Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Sometimes, in your auto accident injury case, the question isn’t if you have a case for holding the defendant liable, because the defense has already admitted liability. The question isn’t even whether or not you’ve incurred a substantial amount of damages, because the defense has admitted that, too. The question, then, for some injured people, is “exactly how extensive are my damages and how much compensation should I reasonably expect for them?” Being able to assess these things accurately matters a great deal if you’re in an injury lawsuit in California.

In California, there’s a law that says that, if you reject a statutory settlement offer and the jury awards you less 75% of what was offered, then you lose the ability to recover certain costs and fees and may be on the hook for paying some of the defense’s costs and fees. In other words, it is very, very important, when you receive a statutory settlement offer from the defense, that you have the ability to differentiate a fair offer from a low one. This is a key area where the right San Mateo car accident attorney can help. Your knowledgeable attorney can use his/her wealth of experiences in past cases to help you spot a fair offer… or an unfair one.

T.B. was a woman facing those kinds of questions in her case (Orange County Superior Court Case No. 30-2016-00861733-CU-PA-CJC.) She was a passenger in vehicle that was involved in a major accident. T.B.’s driver reportedly improperly turned left against a red arrow. The accident totaled both vehicles.

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According to NHTSA statistics, distracted driving remains a major problem on U.S. roads, resulting in 3,166 deaths in 2017 alone. Distracted driving may lead to driving behaviors that can be particularly injurious, such as slamming into a stopped vehicle at full speed, veering into an oncoming lane of travel or barreling through a clearly red traffic light.

When you’re seriously hurt as a result of a distracted driver, you need to know where to turn find out how to go about getting back on your feet and getting fully compensated for the losses you’ve suffered (and will suffer.) Start by reaching out to an experienced San Mateo car accident attorney.

Anyone can file a personal injury lawsuit and potentially work out a settlement. One of the keys to a genuine success in a personal injury accident is not just “getting paid,” but knowing what your case is really worth and being sure that the payment you get is a fair one. That’s especially true in California, where there is an “offer of settlement” statute (Section 998). Make the mistake of rejecting a fair 998 settlement offer and you may find yourself paying some of the fees and costs of the defense. Make the mistake of accepting a lowball 998 offer and you may find yourself receiving too little money for your needs.

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When you are injured due to an auto accident in which road conditions were a factor, your situation can seem complicated and stressful. You were just driving down the road and then you crash, suffering substantial injuries through little or no fault of your own. Would you know what to do and whom to sue?

Identifying the right people and/or entities to sue is an extremely essential part of your case. Choosing the right defendants is just as important as choosing the right causes of action when it comes to giving yourself the best chance of success and a full and fair recovery. This is just one of the many areas where it pays to have the skill and knowledge of an experienced San Mateo injury attorney on your side.

As an example of this kind of accident, there’s the case of M.D., a driver in San Bernardino County. According to Redlands Daily Facts, M.D. was a traveling along an east-west road that had a set of orange cones stretched across part of the road. M.D. drove to the left of the cones and, when he passed the last cone, he shifted right, only to feel his vehicle “drop off” into a two-foot deep ditch. The drop caused the vehicle to overturn and allegedly caused the driver to suffer very serious damage to his neck and back.

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Driving in California can be exhilarating, refreshing, relaxing or awe-inspiring. It can also be downright terrifying at times, with a wide array of circumstances that can lead to an injury accident. Many accidents will be common scenarios like rear-end crashes or left-turn collisions. Others, though, will be the result of very odd facts. Being injured in an unusual accident may pose some unique challenges but, other times, it may open up some unique opportunities. Either way, it pays to have an experienced San Mateo personal injury attorney representing you, who will know how to take your specific situation and guide you to the best opportunity available for success.

M. B.-S. was one of those unlucky drivers injured in a freak way. She was reportedly traveling along a freeway in Los Angeles County when she encountered a most unlikely road hazard – a flying mattress. The driver swerved to avoid the mattress but lost control and crashed into a barrier as a result. Eventually, with the help of information from witnesses, police located the truck whose trailer had allegedly pitched the item.

