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Sometimes, you are completely devoid of any fault in your auto accident. You are sitting at a traffic signal, properly stopped, when someone slams into you from behind. The reality is, though, that many accidents are not that black-and-white. We’ve all made mistakes and misjudgments behind the wheel and sometimes some of those errors played a role in our auto accidents. Fortunately, you do not have to be 100% blameless in order to recover much-needed compensation for the injuries you suffered in your auto accident. If you’re hurt in a crash, be sure to reach out to an experienced San Mateo car accident attorney to learn more about the legal options available for you.

Sometimes, errors are simple misjudgments, like braking too late on a wet road. Other times, there fall more on the side of lapses of good judgment. An apparent momentary lapse in judgment turned tragic in San Mateo earlier in January. According to KPIX, the starting point of the fatal accident was a non-injury crash along Highway 101 where a Dodge Charger struck a Toyota Yaris. (The driver of the Dodge was later arrested for suspicion of DUI.) With both cars still in the travel lanes, a woman riding in the Yaris, I.T., got out of that car to confront the Dodge’s driver, and an argument ensued. While I.T. argued with the Charger’s driver, an oncoming Toyota Camry hit and killed her. The driver of the Camry, like the driver of the Charger, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

While it might seem easy to criticize the deceased woman for stepping onto a travel lane of a highway in order to maintain an argument with a driver in a fender-bender, we should all be slow to pass judgment. Nearly all of us have been in extremely highly stressful situations on the road – including accidents. And most all of us have had moments where anger, frustration or stress led us to do things we regretted later.

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Recently, the family of a 62-year-old man killed in a San Mateo County crash recovered a judgment of $9.5 million against a driver and the state Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Rather than relying solely on the past history of injuries at the exact intersection where their relative died, they used proof of a similar death at a similar intersection to persuade the jury that Caltrans should have known about the dangerousness of the intersection. The success of this technique, affirmed by the Court of Appeal, demonstrates that there may be more than one way to achieve a successful outcome in your intersection accident case against a governmental entity. Be sure to retain an experienced San Mateo pedestrian accident attorney who can help you explore all your options.

A 62-year-old bicyclist, C.C., was crossing El Camino Real in Atherton on foot when a southbound passenger sedan struck him. C.C. was walking with his bike inside a crosswalk at the time of the accident. The driver never saw C.C. and never hit his brakes. In fact, he was going an estimated 42 mph when he slammed into C.C. and thought a tree branch had fallen on his car. The collision was violent enough that it threw C.C. more than 50 feet and his bicycle more than 70 feet. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The bicyclist’s wife and daughters sued the driver and Caltrans. The crosswalk where C.C. died was unreasonably unsafe, the department should have known it, but did nothing address the dangerous condition, they argued. A jury agreed. After a two-week trial, the jury found the driver 10% at fault and Caltrans 90% responsible. The jury assessed the total damages to be $9.5 million.

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A successful outcome in your truck accident case is something that involves much more than just a jury verdict that says those who you sued were “negligent” and “liable.” A successful outcome also means getting a damages award that truly and fully reflects just how much harm this accident has inflicted upon you and your family. That means going the extra lengths necessary to get the evidence that clearly shows who was to blame for the crash. It means getting the proof needed to establish that the defendants you sued had engaged in various missteps and misconduct that further increased their liability. In other words, your case needs the skill of an experienced San Mateo truck accident attorney to get you all the compensation that you deserve.

A recent verdict from Bakersfield is an example of many of the ways that it pays to have a skilled attorney on your side. T.C. and her children, A.C. and M.C., were shopping for school clothes when they were hurt in a massive crash. A big rig and the family’s SUV met in an intersection, with the collision causing major injuries to the mother and the son. The mother and son each suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial fractures, skull fractures and multiple brain bleeds. The injuries left the mother with no sense of smell or taste, and with diminished vision and hearing, all of which took away her independence, according to Bakersfield.com. The daughter suffered cuts and scratches.

Clearly, the family had suffered major harm. The mother and son had injuries that would affect them for the rest of their lives. However, what they didn’t have at first was definitive proof regarding who caused the crash. The big rig driver who collided with the family’s SUV said that his traffic light was green when he went through the intersection and that T.C. ran a red light. The mother, due to her injuries, had no memory of the crash or the moments immediately preceding it. The two surveillance cameras at nearby businesses, which the California Highway Patrol reviewed, were inconclusive.

