Personal Injury Attorneys

Parent Q&A

Recommendations for personal injury- auto Oct 22, 2018 (4 responses below)
Need Referral for Personal Injury Defense Attorney Sep 4, 2018 (1 responses below)
Need Lawyer Referral - someone injured in our house May 12, 2017 (2 responses below)
Personal Injury Attorney? May 3, 2017 (0 responses below)
  • Recommendations for personal injury- auto

    (4 replies)

    There aren’t many recent recommendations listed. I was rear ended at high speed over six months ago. I had been hoping to avoid the lawsuit route but I am still in a good deal of pain and the insurance companies are jerking me around over my medical bills and I’m worried they are going to find some loophole to try and stick me with the bills. I have some mildly bulging discs and cervical narrowing but I think most of my pain is just due to good old fashioned whiplash which I’ve heard doesn’t usually bring a large payout and, as a result, doesn’t spark the interest of many lawyers since they work for a percentage. Can anyone recommend a personal injury lawyer who takes smaller cases? Prefer to work with a woman but open. Thanks! 

    I used Kevin Toguchi 510-886-4446. He's in Hayward.

    We're using Randolph Gaw in SF for an auto accident. I don't know whether he takes small cases or not but it would be worth giving him a call. We've been very happy with his work and his responsiveness. We like his partner as well. Here's a link to his bio:

    I'm sorry to hear of your accident. I was in a similar sounding accident 1 1/2 years ago, though the driver was underage and DUI 3x the legal limit. I had a *double* whiplash and concussion, needed PT, chiro, trigger point injections (highly recommend for pain management), neurology, etc. While not a woman, I worked with a great attorney and am very pleased with the outcome.

    Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this offline. 

  • An uninsured worker fell in our home due to their own negligence, and has now retained counsel. Our insurance company is fielding the initial request and we did have both an additional Commercial Liability Policy and an Umbrella policy in addition to our homeowners policy, though we're not sure these will help in CA. We are seeking a top notch personal injury defense attorney in the event our insurance refuses to pay out and he pursues us directly. Thank you in advance.

    My Berkeley sister and I have both had excellent results from using Sara Allman as a personal injury attorney. She is a caring, committed and responsive attorney.

  • We had an unlicensed contractor (yes, I know, I know) working in our house who was injured.  We had purchased extra temporary liability insurance in addition to our regular homeowners policy and have an umbrella policy as well. We are looking for a referral - a lawyer who would be able to first give us some advice and, if a lawsuit is filed, to represent us. Does anyone know of a lawyer who could assist us, or have you been in a similar situation? Thank you BPN!

    If you've got insurance, the carrier will hire the lawyer.  I think you should contact the insurer and see what they advise.  Usually if you think you might be making a claim, it's best to let the insurer know ASAP.  

    Well, my first thought as a lawyer with grey hair, is that the insurance company will choose your lawyer.  That is a mixed bag: it means that your insurance is covering the lawsuit (including costs of defense) but it also means you have less choice in what lawyer represents you.

    If you want a legal consult for advice, it would be helpful to know what city you are in and the extent of the claimed injury.  This translates into which courthouse and what size of a case, which in turn influences which attorneys could best give good advice.  There are plenty of personal injury attorneys out there, you want someone on the defense side to give some advice. 

    Two cents from over here and good luck!

  • Personal Injury Attorney?

    (0 replies)

    I looked in the archives for this but there's not much available that's recent. I'm trying to find an attorney to help get some compensation from a corporation who sells a product that damaged my family. If you know someone who is not the stereotypical "ambulance chaser" but rather a thoughtful, smart, genuinely caring attorney who knows what they are doing—I would appreciate your recommendation.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Demand letter for car insurance settlement

Feb 2013

Hello supportive parent network, I would like to know if anyone has ever written a car insurance demand letter for a higher settlement. I know a young girl who was in a car accident and was low balled, she lost time off work and hurt her back and she wants advice on writing a demand letter.. She is still working on treatment for her back and it's taken a huge chunk off her week schedule to get her back fixed. Thank you! ps. She can't afford an attorney or lawyer just wants advice! Who to email where to go what info to give etc. Thanks! Katherine

Your friend should contact a personal injury attorney before she goes any further on this matter. The statute of limitations in a personal injury matter is two years from the date of the accident. That is one consideration. Secondly, it costs nothing to see an attorney regarding representation. Almost always, an attorney will produce much better results in obtaining a higher settlement than a lay person can do themselves. A legal professional can assess the damages (lost wages, medical bills incurred, etc.) and present them to the defendant much more effectively than a person untrained in these legal matters. The attorney is paid a contingency fee (usually 33.3% per state bar reg's) so you don't have to pay a penney to consult and to be represented. legal professional

