Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Law
“A lawyer’s job is to fight hard to maximize his client’s recovery.”
Gerald Schwartz is a seasoned personal injury and wrongful death lawyer practicing throughout Northern Virginia. A master advocate, Schwartz works tirelessly and passionately to represent individuals who have been seriously hurt, fighting for justice to hold the wrongdoer responsible for the harms and losses he caused
Schwartz represents people who have been badly hurt, or families who have lost loved ones, because of someone else’s fault. “We strive to be part of the healing process, helping our clients get their lives back on track. It is very difficult. Many can no longer support their family because of their serious injuries.”
Schwartz works hard in an effort to maximize his clients’ recovery and hold the negligent person accountable for what he has done to Schwartz’s client. “Today, some legal systems in other countries demand ‘an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth’. This isn’t civilized. Instead, the American legal system allows a jury to balance the injured person’s harms and losses with a monetary verdict.
In order to do so, Schwartz has to be able to demonstrate the value of the individual, meaning what kind of person she was and what a loss it is because she is gone or injured. “We have to interview family members, friends, coworkers; we want to know as much as we can about the person so we can show the jury or insurance company the magnitude of the loss, including all the things our client could do before the devastating injury and now can’t do.”
In fact, “We have to know the client better than anyone else,” he says. “We spend an exhaustive amount of time with each injured person and their family to know everything she could do. In a blink of an eye someone’s life can change because of someone else’s negligence.”
Like many before him, Mr. Schwartz changed the course of his direction in law school from patent law to personal injury law due to his desire to help people and make a difference in their lives. He put people before patents. Now, he is annually selected by the National Trial Lawyers Association as one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Virginia” and is named to “Virginia Super Lawyers”. He has also been selected as one of the “Ten Leaders in Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Law for Northern Virginia” every year since 2007.
In addition to law, Schwartz has a degree in pharmacy. He worked as a pharmacist for a major teaching hospital, advising doctors and patients about their medicines. “I took a lot of courses in anatomy and physiology, which helps me to better understand a client’s injury, their MRI results and lab tests. It gives me a medical background to advocate for my clients in an effort to maximize their recovery.” Schwartz is also very familiar with the medications his clients are forced to take. He says, “I don’t have to look them up because I know them. It’s easy for me to explain to an insurance company or jury the extent of the pain my client is suffering based on the type of pain killers prescribed for them.”
While the tides continue to change each day in the medical field, Mr. Schwartz stays up with new developments through continued learning, referencing journals from schools and resources referred to by physicians. His office library has many textbooks used by medical schools and the top treating physicians in areas of traumatic brain injuries, fractures, herniated discs, rehabilitation and pain management.
“There are always new procedures and surgical techniques, and new drugs to treat injuries. We need to be on top of that. I have a passion for helping people and helping our clients get their lives back together. I also have a passion for the medicine. I enjoy reading medical records and putting a case together.”
Mr. Schwartz explains it is important for a lawyer to keep up on the latest medical procedures and to understand the medicine and medical testing to be able to effectively cross examine the insurance company’s chosen doctor. “Most of the time the insurance company’s doctor minimizes the injury our client has suffered, so we have to be able to bring out the truth to show the jury the seriousness and the full extent and the permanent nature of our client’s injury.”
“We represent a lot of people who have been seriously hurt and disabled for life through fractures. A fractured ankle, for example, can be put back together, but it won’t be the same. It’s not just the fracture that causes problems, but damage to nearby arteries and nerves. This can disable someone for a long time, or for life.”
Schwartz also represents clients who suffered traumatic brain injuries, an often silent trauma. “Sometimes the public doesn’t know you have a brain injury – you look normal, but you’re really not. You’re the ‘walking wounded’. Unfortunately, clients with brain injuries are not the same afterwards; their personality changes, they have memory loss, trouble coming up with correct words,” he says. “The brain injured person is not the person she was before. She can no longer control anger and irritability because those areas of the brain that control anger and irritability have been damaged. It affects their job as well. These are very tragic cases that demand maximum compensation for a brain injured client.”
In addition, Mr. Schwartz has handled hundreds of cases involving a herniated disc caused by an auto crash, and has been asked to teach other lawyers how to handle herniated disc cases, fracture cases, nerve damage cases, and the like. “Our spine is made up of vertebrae [bones] and in between each one is a disc that acts as a shock absorber.” When those discs are displaced by trauma, it can cause severe pain and numbness due to the disc material pressing on a nerve root.”
For over 30 years, Gerald Schwartz has devoted his law practice to representing people seriously injured in auto, truck and motorcycle accidents, and families who have lost loved ones as a result of someone else’s fault. He is with each client each step of the way in an effort to obtain justice, maximum recovery and hold the wrongdoer accountable for the serious harm he caused.
To reach Gerald Schwartz visit www.geraldschwartz.com or call 703-823-0055.