Paoli and Geerhart, San Francisco Personal Injury Attorneys
Phone: (415) 498-2101

Our mission is to achieve the
maximum recovery for our clients.



Paoli & Geerhart, a personal injury attorney partnership formed in 1998 by Tom Paoli and Chuck Geerhart, is dedicated to providing first-rate, quality representation to seriously injured people.

Our mission: to achieve the maximum recovery for our clients.

Our guiding philosophy: honesty, tenacity, flexibility, optimism, and compassion.

At Paoli & Geerhart the partners collaborate on every personal injury case the firm handles, bringing their individual experience, talent and enthusiasm together to provide truly exceptional personal representation to their clients. You can be assured that your case will receive the personal attention of the partners.

A Celebrated Firm:

  • Finalist: San Francisco Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2013
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Civil Justice Award 2015 -Awarded April 7, 2016

Read Tom's acceptance speech

Personal injury attorney Thomas A. Paoli Super Lawyers badge

Personal injury attorney Charles Geerhart Super Lawyers badge

Meet your personal injury attorney partners:

San Francisco Bay Area attorneys Tom Paoli and Chuck Geerhart discuss their personal injury law practice.

We Get Results


"I had a really good experience being represented by Tom Paoli. This was my first time ever having to deal with legal issues, and Tom not only explained everything I needed to know, but he really cared about my case and seeing that I got what I deserved. I was very frustrated and irritated with a insurance company issue and Tom did his research and knew exactly what the problem was in order to resolve it. Over all, my patience and trust in Tom made the case a easy process and I am very happy with my decision to be represented by Tom."

Tatjana R.

"Chuck and Tom not only provided us with the needed legal assistance in a very unpleasant and painful process, but did so in a way that showed they really cared about our situation, our feelings and that they wanted us to have a positive and happy outcome."


Paoli & Geerhart did everything they said they thought they could do in my case, and more! I was not sure at first if I could completely trust anyone, because my life was turned upside-down by my injury. I was run over by a tour bus and had a serious degloving injury to my legs. Tom and Chuck, and his assistant David, had a lot of patience, and explained everything they were doing to help. I really appreciate all the work they did on my case.


"As a British journalist, recently based in San Francisco and without medical insurance, things seemed pretty messy after I found myself in an airport shuttle, driven by a lunatic, who struck a parked cab. I had to go to hospital, who diagnosed a head injury – as, later, did a neurologist – but the shuttle company’s insurance company continually balked at paying the bills.

A friend recommended Chuck Geerhart. It was an excellent recommendation. He was a great lawyer to have on my side, persistent in his battles with the insurance company, supportive of his client and a pleasure to work with, resolving the claim with the minimum of fuss."


"I was working as an air traffic controller at SFO when a notoriously faulty elevator slammed to a stop between floors, throwing me against the wall and rupturing discs in my neck.  I had to have major surgery on my neck. The City and the elevator maintenance company denied liability, until Chuck Geerhart obtained copies of all prior repair records which showed the elevator was continually resetting due to a power supply issue.

During the discovery phase of the case, to protect my privacy rights, he filed a motion with court to block a subpoena issued by the defense that sought to obtain my complete confidential employment file and complete health history in violation of the law. We ultimately settled the case for $1,000,000 after mediation.

I feel that Chuck and Tom Paoli did a great job making sure I was fairly compensated for this life-altering injury."

Gabriel Zapata

"I was 23 years old, working as a manager for a San Francisco automobile dealership service department, and doing pretty well for myself, when a fight with a co-worker ended in me being taken to the hospital with a head injury. I suffered a brain injury, and didn’t even remember what happened.

My Aunt helped me to search for a lawyer to help me sue the co-worker, and after several lawyers turned my case down, Paoli & Geerhart agreed to try to help. Their persistence, creativity, and thorough knowledge of the law turned up the winning strategy. They were able to reach the liability insurance my employer had to cover these kinds of accidents, and following some pretty intense negotiations, we were able to make a settlement that helped compensate me for my injury."

