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  • AV Preeminent

    Indicates the highest level of professional legal ability and ethics.

  • Inner Circle

    James Bostwick is a member of the invitation-only group of the top 100 plaintiff trial lawyers in the United States.

  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates

    Exclusively for attorneys that have recovered millions of dollars in recoveries for clients. Fewer than 1% of lawyers in the nation are members.

  • Best Lawyers

    Attorney James Bostwick has been selected to the list of the Best Lawyers in America since 1983.

  • The National Trial Lawyers

    James Bostwick & Erik Peterson have been voted to the list of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers organization.

  • Best Law Firms

    The firm has received the prestigious "Best law Firms" rating in the practice areas of Medical Malpractice Law and Personal Injury Litigation.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates

    An invitation-only group of top trial lawyers in the nation.

  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers

    Attorney James Bostwick is a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only organization comprised of the most accomplished trial lawyers from across the globe.

  • American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys

    Attorney James Bostwick is a certified Medical Plaintiff with the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys.


We've Won Over $750 Million Dollars for Our Clients

  • $21,000,000 Auto/Truck Accident
    Largest California non-punitive verdict for single individual, including interest and costs, Zivic v. Winterland 2000. Involved auto/truck accident with claimed brake failure defense. We recently tried an interesting case in San Francisco County Superior Court. We represented a 56-year-old woman who was injured when her car was struck from behind by a Mack truck at the Fourth Street off-ramp off Highway 280. She was waiting at a stop light when the truck hit the car behind her and then pushed her car into the car in front of her. The driver of the truck claimed that his brakes failed at the last minute. At the scene of the accident she did not seem to be seriously injured; nevertheless, she was taken to the hospital where they discovered she was bleeding into her brain. She was admitted to the hospital for an emergency craniotomy to evacuate a large subdural hematoma. She was in a coma for three days and woke to a partial paralysis. Several months later she had recovered her motor abilities, but had residual cognitive deficits including memory, concentration and the ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. She attempted to return to work eight months after the accident as an executive search recruiter, however she was unable to perform the demanding aspects of her job. The defense contended that she was obviously bright, articulate and therefore should be able to work. They also contended that the brake failure could not have been anticipated. We convinced the jury that she was not able to return to her previous employment and there was not a brake failure. The defendant offered $3,500,000 in settlement, which was rejected. The jury awarded $19,631,000. The judgment was entered for this amount plus past interest and costs for a total of $21,000,000. Our investigation indicates that this may be the largest net compensatory (non punitive) award of its type for an individual in California state history.
  • $11,000,000 Neonatal Injury

    Settlement for Neonatal blindness injuries to premature triplets after failure to diagnose condition in a timely manner (2000).

    This case involved neonatal blindness injuries to premature triplets from retinopathy of prematurity. One child was almost completely blind; one child was almost completely blind in one eye and had partial loss of vision in the other eye; and the third child had some functional diminution of vision, primarily in one eye. Retinopathy of prematurity (what used to be called rebrolentna fibroplasia can be treated if timely diagnosed. It is a common problem in premature infants. We contended that the hospital, neonatologist, and pediatricians failed to properly follow up and screen these children and failed to diagnose the condition in a timely manner. The defendants contended that the mother had been properly warned about the condition and failed to obtain an eye exam in a timely fashion after the triplets were discharged from the hospital. This confidential settlement was the largest of its type in the history of Hawaii of occurrence.

  • $10,680,000 Birth Injury

    This California birth injury settlement is a state record.

    The defendants failed to monitor this fetus during critical times before the birth and when they did resume monitoring the child was in distress. The baby suffered profound cerebral palsy and will require 24 hour care for the remainder of its life. The value of the confidential settlement is based on the cost of an annuity to fund the settlement amount plus the cash agreed upon.

  • $10,000,000 Birth Injury

    Record settlement for an obstetrical case.

    Our birth injury specialist recently settled a case for $10,000,000 for birth injuries to a child now 3 years of age. The 17 year old mother had a normal pre-natal course, was admitted to the hospital for a trial of labor with normal fetal heart tones on the monitor strip. Rupture of membranes later revealed clear fluid and thereafter, a pattern of variable and late decelerations developed with retained variability. In the early morning hours, the late and variable decelerations continued with diminished variability. The baseline became tachycardic with diminished variability with persistent significant mixed late and variable decelerations with slow recovery. This continued for approximately four hours to the birth. The mother developed a fever or 38.5 after the epidural was given. The baby demonstrated a similar after birth with a pH of 6.98 with a base deficit of 15.4.

