From car accidents and dog bites to nursing home abuse and on-the-job injuries, there are, unfortunately, many different ways that someone’s recklessness or carelessness can injure you. If you suffered an injury as a result of another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

The legal team at OnderLaw is ready to help you get the recovery you need through a personal injury claim. Since our firm’s founding in 2002, our partners have helped our clients recover more than $3 billion in compensation for their injuries. Between them, the attorneys at OnderLaw have decades of legal experience they can call upon to help you win your case.

Our personal injury lawyers have earned recognition from numerous organizations, including the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and The National Trial Lawyers, which included many of our attorneys on its Top 100 Trial Lawyers list.

No matter how daunting or complex your personal injury case may seem, OnderLaw can help you recover the money you need to pay your bills and move on from a difficult moment in your life. To learn more or get a free initial consultation, call or visit our contact page.

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Why Hire a San Francisco Personal Injury Lawyer?

When you are the victim of someone else’s negligence, no matter what kind of accident may have been involved, the injuries and financial losses can quickly pile up. You may be in a great deal of pain and need intense medical treatment without having the ability to pay for your treatment. Even worse, your injuries may preclude you from working for a while, making it even harder to pay for the treatment you need.

This is where a personal injury claim can be a valuable legal tool. By filing a claim against the responsible party’s insurance company or taking your case to court, we can work to get the money you need to pay for your medical treatment, pay your bills, cover other losses. Furthermore, you may be compensated for the physical pain and emotional turmoil you have been through because of the accident. This money can help you live comfortably in the aftermath of your injuries, especially if those injuries prevent you from working or require you to find a new career.

However, it is not always easy to secure the full compensation you’re due. You will likely be going up against insurance companies with massive financial resources at their disposal and a deep bench of skilled lawyers. The insurance company has no incentive to pay you for your injuries if they do not have to, especially if you have soaring medical bills and are in serious pain.

The way to level the playing field against insurance companies is to hire a personal injury law firm that is capable of navigating the most challenging cases. That’s what we do at OnderLaw. With our experience, knowledge, and resources at your disposal, you can wage a fair fight to claim the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We will thoroughly investigate every aspect of your case to find all the potentially liable parties and all sources of compensation for your losses. We know the strategies insurance companies use to fight these battles, and more importantly, we know how to counter those strategies.

At OnderLaw, our lawyers are fully equipped to handle a wide range of personal injury cases, including:

Steps to Take After an Accident

While the steps to take after a personal injury accident will vary slightly, depending on what kind of accident you are involved in, here are a few general guidelines to follow after most accidents:

  1. Get medical attention as soon as possible.

    Even if you do not feel like you have been badly injured, there may be underlying internal injuries that require treatment. The best way to make sure all your injuries are accounted for, documented, and treated is to see a doctor right away.

  2. Call 911 to report the accident.

    The police officer investigating the accident will write an accident that can be used as evidence later on.

  3. Once you’ve been seen by a doctor, follow their orders precisely.

    Not doing so can jeopardize your case or lower the value of your claim since the other party in your case can argue that you aggravated your injuries by not following your treatment regimen.

  4. Document your injuries as much as possible.

    Save medical records and receipts, take pictures of your injuries and the accident scene, and get contact information from anybody who may have witnessed the accident.

  5. Get contact information from anybody else who was involved in your accident.

    This includes things like their name, phone number, email address, and mailing address. In car accidents, truck accidents, and related cases, you also want to get insurance information from any other drivers involved in the crash.

  6. Report the accident to your insurance company.

    If they ask for a statement, stick to the basic facts and do not say “I’m sorry” or anything else that could be interpreted as you admitting guilt. Do not agree to let your statement be recorded.

  7. Speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

    An attorney can evaluate your case and let you know what your potential legal options might be. If you decide to pursue legal action against the other parties involved in your accident, your lawyer can begin gathering evidence and building your case.

What Does an Accident Investigation Look Like?

