Car Accident Lawyer San Francisco, CA
A San Francisco, California car accident lawyer understands that when a person is involved in a crash, it is only human nature for their fight-or-flight impulse to kick in. This is why many drivers flee the scene of a car accident, especially if they are not aware of anyone involved suffering serious injury or there being any major property damage. However, leaving the scene of an accident in California could result in being arrested on hit and run charges. A conviction could result in serious penalties, including jail time.
If you have been charged with a hit-and-run, you need a seasoned car accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA defending you and protecting your rights. Contact The Morales Law Firm for legal assistance. Our legal team has successfully defended many clients on hit-and-run charges and will work aggressively to fight these charges for you.
The following are some of the more common defenses used in hit-and-run cases:
- Mistaken Identity: Witnesses to the crash, as well as the victim, may have written the license plate number of the fleeing vehicle down incorrectly. If the number is correct, it could be that someone other than the owner was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash. If this can be proven, then the owner of the vehicle would not be guilty of the hit-and-run crash.
- Driver Knowingly Left the Scene: In order for a driver to be convicted of hit-and-run offenses, the prosecutor must prove that the driver knowingly left the scene of the accident. When a crash is a serious or severe one, it can be difficult for a San Francisco, CA car accident lawyer to prove that the driver was unaware they were involved in an accident. But if the crash was a minor one, then it is a reasonable defense that the driver was not aware an accident had occurred and just continued on their way. For example, one common scenario of this type of defense is a driver backing out of a space in a parking lot and is unaware they hit another vehicle.
- Emergency Situation: A San Francisco, CA car accident lawyer knows that in emergency situations, the courts may be more forgiving towards a driver who flees the scene of an accident. For example, a driver who is rushing their child to the emergency room hits another vehicle but does not stop as is required under the law is technically breaking that law. In this situation, the prosecutor and/or the court may agree to reduce the charges against the driver. In some situations, the charges may be dropped completely.
No matter what reason a driver is charged with hit-and-run, it is the prosecutor who has the burden of proof in proving that the driver is guilty. A seasoned car accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA can evaluate your case and determine what is the best way to defend you against these charges.
What If I Was Arrested for a DUI but Wasn’t At-Fault for a Related Car Accident?
If you were involved in an accident and was found to be under the influence at the time, the officer may arrest you for a DUI regardless of whether or not the accident was your fault. Unfortunately, because you were accused of being drunk behind the wheel, law enforcement may quickly become biased and assume you were responsible for the accident. That is why it is so important that you remain quiet, calm, and request to speak with a lawyer at The Morales Law Firm as soon as your booking process is complete. Remember that anything you saw during your arrest can be used against you at a later time in criminal court and could affect your civil legal options as well. It’s important to speak with a San Francisco, CA car accident lawyer who handles DUI cases so that you can protect your rights and preserve your legal options moving forward. A failure to seek guidance now could lead not only to a criminal conviction for the DUI but civil liability for the car accident as well.
An Arrest Doesn’t Automatically Mean At-Fault
Just because you were charged with a DUI after the accident, doesn’t mean that by law you are automatically deemed responsible for the collision. For instance, if your vehicle was rear-ended by another driver or you were hit while going through an intersection during your green light, the fault for the wreck shouldn’t be pinned on you just because of the DUI arrest. An experienced San Francisco, CA car accident lawyer can explain your legal options, given that you were cited for drunk driving but the accident you were involved in wasn’t caused by drunk driving behavior.
Never Flee the Scene of an Accident
Drivers who are drunk may attempt to flee the accident scene out of fear of being blamed for the accident. However, running away only makes the entire situation much worse, compared to staying put and risking a DUI arrest. If your car was hit as you were driving under the influence, stay at the scene and remember that you have the right to an attorney and don’t have to answer any interrogatory questions asked by law enforcement. While you are waiting at the police station to be booked, contacting an experienced San Francisco, CA car accident lawyer must be your number one priority.
Accident Injuries or Fatalities
If you were driving drunk and were arrested for a DUI, things can become more complicated if the other driver sustained serious injuries or had died in the wreck. Even though the accident wasn’t your fault, it just becomes even more important that you don’t say anything that could be twisted into incriminating yourself. Never admit fault, even if you suspect that perhaps you were at least partially responsible.
There may be felony charges and consequences to face for a DUI arrest and being deemed at-fault for the accident happening. The court may require that the drunk driver pays restitution to the other driver or surviving family members. The accused may endure a lengthy prison sentence, expensive fines, suspension of driver’s license, having to go through a rehabilitation program, and much more.
These extreme sentences cannot be enforced on a DUI driver who was determined not at-fault for the accident. This is another reason why hiring an experienced San Francisco, California car accident lawyer during this time who has experience in criminal defense cases is so vital, While you may feel everyone is against you, there is a chance that can be proven not at fault. Your attorney can work with you to build a defense that shows while you were legally drunk, you were not the person who caused the collision to occur.
Seeking Damages for Harm Resulting from the Car Accident
Our San Francisco, CA car accident lawyer understands that when you have been harmed by another person’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may feel copious amounts of confusion. Because of this, you will likely be trying to figure out how to cover your financial losses. Being unexpectedly injured can bring forth a situation rife with emotions. When you are trying to heal and recover, the mental distress can certainly hinder your ability to do so. Perhaps you’re being told to contact a car accident lawyer, while others may be telling you to let it go and move forward. Realistically, the best thing you can do for yourself is to talk with a San Francisco, CA car accident lawyer about what happened. Whether or not you have a case will largely depend on the circumstances of what happened. That said, if another party caused you harm, and your harm led to a significant amount of financial loss, you may be able to pursue compensation. To learn more, please call The Morales Law Firm to speak with our experienced car accident lawyer representing San Francisco, CA.
A Car Accident Lawyer Who Cares
There are a number of car accident lawyers in San Francisco, CA to choose from. However, none have the experience, knowledge, and dedication to representing clients like Christopher Morales of The Morales Law Firm. This is especially true when it comes to handling particularly complex cases.
Before choosing just any law firm, you should take the time to review the firm in question and even schedule a consultation where you can ask questions. The San Francisco, CA car accident lawyer you choose should possess many different qualities:
- They should be tenacious, educated, and experienced
- Your lawyer should be knowledgeable regarding federal and California state laws
- Your lawyer should be familiar with the tactics used by defense teams and should be prepared to turn the tables on them
- Finally, your lawyer should be confident in their ability to secure you compensation
If this is the kind of San Francisco, CA car accident lawyer you would like to have fighting for your case, look no further than The Morales Law Firm.
We Fight for Maximum Damages
We know that insurance companies prefer to settle for the least amount possible. The problem with this is that you may be offered an amount that is less than what you need, let alone deserve. As a San Francisco, CA car accident lawyer who fights for victims and their loved ones, we will consider your short and long term losses. Whether you are saddled with an exorbitant amount of medical bills or are no longer working in the same position or profession, we may be able to help you. Please don’t feel alone, scared, or unsure in your quest for compensation. Let our San Francisco, CA car accident lawyer at The Morales Law Firm review your case.
For years, we have successfully defended a broad range of car accident cases, including those that have been relatively straightforward to those that have extensive special challenges. At The Morales Law Firm, we put our clients first and do not treat them as another case number. You matter to us, and rest assured, our San Francisco, CA car accident lawyer will work hard to secure the compensation you are entitled to.
5 Reasons You Need a San Francisco, CA Car Accident Lawyer by Your Side
While you may feel confident in your ability to argue your car accident claim yourself, especially against an insurer outside of a courtroom, you may be underestimating the defense. Insurers are not in the business of handing out money, and they certainly do not want to settle a claim and admit liability or fault. Therefore, when it comes to making a personal injury claim, there are at least five reasons you should hire The Morales Law Firm, a San Francisco, CA-based car accident lawyer you can trust:
First, an experienced lawyer can offer a unique perspective that you, as the victim, are likely incapable of. They can look at your injuries and the basis of your claim analytically, and explain realistic expectations for settlement. Logic and reasoning should be the guiding principles during negotiations, not emotions.
2. Negotiation Skills
Insurance companies have teams of lawyers dedicated to negotiations. These professionals are trained and skilled. Hiring your own San Francisco, California car accident lawyer is one way of leveling the playing field. Most lawyers have gone through significant training in negotiation and mediation before passing the bar. Therefore, while it is your right to fight your claim alone, why would you?
Another excellent reason to hire a lawyer for the legal counsel they will provide you with. They understand the processes and procedures governing courtrooms and litigation practices more than you likely ever will. Therefore, they are capable of seeing if your case has merit. If your car accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA believes in your claim, then you can believe in it as well, especially since most car accident lawyers work on contingency, meaning they don’t get paid unless you settle or win.
4. Litigation Experience
There is always the possibility that your claim will not settle through mediation. If both parties cannot come to an agreement, then your lawsuit may move forward to trial. In court, your claim will need to be presented to a judge and jury. There are rules for delivering such information, and if you are unaware of these rules, then you risk costly mistakes. Hire a San Francisco, CA car accident lawyer to avoid any missteps.
5. Improved Odds
Last, you should hire an attorney because they improve the likelihood of success. Plaintiffs with lawyers receive larger settlements and often larger verdicts. It is true that you do not have to hire a car accident lawyer representing San Francisco, CA for civil cases, but if you choose not to, then you may end up with less than you could have.
If you are planning on filing a car accident claim, do yourself a favor and hire a local lawyer. The licensed and experienced car accident lawyers San Francisco, clients recommend at Morales Law Firm bring experience, knowledge, and skills to the table that you are likely lacking.