    The defendants contend that there was not sufficient loss of variability to justify intervention. They contended that the cord gas did not evidence significant metabolic acidosis and the child course after birth was more consistent with intrauterine infection, bacterial infection than interpartem hypoxia. Plaintiffs contended that there was clear evidence of non-reassuring fetal heart tones suggestive of metabolic acidosis which required earlier intervention. Plaintiffs contended that the baby’s presentation after birth was classic for interpartum asphyxia and met most of ACOG’s guidelines for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy from interpartum events. The child is a spastic quadriplegic, tube fed with global delays, including severe cognitive deficits. Defense contented life-expectancy was limited. Plaintiffs contended life expectancy was near normal. This is believed to be a record settlement for an obstetrical case. This confidential settlement is considered to be a record settlement or verdict in the state where it was obtained.

  • $9,960,000 Medical Malpractice

    This case against UCSF Medical Center was the largest medical malpractice settlement in California history at the time.

    Our wrongful death attorneys in San Francisco settled a case involving the death of an athletic 38-year-old executive, who stopped at a UCSF clinic at the airport complaining of chest "tightness," which was relieved by Advil. The EKG was normal; there were no cardiac risk factors. The doctor diagnosed chest muscle strain and allowed the decedent to fly on to Colorado and then Mexico where he died 7 days after the clinic visit. Unfortunately, his tissue was severely decomposed when it was returned to the United States. There was no evidence of infarction, but there was an 85% sclerotic lesion in the right coronary artery and congenital narrowing of the left coronary artery. We contended that the decedent died of cardiac ischemia. Defendants argued that the decedent appeared healthy and in no distress and therefore the clinic symptoms were not cardiac and his death was probably from some other cause. Our wrongful death attorneys believe that this was the largest pre-judgment medical malpractice settlement in California history as of 2002.

  • $8,900,000 Labor and Delivery Injury

    Record trial judgment for improper use of vacuum extraction and failure to timely deliver baby (1985).

    Our birth injury lawyers tried a case against the United States government in the Federal District Court of Hawaii. It was our contention that this child had been injured at birth because of improper management of the labor process. The defendants requested the case be divided into two trials, one on the issue of the statute of limitations, and the other on the remaining medical issues. We tried both issues in trials six months apart and won both trials. The judgment was for $8.9 million. Our birth injury lawyers were told at the time that this was the highest Ninth Circuit award for an individual in a medical malpractice case.

  • $8,000,000 Neonatal/Birth Injury

    Record settlement for a neonatal/birth injury—baby suffered severe spastic quadraparesis and relatively retained cognitive ability.

    Our birth injury and neonatal attorneys settled this case for a record amount. This child was born normally. In the first 24 hours, she was found not breathing by a nurse and a code was called for resuscitation. During the resuscitation process, the child was ventilated and the ventilator equipment was later changed. The equipment change involved an improper ventilator tube with no exhaust valve. The child was blown up like a balloon and both lungs were ruptured. The child was immediately diagnosed with bilateral ruptured lungs. The lungs were re-inflated and the child resuscitated again. The baby ended up with severe spastic quadraparesis and relatively retained cognitive ability. We contended the initial nurse missed the symptoms of the child's impending apnea and failed to respond promptly to the child's lack of breathing. We also contended that the respiratory therapist should not have placed a ventilator tube that had no exhaust valve. The defendants admitted the tube was improper but contended that damage was done in the first apnic episode while the baby was in the mother's hands and before the nurse came into the room. Our research indicates this result is the top neonatal/birth injury settlement/verdicts in the state.

  • $8,000,000 Medical Malpractice

    58 year old woman suffered a brain hemorrhage from a cerebral aneurysm

    We contended the radiologists had missed the aneurysm on a scan done two years earlier when it could have easily have been treated. [$4,000,000] We contended that the neuroradiologist who treated the later leaking aneurysm was inadequately trained and used improper technique resulting in perforation of the aneurysm and a major bleed causing a serious brain injury.

  • $8,000,000 Brain Injury

    Record settlement for 16-year-old who went into a coma during knee surgery (Oklahoma).

    We represented a 16-year-old teenager who was brain injured as result of poor anesthetic technique during a knee operation in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This case was complicated by limited insurance coverage on the part of the primarily culpable party and the need to establish liability against several other defendants in order to have adequate insurance coverage. The case was hotly contested in a jurisdiction known to be extremely conservative. The highest judgment or settlement in Oklahoma state history prior to this case was $2.2 million. We settled this case just before trial on a structured basis with $2.5 million in cash and $120,000 per year increasing at 6% for life with an additional $120,000 increasing at 6% for life to start in ten years and third $120,000 per year to increase at 6% to start in twenty years. The annuities were all guaranteed for twenty years. There were also additional annuities for the parents. The present case value of this settlement was approximately $8 million.