What’s Up in the Law of Bicycling

By Chuck Geerhart | July 8, 2017

By Chuck Geerhart You’re riding along, feeling great, and all of a sudden a car pulls out from a parking place in front of you and knocks you over.  You’re hurt.  Badly.  What do you do? First of all, take care of yourself. Summon an ambulance and go to the ER or urgent care.  Also,…

How to Succeed at an MSC in San Francisco Superior Court

By Chuck Geerhart | May 3, 2017

How to Succeed at an MSC in San Francisco Superior Court SFTLA CLE Presentation April 25, 2017 By Arnie Levinson and Chuck Geerhart   The Mandatory Settlement Conference is your next to last chance at a formal settlement negotiation (you might get ordered to a day of trial settlement conference.) The Court usually schedules the MSC to…

Liability for Accidents Caused by Uber or Lyft Drivers

By Chuck Geerhart | March 30, 2017

Liability for Accidents Caused by Uber or Lyft Drivers By Chuck Geerhart In 2017, I am representing more and more people who have been struck and injured by drivers working for Lyft or Uber. Many of my clients are pedestrians. Both Uber and Lyft carry $1 million in insurance covering their drivers when they are…

Tom Paoli and Chuck Geerhart Honored Again as Outstanding Volunteers for Pro Bono Legal Service

By Chuck Geerhart | March 22, 2017

Tom Paoli and Chuck Geerhart Honored Again as Outstanding Volunteers for Pro Bono Legal Service On March 21, 2017, the Justice and Diversity Center (JDC) of the Bar Association of San Francisco again honored Tom Paoli and Chuck Geerhart as outstanding volunteers in public service. The award is given annually to the top 5% of…

Should your lawyer be your friend

By Chuck Geerhart | January 14, 2017

By Chuck Geerhart I represent people severely injured in accidents.  My core mission is to get them as much money as possible to help compensate for their loss. But along the way, I develop relationships with my clients.  Sometimes the relationship remains very businesslike– “get my case settled for fair value as fast as possible.”…

The Oakland Ghost Ship Fire: Who Will be Responsible

By Chuck Geerhart | December 22, 2016

By Chuck Geerhart The Oakland “Ghost Ship” warehouse fire was a tragedy. Thirty six people died. There were also serious burn and smoke inhalation injuries. There were undeniably many fire and health and safety code violations in this building. The master tenant appears to be a ne’er do well with limited assets. To whom can…

Safety First! Premises Liability and the Oakland “Ghost Ship” Fire

By Chuck Geerhart | December 10, 2016

I’ve got to do something! My older daughter is a member of the community that suffered this devastating loss of life. I’ve been to “house shows” in West Oakland where her band played in performance spaces carved out of commercial buildings. And people lived there too. The last three trials I’ve done have been premises…

Acceptance of SFTLA 2016 Civil Justice Award

By Chuck Geerhart | November 29, 2016

Many thanks to the SFTLA Board for this award! I am thrilled and honored. I have to acknowledge the support and inspiration I have received from SFTLA over the years. I am happy to have with me tonight friends, colleagues, my wife Margaret Coyne and my daughter Alanna, and my brother Bill and sister Valerie…

Nuts and Bolts of Liens in a Basic Personal Injury case

By Chuck Geerhart | November 19, 2016

By Chuck Geerhart 1)  When is it a lien? A  lien is a security interest in property. “Lien” is defined as “[a] legal right or interest that a creditor has in another’s property, lasting usu. until a debt or duty that it secures is satisfied.”* (Black’s Law Dict. (9th ed. 2009) p. 1006, col. 1.)…

Don’t Let Litigation Costs Overwhelm Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

By Chuck Geerhart | November 10, 2016

By Chuck Geerhart Although something like 97% of all personal injury lawsuits eventually settle short of jury trial, they can nonetheless be very expensive because of the costs of litigation. Most reputable injury lawyers advance costs for the client, but these advanced costs must be re-paid to the lawyer when (and if) the case settles…