Personal injury attorney San fransisco

Dolan Law – San Francisco Personal Injury Attorneys

The injured party may be able to sue the negligent party for their injuries. If you suffer an injury, you may be able to file a claim in court, which would allow you to receive financial compensation.

In this article, I will provide a concise summary of California Personal Injury Law

“Personal injury” refers to an injury or financial loss caused by another’s recklessness, carelessness, or intentional conduct. If you want compensation from the person or government agency that injured you (or their insurance company), you must demonstrate the following:

  • How much damage you have
  • The harm caused
  • Liability (fault) of the other party

“Liability” means that the person, government agency or corporation responsible did not intend to harm you. A car accident caused by speeding or negligent behavior is sufficient evidence to prove liability.

People who suffer personal injuries can recover monetary damages for:

  • Physical injuries and physical impairments past and future, as well as mental distress and mental anguish;
  • Expenses for past, present, and future medical care;
  • Loss of wages and earning capacity in the past and in the future;
  • In cases of egregious wrongdoing, punitive damages are available.

Family members can seek compensation if someone dies because of someone else’s negligence (a “wrongful death”).

Which types of vehicle collisions can an attorney help with?

Personal injury attorneys are available for any type of vehicle collision. Whenever there is an accident with another vehicle that causes injury, it is best to consult a lawyer. A vehicle colliding with another vehicle, a car hitting a bicycle, or a car falling on a pedestrian are some of the major types.  California’s streets and highways are filled with cars, trucks, and buses. One driver’s recklessness or negligence often causes motor vehicle accidents. We handle all types of motor vehicle accidents at the Dolan Law Firm.


Injury by car or motorcycle

Injury by car or motorcycle

Unsafe U-Turn

  • Make left turns in front of someone
  • Crashing rear ends
  • Yield failure
  • A road rage incident 

Accidents caused by bicycles 

Accidents caused by bicycles 

The bicycle dooring system

  • Bicycles that make left turns in front of them
  • Collisions between rear ends
  • Yield failure
  • A case of road rage

The pedestrian accident

The pedestrian accident
  • The crosswalk 
  • Turn left into pedestrian crossing
  • Crashing rear ends
  • A case of road rage


Most collisions happen because one party doesn’t pay enough attention to the road. In the absence of experience, drivers often forget how dangerous and large cars are once they get used to driving. Cars can cause catastrophic injuries when they collide with two-wheelers or pedestrians.

Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Races, speeding; 
  • Red light running;
  • Using a smartphone app or texting while driving;
  • Motorcycle accidents are often caused by sudden lane changes;
  • Not seen a motorcycle or bicycle;
  • U-turns done in an illegal manner;
  • Making left turns when it is unsafe to do so;
  • Cars hitting pedestrians in crosswalks and other pedestrian accidents are often caused by looking left while turning right;
  • Cars hitting bicyclists are often caused by sudden stops and failure to yield right-of-way;
  • Loads unsecured on pickups and semis;
  • Drinking and driving;
  • Taking prescription drugs while driving;
  • Long work hours or sleep apnea fatigue drivers.

Your rights may be protected if you’ve been in an auto accident, regardless of who was at fault. Automobile accident victims injured by negligent drivers. A personal injury lawyer can review your case if you have been injured in a car crash. Other expenses may be unrelated to you, such as medical bills. 


Traffic collision reports that find one person at fault do not end the inquiry. Sometimes the police get the wrong information, believe the wrong witness, or miss the real story. The police report conclusions are rarely admissible at trial if they are negative, proving an innocent driver at fault, but they can influence the insurance company’s first impressions.

Despite being found at fault by the police, if you believe the other driver was negligent in a collision, it would be useful to seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney. It is essential to review independently the conclusions of what happened. 

When Other People’s Fault Causes A Collision, Are Damages Recoverable?

The law allows people injured in crashes or accidents caused by the fault of others, corporations, or public agencies to recover damages. Personal injury lawsuits can recover several types of damage.

In the event of special damages,

It is the economic damages, or the out-of-pocket expenses that constitute Special Damages. There are often some fairly simple formulas that can be used to calculate them. Some of them include:

Co-pays and full insurance coverage for the past 30 days are included here.

  • In this case, it would be the future medical bills due to the collision.  
  • A claim for past lost wages should include the amount of wages lost because of the accident. 
  • Occasionally, severe accidents affect a person’s ability to earn income in the future. 
  • Damage to property, like cars, bikes, helmets, gloves, phones, glasses-anything damaged by the collision.


  • There may be pain from the incident, any medical procedures, and ongoing discomfort during the healing process.
  • Pain and Suffering can be used interchangeably with emotional distress, which refers to the more emotional aspects of damage.
  • There is an emotional toll when we are unable to work for a period of time, or have to rely on other people for basic tasks.
  • Besides past (from the date of the collision to the day of resolution), there are potential future damages as well. 


  • Certain close family members can get compensation if a person is killed by another. It is not possible to recover for sadness or grief, but there is recovery for financial losses.
  • Likewise, when a close family member dies, a person loses society, companionship, training, and other types of things. 
  • The decedent may now also be entitled to damages for pain and suffering before death. As a result of the incident, the successor can seek damages if death was not instantaneous. 


  • In the event of a car accident, punitive damages are generally not recoverable.
  • This type of damage does not attempt to make whole the injured person, but rather punishes and deters the bad actor, as well as preventing people from performing similar acts in the future.
  • The behavior must be wanton or willful in an auto collision.
  • Missing a light, looking left, and looking at a phone briefly would not be included. Intoxicated drivers or those racing with other vehicles may also fall into this category. 
  • Insurance claims for punitive damages can be challenging.  Intentional acts aren’t covered by insurance, and punitive damages require something similar. 

Best Personal Injury Lawyers in California, Area & San Francisco

In the San Francisco Bay Area and across California, the Dolan Law Firm has been prosecuting strong, effective personal injury cases for over 25 years. The best injury lawyer in San Francisco is Chris Dolan. Listed as a Best Law Firm by US News and Best Lawyers. Our work on behalf of personal injury and wrongful death clients has earned us an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Automobile accidents: personal injury

A San Francisco personal injury lawyer who knows the law and has proven success representing victims of motor vehicle accidents is an essential resource for those injured in accidents.

Auto accident attorneys with a proven track record include:

Wrongful Death & Serious Injuries

There is no case too complex for us.

Among the cases handled by San Francisco personal injury attorney Chris Dolan and his team:

Lawyer Chris Dolan

For more information, please contact a personal injury lawyer with extensive experience

Our award-winning attorneys relentlessly pursue justice for their clients at the Dolan Law Firm. The San Francisco Bay Area and California’s leading personal injury attorney, Chris Dolan, has been repeatedly recognized for his excellence. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been recovered for their clients by Chris Dolan and the Dolan Law Firm.

Do I need an attorney to claim emotional distress and can I file a pain and suffering claim without a lawyer?

Insurance companies tend to minimize any recovery for emotional distress, or pain and suffering, unless a person has a case and is represented by an injury lawyer. Having a lawyer explain how much it will cost for medical services can help, not just monetary but emotional costs. Injuries are associated with pain, depending on the severity.

Can I go to my doctor or will my lawyer send me to one?

It’s a common question. There will be different opinions among lawyers. Our recommendation is that you seek treatment from your own doctors and health insurance. Your job after a motor vehicle collision is to heal and you are the best person to determine that, along with your health care providers. In the event that your medical insurance won’t cover a treatment or surgery that you may need, we can help you find doctors who can. 

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