  • $7,860,000 Brain Injury

    Record result for 65-year-old woman with cerebral aneurysm resulting in significant brain injuries.

    Our brain injury lawyers represented a 65-year-old woman who was found to have a cerebral aneurysm. While the aneurysm was being treated it ruptured causing her significant brain injuries. Her injuries included quadraparesis and moderate to severe cognitive injuries necessitating 24 hour care. Plaintiff had a history of cancer and was receiving periodic CT scans to look for metastasis. Plaintiff contended that the aneurysm was visible on one of the CT scans and could have been diagnosed before she had a bleed. When the bleed occurred, the aneurysm was diagnosed and intervention attempted. Plaintiff claimed that the intervention was undertaken by personnel who were not properly trained in coiling techniques for aneurysms and caused the rupture. The defendants contended that in the original CT scan the aneurysm looked like bone in the sella and not an aneurysms. The interventional radiologists contended that this was an emergency situation and that intervention was necessary to save her life. They further stated that the rupture occurred spontaneously and was not related to anything they did during the procedure. This was a record result for a brain injury to a person of this age in this state.

San Francisco Personal Injury Lawyers

Record-Setting Attorneys in California On Your Side

When you've been injured in an accident, where can you turn? At Bostwick & Peterson, LLP, our passion is pursuing justice for injury victims. Over the years, our commitment to excellence and passion for our clients has been recognized in the Bay Area and nationwide.

After you or a loved one has been injured by another's negligence, you need an attorney who has been recognized for excellence, and that is exactly what the San Francisco personal injury attorneys at our firm have achieved. The cases we handle often involve traumatic, life-altering events like truck accidents and death of a loved one, and we have worked tirelessly to ensure that our clients receive the compensation they need to have a financially stable future.

Our attorney’s efforts have helped secure more than $750 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients, and have earned our firm national recognition for our work in areas like birth injury law. Whether your life was changed by a terrible accident or the negligence of a medical professional, you can trust us to handle your case with the skill and commitment required in your time of need. Each case we handle is important, and deserves the best representation.

What Sets Bostwick & Peterson, LLP Apart?

  • Over $750 Million Recovered for Our Clients
  • Record-Setting Birth Injury Verdicts & Settlements in Four States
  • We Have Received the Trial Lawyers "Presidential Award of Merit"
  • We Have Been Included in the List of "Best Lawyers in America" by U.S. News - Best Lawyers®
  • Attorney James Bostwick Is a Certified Specialist by the American Board of Professional Liability
  • We Are Members of the Inner Circle of Advocates, Which Is the Nation’s Top 100 Plaintiff Lawyers

Frequently Asked Questions

Get Answers to Your Questions About Personal Injury Law

If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else's negligence, you may be able to file a claim with their insurance company or a personal injury lawsuit against the person or company responsible. Oftentimes, a serious injury will lead to high medical bills and lost work. This can place a major strain on a family's financial resources. If you have found yourself in this position, you may have a number of questions that you need answered. Our San Francisco personal injury attorneys have put together of list of frequently asked questions in the hopes of providing you with some clarity. If any of your inquiries go unanswered, please do not hesitate to contact our office for a personalized consultation. 

  • Why should I hire a personal injury attorney?

    Simply put, a talented personal injury attorney will increase the amount and certainty of the monetary compensation you receive for your injuries. While insurance companies will probably cover some of the costs associated with treating the injuries you sustained, their coverage usually does not extend beyond the initial costs. Some injuries can leave you with a lifetime of pain and discomfort. You should be compensated for these hardships. With the help of a dedicated attorney, you can seek retribution for all the hardships you will now have to endure as a result of your injuries. Do not sit back and let the insurance companies dictate the terms of your future life; they will always come up short.

  • What is the difference between a claim and a lawsuit?

    Typically, a claim is filed with an insurance company in an attempt to obtain a reasonable settlement for the injuries and losses sustained by an accident victim. A personal injury lawsuit is a legal action filed before the court that seeks compensation from the individual, corporation, government agency, or insurance company for the victim's injuries and damages. Discuss your case with a knowledgeable lawyer to determine the best option for your situation.

  • Is it important to establish negligence?

    Yes, negligence is one of the most important aspects of any personal injury case. In fact, it is what your entire claim will be based on. Negligence is any conduct that fails to provide reasonable care to protect an individual from harm. In the legal field, negligence has four aspects. First, the individual accused of negligence must have owed the injured individual a duty of care. Second, they must have violated that duty. Third, that breach must have caused the injury. Finally, the damage from the injury must be provable. If all four elements are met, an individual may be accused of negligence.

  • Should I try to reach a settlement?