The injured woman sued both the driver and his employer for negligence. In her case, the woman’s legal team was able to advance a specific kind of negligence argument: negligence per se.

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If you’ve driven around San Mateo or anywhere in the Bay Area, you know that traffic jams can be a headache. With traffic jams, in addition to stop signs and traffic signals, there are plenty of circumstances where you’ll be stopped in traffic, and situations where you’re at risk of being injured in a chain reaction or other rear-end accident. When you find yourself in that painful and stressful situation, be sure to reach out promptly to an experienced San Mateo car accident lawyer about your situation.

Recently, one Northern California chain reaction accident, which was reported by NBC Bay Area, occurred on Highway 12 in Fairfield and claimed the life of one traveler. Before the accident, four eastbound drivers stopped at a red light. The eastbound driver of a Mercedes van did not. The van rear-ended a Volkswagen, which rear-ended a Honda, which rear-ended a BMW, which rear-ended an Audi. The driver of the Volkswagen did not survive.

In any kind of chain reaction accident, there are several keys to determining fault and putting oneself in a position to succeed in court. When it comes to assessing blame, the central question generally is, “Which driver caused the first accident?” That driver, generally speaking, will be the one at fault. In the Fairfield crash, based on the news reports’ description of the crash, the drivers of Volkswagen, Honda, BMW and Audi all followed the rules of the road and operated their vehicles safely. The driver of the Mercedes did not, and that driver’s negligence potentially was the sole cause of all damages that occurred, if the evidence supported the description published in the news.

We’ve all heard the amiable jingles or slogans, sometimes recited by popular actors, singers and athletes, telling us about how an insurer will be “on your side” or that you will be “in good hands.” The reality is, though, that insurers often work hard to avoid paying claims, even to their own customers. When that happens to you as a result of an auto accident, you may have various options and, depending on the exact facts of your situation, it may open the door to recovery of substantial compensation. To be ready when that happens to you be sure you have someone on your side… and that that someone is an experienced San Mateo auto accident attorney.

M.M. was one of those unfortunate people whose experience with his insurer was less than cheerful. M.M. was seriously injured in a high-speed head-on collision. The other driver was at-fault, having crossed a double-yellow line to pass slower vehicles.

M.M. survived, but suffered a severe injury that shattered his left heel bone. The injury caused a permanent deformity and was extremely painful. His doctors concluded that he’d face a lifetime of chronic pain and problems related to that heel.

Being injured as a passenger in a single-vehicle accident can be a scary time. You may have suffered extensive, permanent or perhaps even life-altering injuries. You probably have medical bills and have lost time at work. In fact, you may never be able to return to your old job again. However, the driver of your vehicle may have little personal wealth and only minimal insurance coverage. Does that mean that your situation is hopeless? Not necessarily. Depending on the facts surrounding your accident, there may be others who owed you a duty of care and failed to meet it, leading to the injuries you suffered. Proving that may allow you to expand the range of defendants who owe you compensation. To get that full recovery you deserve, give yourself a leg up by retaining a skilled San Mateo injury attorney.

An example of this type of scenario took place in Southern California, and was reported by the Long Beach Post. F.V. was a passenger of a vehicle that was approaching an intersection in Long Beach. The intersection included a ramp and, as the driver navigated the tight turn on the ramp, he hopped the curb and eventually slammed into large landscaping boulders located in the median near the intersection. The accident caused F.V. to suffer serious spinal injuries causing quadriplegia, as well as massive brain damage, according to the report.

Giving these facts a quick glance, you might think that the injured man’s only path for compensation would be suing the driver and the driver’s auto insurance company. F.V.’s attorneys saw something more. F.V. brought an action against the City of Long Beach. That claim asserted that one cause of the accident was the unsafe road conditions that the city created by placing large boulders on the median near the on-ramp.

