Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

Getting hurt in an auto accident is a very stressful experience for a variety of different reasons. Unfortunately, for lots of folks, one of those reasons is dealing with insurance companies and struggling to get them to do what they should. Insurance companies, of course, often fight aggressively to avoid paying you, and are very experienced at doing so. That’s why, if you’ve been hurt in a vehicle accident, you shouldn’t go it alone. Give yourself the advantage of a diligent, professional advocate by retaining the services of an experienced San Mateo car accident attorney.

H.S. was a Southern California woman who faced this kind of challenge in her case. She was injured in an accident where the other driver hit her and was at fault. The other driver’s auto insurer made a payment equal to the policy limit.

Most all of us have seen those “state minimum coverage” auto insurance ads on the internet or TV, right? Those may be great for a driver who has no insurance, but they’re not so great if you’re hurt by someone with minimal or low-amount coverage. Fortunately, there is something called “uninsured or underinsured motorist” coverage you can add to your insurance. If the at-fault driver’s insurance pays the policy limit but that amount is less than your total damages, you can file a claim with your insurer and get a payment from them in addition to the payment from the other driver’s insurance company.

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One of the very important things to know about auto accidents – and auto accident liability – is that there are actually relatively few absolutes. You may have heard that “in a rear-end accident, the rear driver is always at fault,” but that’s not true. The same goes for left-turn accidents in which one driver turns in front of an oncoming vehicle. While it’s true the turning driver is usually the at-fault driver, it is false that the turning driver is always the one to blame. If you’ve been hurt in a left-turn accident, don’t let others tell you there’s no way you can recover damages through a lawsuit. Instead, get the competent advice you need from a skilled San Mateo injury attorney.

A terrible accident that took place about 50 miles east of Stockton recently is a good example. According to the Union Democrat, D.T. turned his Ford Mustang left onto Highway 4 in front of an oncoming Chevrolet Camaro that was moving “at an unknown speed.” The Camaro slammed into the Mustang and D.T. died at the scene.

In many scenarios like this one, the turning driver would be the driver at fault. The law generally says that a driver traveling straight has the right of way against a driver turning into that lane, and that the turning driver has the legal obligation to yield the right of way.

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Knowing what your case is “worth” is just as essential a piece of knowledge as knowing what legal claims are viable and what factual evidence you need. A knowledgeable assessment of the value of a case is one of the very important pieces of advice you can get by working with a skilled San Mateo car accident attorney. Having that accurate information can help you avoid pitfalls like accepting a “lowball” settlement offer.

There’s also another benefit of having an accurate assessment of your case: it may entitle you to recover an award of costs and fees. That is no small matter because, sometimes, the value of those costs and fees may be more than the value of the total damages you suffered!

A court case from Southern California is a good example. A Bakersfield man, who was driving drunk, improperly failed to yield and turned in front of a vehicle containing a Bakersfield woman and her sister. The woman couldn’t stop in time and crashed into the man’s vehicle.

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A rear-end crash can be a surprisingly serious event. Many people associate rear-end accidents with the phrase “minor fender-bender,” but just because a crash does not cause major vehicle damage doesn’t mean that the occupants of the vehicles involved can’t suffer serious harm. The harsh reality is that rear-end accidents can be (and often are) quite serious, and sometimes even fatal. If you’ve been hurt in a rear-end crash, don’t go it alone. Instead, get the legal representation you need from an experienced San Mateo car accident attorney.

An accident near Monterey late last month was, tragically, an example of a rear-end crash with massive harm to human life. The crash occurred along northbound Highway 1 after a Volkswagen SUV slowed “for unknown reasons,” according to The Mercury News. The vehicle trailing the SUV, a Ford pickup truck, failed to stop in time and slammed into the Volkswagen.

The driver of the truck escaped without injury, but the driver of the SUV died at a nearby medical center. CHP told reporters that alcohol and drugs “do not appear to be factors in the crash,” The Mercury News reported.

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Anytime you’re hurt in an auto accident, it is a scary time, marked by physical pain along with emotional stress. That emotional toll can become exponentially larger if the injuries you suffered are the type that could negatively impact your ability to continue performing your job. When that happens, you are probably filled with fear and uncertainty. If your vehicle accident injuries will prevent, or significantly delay, your returning to work, you need the right San Mateo accident injury attorney on your side so that you can get the compensation you need.

M.B. was one of those people whose accident dramatically altered her personal life and her work life. A tow truck driver who failed to stop for a red light slammed into her in an intersection, allegedly breaking her wrist, causing two fractures in her back and damaging her neck. The back injury did not require treatment, but the wrist injury required one surgery already and a fusion surgery was expected to be necessary in the future. The woman’s neck injury also required surgery, according to her complaint. (Orange County Superior Court Case No. 30-2018-01020990.)

Intersection accidents like M.B.’s are often serious. Federal statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that more than one-third (36%) of crashes nationwide were intersection-related. NHTSA’s statistics for California were similar, with more than one-quarter (26%) of all fatal crashes in this state in 2018 being intersection-related.

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Chances are, you’ve seen a TV or movie scene like this: A vehicle is lightly tapped from behind by another vehicle. An occupant of the lead vehicle emerges screaming, “Oh! My neck!” in a very exaggerated way… or maybe that occupant reappears the next day or next week wearing a conspicuously massive and bulky neck brace or a halo device. While this may all be sight gags and laughs on TV and the movies, the cold reality is that low-impact crashes can, and do, cause people to suffer serious injuries every day. If you’ve been injured in a low-impact crash, don’t let the lack of massive skid marks or extensive vehicle damage trick you into thinking you can’t recover the compensation you need. By reaching out to the right San Mateo car accident attorney, you can obtain the evidence you need to get a full recovery for the harm you’ve suffered.

