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Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

Some people have an unfortunate tendency to view “pain and suffering” damages as somehow less legitimate – mostly just the stuff of shrewd lawyers’ fancy legal arguments and overly sympathetic jurors. Anyone who has been substantially injured in an auto accident – or knows someone who has been – knows that this simply isn’t true. An auto accident injury has the potential to affect you negatively for the remainder of your life. The totality of the harm you suffered in that auto accident is greater than just the amount of income you lost (and will lose) and the sum of your medical bills. When it comes time to seek all of the damages that you deserve, be sure you’ve sought out a skilled San Mateo car accident attorney.

Many times, the totality of your pain and suffering harm (also called “non-economic damages” in California) will exceed your “economic” losses like lost earnings and medical expenses, and perhaps exceed it by a lot. For example, last year, the state Supreme Court ruled on a case where the jury awarded $1.8 million in economic damages and $3 million in non-economic damages. Although the net verdict was a smaller sum, the high court ruled in favor of the trial court outcome.

A trial court case from Southern California (Orange County Ct. Case No.30-2019-01055888) is another good example. The injured driver was a 48-year-old woman who was rear-ended as she traveled to the mall. The woman suffered a cervical soft-tissue injury in her neck.

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Four, six, and eight-lane roads offer many benefits, including allowing drivers to get to their destinations more quickly. They also create a degree of risk, particularly when it comes to lane changes. An unsafe lane change has the potential to create a “domino effect” of reactions from other drivers, and may trigger an accident involving many vehicles. If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by a driver’s unsafe lane change, the legal issues related to liability can be intricate and complex, so make sure you have an experienced San Mateo injury attorney handling your case.

In early December, an unsafe lane change right here in San Mateo County was the basis for one man’s tragic death. According to Patch.com, a man in a silver Toyota was traveling northbound on Highway 101 near the San Francisco Airport when he executed what police investigators believed was an “unsafe right lane change.” That lane change caused the Toyota to hit the rear of another vehicle.

The Toyota then struck a concrete wall and overturned several times. The accident killed the driver of the Toyota. The driver of the other vehicle was not hurt, according to the report.

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Drivers here in San Mateo and elsewhere are keenly familiar with the red octagon that is the stop sign. Drivers who fail to obey a stop sign create an acutely great danger, as all the other drivers at that intersection are operating under the assumption that those with a stop sign will do so. If you’ve suffered injuries (or a loved one has been killed) because someone else blew through a stop sign, then you know how damaging and life-changing these crashes can be. When it comes time to protect your legal rights and seek the compensation you deserve, rely upon an experienced San Mateo car accident attorney to represent you in your legal action.

A recent crash near Modesto is just the latest horrifying reminder of the dangers connected to accidents where someone did not obey a stop sign. According to the California Highway Patrol, a teenage driver moving “at a high rate of speed” failed to stop at a stop sign at a “4-way stop” intersection.

The crash sent the teen driver’s vehicle into a power pole and left seven people injured. Six people required hospitalization. One person was dead by the time first responders arrived, according to an ABC 10 report.

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California’s Office of Traffic Safety’s website says that, in 2017, 3,166 people lost their lives around the country due to distracted driving accidents. That figure represented nearly 10% of all traffic fatalities. These numbers provide a clear and stark reminder of how dangerous it is when a driver drives without his/her eyes, hands and mindfully focused on the task of driving. If you’re injured in a distracted driving accident, you should act promptly to get in touch with a knowledgeable San Mateo injury attorney to discover and pursue your legal options.

Back in October, this blog covered an accident in San Francisco that was potentially the result of distracted driving. Fortunately, no one was hurt in that crash. More recently, another accident with some similarities occurred in Fresno County. Regrettably, this accident was not injury-free.

In that more recent event, a pair of men were riding their bicycles north of Fresno when the driver of a westbound Honda Civic “lost control and drifted onto the shoulder of the road,” according to an ABC 30 report. The vehicle hit the two bicycles head-on.

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Northern California is known for many wonderful things… amazing cultural diversity, economic opportunity and innovation, scenic views, and beautiful weather. And the fog. OK, that last one may not always seem so wonderful, especially if you’re behind the wheel when dense fog rolls in. When an auto accident occurs in a dense fog, it is often said that the fog “caused” the crash. Fortunately, the law has a more complex and nuanced way of analyzing weather-related auto accidents, which means that, even if the weather was a major factor in the crash that hurt you, you could successfully pursue and recover the compensation you urgently need. Be sure to contact a knowledgeable San Mateo car accident attorney to find out more.

One of the biggest multi-vehicle crashes in U.S. history occurred in Northern California due, in part, to fog. The tule fog that frequently occurs in fall and winter led to a 108-vehicle crash on Highway 99 south of Fresno in November 2007 that killed two and injured dozens.

A more recent crash involved fewer vehicles but, tragically, more fatalities. The scene was once again Highway 99, this time south of Chico. The weather factor once again was dense fog. According to a KCRA report, the multi-vehicle accident included five cars and five tractor-trailer trucks. The dead included four young adults and a 61-year-old survivor of the Camp Fire who, according to his son, died while trying to assist another victim who was trapped in a different vehicle, actionnewsnow reported.

