses. If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, speak to an experienced elder abuse lawyer. Our lawyers can help you understand your rights under California elder neglect and abuse laws.
    • Is malnutrition and dehydration evidence of nursing home neglect?
      When you leave a loved one in a nursing home or an assisted living facility, you expect the staff to take care of their basic necessities. You trust the staff to track and provide basic care including fluid and nutrient intake. Without it, they could face serious and possibly fatal health issues. Senior citizens are more susceptible to suffer from malnutrition and dehydration than younger adults. If you believe you or a loved one is exhibiting symptoms of malnutrition or dehydration, seek medical attention right away. If these symptoms are due to a nursing home or an assisted living facility’s neglect, please contact our nursing home neglect lawyers for a free consultation.
    • I suspect elder abuse. Who can be held responsible?
      Elder abuse liability varies from case to case. Your best legal options to protect yourself or your loved one depend on the unique circumstances of your case. A San Jose elder abuse lawyer at our personal injury law firm can help you understand your best options. Even so, liable parties could include a facility, such as a nursing home, assisted living facility, hospital or rehabilitation center. Individuals who work for these facilities may also be held liable. These individuals might include doctors, nurses or caregivers. Other individuals, such as family members, coworkers or neighbors could also be held responsible for elder abuse.
    • Who can file a lawsuit for elder abuse in California?
      California recognizes residents who are 65 years or older as elders. Dependent adults are also covered under the law, which includes any person between the ages of 18 and 64 years who is admitted as an inpatient to a 24-hour health facility. The elder or dependent adult who has suffered the abuse must be named as the principal plaintiff in the case. This person can be assisted in the case by a personal representative. Additional plaintiffs may be recognized in the lawsuit, such as spouses, family members or guardians. These additional plaintiffs may also have a viable claim to file for damages. Learn more about who can sue for elder abuse on our blog.
    • What is the elder abuse statute of limitations in California?
      When a senior or dependent adult is a victim of harmful neglect, financial exploitation or abuse, he or she has legal rights to pursue a legal case against those responsible. The California Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act was enacted to protect seniors and dependent adults from fraud and abuse. The statute allows victims to file civil lawsuits for damages against their abusers and also provides for criminal prosecution of abusers by the state. Elder abuse laws in California can be complicated and the statute of limitations can vary by case. The elder abuse attorneys at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP can help you understand elder abuse laws. Our attorneys can work to build a solid case against whoever is abusing you or your loved one. We have years of experience fighting for and winning compensation for elder abuse victims. Contact our firm for a free consultation.
    • What can I expect if I contact Needham Kepner & Fish LLP about an elder abuse case?
      Our elder abuse lawyers can help you determine the signs of neglect or physical abuse suffered by an elderly client. We can also help to collect and evaluate the evidence of your case. Our experienced elder abuse attorneys may then be able to hold the nursing home or residential care facility responsible. If so, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
  • Car Accident FAQs