When you’re injured in a low-speed accident, you can reasonably expect that the defense may argue to the jury that you are “faking it” or are exaggerating your injuries for a larger “payday.” The defense may argue that the accident occurred at such an extremely low speed that the injuries you’ve asserted couldn’t possibly be the result of that crash. The defense team knows that, just like many of the rest of us, at least some of the jurors have seen the movie/TV scenes with the gigantic neck braces and halos, and have heard the (usually false or distorted) “horror” stories of people collecting multi-million-dollar awards for trifling injuries.

The reality is, though, that the science disputes this idea that low-impact collisions can’t ever cause serious injuries. Research from a branch of the National Institutes of Health shows that there “does not seem to be an absolute speed or amount of damage a vehicle sustains for a person to experience injury.” The research’s crash tests revealed that “a change of vehicle velocity of 4 km/hr (2.5 mph) may produce occupant symptoms.”

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Sometimes, after reading a news headline about an accident injury victim who recovers a damages award in the tens of millions of dollars, you may wonder if awards like that are really legitimate or just an instance of an out-of-control jury. The reality is that, very often, these massive awards are entirely justifiable and appropriate! There are many ways that a vehicle accident can inflict a huge amount of damage on those hurt. One scenario where that is definitely a realistic possibility occurs when the injury victim is a young income earner whose injuries have left him permanently and totally disabled and requiring a lifetime of 24/7/365 care. If that happens to you or your loved one, it is essential to your family’s short-term and long-term well-being and financial security that your civil lawsuit gets you the full recovery you deserve. To aid in that goal, be sure you have an experienced San Mateo car accident attorney on your side.

J.M. was one of those people who suffered a catastrophic injury through no fault of his own. J.M., a farm worker in the Fresno area, was headed home from work one day when the van in which he was riding stopped at a railroad crossing. The driver of a Dodge pickup truck, C.B., slammed into the back of the stopped van going roughly 55 mph, according to a Fresno Bee report.

The massive injuries he suffered left J.M. paralyzed, according to the report. The only offer of settlement the injured man received was a sum of $25,000, which represented the policy limit of C.B.’s auto insurance coverage.

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There are so many areas where a knowledgeable San Mateo injury attorney can provide you with invaluable advice and assistance with your accident case. Your experienced attorney can give you essential guidance in assessing what your case is “worth,” and guide you in deciding how much to offer in settlement, as well as whether or not to accept a settlement offer from the defense.

A recent San Francisco accident case is a helpful illustration of how important these things can be. The plaintiff, C.A., was significantly injured an accident involving himself and X.L. Roughly two years later, C.A. sued X.L. for negligence.

In California, settlement of disputes like personal injury matters is encouraged by the courts. To further that goal, state law has Code of Civil Procedure Section 998. The section says that if you, as an injured plaintiff, make a qualifying settlement offer that the defense rejects and then, at the end of your trial, your damages award is more than 25% more than your settlement offer, then you may be entitled to recover certain additional costs and fees.

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California has more than 800,000 motorcycles registered in the state and has the largest volume of motorcycle traffic in the U.S. A lot of those motorcycles are here in the Bay Area. Motorcyclists are under several elevated risks on the road, as drivers may be more likely to overlook them, and accidents involving motorcycles may lead to more serious harm to motorcyclists and their passengers. Whether you’re driving a massive SUV or a basic motorcycle, other drivers still have a legal obligation to be attentive and avoid crashing into you. If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, be sure you contact a knowledgeable San Mateo motorcycle accident attorney to get the advice you need about your legal rights and options.

A recent Bay Area accident is a tragic example of how serious motorcycle accidents often are. According to KPIX, M.D. was a motorcyclist traveling on a six-lane road in South San Jose. As he headed north, the driver of a southbound Jeep attempted a left-hand turn onto a two-lane road. The Jeep crossed directly into the motorcycle’s path and the vehicles slammed into one another. The impact threw M.D. from his bike and he died at the scene, according to the report. Police quickly ruled out intoxication as a possible cause of the accident.

How does a driver who was neither drunk nor high turn right into the path of an oncoming vehicle? There are several possible explanations. Many drivers are guilty of driving while distracted, with their cell phone or other electronic device serving as the distraction. Other drivers may drive with a certain degree of diminished attention that, while allowing them to see cars or trucks, allows them to miss vehicles like motorcycles.

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When you’re injured in an auto accident, you may worry that this crash will cause you to miss a lot of time at work. You may worry that your injuries will impair your ability to care for your children or meet your financial obligations. Any accident caused by someone else is frustrating, but it may be especially irritating if the driver who hit you was texting while driving. While exceptionally frustrating, clear evidence that the driver who hit you was texting at the time of the crash may be a huge help to you when it comes time to go to court and seek much-needed compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. Be sure you have an experienced San Mateo car accident attorney on your side to help you discover all the facts and then use them to your maximum benefit in court.

In Los Angeles, despite efforts by the city government, “the number of people killed in car crashes stayed stubbornly high,” according to the Los Angeles Times. One of the key contributors to that is drivers texting while driving. Drivers traveling “30, 40, 50 mph … put their head down to pick up a text or handle a call, and they move 100 yards, and they drive over someone,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in the Times report.

Regrettably, distracted driving isn’t just a problem in Los Angeles. In mid-March, a 20-year-old woman who was “driving northbound… and using her cellular phone” in Redding collided with another driver. According to actionnewsnow.com, the 20-year-old woman did not notice that her traffic light was red, she ran the red light and crashed into another car. The driver of that second vehicle was injured and was transported to a local hospital, according to the report.

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