Anytime you are injured (or a loved one is killed) in an auto accident, it is an incredibly stressful time. That stress and pain only go up exponentially when the driver who caused the accident flees the scene. Just because the person who hurt you was a hit-and-run driver, that doesn’t mean that you have no options to recover any compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. There are still ways to get the money you need, so be sure to reach out without delay to an experienced San Mateo car accident attorney about pursuing your case.

Fatal hit-and-run accidents occur with depressing frequency in California. In 2016, 337 of the nation’s 2,049 hit-and-run deaths happened in this state. That 337 figure was a 60% increase over 2009, according to CBS Sacramento.

Another one just took place this past September in Solano County. According to the Daily Republic, the male victim was crossing Sonoma Boulevard in Vallejo a little before 11 p.m. when a vehicle struck and killed him. Police had little to go on regarding the fatal impact.

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You may have heard, in advertisements for law firms or elsewhere, that “people who hire an attorney for their injury case receive three times more money than people who don’t.” Have you ever wondered if that’s true? It actually is. The Insurance Research Council looked into it and found that, on average, personal injury plaintiffs with legal representation receive just slightly less than triple the amount of money plaintiffs who pursue their cases without an attorney get. If you needed an extra reason to make sure you retain a skilled San Mateo injury attorney to handle your accident case, that should certainly stand out as one.

Why is there such a disparity? There are several reasons. For one thing, an experienced injury attorney who has handled many cases that are both like yours and also litigated in your area will have a very clear idea of what your case is “worth.” Your attorney, based on that experience-based forecasting, can help you spot a low-ball offer from an opposing insurance company or attorney.

One of the insurance companies’ business objectives is to pay claimants as little as possible. That involves employing adjusters and attorneys who all work to convince you your case is worth far less than it really is in order to get you to take as little money as possible to settle your claim.

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Distracted driving is dangerous and, too often, deadly. More than 50 people die, on average, every week from distracted driving nationwide, according to federal statistics from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). Historically, California has had more than its share of fatal distracted driving accidents as, in past years, roughly 9-10% of all such accidents happened in this state. Whether a distracted driving accident hurt you or killed your loved one, California law may entitle you to sue for substantial compensation, so be sure to reach out to an experienced San Mateo injury attorney right away.

Recently, CBS San Francisco reported on a local accident that, thankfully, did not end in any deaths. According to the San Mateo Police Department, a white Range Rover SUV crashed into a building in the 4100 block of South El Camino Real. No one was hurt in the crash, according to the CBS report.

The CBS report also noted that, although the police department did not release an official cause for the accident, the department did provide a hint on its Facebook page. The department’s social media post read, “There are many things that cause us to lose focus while driving: drugs/alcohol/medication, age, health issues, distractions in the car & out. Pay attention to the road and avoid anything that will take your focus away from your one goal, to arrive safely at your destination.”

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Back in April, a study from UC-Davis revealed that traffic accidents fell by half during the stay-at-home orders triggered by the pandemic. In mid-May, though, the news wasn’t so good, as the Los Angeles Times reported that traffic deaths were back up to their pre-lockdown levels. As people gradually return to their old routines, it is a sad reality that auto accidents, injuries and deaths will ensue. If you’re hurt in an accident, don’t wait… retain an experienced San Mateo car accident attorney right away.

Here in California, the state-mandated minimum insurance coverage is commonly referred to as “15/30/5,” which means $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident and $5,000 of property damage. Anyone who’s been hurt in a California auto accident can undoubtedly tell you just how easily and quickly one can rack up more than $15,000 in medical expenses following a crash. Ideally, when your bills exceed the other driver’s insurance coverage, that is when your own underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage (UIM) steps in. Unfortunately, it’s too often not as simple as that. So, it’s possible to be harmed by the driver who hit you and – especially if that driver has only minimum coverage (or no coverage at all) – to be harmed by your own insurance company.

An action (Case No. 20-2372-JAC) that followed a Southern California crash is a good example. In that crash, a nurse in her 60s was hit by a left-turning driver who improperly failed to yield the right of way. The accident was serious enough that the nurse’s vehicle’s airbags deployed, and she was rendered unconscious for a short time. The nurse experienced a great deal of ongoing neck pain and, ultimately, her doctor recommended a discectomy and fusion surgery. The injuries were bad enough that they even had altered the nurse’s planned timing of her retirement.

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When you’re hurt in an auto accident, there are many things you’ll need. For one thing, you’ll need time to heal, emotionally and physically. After that, though, it’s quite likely you’ll need to file an action in civil court to get compensation for the harm you suffered. To get everything you should from that lawsuit, you’ll need representation from the right San Mateo injury attorney. The right attorney can offer you and your case the right knowledge, the right experience and the right resources to ensure your case will achieve what it should.

One of the big things that the right attorney can provide is the right resources to do all the necessary investigatory work. Don’t overlook how important this is winning your case and getting the full recovery you deserve.

Some cases may be clear-cut in all the essential areas (such as an obviously distracted driver who admittedly ran a stop sign and T-boned your car.) Many though, are not. They are complex and require careful investigation to know what the true nature of the case really is. A tragically fatal accident from outside Vacaville, which was reported by KRON, is an example.

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