    • What should I do after being injured in a San Jose car accident?
      Following an injury in an automobile accident, you should immediately seek medical attention. If you are able to receive treatment on-scene, begin collecting important information for your case, such as names, addresses, phone numbers from witnesses, passengers, and other involved drivers. This information will help immensely when determining fault.
    • What if I played a role in causing the car accident?
      The state of California operates under a pure comparative negligence standard. Put simply, this means — once fault is determined — any award you receive in a court of law will be reduced by the determined percentage of your own fault. For example, if you are awarded $10,000 and are found to be 40 percent at fault, you will receive $6,000.
    • Can a passenger file a lawsuit for a car accident?
      Yes. A passenger has every right to file a lawsuit against a negligent or reckless driver who caused an accident in which he or she was injured.
    • How long do I have to file a car accident lawsuit?
      In the state of California, victims in a car accident are typically allowed two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against a private individual or entity. If you wait beyond this date, you may nullify your ability to seek compensation. The rules are different if your accident involved a public entity, such as a City bus. You should consult an attorney to determine the applicable deadline for your situation.
    • What types of compensation could I receive?
      If successful in your lawsuit, you could be awarded compensation for medical bills, future medical bills, loss of income, future loss of income, permanent disfigurement, pain and suffering, and numerous other categories.
    • Do I need a San Jose car accident lawyer to handle insurance companies?
      Many insurance companies will attempt to sign a settlement as soon as possible following an accident in hopes that you will sign away your right to seek further compensation. You should consult an attorney before accepting any offers.
    • What is a personal injury lawsuit?
      A personal injury lawsuit is designed to provide compensation to plaintiffs from defendants who were negligent or reckless — thus causing serious injury. These lawsuits ultimately serve as a transfer of wealth that holds defendants responsible without seeking criminal charges.
    • How much can I expect to recover?
      In car accident lawsuits, the amount that is recoverable depends entirely on the circumstances of the case. You should consult an attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation.
    • How long will the process take?
      The process could take anywhere from several months to several years. If you choose to settle, your case will inevitably end far sooner than if you choose to go to court. However, the choice to settle should not be solely based on this fact.
    • What evidence should I collect?
      Throughout your recovery, keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings. This will help determine how much, if anything, you should be awarded for pain and suffering. You should also keep copies of all medical records, receipts from prescriptions, and documentation of missed work and take photographs of your injuries.
    • Are there alternatives to court?
      If you wish to keep your case out of the courtroom, you may choose to resolve it through negotiation, mediation or arbitration. All of these options require an experienced attorney to assist you with the dispute.
    • What if I wasn’t wearing a seat belt?
      If you are injured in a car accident, you are still eligible to file a claim against the negligent driver, despite your seat belt-wearing status. California is a comparative fault state and has codified that not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident does not bar a claim for injury in the state.
    • How much does an attorney cost?
      The cost of an attorney depends on your location and the details of your case. However, a number of personal injury lawyers are willing to take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you only pay if you recover money from the defendant.
    • What makes a good car accident attorney?
      A good attorney is typically native to your area, experienced in your case type, and prepared to answer any questions you might have — no matter how long it takes. You should feel comfortable with your attorney from the get-go.
  • Bicycle FAQs

    • Why should I consult a San Jose car accident lawyer?
      An attorney can help you explore your options, meet deadlines, file paperwork, and build your case. Your ability to win your lawsuit is aided exponentially by having an experienced professional by your side.
    • What do I do in the event of a severe bike accident?
      If you are involved in a serious accident, the first thing that you need to do is seek any necessary medical attention. Your health is most important. Even if you feel as though you are not able to pay for the necessary treatment, choosing to avoid treatment could end up costing you more than your opportunity to recover compensation — it could cost you your life. At the time of the accident, if you are able to do so, then it is important to contact the police. Even if you are partially at fault for the accident, expert testimony can help prove what exactly happened. Photograph the site, including damage to persons and vehicles, and take physical evidence as soon as possible. It is also important to keep a written and detailed record of your memories of the incident as soon as you are able. Additionally, make sure to gather information from the driver and all available witnesses. Then, after you are safe, contact a bicycle accident lawyer.
    • Who is responsible if a defective road caused my accident?
      You can sue the government entity in charge of maintaining a roadway if your bike accident occurred because the road was dangerous as a result of poor maintenance, defective construction, poor signage or other unsafe conditions. There are, however, greater limits and difficulties when suing the government (e.g., a city, county or the state) as opposed to a person or business. Generally, California law gives you two years after an injury to file suit against a private person or private business. To sue the state government, however, you must provide written notice of your claim to the proper public entity or entities within six months of the accident, a much shorter deadline.
    • Do bicyclists automatically have the right of way?
      Unlike pedestrians, bicyclists do not have the right of way at an intersection. Rather, bicycle riders must follow the same rules as cars. This includes obeying traffic lights and stop signs as well as yielding to pedestrians.
    • If I violate a traffic regulation, can I still recover damages for my injuries?
      Under California’s comparative negligence law, you can still recover damages even if you were partially at fault. However, your damages will be reduced by the percentage you were at fault. For example, if you failed to yield and that failure is determined to be 20 percent responsible for the accident, your recovery would be reduced by 20 percent. For these and other reasons, it is in your best interest to contact a bike accident lawyer as soon as possible after a crash. A San Jose bicycle accident lawyer from our firm can investigate all possible causes of your accident in order to maximize your claim.
    • What are the helmet requirements in California?
      California requires bicyclists younger than 18 to wear helmets. Even though adult riders are not required to wear helmets in most of California, it is still a good idea to wear one. A properly fitting helmet can greatly reduce the risk of serious head injuries if you are involved in a crash. Some cities and counties extend the helmet requirement to riders of all ages.
    • How long do I have to file a claim after a bicycle accident?
      Typically, you have two years from the date of the incident with a negligent party to file a claim. However, if a public or government entity is in any way responsible for the accident, then the claim must be filed with the proper public entity or entities within six months. There are also unique rules and timelines when a child is involved in an incident. Generally, it is wise to not wait long before making a claim because evidence can be lost and the exact details of the accident may become more difficult to prove after the passage of time.
    • How can our bike accident lawyers help you?
      In the event of a bike accident, you may feel like you do not have many options for recovery. Without the help of a San Jose bicycle accident lawyer, you may be left thinking that your only option is to pay out of pocket and go through your own personal insurance. This is not always the case. Our experienced legal team has been serving the Santa Clara, Alameda and San Mateo counties for decades. We are willing to fight for the rights of our neighbors. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn how we can assist you.
  • Personal Injury FAQs