    When you try to reach a settlement for your personal injury case, you are essentially making an agreement before going to trial. This is done when one party, either the defendant or the insurance company, offers a certain monetary payment in the hopes of avoiding going to court. Reaching a settlement can be beneficial in some situations. However, you must be wary of individuals and insurance companies that are trying to cheat you out of the full amount that is due to you. If you are not sure if the settlement that is offered to you is appropriate, you should hire an attorney. A legal professional will be able to help you determine whether or not you would receive full coverage by accepting their offer.

  • What are the different types of damages I can recover?

    In a personal injury claim, the two most common forms of damages are compensatory and punitive damages. Naturally, the type of damages you can receive will depend entirely on the situation and the type of accident you were injured in. Compensatory or actual damages are, as the name indicates, a payment made to compensate for the loss or damage that was suffered. If, for example, you were injured in a car accident and had to pay for a hospital stay and physical therapy as a result, you can be compensated for those payments. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are made in response to a criminal act, such as malicious intent. It is a punishment or deterrence to try to keep the individual or others from repeating the act. This payment will be made in addition to the compensatory damages.

  • Can I handle my personal injury claim on my own?

    While the state of California does not require you to have an attorney in order to pursue compensation, having a knowledgeable lawyer at your side can have a significant impact on the amount of compensation you ultimately receive. Statistically, an individual is half as likely to recover the compensation he or she is due without the assistance of an attorney. Many insurance companies will attempt to take advantage of those attempting to handle their case on their own. They may use tactics against you to lower the amount of your claim, deny your claim, or delay your compensation until you are truly desperate. Having legal counsel on your side gives you a significant advantage. Although it may be difficult to think about financial matters at this time, it is important to understand that a skilled lawyer can handle your legal matters so that you can worry about more important matters, such as your health and recovery.

  • What happens if my case is not successful?

    There is no charge for our time or legal services unless your personal injury case is concluded successfully. At Bostwick & Peterson, we are dedicated to our clients and will do everything in our power to help ensure you receive a successful verdict or settlement at the end of your case. While every case has its unique challenges, our personal injury lawyers in San Francisco are confident that they have the skill and know-how to secure the compensation your injuries demand.  When you work with our firm, you stand to lose nothing should our handling of your case not be successful.

  • Why should I choose your firm?

    Our firm is nationally recognized as one of the best personal injury law firms in the country. At Bostwick & Peterson, LLP, we have over 80 years of combined experience and have won over $750 million in compensation for our clients. Our firm was awarded the Trial Lawyers "Presidential Award of Merit" for winning the largest verdict of its type in the state of California. We also held a number of other state and national records for verdicts and settlements. Unlike many law firms, we have a proven record of success. We are proud that we have the ability to help our clients.

Justice for Victims

of Medical Negligence

Have you been injured by the negligence of a medical professional? Although "to err is human", doctors and medical providers are responsible to follow a number of safety procedures and a standard of care to protect their patients and avoid serious errors. If these professionals do make an error, which results in birth injuries, medication errors, misdiagnosis or even a complete failure to diagnose, it can be classified as negligence, warranting legal action.

These are costly errors that can cause serious complications in the life of the victim, and if you or a loved one has suffered in this way, you should not hesitate to retain the representation of a Bay Area attorney that is well versed in medical malpractice claims and prepared to fight aggressively on your behalf.

  • Insurance companies will not give you what you are entitled to if you don’t have an attorney fighting for it on your behalf.

  • Hospitals and doctors are extremely protected by specialists and experts whose sole focus is to fend off lawsuits.

  • We have access to expert witnesses who can strengthen your case and increase your chances of success.

  • Being backed by an experienced medical malpractice law firm like ours forces hospitals to take your claim seriously.

At Bostwick & Peterson, we are familiar with the best ways to handle these complex cases, and our knowledge of the law enables us to adamantly protect your rights and interests. By choosing to work with our talented team, you can be confident that we will fight tirelessly to provide you with a voice.

Watch Our Firm Videos

  • Learn More About Our Attorneys

    When you work with Bostwick & Peterson, LLP, you can expect to receive knowledgeable counsel, diligent preparation, and passionate advocacy. We take the time to get to know you, and will tirelessly pursue justice on your behalf.

  • James Bostwick Featured on Walter Cronkite's 6 O'Clock News in 1978 for the Highest Jury Verdict
  • Medical Malpractice Cases


Birth Injury Verdicts

Birth injuries happen for any number of reasons, but when they do it can cause catastrophic harm to your family. At Bostwick & Peterson, we have won record-setting verdicts for birth injury victims in four different states. Being at the start of birth injury litigation we have unique insight in the development of a birth injury legal case and can put out knowledge to work for you.

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Bostwick & Peterson Blog

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