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There is an unfortunate stereotype that says that, whenever there is a court case that involves a seemingly minor accident and a very large award of damages from a jury, the verdict was a result of “slick” plaintiffs’ lawyers, disingenuous plaintiffs’ doctors, and a gullible jury. As is the case in most walks of life, though, assumptions, generalizations, and stereotypes are often wrong.

In reality, there are a lot of situations in which even accidents devoid of high speeds or large vehicles still inflict permanent and life-changing injuries. If you are injured by someone else’s negligence, and that injury leaves you with hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical bills, your bill collectors are not going to ask how fast the other vehicle was going. Whether the vehicle that hit you was going 5 or 105, if the other person was at fault, you are entitled to receive a sum of compensation that fully reflects the totality of the harm that you’ve suffered. To make certain that you’re getting that level of compensation, be sure to retain a skilled San Mateo injury attorney.

In law school, students learn about someone called an “eggshell victim” or “eggshell plaintiff.” This refers to a situation in which the injured person has suffered more severe or extensive injuries than an “average” person might have suffered under the same circumstances. A Sacramento County case recently reported by the Sacramento Bee is a good example. A married couple in their mid 60s were out for a tandem bicycle ride on a bike path in Folsom when they approached two pedestrians from the rear. The husband signaled to the pedestrians with his bicycle bell. After initially stepping to the right, the female pedestrian moved quickly back to the left. The bicycle hit the female pedestrian and crashed on the trail.

Recently, Governor Newsom signed into law a bill that is designed to limit Californians’ exposure to certain marketing calls, KUSI News reported. As many telemarketers know, even if the service or product that you offer over the phone is perfectly legal (and even quite beneficial,) many people assume that all telemarketers are scammers. Professionals in several other fields face similar negative stereotypes. “Politicians are all liars seeking only become famous and/or line their bank accounts… used car salespeople are con artists seeking to get wealthy by foisting lemons onto unsuspecting consumers… auto injury attorneys are just a bunch of ambulance chasers…, etc. etc,” are some common stereotypes.

The truth is that most injury attorneys are actually highly ethical professionals, passionately dedicated to helping injured people and their families fight for what’s fair and get back on their feet. Regrettably, though, some attorneys actually are less than completely ethical. So, how do you differentiate your conscientious and professional San Mateo injury attorney from an unethical ambulance chaser?

One of the ways you potentially can differentiate the two groups is by the manner in which you become connected. The phrase “ambulance chasing” has a very specific common meaning in the legal community. It refers to unscrupulous attorneys, or third parties acting on their behalf, who reach out to injured people (or their families) without having been first contacted by that person or family. They may make contact at the scene of an auto accident, at a funeral or at the injured person’s hospital room.

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A recent multi-vehicle accident in San Mateo County left several people injured and tragically left one man dead, according to a Mercury News report. Chain-reaction and multi-vehicle accidents can cause extensive harm to the drivers and passengers involved, including permanent or even fatal injuries. Determining who was legally responsible in an accident like this can be a very complicated task, so be sure to rely upon an experienced San Mateo car accident attorney if you’ve been injured in a chain reaction accident.

The initial trigger for that recent fatal crash was a Ford SUV that experienced a tire blowout while traveling along Highway 101 in Brisbane. The Toyota sedan behind the Ford managed to slow down before hitting the Ford, but the Volkswagen behind the Toyota didn’t, slamming into the rear of the sedan, according to the report.

That impact forced the Toyota into the Ford, pushing the SUV into an adjoining lane. Once the Ford was in that left lane, a bus came along moments later and slammed into it. Then a Lincoln SUV crashed into the bus. A fire burned the bus and two of the other vehicles. The driver of the Lincoln, a 51-year-old man from San Mateo, was killed in the crash, although the Mercury News report didn’t say if the impact or the fire caused his death.

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Today, video cameras are seemingly everywhere, whether it is a cell phone, a laptop or tablet, a digital camera or a GoPro. While there are some potentially troubling privacy implications of video cameras’ prevalence, they do sometimes prove invaluable benefits, including possibly providing the key evidence you need to win your motorcycle accident injury case. Whether or not you have video footage among your pieces of evidence, it is essential to have an experienced San Mateo motorcycle accident attorney on your side. Your attorney can help you take the proof you have, whatever that evidence is, and use it to its maximum potential.