If you have not been involved in a personal injury case before, you may be wondering what a lawyer does when they are investigating your case. Here are a few things a personal injury attorney will do during the course of their investigation:

  1. Gather and Preserve Evidence

    Not only do you need evidence to show the party you have filed a claim against was responsible for your injuries, you also need documentation of the injuries and other losses you have sustained. An attorney can look over police reports, medical records, surveillance footage, photos from the scene, and other evidence to help build your case.

  2. Speak with Witnesses

    One of the most important jobs of any personal injury lawyer is to speak with those who saw the accident and get their perspective. This needs to be done carefully, as different people may offer different accounts of what happened, and it is important to sort out any inconsistencies to determine who is responsible for your injuries.

  3. Reconstruct the Accident

    This is more common in car accidents and similar cases, though it can also be helpful in other kinds of personal injury claims as well. With help from forensic investigators, an attorney can recreate the circumstances of the accident using other evidence to try to get a clearer picture of what happened and who is responsible.

  4. Identify Negligent Actions

    Personal injury claims are built on the idea that a party was negligent in some way and caused the accident, and therefore, they should be the one to compensate you. This generally requires looking at the case to see if someone acted illegally or recklessly in some manner.

  5. Determine Fault

    There may be more than one liable party for an accident, and it is important to make sure all liable parties are identified so you can get the maximum amount of compensation. You may even be partially responsible for the accident, though that does not necessarily mean you are barred from recovering any money for your injuries. Regardless, having a clear picture of where the fault lies for your accident is essential to building the strongest possible case.

What Compensation Is Available in Personal Injury Cases?

California law allows the victims of personal injury accidents to pursue compensation for their injuries even if they were partially responsible for causing the accident. The state uses a pure comparative negligence standard, meaning that any party’s compensation in a personal injury case will be diminished in proportion to their percentage of fault in the accident.

In other words, if you are found to be 30 percent responsible for causing the accident, you will lose out on 30 percent of the compensation that you asked for. You can even file a claim if you bear the majority of the fault for causing the accident, though that may not be your best option.

If you pursue a personal injury claim, here are a few of the things that you could potentially be compensated for:

  • Your lost wages while you were recovering from the accident
  • Your diminished ability to work if you were disabled in the accident
  • The cost of your past and future medical care related to the accident
  • The cost of any alterations you need to make to your home as a result of your injuries
  • The value of any property that was damaged or destroyed in the accident
  • The physical pain you endured from your injuries
  • Any mental anguish you have suffered
  • The loss of financial or emotional support from a family member

Common Causes of Personal Injury Accidents

Following are some of the most common causes of personal injury accidents that we see at OnderLaw:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

(car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, rideshare accidents, etc.)

  • Drivers intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications
  • Driver fatigue
  • Distracted driving
  • Mechanical failure
  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Bad weather conditions
  • Poor road conditions
  • Driver inexperience
Premises Liability Cases

(slip-and-fall accidents, trip-and-fall accidents, dog bites, inadequate maintenance, negligent security, etc.)

  • Spilled liquids that aren’t cleaned up
  • Loose electrical cords
  • Uneven sidewalks, parking lot surfaces, walkways, etc.
  • Loose or poorly maintained guardrails
  • Loose carpeting
  • Flying or falling objects
  • Hazardous chemicals on the site
  • Poor lighting
  • Poorly trained or negligent security guards
  • Poor maintenance at a property
  • Dogs not being adequately monitored and secured
Burn Injuries
  • Explosions and fires
  • Loose electrical wires
  • Exposure to caustic chemicals
  • Exposure to scalding liquids
Workers’ Compensation
  • Overexertion
  • Slip-and-falls
  • Trip-and-falls
  • Falling objects
  • Becoming caught or entangled in machinery
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Exposure to toxic fumes
Brain Injuries
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Trip-and-fall accidents
  • On-the-job injuries
  • Physical assaults
Nursing Home Abuse
  • Staff shortages
  • Poor training
  • Overcrowded facilities
  • Inexperienced or underpaid staff
  • Negligence by management

