SAN FRANCISCO CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
It is so unfortunate to be involved in a car accident, and it is even more unfortunate if such an accident resulted in catastrophic injuries. Many people find themselves struggling to be properly compensated for the injuries they have sustained. There are denied insurance claims, high medical bills, unaccountable drunk drivers, and unknown circumstances that may leave you wondering how to move forward.
An experienced San Francisco car accident attorney will ensure that you receive proper compensation from those responsible for your accident based on the circumstances of each case.
Halavanau Law Office has proven its experience in handling personal injury cases with six and seven-figure settlements recovered for their clients. If the case needs to go to trial, Halavanau Law Office has the right experience to do so. For a free consultation, call us at 415-692-5301 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED SAN FRANCISCO CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY TODAY
Experience and knowledge are what you need from a San Francisco Car Accident Attorney. You need the peace of mind and expertise that comes with knowing your case is in good hands. A personal injury law firm should help you get back in your life by recovering the compensation you deserve.
A San Francisco car accident attorney will assist you in all your dealings, from filling out forms to helping with visiting doctors and communicating with insurance companies. At Halavanau Law, we provide compassionate service to our clients to help them recover from their injuries as soon as possible. We give legal advice to our clients so they can make the right decisions. Our experience in handling car accident cases in San Francisco allows us to deliver the best possible results.
Contact our law office for your free consultation. Your recovery starts here.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO CAR ACCIDENTS
San Francisco has one of the worst traffic in the nation, and the city is plagued with traffic jams and accidents involving cars, trucks, bikes, pedestrians, and motorcycles.
According to San Francisco City Performance Scorecards, there were 30 traffic fatalities in 2020.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) provided that there were 3,360 motor vehicle car crash deaths in California in 2019.
Nationally, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 36,680 people died in the entire U.S. because of motor vehicle accidents.
While safety features of the vehicles on the roads continue to be improving, San Francisco and California continue to experience a relatively high rate of traffic fatalities as a result of car accidents.
LEADING CAUSES OF CAR ACCIDENTS IN SAN FRANCISCO
People come from all over the world to visit regularly or move to San Francisco. Still, unfortunately, there are many San Francisco car accidents every year that cause serious injuries and costly property damage. The leading causes of car accidents in San Francisco are the following:
Speeding. Speeding is one of the most common causes of accidents due to distracted or negligent drivers. When an individual is speeding, they are likely not going to stop in time if a car suddenly turns into their lane.
Drunk driving. Drunk driving is another leading cause of car accidents in San Francisco and in any other city throughout the United States and the world. If an individual is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they are less likely to drive as safely as they normally would. Doing so puts themselves and others on the road at risk for permanent disability or even wrongful death.
Distracted Driving. Distracted driving is a very common cause of car accidents and numerous traffic collisions and fatalities. When drivers are distracted, they fail to pay attention or drive as safely as those who aren’t distracted. Some common forms of distracted driving include texting, talking on the phone, using GPS navigation, eating/drinking while driving, and more.
Reckless Driving. Ignorance of traffic rules and regulations is one of the leading causes of car accidents in San Francisco. When people drive recklessly, they are more likely to run red lights, speed excessively, fail to yield the right of way, and more, which is why they cause collisions.
COMMON SERIOUS INJURIES RESULTING FROM A CAR ACCIDENT
Car accident victims frequently suffer from serious injuries that require ongoing medical treatment or hospitalization. Common injuries following a car accident include:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): TBI is one of the more common injuries following a car accident. The effects can be temporary or permanent, ranging from mild to severe impairments in thinking, memory, vision, and physical function. An expensive diagnostic treatment can take months and even years to determine the scope and long-term consequences of a traumatic brain injury.
Spinal Cord Injury: Spinal cord injuries result from sudden trauma that tears or severs the spinal cord. Severe cases can cause permanent loss of sensation and paralysis below the point of injury.
Amputation: Accidents that result in amputation cause severe fractures, crush injuries, or damage to major blood vessels. Injuries resulting from the loss of a limb can have both physical and psychological impacts on victims.
Broken bones: Car accidents involving significant force can result in broken bones. In some cases, these injuries require surgery and extensive recovery time. There can be additional medical expenses for physical therapy and out-of-pocket costs for medications, medical supplies, and tools.
Neck Injuries: Whiplash is common after a car accident, and it is caused by the quick movement of the head that stretches and injures the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves in the neck.
WHO IS LIABLE FOR MY CAR ACCIDENT?
This may be the first question you will have to answer when you are involved in a San Francisco car accident. Once you have established that someone else caused the accident which injured you or your family members, you’ll need to figure out who exactly is legally responsible for your injuries.
Thankfully, there are insurance laws in California that are mandatory for all vehicle owners. Thus, in a San Francisco car accident, the person who causes the accident is almost always legally obligated to pay for your damages. This can be fulfilled by first filing a claim with the insurance company concerned. California Law provides that minimum insurance coverage of $15,000 for the injury or death to one person is required while $30,000 for injury or death to multiple persons. Ridesharing companies, such as Lyft or Uber have higher liability limits for their drivers.
In a car accident case, one of the drivers is typically liable for causing the accident. Being the cause of the accident, the negligent driver has to pay for all damages. Depending upon your case and the severity of the injury, you can claim compensation from the driver and their insurance company. In some instances, the owner or manufacturer can also be liable if there is a defect in the vehicle. Vehicle owners are also responsible for making sure that the cars owned are in good condition for traveling. And manufacturers are responsible to design and manufacture the vehicles to perform in accordance with their purpose and specifications.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER MY CAR ACCIDENT?
A car accident is not only a frightening event, but it is also an incident that leaves you vulnerable to injury or substantial damage. Although your first reaction may be to panic, you should know a few important things to do to avoid further damage.
These are the things you should do immediately after the car accident:
- Check if you or your passengers sustained injuries – Assess the situation around you. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your neck or back, it may be time to see a medical professional. In case of serious car accidents, seek immediate medical attention.
- Move to a safe area – Car crashes may involve gasoline leakages, electrical shocks, or fire risks. Hence, it is very important that you move your vehicle to a safe area, especially when the accident scene is blocking traffic. Only if it is safe to take photos prior to moving your vehicle, it would make sense to do so.
- Contact law enforcement – Whenever a car accident results in injuries or damages, you should notify the authorities. Because of public policy, drivers are obliged to cooperate with the police.
- Record information – You should take down as many details as possible such as names and contact information. You may also ask for the driver’s license number and insurance details of the other driver. This will also provide you with information that will be helpful in case of future legal actions. Take photos or videos of the accident scene as well if it is safe to do so.
- Contact an experienced car accident lawyer – Filing a car accident claim, negotiating settlements, keeping in touch with insurance companies, and filing a lawsuit if needed are just a few things that car accident lawyers can do for you. These actions may be stressful and overwhelming, given that you have been injured and still recovering. Contact a car accident law firm as soon as possible to receive legal services, so you can focus on healing from your injuries while an attorney is addressing the legal aspect of your situation.
THINGS TO PREPARE FOR LITIGATION IN A CAR ACCIDENT CASE
Car accidents involve parties who will have conflicting claims. One could be asserting damages while the other is avoiding liability. Sometimes, settlements are impossible. A car accident attorney will assist you in taking the steps towards filing a lawsuit. After the lawsuit is filed, the litigation will be broken down into stages.
First, there will be the gathering of evidence. These pieces of evidence are essential in establishing your claim, and it is important to know that every piece of evidence will be offered in court and shown to the other party for validation. Depositions or out-of-court interviews will also be conducted by the attorney to evaluate the strength of the other party’s arguments.
Next is the hiring of expert witnesses to aid in strengthening the claim. The experts are independent witnesses retained by each side who will opine on liability, causes of accidents, injuries, and medical damages. Witness testimonies of those who saw the accident happen are also useful in this process.
Lastly, while most cases settle, if the settlement is not reached, the case proceeds to trial. A car accident attorney will be able to provide you with a trial schedule so that you can prepare for it. He will also be able to pre-screen the witnesses and prepare you for your testimony.
WHY CHOOSE HALAVANAU LAW OFFICE, P.C. FOR YOUR CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM?
Halavanau Law Office, P.C. is a San Francisco car law firm representing personal injury victims and their families for years. Led by Gene Halavanau, the firm will gladly evaluate your auto accident case if you, a friend, or a loved one were injured in a car accident due to no fault of their own. You can depend on Halavanau Law Office to help resolve your case and get you the compensation you deserve.
Legal service is not only a matter of law, but it is also a matter of experience, dedication, and diligence. We know the California car accident laws inside out and will help you determine if you have a valid claim against the other party. Our legal team is also well-versed in settlement negotiations and litigation.
Our personal injury team provides a number of legal services to victims to ensure they are able to hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions, so they can maximize their recoveries and receive justice. Some of the services we provide for accident victims include:
- Investigating accidents
- Gathering evidence and documents pertaining to the collision
- Working with expert recreationists to recreate the accident
- Working with financial experts to calculate lost wages and earnings
- Obtaining copies of police reports
- Helping victims receive the medical treatment they need
- Negotiating timely and full compensation for victims
- Providing effective and trusted legal representation for victims in the courtroom
SAN FRANCISCO CAR ACCIDENT FAQs
In California, a vehicle accident has a two-year statute of limitations for filing claims for injuries in most cases. However, the statute of limitations can be as short as 6 months depending on the parties involved. Thus, it is important to discuss your accident with a car accident lawyer shortly after the accident.