    • What can I file a personal injury case for?
      If you or a loved one were injured in an accident due to the negligence of another person or entity, then you may have a viable personal injury claim. There are many types of personal injuries for which you could file a claim in California. Reasons for filing a claim include, but are not limited to:
      • Car accidents
      • Motorcycle accidents
      • Bike accidents
      • Elder abuse and/or neglect
      • Truck accidents
      • Injuries suffered on the property of a business, person or government entity
      • Pedestrian accidents
      • Dog bites and attacks
    • Can I file a personal injury lawsuit?
      It depends on the circumstances. Not everyone can file a personal injury lawsuit because there are specific requirements. For example, there is a statute of limitations or deadline for filing a lawsuit. The statute of limitations varies depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. Generally, you must have evidence that the other party was negligent or caused intentional harm before you file a lawsuit. There may also be specific laws relating to your particular situation. For example, California has specific laws for cases involving dog bites. Owners are strictly liable for dog bites under the right circumstances. You would not need to prove that the owner was negligent. There are also specific rules for filing a personal injury claim against a government entity. You have significantly less time to file. We strongly encourage you to speak with one of our San Jose personal injury attorneys as soon as possible if you suspect a government entity caused your damages.
    • How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?
      Determining the statute of limitations that applies to your case can be complicated. In general, California’s personal injury lawsuit statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. However, this time limit can vary. For example, cases involving a public entity and cases involving a minor child have different time limits. You should speak with one of our San Jose personal injury lawyers as soon as possible after an accident. We can help to prevent the statute of limitations from becoming an issue for your case. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can begin investigating your case, preserving evidence and complying with the relevant deadlines.
    • What damages can I recover in a personal injury case?
      The damages in a personal injury case vary on a case by case basis. There are economic damages, which cover tangible expenses related to your injury. There are also noneconomic damages that take your pain and suffering into account. Damages often include:
      • Past, present and future medical bills
      • Lost income or lost wages
      • Loss of future earning potential
      • Pain and suffering caused by the injury or loss
      • Punitive damages are also possible in certain situations if your case proceeds to a trial and the jury finds the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious
    • How much is my personal injury case worth?
      It is impossible to assess your claim’s potential value until we can collect the essential information about the case. Often, it is necessary to complete an investigation and some discovery before we can determine your case’s value. We also base our evaluation on our knowledge of the trends in recent trial results. However, the amount of compensation you can recover depends on many factors. These factors include:
      • Severity of your injury
      • Pain and suffering caused by the injury
      • Amount in medical bills
      • Amount in lost wages
      • Present and future earning capacity
      Keep in mind that you can also be found partially responsible for your damages. While California’s pure comparative negligence rule allows you to recover compensation even if you are partially liable, this would limit the amount of compensation you could recover. The amount you can recover depends on your percentage of fault. Our San Jose personal injury law firm can review the specifics of your situation to get an idea of what your damages might be and how much you may be able to recover.
    • How long will my personal injury case take?
      The speed with which a lawsuit can be completed depends on many factors. These factors include:
      • Court’s schedule
      • Specific circumstances of the case
      • Amount of involved parties
      • Complexity of discovery
      • Extent of motion practice
      • Age and health of injured party
      Your attorney may attempt to reach a settlement on your behalf with the defendant’s insurance company. Unfortunately, insurance companies may refuse to offer a settlement that can cover your damages. For instance, they may claim that you are partially or fully responsible for the accident to reduce the value of or deny your claim. In this case, it may be necessary to seek a trial to force a fair settlement or to get a jury verdict. It will take longer to receive compensation if your case proceeds to a jury trial. However, it may be the only means of obtaining compensation that can cover your damages in full. Additional options for pursuing compensation include mediation and arbitration. These are options, where ideally, a neutral third party helps resolve differences between the defendant and plaintiff. Our San Jose personal injury lawyers are committed to keeping you informed about the progress of your case and the anticipated date of resolution.
    • How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?
      Our San Jose injury attorneys handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay personal injury lawyer fees unless you receive compensation through a settlement or trial. We will also pay for all up-front associated costs with litigating your case. If we get a settlement or verdict, then we are reimbursed for the paid costs spent on the case and a percentage of the remaining compensation covers our fees. Under California law, the fee arrangement is negotiable. We will discuss it with you before you agree to retain us. Almost all personal injury law firms and attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This is because contingency fees allow all members of the public to access our nation’s justice system, regardless of income.
    • Do I need a personal injury attorney?
      Not all people need a personal injury attorney. If your case resulted in very minor injuries and you did not suffer extensive damages, then you may not need a personal injury attorney for your situation. However, you should still speak with an attorney before making a decision. Certain types of injuries can leave you and family members with damages in the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. You want to give yourself the best chance of recovering a settlement or verdict that can pay for those damages. An experienced lawyer can increase the odds of obtaining compensation that can cover the expenses associated with your injury or loss. Recovering after an accident or loss is an emotionally and financially difficult process to go through. We have the experience and resources necessary to handle your case. For instance, we may work with medical experts or accident reconstruction specialists if needed. We can negotiate a settlement or try a case before a jury. These tasks would be extremely difficult, or perhaps even impossible for the majority of people to do alone.
    • How do I find a personal injury attorney?
      You have a couple of options for finding a personal injury attorney who can meet your needs. Asking friends on social media or asking another attorney for a referral could work. Many people use Google, Bing and other search engines to find an attorney. You should look for a personal injury attorney near you who has experience with cases that are like your own. If you were in a motorcycle accident, then it helps to have an attorney who is familiar with motorcycle accident cases. The same is true for car, truck and bicycle accidents, as well as elder abuse and/or neglect cases. You may be able to pull anonymous information about a law firm’s prior cases by looking at their website. Additionally, you can check the content on the firm’s site to look at the types of cases they take. Finally, you should also determine whether the client has good online ratings. Yelp, Google, Facebook, Martindale and Avvo ratings could factor into your decision.
    • What is mediation?
      Mediation is a process for resolving a case that takes place outside of court. As a type of alternative dispute resolution, mediation relies on a neutral third party to help resolve cases. You can use mediation for many types of disputes, including personal injury claims. Mediation is cost-effective, less stressful than litigation and very effective at solving difficult disputes. Depending on the circumstances, you may save thousands of dollars by using mediation for your case. With the help of a mediation, you and the other party can come to a mutually beneficial resolution. The attorneys at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP offer mediation services.
    • What Are General Damages In A San Jose Personal Injury Lawsuit?