Most Common Types of Personal Injury Accidents

Following are the most common types of personal injury accidents our law firm handles:

Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Head-on collisions
  • Rear-end collisions
  • T-Bone collisions
  • Sideswipe collisions
  • Drunk driving collisions
  • Distracted driving collisions
  • Underride and override/collisions
  • Hit-and-run accidents
  • Rollover accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Commercial truck accidents
  • Rideshare accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
Premises Liability Accidents
  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Trip-and-fall accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Staircases or steps collapsing
  • Elevator or escalator accidents
  • Construction site accidents
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Amusement park accidents
  • Inadequate maintenance
  • Poorly trained or negligent security guards
Workers’ Compensation
  • Malfunctioning equipment accidents
  • Industrial explosions
  • Falling objects
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Workplace violence
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Electrical accidents
  • Overuse accidents
Nursing Home Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Medication errors
  • Physical abuse
  • Identity theft
  • Sexual abuse
  • Infections from unsanitary equipment
  • Patients being handled too roughly

Common Injuries Suffered in Personal Injury Accidents

There is any number of injuries that a victim can suffer in an accident. The following are some of the most common that we see in various types of accidents:

Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Burns
  • Amputations
  • Road rash
  • Disfigurement
  • Whiplash
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
Premises Liability Accidents
  • Head trauma
  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Drowning
  • Dog bite injuries
  • Electrical shocks
  • Injuries from exposure to toxic chemicals
Workers’ Compensation
  • Burns
  • Head trauma
  • Electrical shocks
  • Toxic exposure injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Bone fractures
  • Repetitive trauma injuries
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
Nursing Home Abuse
  • Bedsores
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Asphyxiation
  • Infections
  • Bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Medical overdoses

What Is the Cost of a Personal Injury Lawyer?

While an insurance company’s financial resources may be effectively limitless, yours are not. A personal injury claim takes time, effort, and money to build, and you may not be working while the case is going on. So, with these facts in mind, how do you afford a quality personal injury lawyer?

At OnderLaw, you never have to worry about affording high-quality legal representation. Our firm works on a contingency-fee-basis. This means that we won’t charge you any attorneys’ fees upfront. Instead, we’ll take a fixed, agreed-upon percentage of your recovery. You will not owe us anything unless we get compensation for you, so there is minimal risk to you even if you lose your case.

California Accident Statistics

Here are a few helpful statistics related to some of the personal injury cases we handle:

Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • The California Office of Traffic Safety reports that there were 3,563 traffic deaths in California in 2018
  • Of those deaths, there were 1,069 fatalities that were the result of drunk driving accidents
  • There were 488 motorcycle rider deaths in 2018
  • 155 bicyclists died in traffic crashes in 2018
  • 893 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes
Premises Liability Accidents
  • There were 37,455 accidental fall deaths nationwide in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control
  • The CDC also reported there were more than ten million ER visits for fall-related injuries nationwide in 2017
  • The Tribune, a San Luis Obispo newspaper, reports that dog bite attacks are more common in California than in any other state
Workers’ Compensation
  • The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health reports that there were 376 work-related fatalities across the state in 2016, as well as 2017.
  • The state Division of Occupational Safety and Health also reported that transportation accidents accounted for 37 percent of work-related deaths from 2013-2017.
  • Other common causes of workplace deaths in California from 2013-2017 include workplace violence (20 percent) and slip-and-fall accidents (19 percent)
Nursing Home Abuse
  • California’s Office of the Attorney General reports that the state’s elderly population was projected to reach 6.4 million people by 2025.
  • Currently, the attorney general reports, about 110,000 California residents live in licensed nursing homes, and about 150,000 more Californians live in licensed residential care facilities. However, there are also about 150,000 Californians living in unlicensed assisted living facilities, and they may be receiving substandard care.
  • Finally, about 13 percent of nursing home abuse reports to the state’s Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman involved some type of exploitation, gross abuse, or neglect. That’s more than double the national rate of five percent.