Personal Injury Lawyer

Nov 2011

Looking for a rec for a top notch personal injury lawyer - the recs in the archives are from 2004 and earlier, so hoping to get something more recent. Thanks! Injured and Need a Lawyer

I highly recommend Rae Lovko of Lovko & King as a personal injury attorney. Phone: 510-859-7377. Email rlovko [at] Shoey

I would like to recommend Rae Lovko at Lovko and King, Rae helped me with a small court claim and specializes in Personal Injury. She is an honest attorney with an amazing work ethic. Please call her and if she isn't the right person, she will point you in the right direction. 510-859-7377 Michelle

Attorney for a Negligence Suit

July 2011

Hello Looking for an Attorney for a friend who was burned by scalding hot coffee at a well known Coffee Place a little over 2 weeks ago. She doesn't know where to ask and I don't know where to tell her to start to get a good attorney. She does not have what looks to be 2nd or 3rd degree burns. She honestly initially thought nothing of it freak accident and they happen. She did not insist on an incidence report, the guy was very apologetic gave her the coffee for free and a BIG Bag of ice for her burn. Currently her burn is peeling(much like a sunburn)and her skin is discolored and she has concern of a possible long term discoloring on her arm. I honestly don't think she should put in the effort but, I'm helping out a friend. If you have any suggestions please let us know. She has been taking pictures along the way. Thank You Anon

Personal injury attorney is what is needed. Recommend Albert Stoll as friendly but aggressive lawyer in your interest. stevenm

As a small business owner, your post made my heart skip a beat. Lawsuits like this make it very hard for local businesses to stay around, and makes it very easy for large chains to take over because only they can afford skyrocketing insurance costs. Please, try to help your friend understand that freak things like this happen, and a lawsuit will do nothing but hurt the local economy and the small businesses that make the Bay Area such a wonderful place to live. I would like to think that there are no lawyers in the area willing to take on this type of lawsuit, but unfortunately I am sure this is not the case. For the good of your community, please do not sue a local cafe over spilled hot coffee. Concerned Small Business Owner

I am a litigation attorney who has practiced for 16 years so I've met a number of really adept attorneys. The attorney I immediately think of in a case like this is Phil Segal in San Francisco. He's kind, unassuming, no bravado, no flash, but he is relentless in his pursuit of a worthwhile and legitimate claim and really understands how to deal with insurance companies. Phil's firm is actually primarily auto insurance defense and Phil's PI cases are for fun but are the real money makers. My clients have always enjoyed him.

After my brother was injured driving his Hayabusa motorcycle and got cut off by some idiot, I referred him to Phil. He actually flew down to LA where my brother was recuperating at our father's house and met with my brother. He did his thing which he downplays (''I may not be really smart, but I'm a damn good lawyer.''), had sweet interactions with my brother and my family, was thoughtful and not self-serving in the least. The insurance company which is all over the media for its practice of not settling cases in order to deter unmeritorious claims (as well as screw over people who really deserve it) settled for 100 percent of its limits. Two broken ribs, a broken finger, a fractured collar bone, and a messed up Hayabusa. Got lost wages, money for the bike which he used to invest in a brewery, and 100K. Phil took about 30K and my brother will say without hesitation it was the easiest check he ever had to write. Phil is at 415-474-1900. Hannah

Attorney needed (collision on 880)

March 2011

My husband was rear-ended on 880 during heavy traffic. He is OK although he has substantial ringing in his ears for over a month now. The car doesn't look too good and will likely cost $20,000 to fix. Since we are (knock-on-wood) excellent drivers, I took off collision coverage for this car because it is more than 10 yrs old. We were spending thousands of dollars on a car of questionable value, and our driving records is so good soooooo..... we only have liability coverage on that particular car for when WE are at fault. The other driver has insurance, but I was dumbfounded to learn his policy only goes to $10,000 in property damage. I had no idea that California's minimum coverage requirements are set at only 5k and above. (As a comparison, we have over $100,000 in coverage for property damage.) So we need a lawyer. I'm anticipating the other insurance company is going to want us to sign a release and give us the $10,000. I never trust insurance companies so I want to be well informed before anything is agreed to. We also want to sue the other driver for the balance of the damage. If you have any personal recommendations on a lawyer for this job, I'd love to have them. Thank you, Cynthia

you would do better probably to try to settle with the defendant's insurance company yourself. With the policy limits being so low as $10,000, you would be better to show your losses on your own rather than retaining an attorney. Remember that all personal injury attorneys have a fee of 33%, that is standard in the US, so that if you settle for the maximum policy limits of $10,000, 3,333 will go to your attorney and you will net around 6,666 at MOST. Make a case for yourself showing the cost of repairing your car, and any medical bills your husband may have. Remember though that you cannot exceed the policy limits. Good luck personal injury paralegal