The headlines, regrettably, are numerous and gut-wrenching and, just as bad, they just seem to keep coming. In mid-March, a 70-year-old woman from Newark died in Fremont. The compact sedan in which she was a passenger was hit by an allegedly drunk driver behind the wheel of a minivan. Also in mid-March, a driver allegedly drove drunk, blew through a red light in Sacramento County and slammed into a compact sedan, killing a 9-year-old boy and injuring his mother. In early March, a Sacramento man received a 125-year sentence for his role in an East Bay crash that left two brothers and their respective teenage sons all dead.

These accidents are horrifying and, in many cases, the criminal legal system punishes the wrongdoers. However, what about the loved ones left behind? What about the losses that they have incurred as a result of these terrible acts? While, without question, no amount of cash settlement or damages award can ever take the place of the love and companionship of a lost family member or someone else dear to your heart, that undeniable truth in no way diminishes another unavoidable fact: the misconduct of these drivers inflicts serious harm on their victims’ families, that much of that harm is financial in nature and the families should be entitled to seek compensation in court for those losses.

There are two ways that a surviving loved one can go about pursuing a civil claim for damages. If the drunk driver was convicted of driving while intoxicated, then that criminal case history helps your civil case. You can pursue your case as a negligence per se action. That means that the defendant violated a statute or regulation, that the violation caused the harm you’ve alleged and that the harm resulted from the defendant’s particular conduct in engaging in actions that the law was designed to prevent. As you can see, if the drunk driver who killed your loved one has been convicted of both driving while intoxicated and drunk-driving-related homicide, then that criminal case gives you most all the proof you need for liability in this type of case.

One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make as a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit is whether to settle your case in exchange for a specified settlement payment, or to pursue your case all the way to a verdict, leading to the less-certain outcome decided by a jury or judge. While a settlement may offer greater certainty and immediacy, it may still be unwise if the settlement offer simply is too low.

Another thing to consider when weighing the relative merits of settling or litigating is a statute called Code of Civil Procedure Section 998. This settlement is meant to motivate parties to settle their cases. However, if you choose not to settle and your outcome at trial is successful enough, that success may open the door to recovering even more. Making the “right” call on settling versus litigating is one of the most critical choices you’ll make and just one among many vital decisions where having the advice and counsel of a skilled San Mateo injury attorney can benefit you immeasurably.

Section 998 offers are sometimes described as settlement offers “with teeth.” For defendants, the law means that, if they make a valid 998 offer that the plaintiff refuses, and if the jury awards the plaintiff an amount less than the settlement offer (or if the jury returns a defense verdict), then the defense can obtain an award forcing the plaintiff to pay a potentially significant amount of costs and attorneys’ fees.

When you think about an auto accident injury lawsuit, you may imagine an injured person suing the person who rear-ended them or who improperly turned in front of them. In reality, though, auto accident injuries can occur in a wide spectrum of situations. If you are injured in a more unusual way, you may, very understandably, feel unsure about how you should proceed legally. Whether your circumstance was highly unique or very ordinary, it pays to have legal representation from a skilled California injury attorney in your pursuit of compensation.

As the Santa Maria Times reported, A.L.S. was a man injured in one of those more unusual ways. Certainly, no one wants to find himself detained in the back of a police car, but that’s where A.L.S. found himself in 2016. He was in the back of Officer E.I.O.’s cruiser, being transported to a police substation when a terrible accident happened. A teen, who allegedly was intoxicated, slammed a 2001 pickup truck into the police car in a head-on crash. Allegedly, the officer tried to avoid the oncoming pickup by swerving, but wasn’t successful. The officer, upon regaining consciousness after the impact, helped move A.L.S. to safety as the cruiser emitted smoke, according to the report.

In an accident such as this, you may assume that the injured passenger in the police car can seek recovery against the teen driver for negligence. You might also assume that the injured passenger has only that lawsuit against the teen driver as his sole source for recovery.