Personal Injury Laws in California

Here are a few of the personal injury laws unique to California that concern some of the cases we handle:

Driving Laws

  • Using a cellphone while driving is illegal unless you have a hands-free device.
  • All motorcycle riders and passengers are required to wear helmets at all times
  • California requires all drivers to carry at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage, along with $5,000 per accident in property damage coverage

Dog Bite Laws

  • Unlike many states, California does not have a “one-bite rule,” meaning dog owners can be held liable for bite injuries even if they had no indication the dog was dangerous and it had never bitten anyone before

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims

  • You have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit against the party you believe is responsible for your injuries
  • If you are filing a lawsuit against a state or local government entity, you have six months from the date of your injury to file

Caps on Compensation in Personal Injury Cases

  • Uninsured drivers cannot collect compensation for non-economic losses (i.e., pain and suffering) unless the case involves a drunk driver who is convicted of DUI
  • Compensation for non-economic losses in medical malpractice cases is capped at $250,000

The Claims Process After an Accident

Here’s a walkthrough of the basic claims process after an accident, though the details may vary in some cases:

  1. Filing a Claim

    You will submit a letter to the insurance company for the party or parties you believe are responsible for your injuries. The letter will outline your injuries and what you are seeking in compensation.

  2. Negotiations with the Insurance Adjusters

    The insurance company may reject your initial demand, so your attorney will begin negotiations to get you a fair settlement.

  3. Reviewing Settlement Offers

    By the time negotiations have concluded, you’ll have the chance to accept or reject the insurance company’s offer.

  4. Receiving Compensation

    If you agree to an offer, you will receive your compensation, and your attorney will take their cut under the terms of your contingency fee agreement.

  5. Fighting Denied Claims

    If your claim is denied or a reasonable settlement cannot be reached it is time to take your case to court. Your attorney will file a lawsuit and make other preparations.

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How Personal Injury Lawsuits Work in California

If you cannot reach a reasonable settlement in negotiations with the insurance company after an accident, here is how the lawsuit process generally works:

  1. Determine Where to File

    Different cases need to be filed with different courts or agencies. Workers’ compensation cases are filed with the state Division of Workers’ Compensation. In other civil suits, claims of less than $10,000 need to be filed in small claims court, while claims greater than $10,000 need to be filed in California civil court.

  2. File your Lawsuit

    Once you know where to file your case, your attorney will draft the first pieces of your lawsuit: A summons, which informs the defendant that they are being sued, and a complaint, which outlines the basic facts of the case and what kind of compensation you are seeking.

  3. Discovery

    Once the summons and complaint are drafted and filed with the court, both sides get a chance to request evidence from the other party in the lawsuit.

  4. Mediation

    A judge may order you and the other party into mediation before allowing the case to proceed to trial. If this occurs, it will be similar to previous negotiations with the insurance company, though the proceedings may be led by a court-appointed mediator.

  5. Trial

    If mediation fails, then the case goes to trial. The trial may be before a jury or just a judge, depending on the circumstances of your case and what your attorney thinks is the best move.

  6. Verdict

    Once the trial is concluded, the judge or jury will deliver their verdict. If you get a verdict in your favor, the judge will determine how much compensation you are entitled to. If not, you can appeal your case to a higher court.

Contact an Experienced, Driven San Francisco Personal Injury Lawyer Today

With so much at stake in a personal injury case, getting the right legal representation is crucial. When you work with the attorneys at OnderLaw, you can feel confident that your case is in the best hands possible.

To give yourself the best chance at getting the compensation you need and deserve, call us today or visit our contact page. There is never a fee to talk to us about your case, and we’ll take the time to listen to your story and review your legal options.