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Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

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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A country music singer named Joe Diffie died earlier this year as a result of COVID-19. He was arguably best known for a 1990s song about poor judgments that unleashed a massive chain reaction of problematic outcomes, including a vehicle accident. In the song, “Third Rock From the Sun,” what unfolded was mostly hilarity and some unintentional property damage. In real life, though, errors in judgment can do life-changing harm to real people when those making the errors are drivers behind the wheel and their errors result in chain-reaction crashes. Getting the compensation you need for the harm you suffered in a chain-reaction crash is often no simple matter, as unraveling the details of the accident to determine who did what to whom — and who is legally liable to you — often requires in-depth investigation and considerable knowledge of the law. When it comes time to seek compensation for your chain-reaction accident injuries, make sure you have retained the services of a skilled San Mateo injury attorney to handle your case.

To give you an idea how complex these accidents can be, consider this recent one from Los Angeles County, which was reported by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. A CHP officer pulled over a BMW on the 10 freeway. At around the same time, a Scion cut off a Toyota RAV4. The driver of the Toyota swerved to avoid the Scion and, in doing so, moved onto the shoulder… and into the rear end of the CHP vehicle. The CHP SUV crashed into the BMW and one of those two vehicles slammed into the officer, who was walking toward the BMW at the time. The officer suffered serious injuries as a result.

Now, let’s take a look at all the different ways that different people could be liable. Certainly, the driver of the Scion, if the proof showed that he/she engaged in an unsafe lane change or other reckless driving, would be a prime candidate for being held liable. In this case, the Scion did not stop. While a hit-and-run driver who owes you damages is a significant complication, it is not something that necessarily will stop you from recovering compensation and is definitely not something you should let deter you from pursuing your case in court. There are several legal maneuvers your attorney can make to protect you if you were hurt by a hit-and-run driver.

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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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