San Francisco Personal Injury Attorney
Life-changing accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. If you’ve been injured, don’t leave your recovery to chance. Work with a personal injury lawyer who will fight for you every step of the way.
Personal Injury Law in San Francisco and Oakland
If you were injured or experienced property damage because someone else was reckless, careless or negligent, the law gives you the right to recover compensation in court. Personal injury covers the following accident cases as well as lawsuits stemming from defective products or violent crimes.
• Assault and battery
• Brain and spinal cord injuries
• Car and truck collisions
• Dog or animal bites
• Motorcycle accidents
• Negligent security
• Pedestrian accidents
• Premises liability
• Product liability
• Slip or trip and falls
• Workplace injuries
• Wrongful death
In personal injury law, the person who was harmed is called the plaintiff, and the person who allegedly caused the accident is the defendant. The burden of proof always rests on the plaintiff. When a personal injury lawsuit goes to court, the plaintiff must prove four things.
1. Duty of Care
First, you must show that the defendant had a duty to ensure your safety when the accident occurred. You might assert that another motorist owed you an ordinary level of care, or you might claim that the local grocery store should have protected you as a shopper.
2. The Breach
Then, you must show that the defendant breached the duty of care. You might provide evidence that the other driver was texting and speeding, or you might show that the store failed to clean up a dangerous spill.
• Negligent torts stem from unintentional accidents caused by carelessness or recklessness.
• Intentional torts include violent crimes, assaults and wrongful death claims resulting from deliberate or foreseeable accidents.
• Strict liability applies to injuries caused by defective or poorly designed products.
Next, you must show that you were harmed. Courts may award economic and noneconomic damages for the following losses.
• Diminished earning capacity
• Disabling injuries
• Disfigurement or scarring
• Emotional distress
• Medical bills
• Pain and suffering
• Past and future lost wages
• Property damage
4. Proximate Cause
Finally, you must show that the defendant’s failure to exercise reasonable care was the direct cause of your injuries. In other words, you need to prove that the accident wouldn’t have happened if the defendant had met the duty of care.
Personal Injury Liability: Who’s Responsible for My Injuries?
After an accident, a lawyer can determine who’s responsible and help you recover compensation to make you whole. Personal injury claims can be resolved through out-of-court settlements or lawsuits that are decided by a judge or jury.
After accepting the case, your attorney will prepare a demand letter that begins the negotiation process. Out-of-court settlements help companies save time and money, so they’re an attractive alternative to litigation. According to the American Bar Association, the vast majority of cases are settled and never go to trial.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
If you can’t come to an agreement, your case will go to court. At the trial stage, a judge or jury will hear the facts of your case and decide how much compensation you should receive. Damages are based on actual losses as well as judgments from past lawsuits.
What to Do if You’re Injured
Knowing what to do after an accident could mean the difference between winning or losing. To protect your right to compensation, follow these do’s and don’ts.
• Do visit a doctor within 24 hours.
• Do follow the physician’s orders and complete physical therapy.
• Do keep copies of all accident reports, medical records, and related documents.
• Do gather evidence, such as license plate numbers or photos of the accident scene.
• Do consult an attorney before accepting an insurance settlement.
• Don’t wait to file a claim. Deadlines may limit your right to compensation.
• Don’t discuss the case with the defendant’s lawyer or insurance company.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Recovery is hard enough without the added worry of paying for medical care and supporting your family while you’re unable to work. By hiring a personal injury attorney, you don’t have to fight the insurance companies and corporate lawyers on your own. Focus on getting better, and leave the rest to us.
Our attorneys have the resources needed to investigate accidents and gather evidence that will prove your case in court. Your lawyer may also help with your medical bills by delaying collections before the settlement. Most importantly, an attorney will ensure that you’re treated fairly. Because personal injury lawyers handle cases on a contingency basis, there’s no risk. You only pay if we win.
Contacting a San Francisco Area Personal Injury Attorney
At Rizio Liberty Lipinsky, our experienced personal injury attorneys will handle all of the work so that you can concentrate on your family and your recovery. Over the past 20 years, we have won record-setting verdicts for individuals statewide. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will listen to your story, answer your questions and provide personalized advice.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at our Oakland or San Francisco office. We’ll help you take the next step.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.