Make an informed decision and talk to a personal injury attorney. I recommend Panos Lagos - 510-530-4078 - who has plenty of experience in this area. He's located in the Woodminster commercial area off of Hwy 13. Good luck, Attorney

Personal Injury Atty Recommendations

Jan 2011

A friend of mine was injured in a car accident and needs a personal injury lawyer. Any recommendations? Alissa

I encourage you to give personal injury attorney Bill Ginsburg a call to discuss your case. Full disclosure -- he's my husband -- he has 25+ successful years in both sides of the business (insurance defense/personal injury) is smart, empathetic, and strategic, and is the attorney of choice for many. His number is (510) 523-3200. gg

Joseph W. Campbell in Alameda is a good guy, and specializes in auto injury but handles all sorts of personal injury cases. Much more effective than the daytime TV ad guys. Joseph Campbell's number is (510) 865-5409 RDT

Harvey Kletz is a colleague with decades of experience doing PI cases. He is ethical, honest and trustworthy, and settles almost all of his cases out of court. He is also a super nice guy! Contact him at 510-655-7141 or hkletz [at] Ariel

Lawyer/therapist regarding pedestrian accident

Dec 2010

about a month ago, my 5yo daughter and i were run over by a car on the street in berkeley. a man stopped over the crosswalk in lane one so that i had to walk in front of his car just outside of the crosswalk holding my daughter's hand. (the other car didn't stop, hit my knee and ran over our feet). luckily, she had rainboots on and only a bruise (by some miracle). my foot is pretty mangled but also a miracle, healing without surgery. my questions have to do with logistics. my daughter is a little shaken, and i want to have her seen maybe by a cognitive therapist who can help her feel okay about her safety. but i want it to be treated as a normal thing. i've been reluctant though it sounds reasonable, because i am worried about the bill. i have 10k of my own accident coverage but no health insurance, and the accident is supposed to be covered by the driver who stopped. our bill is about 6k so far from our emergency and my orthopedist visits. i've put off making a statement first because i wanted to get the police report, which brings me to question number 2. when i picked it up, i couldn't believe what it said, that the accident was my fault, because of VC 21954(a) stating that i didn't yield. is this ludicrous? from my standpoint the driver in lane 1 put me at risk and gave a crazy contradictory statement (that he both wanted to yell at me and that he tried to warn me). my statement doesn't even say that my daughter was run over, as i was in shock and on painkillers like morphine when interviewed. the police officer insisted on interviewing me an hour after the accident... she subsequently didn't return my phone calls. the report says i should have been in the crosswalk and therefore am in violation, and the police drawing looks like i'm jaywalking as she didn't draw the car in lane 1. needless to say, i'm very upset over the report but just don't know how to proceed. people have said i should talk to a lawyer before taking on the amending or talking to insurance. but i don't want to be taken and don't know who to trust. do you know any good lawyers, who won't take a huge chunk of a measly settlement? any advice on the insurance statement to a talky nervous mommy? how about a good cognitive therapist to help my daughter adjust to what's happened? she's working it out but keeps wrapping up her foot (to be like me) and is grinding her teeth in her sleep, which she hasn't done since she was a toddler. thanks for your help!

Alexander Chase is a very competent and sensitive attorney who deals with personal injuries. I highly recommend that you at least give him a call and see if he seems like a good ''fit'' for you. I wish you the best of luck. It sounds like a very hard thing to be facing with a young child! His contact information is: (510) 922-9711, achase [at] Good luck, Leah

after an accident like this, stop wasting your time and go see an attorney. There is obviously negigence and you need someone to file a complaint against the other party. Yes, personal injury attorneys do not work for free. Standard fee is 33.3% of the gross settlement. So if you settle for $10,000, they get $3,333 and you get $6,666. Plus, your medicals will all be paid. Get a personal injury attorney and make sure they 1)require NO retainer - they pay all costs themselves and 2)they take no more than 1/3 of the settlement amount. can't find one? call the State Bar of California in SF and they will refer you. Sandra

Personal injury lawyer for husband hit by a car

Sept 2010

my husband(UC Berkeley Student) was hit by a car as a pedestrian at crosswalk in Aug.2010. he lost consciousness and was carried to ER of Highland hospital and discharged that late night. Urgent care doctor whom we saw the next day said he had a moderate head injury, (of course, a lot of pain in his neck +head), fracture on his left thumb, bruises on his back head and back of right ear and a lot of scar on his body as well as his face. we are still waiting for the police report and thinking on hiring a personal injury lawyer. I would love to ask you if you know an experienced on Personal injury, or any references, please let me know.. Since my husband and I are foreigners, we do not have any idea where to start...advice is needed!!!! if you have friends or relatives who went through the similar experiences, please let me know...It would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Arnold Berschler, arnold [at], is an all around good guy. He's been in business for 30+ years so knows his way around the court room if it comes to that. I have refered him a number of people all who have been more than happy. I highly recommend you contact him at least for a consultation, for which he doesn't charge, to see if he is the right fit. Good luck! mathew

