A car accident can happen when you least expect it.
A serious car accident can leave you badly injured, unable to work, stuck without a working vehicle, and wondering what to do next.
After an accident in San Francisco, a personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights and whether you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and other losses.
The team at Wakeford Gelini has extensive experience handling accident claims, and we have the results to back it up:
Featured Case Results
Rear End Vehicle Collision
A negligent driver rear-ended our client who suffered a significant back injury resulting in pre-trial settlement of $750,000.
LOW-SPEED REAR END VEHICLE COLLISION
Our client was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a low-speed impact resulting in back surgery. Settlement of his third-party liability and his underinsurance claims resulted in total settlement of $565,000.
Car Rear Ended By Bus
A bus rear ended our client causing serious back injuries. Result: $125,000.
Disputed Liability Red Light Crash
Our client came to us with a low back injury after having been sued by a motorist in a disputed fault automobile collision. The police report placed fault on our client. They claimed he entered an intersection in his Porsche on a red light. This supposedly was the cause of a collision with a large pickup truck. The truck went on to collide with several more vehicles after the initial collision. The police report included numerous witness statements most of which blamed our client. After the course of the next two years, we took numerous depositions. Eventually, what we had known all along eventually became evident. The police report was wrong and it was actually the driver of the pickup who had run the red light. After multiple days of mandatory settlement conference, just before trial, the other driver’s insurance finally agreed to compensate our client for his back injury and paid $115,000 to settle the case.
While our clients, grandparents and their two grand-kids were driving through an intersection, another vehicle illegally turned left in front of our clients. The insurer for the other driver contended that the claimed injuries were not severe and not caused by the collision. After aggressive advocacy for our clients, we made a policy limits demand and contradicted the insurer’s position regrading our clients’ injuries. The insurer paid its entire policy to our clients.
Reach out today to learn how much your case is worth and to find out how to proceed next.
Our car accident lawyers represent victims of accidents caused by negligent and reckless driving in San Francisco, Corte Madera, San Rafael, Mill Valley, Sausalito, and the surrounding Marin County areas. Here are some of the most common questions we get asked by our car accident clients.
Frequently Asked Questions After a Car Accident
What should I do after a car accident?
After a car accident, your first priority should be your health and safety. If possible, move your vehicle out of the flow of traffic and call the police. If you or anyone else was seriously injured, they’ll send an ambulance to the scene of the accident.
Gather information from the other driver or drivers involved at the accident. Be sure you can do so safely. Get their name, driver license number, license plate number, insurance provider, and contact information. If you can, take several photographs of the scene and damage to your vehicle. This can be critical evidence in a car accident lawsuit.
You’ll need to decide whether to file an insurance claim against the responsible party or parties. Insurance company representatives might try to use your statements against you to reduce your personal injury settlement. A consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and options.
What should I NOT do after a car accident?
You should never admit fault after a car accident. The parties involved in the accident and representatives from their insurance companies will use your words against you. Once the insurance company for the other party in the accident opens a claims investigation, you should never speak to any of their representatives without a lawyer.
After a serious car accident, you should never accept a settlement offer from an insurance company or lawyer without talking to a personal injury lawyer. This might be your first car accident, but a reputable car accident attorney will have handled many cases like yours before. He or she can evaluate whether the at-fault party’s insurance company owes more than they claim.
Finally, you should never attempt to file a car accident lawsuit on your own. Only a qualified car accident lawyer can navigate the highly complex state and federal court systems to adequately protect your interests and get you the money you deserve.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit after a car accident?
A legal rule known as the “statute of limitations” requires you to file your car accident lawyer within a certain period of time. If you miss this important court deadline, your lawsuit will be dismissed. The statute of limitations in most car accident lawsuits in California is two years from the date of the accident. Although there are some exceptions to this rule, only a lawyer can tell you whether they apply to your case. This is one of the many reasons why it’s so important to talk to a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after a serious car accident.
How much does a car accident attorney cost in San Francisco?
Most reputable car accident lawyers do not charge their car accident clients up front for their legal services. Instead, they provide legal services on what is known as a “contingency fee” basis. This means that the car accident attorney will take his or her fees out of your claim or lawsuit settlement (or your damages award if your case goes all the way to trial).
During your initial consultation with a car accident attorney, you should ask about his or her firm’s fee structure and the amount you’ll be charged if you’re successful in your claim or lawsuit. A trustworthy lawyer will be transparent about his or her rates and will answer any questions you might have about how contingency fees work.
How do I know if I need a car accident lawyer?
After a minor car accident, you might not need a lawyer. If nobody was injured in the car accident and there’s only vehicle damage involved, you can probably handle the insurance claim negotiation and settlement process on your own. A car accident attorney probably won’t be willing to represent you in this type of claim.
If you were involved in a car accident that caused serious injuries, you should call a car accident attorney right away. You should also seek immediate assistance from a lawyer if there were multiple vehicles involved in the car accident, or if any of the vehicles involved were commercial vehicles or government vehicles. These types of complex scenarios require advice from a lawyer who can advise you of your legal rights and help you navigate the aftermath of your car accident.
How long will my case take?
The amount of time it will take to resolve your insurance claim or lawsuit after a car accident depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries, the amount of time it will take for you to fully recover from them, and how many parties were involved in the accident. If you file a lawsuit, it can take several months or even years for your case to go to trial. Because of this, many at-fault parties are willing to make a settlement offer to avoid the cost and time involved in litigating a case.
A San Francisco car accident lawyer can help you understand what the car accident claim or lawsuit timeline will look like based on the facts of your particular case.
What should I look for in a car accident lawyer?
Choosing a car accident attorney is an important decision. Before hiring a lawyer, you should schedule consultations with different personal injury firms to discuss your car accident case. During these consultations, you should feel completely comfortable asking the lawyer about his or her background and the results he or she has achieved for past car accident clients. Make sure to choose someone who has a lot of experience resolving cases both in court during trial and outside of court during the settlement negotiation process.
You’ll want to pick someone with whom you enjoy working and who will be a strong advocate for your legal interests. Ask potential lawyers to see past results and about how aggressive the lawyer will be in his or her case strategy. You should also ask for references from past clients.
Contact our San Francisco Car Accident Lawyers Today
At Wakeford Gelini, our experienced San Francisco car accident lawyers understand how stressful a serious car accident can be. Call (415) 578-3510 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a personal injury lawyer today.