Each year, hundreds of thousands of people in California are hurt or killed in motor vehicle accidents. In 2020 alone, there were 208,036 crashes that caused injury or fatalities in our state. Redwood City accounted for 253 of those collisions.
In many cases, there isn’t anything that you can do to prevent a car accident from happening. After a crash, however, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses through a personal injury lawsuit. With this type of claim, you can recover money for your lost wages, medical bills, property damage, future medical treatment, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
The Kuvara Law Firm represents accident victims throughout Northern California, including Redwood City. Our goal in each case is to ensure that our clients get maximum compensation for their injuries. We offer free initial consultations, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.
Redwood City Office Location
303 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood, CA 94065
Office Hours: Open 24 Hours
Phone: (650) 780-0190
Filing a Car Accident Claim
In California, car accident cases are a type of personal injury claim. Typically, they are based on a theory of negligence, which is the failure to use the level of care that a reasonable person would use in a similar situation. In some situations, such as drunk driving accidents, the at-fault driver may have acted recklessly or even intentionally.
Our law firm represents people who have been injured in all types of accidents, including:
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on crashes
- Bicycle accidents
- T-bone accidents
- Distracted driving wrecks
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Left-turn crashes
- Pedestrian accidents
- Uber or Lyft accidents
We also represent people whose loved ones have died in a motor vehicle accident in wrongful death claims.
Each of our cases starts with a free consultation, where we will listen to your story and offer you legal advice about your next steps. If you decide to hire our law firm, we will get to work right away. We’ll begin by performing our own investigation – interviewing witnesses, requesting a police report, reviewing photos and videos of the accident scene, and researching case law.
Once we have put together a strong claim for compensation, we will send a demand letter to the at-fault driver’s car insurance company. This letter will explain what happened, the legal reasons why their insured is responsible for the wreck, and make a demand for damages (compensation). In most cases, insurance companies will respond to a demand letter with a counteroffer.
The negotiation process can take anywhere from several weeks to a few months. If we are able to negotiate fair compensation that addresses all of your damages, then we will work out the details of your car accident settlement. The majority of personal injury claims in the United States are resolved without anyone having to set foot in a courtroom.
In some situations, the insurance company will refuse to make a decent settlement offer. It may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent parties and their insurance companies. Often, the reality of having to take a case to trial will motivate the insurer to make a much better settlement offer.
Of course, insurance companies are much more likely to settle a case for top dollar when they know that you have an experienced Redwood City car accident lawyer representing you. They know that you won’t take a lowball settlement offer – and that your attorney can and will take this case to a jury. That is why people who are represented by attorneys recover an average of 40% more in personal injury claims, compared to people who represent themselves.
What Happens If I Need to File a Lawsuit?
Most people are fortunate enough to never have to deal with lawyers or lawsuits. There are times, however, when it becomes necessary. A good example is when an insurance company won’t give you the financial compensation that you deserve after a motor vehicle accident.
Under California law, a personal injury must be filed within 2 years of the date of the accident. This is known as the statute of limitations. With just a few exceptions, if you don’t file a claim within this time period, then you won’t be able to go after the liable party for your losses.
A lawsuit is a specific type of legal document that sets out the facts of the case, the court’s legal authority to hear the case, and the reasons why the at-fault party (the defendant) is responsible. It also includes a demand for compensation. Once your lawyer files a lawsuit in the county courthouse, they will serve it on the other party.
The defendant then has an opportunity to respond to your lawsuit in a document known as an answer. They may even make counterclaims of their own in their answer. As with the lawsuit itself, the answer is filed in the courthouse and then served on the injury victim (plaintiff).
The parties will then enter the pre-trial stage, where they exchange information in a process known as discovery and file motions, which ask the court to make decisions on various issues in the case. Discovery is incredibly important, as it allows each side to learn more about the facts of the case. It may include depositions (oral testimony under oath), interrogatories (written questions), requests for production (asking the other side to turn over evidence), and requests for admission (asking the other side to admit or deny certain facts).
Throughout the pre-trial phase, the parties will continue their negotiations. This will likely continue up until the eve or morning of trial. It is very uncommon for a personal injury case to go to trial – but it does happen, especially when an insurance company contests liability or refuses to make a reasonable settlement offer.
If the case does go to trial, each side will have a chance to make an opening argument, introduce evidence, question witnesses, and make a closing argument. The matter will then go to the jury. The jury will deliberate, and issue a verdict based on the evidence and California personal injury law.
When to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
After a motor vehicle collision, you may be approached by a claims adjuster. The adjuster may be friendly, and may even tell you that they take full responsibility for the accident. While you may be tempted to take the first settlement that they offer, keep in mind that the insurance company does not have your best interests at heart.
Insurance companies rake in billions of dollars of profit each year. They do this, in part, by paying out as little as possible on car accident claims.
Insurance adjusters use a number of tactics that are designed to minimize the amount that they have to pay you. For example, they might ask you to sign a release that gives them access to your medical records. They’ll then go back through your medical history to find an old condition that they can then claim is the real cause of your injuries instead of the car accident.
The best way to protect yourself from shady insurance companies is by hiring a Redwood City personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Do not give a statement to the other driver’s insurance adjuster or sign any documents until you have had a chance to talk to a lawyer. Remember – initial consultations are free, so there is no downside to getting some advice before you make a decision about how to proceed.
If you do decide that you need legal representation, your attorney can get to work immediately protecting your legal rights. For example, instead of signing a general release for ALL of your medical records, they will have you sign a release that is limited to the medical care that you received as a result of the crash.
Your attorney can also handle all communications and paperwork for your personal injury claim. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re trying to recover from an accident, the last thing that you want to deal with is endless calls and mountains of forms. By letting your personal injury lawyers deal with this burden, you can focus on what is truly important: your health.
How to Choose a Car Accident Lawyer in Redwood City
After being hurt in a car accident, the last thing that most people want to do is figure out how to hire a lawyer. Unless you have previous experience with insurance claims, you may not even know where to start. These tips can help you narrow your search.
Start by asking family and friends for recommendations. If you don’t know anyone who has worked with a car crash attorney, check online review sites like AVVO and Martindale. The experience of former clients is one of the best indicators of a good lawyer.
After you have created a list of potential personal injury law firms, do some research of your own. Try to look for lawyers who focus their practice on personal injury law, which is a specialized practice area. Just like doctors, attorneys tend to focus their practice on one specific type of law. You want to hire someone who handles cases like this all of the time, not one who dabbles in car accident claims.
Next, check the attorney’s experience. Insurance companies are far more likely to settle a case when they know that a lawyer can and will take a case to trial. If an attorney doesn’t have much trial experience, then it might not be a good fit for you.
Finally, schedule a few free consultations from your shortlist of personal injury firms. Come prepared with a list of questions, such as:
- Have you handled a case like mine before?
- How do you communicate with clients?
- Will you be handling my case, or will another lawyer be working on it?
- Do you work on a contingency fee basis?
Remember that you are the one who will be hiring this lawyer. Make sure that you are comfortable with them and their answers to your questions. If you don’t think that you’ll be able to work together, then consider hiring another Redwood City personal injury attorney.
How Our Lawyers Can Help
The Kuvara Law Firm is different from a lot of law offices in the San Francisco area. To start, we only represent injury victims – never insurance companies. Because our practice is focused on personal injury, we have been able to gain substantial experience and knowledge in the field.
Our law firm was founded in 1971 by attorney Neal Kuvara. Before law school, Neal served as a medic in the Army and as an insurance adjuster. This gives him unique insight into the medical aspects of our client’s claims – and an understanding of the type of tricks that insurers often pull to avoid paying out on car accident cases.
We have significant trial experience and a track record of success. When we reach out to insurance companies about our client’s cases, they know that we can and will take the claim to trial. That enables us to push for higher settlements and to get cases resolved more quickly.
Personal injury cases often involve a lot of paperwork, from accident reports to medical records to reports from expert witnesses. To streamline the process, we have made the switch to paperless. This lets us find the document that we need, when we need it – and get your case settled that much faster.
When you hire the Kuvara Law Firm, you are more than just a case number. We understand how difficult this time can be for our clients. We promise to always treat you with compassion and respect and to work with you to achieve the best possible outcome.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
The value of your case depends on a number of factors, such as how badly you were hurt, whether you will recover from your injuries, and how much insurance coverage the other driver has (policy limits). For example, a person with broken bones will likely recover less than someone who was paralyzed in a wreck and will never walk again.
During a free consultation, a Redwood City car accident lawyer can give you a rough estimate of how much your case is worth. As the case proceeds, this value may go up or down. Call the Kuvara Law Firm to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.
Can I Get Punitive Damages for My Car Accident?
Punitive damages are not meant to compensate someone for their injuries; they are intended to punish a wrongdoer. You may be able to recover punitive damages in certain situations, such as when the at-fault driver acted intentionally or recklessly. A good example of a time when punitive damages may be appropriate is when a drunk driver causes an accident.
If you have been injured in a car accident, our law firm is here for you. We will fight for your right to fair compensation – which may include punitive damages. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation with a Redwood City car accident attorney.
How Long Will It Take to Settle My Car Accident Claim?
It depends. If liability is clear and the insurance company isn’t contesting your losses, then your insurance claim could be settled in as little as several weeks to a few months. If there is a dispute about some aspect of your case, then it may take 6 months or longer to resolve.
In some cases, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. Going to court can extend the process to a year or longer. Contact the Kuvara Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney.
Hurt in a Car Accident? Reach Out Today.
If you have been injured in a car crash, you may be stressed, dealing with a lot of pain, and struggling to make ends meet. Our law firm is here to help.
The Kuvara Law Firm handles all types of accident claims. We are aggressive advocates for our clients, working hard to get the maximum compensation for their injuries. To schedule a free initial consultation with a Redwood City car accident attorney, call our law office at 650-780-0190 or fill out our online contact form.