      Distinguishing general damages from special damages in a San Jose personal injury lawsuit can seem a little confusing. Special damages in San Jose are specific and measurable and amount to the actual loss. Conversely, general damages refer to losses in which there is no precise way to calculate a dollar amount.

      The first step to recovering general damages in a San Jose personal injury lawsuit is to prove them. General damages may be difficult to prove because they are more difficult to assign a specific dollar amount to. You may also have to hire an expert to give testimony regarding your medical records or mental state. If you think that you may be entitled to general damages stemming from a personal injury caused by a negligent individual you should contact a San Jose personal injury lawyer to discuss what your best options are for recovering general damages.

    • What is the Statute of Limitations On Personal Injury Cases in California?

      It is essential to be aware of time limits for filing a court case if you are interested in pursuing a personal injury claim. Every state has a statute of limitations, a time limit within which a lawsuit must be filed in court. The time limit can vary, depending on the circumstances. In California, the general time limit for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date the injury occurred. It is important that a lawsuit is filed before the statute of limitations expires as the case will be dismissed if filed too late. It is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you are injured or discover you are injured to avoid dismissal based on a late filing.

    • What is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases Involving Public Entities?
      If you or a loved one has been in an accident involving a public entity, contact us, IMMEDIATELY. You only have 6 months to file a lawsuit for an accident involving public entities and you do not want to miss your opportunity to seek compensation.