If the injured victim is a minor, they can wait until they turn 18 years old and then up to two years after that to file a lawsuit. Alternatively, they can be represented by a guardian ad litem, typically one of the minor’s parents while they are still underage. Contact an experienced car accident attorney to avoid any issues with the timely filing of your injury claim.
Some of the factors in deciding whether you need to retain a car accident lawyer are the severity of your injuries and the extent of damage to your property. You could have also missed some work resulting in lost wages or future income. While it is purely your decision, having an attorney to navigate through the complex waters of the insurance industry is always helpful. A personal injury lawyer will help you gather your evidence, medical bills, present a demand package to an insurance company, and file a lawsuit, if necessary. Each of these steps will benefit from the knowledgeable and experienced team working on the issue.
California law adopts the comparative negligence principle in determining the liability of parties in a car accident. Comparative negligence is when the negligence of the plaintiff and the defendant are weighed to determine how much each party should be responsible for the damage.
The injured party shall be entitled to damages to cover the following:
- The costs of all past, current, and anticipated medical treatment and surgeries
- The costs for long-term care and therapy
- Lost wages due to inability to work and doctor appointments
- Lost earning capacity for people who are unable to return to work
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Property damages
If you are involved in a hit-and-run car accident, the at-fault driver did stick around trying to avoid liability. If possible, record the plate number and model of the car. Gather as much evidence as possible.
Since you cannot rely on the negligent driver at the moment, you may file an insurance claim with your own insurance company under a so-called uninsured motorist claim to seek compensation. Thus, it is also advisable to have proper insurance that covers these unfortunate situations.
You should consult a car accident law firm for legal assistance filing of your claim against the at-fault driver or under your uninsured motorist claim coverage.
There are no legal fees unless you recover compensation for your injuries. A typical law firm only gets paid if you receive an award or settlement, and this is under a contingency fee agreement, wherein the fees due to a lawyer shall come from a percentage of the award or settlement. Halavanau Law Office also works on a contingency basis with clients in personal injury cases.
The short answer is no. It is usually unfavorable for injured victims to accept settlement right away. There is a need to determine if the insurance company or the at-fault party is offering a reasonable amount of compensation. In addition, it is acceptable to negotiate with an insurance company and the first offer can usually be negotiated higher. A San Francisco car accident lawyer will assist you in evaluating a fair settlement to help you in recovering from your injuries.
People who live in San Francisco certainly need to be aware of all their options if they are involved in an accident. Minor accidents may seem like no big deal, but they can still be a nuisance and turn into a major pain in the future if not dealt with properly. Halavanau Law Office will be happy to talk to you to determine whether it makes sense to work with a lawyer as it relates to your claim.
The length of time it takes for those injured to receive fair compensation after an accident varies. It depends on the insurance companies involved, the number of parties, the severity of injuries, and whether or not legal action is required to take things further. Car injury lawyers would know what to do in this situation to give you peace of mind while waiting for the result of your claim.
Once the insurance company is notified of your accident, a representative from your insurance or the at-fault driver’s insurance will typically try to contact you. It is best to avoid speaking with them if you are planning to work with an attorney. Even the most innocent comment can be manipulated to look like you are at fault for the accident or that your injuries are not as severe as they truly are. Some insurance companies will try to pressure you into accepting a quick settlement that is potentially worth far less than the actual value of your damages, including the cost of past and future treatment, pain and suffering, and other available damages.
An experienced car accident attorney from Halavanau Law Office in San Francisco will take into account all of your current and anticipated medical expenses, lost wages, and various other expenses to obtain the full and fair compensation you need and deserve. We are used to dealing with self-serving insurance companies, so it is crucial that you call our car crash legal team or another reputable attorney prior to communicating with an insurance company. Halavanau Law Office will help guide you through the complex and complicated personal injury legal process and help you understand whether or not a settlement offer is fair. We will handle the communication with insurance companies to ensure they do not take advantage of you if you decide to retain us.
If you have any questions about your car accident or you want to discuss the legal options available as you focus on your recovery, contact Halavanau Law Office in San Francisco to discuss your case.
CONTACT A SAN FRANCISCO CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER AT HALAVANAU LAW OFFICE TODAY
Do not waste time and contact an experienced San Francisco car accident lawyer at Halavanau Law today. Learn about your options and make informed decisions when dealing with your car accident. For a free consultation, call us at 415-692-5301 or send us an email at email@example.com. An experienced San Francisco Accident lawyer will help you understand your rights and guide you in the right direction.