Just a few years ago, a person injured in auto accident due to the negligence of another driver might rely on still photographs, eyewitness testimony or the expert opinions of an accident reconstructionist as his evidence. This might be particularly difficult to track down if your accident happened on the freeway. (As an important side note: even if you were hurt in a freeway accident and you don’t have video evidence, you definitely should still consult counsel, as a skilled attorney may still be able to accumulate enough evidence to put together a winning case and get a positive result for you.)

If, however, a jury has live-action video footage of every second of your crash, and every moment leading up to it, you may have an even stronger case. A recently concluded case, which was reported by ABC 7, demonstrated exactly that. M.R. was a motorcyclist traveling along the 405 freeway in Los Angeles County when the driver of a sedan allegedly changed lanes abruptly and without signaling. The sedan driver’s lane change sent M.R. careening across three lanes of traffic and slamming into a flatbed trailer, according to the report.

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Too many times, people associate “slip-and-fall” accidents in a negative way. If this type of harm has never affected you, you may think of these accidents as ones involving trivially injured people exaggerating their injuries. The reality is actually very different. Slip-and-fall accidents often are very seriously harmful things. According to statistics published by the CDC, accidental falls were the #1 cause of injuries requiring hospital ER treatment in 2017. At almost 8.6 million incidents, the number of these falls was almost equal to the second, third and fourth causes combined.

Sounds pretty far from trivial, doesn’t it? So, the next time you’re hurt in a slip-and-fall, don’t dismiss it as nothing. Get the medical care necessary to protect your health and then get the legal representation you need to protect your rights by contacting an experienced San Mateo premises liability attorney.

J.P. was someone who suffered an obviously serious injury in a fall. While at an Asian buffet restaurant in Los Angeles County, J.P. went to the restroom. On his way back to his seat, J.P. slipped, fell and shattered his left knee in multiple places. After the accident, J.P. sued the restraint for premises liability. (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC659957.)

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released its fatal vehicle crash statistics and the news for people who use roads while on foot are not good. In 2018, the number of pedestrians killed nationwide rose by 208 to 6,283, which is an increase of 3.4%. The news closer to home was no better. 57 of those 6,283 deaths occurred in the Sacramento region (El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo Counties,) with more than 80% of those 57 happening in Sacramento County alone. Additionally, 22 pedestrians have died in San Francisco just in the first eight months of 2019.

There can be many reasons for fatal pedestrian accidents but, many times, driver mistakes are a factor. Maybe the driver was speeding or improperly failed to yield, maybe the driver was distracted, maybe the driver was impaired or… maybe all of the above are true. Whatever the specifics, if you’ve lost a loved one due to a fatal pedestrian accident caused by driver negligence, be sure to contact an experienced San Mateo pedestrian accident attorney to find out what can be done to protect your family.

Urban areas are where the biggest increase in fatal pedestrian accidents have occurred, according to the Sacramento Bee. The report stated that fatal pedestrian accidents have surged by 69% over the last 10 years.

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Federal statistics show that more than 780 bicyclists lost their lives in crashes with cars, trucks or SUVs in 2017. In addition to those 780+ deaths, hundreds of thousands were injured. In many of these accidents, the driver of the car/truck/SUV is solely to blame. The driver may have been speeding, inattentive, distracted, intoxicated or many other things.

Sometimes, though, the true cause for an accident is more complex. Perhaps a traffic signal malfunctioned. Perhaps the intersection contained severely obscured sight lines or maybe there were other design flaws that played a role in the crash. When that happens, you, as the injured bicyclist, may be entitled to recover significant compensation, not only from the driver, but also from the governmental entity responsible for the unsafe road area where your crash took place. To make sure that you are getting a full and fair recovery that holds accountable all those responsible, be sure that you have a knowledgeable San Mateo bicycle accident attorney on your side.

A non-fatal, though nevertheless tragic, accident from Santa Clara County is an example of this kind of incident. As San Jose Inside reported, two boys – a 6-year-old on a scooter and a 13-year-old on a bicycle – were hit by an SUV as the boys crossed a street to go watch a 4th of July fireworks show. The 6-year-old was thrown some 30 feet through the air and suffered several fractures, including compound ones. The 13-year-old fared much worse, being dragged by the SUV for 30+ feet and suffering multiple seizures. The accident also inflicted a severe traumatic brain injury on the boy that, according to the family’s attorney, would “require special medical care and educational support for the rest of his life,” according to San Jose Inside.

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