I can highly recommend Thomas Lewellyn. I know Thomas personally and have him heard talk about his work numerous times and am always impressed by his amazing knowledge and, at the same time, care for his clients. I have recommended him before and people always thanked me profoundly. Thomas Lewelly, Attorney at Law Tel.: (510) 337 1600 tlewellyn [at] All the best to you, Susanne

i don't know if you retained the service of an attorney, but some important things you need:

- police report: it would be better if it's favorable to your husband.
- pictures of his bruises and stuff, though i assume the visible injuries have disappeared by now.
- the insurance status of the driver (does s/he have one? policy limits?)

as for dealing with a personal injury attorney, this can be a lengthy, confusing experience, with the attorney's office not returning your call - i wish attorneys better explained the process for their clients. simply put, if you pursue a lawsuit, you generally see the medical professionals the attorney recommends. the attorney and the doctors get paid if you receive a settlement, and what's left is your share for ''pain and suffering.'' obviously, the more injured he was, the higher the settlement would be, but if the driver's policy limit wasn't high, you can't get anything beyond that unless you go after the driver's personal assets.

i don't have a recommendation for an attorney, nor do i have any advice on what you should do, but i wanted you to have at least a little idea of what might happen so you're not so overwhelmed by it. i hope your husband is feeling better and fully recovered so you don't have to pursue this claim. people often say, ''oh, just file a lawsuit,'' but it's not that easy. good luck to you. kim

2004 - 2007 Recommendations



There were lots of requests for lawyer referrals, so I'll give a few for each category (I'm a lapsed lawyer and keep in touch, to some extent, with the fields requested)

Personal injury: These are firms with good reputations (they may only take ''big'' cases and/or may assign smaller cases to newer attorneys):
- Gwilliam Ivary Chiosso Cavalli - Oakland - 832-5411
- Boxer & Gerson - Oakland - 835-8870
- Walkup Melodia - SF - 415-981-7210

An individual I know who is reputable and experienced: Sally Kilburg - Oakland - 482-5331

I can't vouch for results, of course, but the recommendations are of people/firms I know. Amy O

2003 & Earlier

Attorney for hit and run accident


Hello; I was recently involved in a hit and run accident, and the person who hit me has left my vehicle (through no fault of my own!) with considerably less resale value than it had before the accident. I am seeking the consulation (and potentially the services) of a personal injury attorney who might be able to have the person at fault actually pay for this decrease in value, rather than having it come out of my pocket when I try to sell the car. I have searched the website but did not see any recent reommendations for a personal injury attorney. Can anyone recommend someone, in Berkeley or Oakland? (or, persons to avoid?) Thanks so much, Signed: Auto hit by someone who left the scene...

east bay: Cheryl White 415-596-9454 SF: Al Stoll 415-576-1500 or Linda Ross 415-563-2400 Juliette

Attorney for accident on buckled sidewalk


Having searched the archives for a personal injury attorney and found nothing of use I am posting a request for a recommendation for same. (I broke my ankle/fibula after a fall while walking in Kensington with infant in stroller and older child in hand. I tripped over a buckled sidewalk and have been in a leg and foot cast since March 31. I am still barely able to walk and have a long way to go to recovery. If anyone has had a similar experience and/or has a recommendation for an attorney, I would appreciate hearing from you. Thanks. Maura

I would recommend Brenda Morrissey who works in the law offices of Stephen Cornet. They're located on Grand Ave in Oakland. 510 465 6264. I had a very similar incident, and found both Brenda and Stephen very helpful.

Call Joel Siegel in SF. His number is 415-777-5547. I'm sure he will make an East Bay house call, considering your injuries, and I know he can help you. Best of luck. Carol

Please consider NOT suing. If you had fallen in Tilden park or on your own land, you wouldn't try to blame anyone. A suit can bring great hardship and heartache. It promotes a mindset in which others are always at fault rather than one of personal responsibility. You have an opportunity to model this for your children now.


I highly recommend Barbara Cohen, Cohen & Gough, for plaintiff personal injury work. She's smart, hard working, very effective and honest. Her # is 832-5800. Her office is near Jack London Square in Oakland (2d & Webster, I think). Jeffery

In response to Jonathan's inquiry re a lawyer for his car accident, I would like to recommend a good friend, Cliff Weingus, a personal injury lawyer. Not only is he a nice person and an effective lawyer, he is very principled. He can be reached at:
McTernan, Stender, Walsh, Weingus, & Tondreau 333 Market Street, Suite 2800 San Francisco CA 94105 Phone/Fax/Web Telephone: 415.777.0313 Fax: 415.777.9380 Website: