Many California car accidents are minor. These annoying fender benders are a hassle but they’re just part of living in a city like Los Angeles or San Francisco!
Sometimes, though, auto accidents are much more serious. You don’t just have a dented bumper. You have a severe physical injury, a mountain of medical bills, and a long recovery period that prevents you from making money at work.
An accident like this can completely change your life, churning up problems in your relationships and destroying your financial stability. You might lose your job or be unable to enjoy hobbies that once brought you deep pleasure. Now what?
When a major motor vehicle accident like this happens, the team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help. Sally Morin has created a dream team of lawyers who are passionate about getting Bay Area people the personal injury settlements they deserve as quickly as possible.
In the vast majority of car accident cases, our law office can negotiate a valuable auto insurance settlement that prevents you from ever having to set foot in court. Plus, we know how to use other techniques that maximize the money in your pocket, like convincing medical providers to lower your bills and locating evidence that proves your pain and suffering and helps you recover lost wages.
You’ve already been in a serious car accident that wasn’t even your fault. Isn’t that enough? Let us take the wheel. Get started now with a free case evaluation.Get Started With A FREE EVALUATION
Despite your best efforts to drive safely, car accidents happen. When a crash occurs, it’s essential to know how to protect your rights under California law.
If you’ve suffered major injuries from your car accident, you need legal representation as soon as possible. Before you know it, you’ll have a big pile of medical bills and nagging calls from the car insurance company. It’s time to decide on your next steps.
Don’t miss your chance to build the strongest car accident claim possible! Here are your top priorities after a California car accident.
Get Medical Care ASAP
If you sustained serious injuries, chances are high that you were taken by ambulance to San Francisco General or another major hospital in your area. If not, go to the ER to report your injuries and get them treated.
This is the first step to building a solid car accident claim. Even if your injuries are minor, you should still see a qualified medical professional and follow their instructions on what to do for the best physical recovery.
You can start the investigative legwork yourself by gathering car accident evidence. Take videos and/or photos of the scene of the accident and all vehicles involved. Also, it’s important to get the driver’s insurance information and any eyewitness contact info.
Once you are home from the hospital, reach out to the witnesses to make sure you have a solid case for fault against the other motorist. Get a copy of the police’s traffic collision report. Also, photograph your visible injuries or scarring you may have as a result of the car wreck.
Avoid Talking to the Insurance Adjusters
The insurance company will probably ask you to make a recorded statement and try to get your private information, like your social security number. Don’t do it! It’s much less stressful and more fun to say, “Call my lawyer!”
Don’t Use Social Media to Announce Your Car Accident
Keep your accident off social media at all costs. Social media posting may seem harmless, but it can provide the other side with information they can use to minimize your claim’s value. Anything you say can be twisted into a negative for your case.
Let a San Francisco Car Accident Lawyer Take the Wheel
Allowing an experienced auto accident attorney in San Francisco to handle your case will not only increase the money in your pocket but reduce the stress in your life. Your lawyer at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers is there to release you from the legal burden so you can rest and recover.
Although there are lots of causes of car accidents in California, personal injury lawyers tend to see certain types of accidents crop up over and over again. Here are some of the most common causes of severe car accidents.
Drunk and drugged driving is a crime and a persistent problem in California. When someone gets behind the wheel intoxicated, their reaction time is slow and they’re less able to adapt to changing road conditions.
More than 1,000 California people lose their lives every year due to drunk driving. Even more infuriating is the fact that up to 77% of fatal drunk driving crashes involve a repeat offender who’s already been caught driving drunk before!
If an impaired driver hurts you in a car accident, you may have a strong compensation case. Hold an intoxicated driver responsible and get your bills paid by making an insurance claim. Or, if necessary, take them to court for a lawsuit that compensates you for your losses.
Driver Mistakes and Distracted Driving
After an accident, it’s common for a negligent driver to say it was a “simple mistake” or “just an accident.” But maybe they were too distracted to drive safely.
Distracted driving is an enormous problem across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 2,800 people are killed and 400,000 are injured in distracted driving accidents each year. Common distractions include smartphones, entertainment devices, in-car display screens, music, passengers, food, and even pets.
When someone is distracted, they’re taking their eyes, hands, or mind off the road. That’s not just an accident. That’s negligence! Your car accident lawyer can help you gather evidence of the other driver’s distraction that can strengthen your case against them.
Failures to Maintain Vehicles
Poorly-maintained vehicles cause more accidents than you might realize. Commercial semi-trailer brake failures are particularly common due to these vehicles’ long hours on the road and the need for constant maintenance.
When a trucker or any other driver fails to maintain their vehicle, the result can be a catastrophic traffic accident. Your lawyer can help you obtain vehicle maintenance records that show strong evidence that your injuries and other damages arose from the other driver’s lack of proper vehicle maintenance.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Sometimes car accidents happen because the road conditions were too dangerous for even the most skillful drivers. Nobody can control whether it’s foggy, icy, windy, or stormy, but safe driving is each driver’s obligation.
Plus, there are governmental agencies in charge of preventing things like road debris, missing road signs, and other dangers. After your accident, consider whether the road conditions may have somehow contributed. Did the streetlights provide proper visibility? Was there overgrown foliage? Was there broken pavement or construction debris in the roadway?
Your lawyer can help you locate the government or private entity in charge of keeping the roads safe where your accident happened, then build a strong case for compensation from them.
When most people think of traffic accident injuries, they think of things like cuts and whiplash, but car accident victims can sustain injuries much more widespread. Emotional trauma, for example, is a legitimate injury that deserves to be properly valued. So are the damages to your intimate and interpersonal relationships.
Below is a list of common physical injuries that occur in California car accidents.
In addition, people who are injured in car accidents often have long-lasting mental and emotional injuries that need significant psychological treatment. You may develop a fear of driving or struggle with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Accident victims with a lawyer receive an average of 3.5 times more than those who are unrepresented.
An insurance adjuster is someone who contacts you after an accident and works with you to settle your claim. Beware of interacting with these insurance professionals because they usually have plenty of experience with offering people bottom-dollar payments!
If they make you a fast offer, it’s probably a lowball offer that could easily be negotiated upward with the help of a lawyer. The insurance company’s goal is to minimize the dollar value of the payments they make, even when they know you deserve to get a higher payout.
So what should you do when the insurance company comes calling? Say these four words: TALK TO MY LAWYER. Then provide your lawyer’s name and contact information and hang up. That’s all you have to do, by law.
If you do decide to speak to the insurance company, don’t admit fault, don’t make uncertain statements, and don’t allow a recording of your conversation. Anything you say to them can be held against you. Ideally, you’ll let your lawyer handle this tricky part of your accident’s aftermath.
This is a great question that could impact the outcome of your case. YES – there is a strict time limit on filing a car accident lawsuit, which is known as the statute of limitations.
For most car accidents, this period is within two years of the date of the accident. If you can’t settle your accident by then, you’ll have to start a lawsuit before the deadline passes or your legal right to do so expires.
However, if your accident involves a governmental entity like a city, county, or state agency, you must file a governmental claim form within six months of the date of the accident. Then the government entity has 45 days to take action on the claim. If your claim is rejected – which is very common – you then have six months from the date the claim is rejected to file a lawsuit.
INJURIES REQUIRING SURGERY
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
Here in California, our car accident lawyers, insurance companies, judges, and juries consider many factors when deciding how to assign fault after a car crash.
Relevant factors may include:
Other factors include the involvement of a commercial trucking company or delivery company like UberEats, DoorDash, FedEx, or UPS. Maybe an Uber driver or even a driverless Uber played a role in your crash. There are so many possibilities!
You might not know the whole truth until your lawyer investigates how the crash happened and shares the facts with you. There’s also the possibility that a special legal circumstance might apply and protect you from fault.
You could be eligible for protection under California’s emergency doctrine. This rule states that if you are suddenly confronted by a danger you didn’t create, your liability may be low to nil. For example, if a car hit you in a chain reaction collision and caused you to swerve into a group of other cars, the emergency doctrine might apply.
And keep in mind that California is a comparative negligence state, where the fault may be split among parties with each receiving a proportion of the blame. That’s a good thing for you! It means even if you share partial fault, you can still get a portion of your costs paid.
Why risk sabotaging your SF car accident claim by trying to handle it alone?
Get your no cost, risk-free case evaluation. And get peace of mind.
If at any time within the first 30 days of signing with Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers you are not 100% satisfied with the quality and care of service you receive from our attorneys, we will cancel your contract at no cost so that you can seek different representation. No questions asked.
Here are some things you MUST do in the meantime to avoid ruining your chances at a solid outcome.
Despite your best efforts to drive safely, car accidents happen. When a crash does occur, it is important to know what to do to protect your rights under California law. If you've suffered major injuries from your San Francisco car accident, you really should be looking to hire lawyer, but if you need more time to make this decision, here is our list of what you can do to help build the strongest car accident claim possible.
Get Medical Care ASAP | If you sustained serious injuries, chances are high that you were taken by ambulance to San Francisco General. If not, going to the ER to report your injuries and get them treated is the very first step to building a solid car accident claim. If your injuries weren’t that serious, you should still see a qualified medical professional and follow their instructions on what to do for the best physical recovery.
Gather Evidence | If you don’t have a car accident lawyer yet, you’ll have to do some of the investigative legwork in your case yourself. Ideally, you (or someone) took photos of all vehicles involved and the scene of the accident just after the accident. Also, it’s important to get insurance information from the other driver and any eyewitness contact info. Once you are home from the hospital, you probably want to reach out to witnesses to make sure you have a solid case for fault against the other motorist. Make sure you get a copy of the San Francisco Police Department traffic collision report. Also, take pics of any visible injuries or scarring you may have as a result of the car wreck
Avoid Talking to the Insurance Adjusters | They will try to get your private information [like your Social Security Number] and use your statements to discount any settlement offer they make. It’s much less stressful and way more fun to say “Call my lawyer!” instead of answering endless questions.
Don’t Use Social Media to Announce Your Car Accident | Avoid this at all costs! Social media posting may seem harmless, but it can provide the other side with more information they can use to minimize your claim’s value. Even the most benign posts can be twisted into a negative for your case.
Let a San Francisco Car Accident Lawyer Take the Wheel | Allowing an experienced SF auto accident attorney handle your case will not only increase the money in your pocket, but it will reduce the stress in your life. Speak with one of the SF car accident professionals at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers today.
Car Accident Client
"Sally and her team worked tirelessly to make sure that I was taken care of on all fronts."
Sure, you can try to negotiate directly with the other driver’s insurance company to avoid paying a car accident attorney’s fees. But this is a risky strategy.
The insurance company will heavily discount your compensation because they know you don’t have a lawyer and will assume your costs are lower. Also, they might offer to pay for your past medical bills, but will they compensate you for your lost earnings? Your future medical treatment? Your ongoing therapy?
What about the level of pain and suffering you’ve experienced? You deserve full and fair compensation for the extensive impacts of the accident on your body, mind, and life. These elements of damages are guaranteed by California law and should never be glossed over or undervalued by a self-interested insurance company.
A great car accident lawyer puts a proper value on your damages while relieving your stress and allowing you to focus on healing. Plus, an experienced lawyer knows how to increase the money in your pocket by far more than the cost of your legal fees.
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we don’t take our fee until the conclusion of your case after you’ve already maximized your compensation and covered your other costs. We’re here to help you focus on what’s important and move forward with your life!
San Francisco Client
"Lauren, Sally and Rebecca were better than family in steering me through the 6 months that followed."
The San Francisco car accident legal team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers gives unparalleled customer-service. You can see in our reviews all the reasons...
After a car accident contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including car accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about California’s injured people. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation or call 877-380-8852.
Complete Guide on what to do after an accident in San Francisco
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If you answered “yes", contact Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers' San Francisco auto accident team to see if we can help.
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You can also learn more about how the accident claims process works if you choose Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers to guide you through your SF auto accident case.
Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers is an all female team of customer-focused, five-star California personal injury attorneys who exclusively handle traffic accident settlement negotiation. They have California offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Oakland.