Rely on a Car Accident Lawyer in San Mateo to Fight for You
Your life is turned upside down if you are injured in a car accident, leading to physical, financial, and emotional suffering. California law does protect your rights as a victim, allowing you to seek compensation from the negligent driver. However, you are at a disadvantage in pursuing this type of complicated claim unless you have a legal background.
Do not put your rights at risk by trying to represent yourself in negotiations with an insurance company or in court. Our car accident attorneys at the Dolan Law Firm have been representing victims in San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin County, CA and throughout the Bay Area for several decades, so we have amassed the experience and knowledge necessary to seek the compensation you deserve.
Personalized Representation in California Car Accident Claims
Traffic-related collisions are usually the result of negligence, which is a legal concept that requires you to prove certain facts when making a claim. The essential elements are:
- Duty: California motorists owe a duty to exercise reasonable care while driving, so as to not pose a risk of harm to others;
- Breach: A driver breaches the legal duty by driving carelessly, dangerously, or otherwise not safely;
- Causation: The breach caused the accident, leading to your injuries; and,
- Damages: You suffered losses stemming from your injuries.
Note that, in most car accident cases, you will pursue your claim for compensation with the negligent driver’s insurance company. This is an important point because it explains the approach an agent will take in processing your claim.
- Insurance companies are only successful if they maximize profits and minimize costs. Paying out compensation to accident victims like you does not align with either of these goals.
- In furthering their business objectives, insurance companies will try to find excuses to reject your claim. They may deny that their own policyholders are at fault or try to blame you for the accident.
- If they cannot find reason to completely reject your accident claim, representatives will attempt to minimize the amount they offer to settle. They might assert that your medical records are insufficient, that your injuries were minor, or employ other argumentative tactics.
- An insurance agent may identify supposed weaknesses in your claim, and try to convince you that you should accept an offer because you would never succeed in court.
- Insurers will require you to give up considerable rights in lieu of settling your claim out of court, possibly by presenting you with a release to sign.
Litigation Support from the Best Resources
Our attorneys at the Dolan Law Firm know how insurance companies operate, so we carefully develop a strategy that protects your rights throughout the claims process. Whether we are discussing settlement options with a representative or in court, our team recognizes the importance of gathering solid evidence and presenting strong legal arguments. To achieve these goals, our firm partners with accomplished experts, including:
- Professionals who specialize in investigative work, financial analysis, and motor vehicle technology;
- Accident reconstruction experts who are educated in physics and use advanced technology to help establish fault;
- Medical experts;
- Economic experts and actuaries who can determine the future impact of your injuries; and,
- Many other types of specialists.
Behind the scenes and leading up to trial, these experts help us develop strategy assist us in settlement negotiations with insurance companies. If your claim goes to trial, some of these individuals may actually testify in court under rules in the California Evidence Code. They are especially useful in describing complex medical concepts to members of a jury.
Distracted Driving is a Top Cause of Car Accidents
Distracted driving is on the rise despite state law prohibitions on use of cell phones, which makes it one of the most common causes of auto collisions in California. Worse, some forms of distracted driving are not a violation of law, so drivers engage in dangerous behaviors regardless of the risk they pose to others.
Types of activities that constitute distracted driving, and which may form the basis of a negligence claim, include:
- Sending, reading, or creating a text message;
- Surfing the internet;
- Reading through social media;
- Capturing videos and images;
- Consuming food or beverages;
- Using the radio;
- Operating GPS technology; and,
- Many other activities.
Your Rights in an Uber or Lyft Car Accident
As a result of recent lobbying, in which Attorney Chris Dolan participated, ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft are required to carry $1 million in coverage for any fatalities, bodily injuries, or property damages caused by their drivers. Therefore, you are covered if you are injured in an Uber or Lyft collision, even where a different motorist’s negligence caused the accident.
In addition, the statute makes it mandatory for the companies to provide uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for operators and passengers. Where the responsible driver may flee or not carry insurance as required by law, you can still obtain compensation for your damages.
Legal Issues Regarding Compensation Under California Law
You are entitled to recover for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other losses you suffer in a car accident. However, your rights are limited by two key concepts under California law:
- The California statute of limitations. Please be advised that your potential case is governed by a statute of limitations (a limited time period in which you must begin a lawsuit). Statutes of limitations differ depending on the type of case involved. Some of these time periods may be as short as six months, while others can be as long as two years. We do not have enough information to identify which statute of limitations applies in your case. You should consult with a lawyer, the California Code of Civil Procedure, internet resources, and/or visit your law library to identify the applicable statute of limitations for your matter.
- California adheres to a rule called comparative negligence, which focuses on whether your own actions contributed to the car accident case. If you were partly at fault, your compensation is reduced by the percentage of negligence attributable to you.
Discuss Your Claim with a San Mateo Car Accident Lawyer
At the Dolan Law Firm, our car accident attorneys have the skills and dedication necessary to help you recover the highest amount of compensation available under California law. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please call us toll free at (415) 421-2800. You can also check us out online to learn more about our legal services for San Mateo, CA car accident victims.