Protecting Hundreds of Client's Futures, Every Year
Have you recently been involved in an auto accident in San Mateo and seek to file for compensation of damages? Whether your situation is a car accident, motorcycle accident, pedestrian or cyclist hit by a vehicle, or a ride-sharing crash, our San Mateo car accident attorney has dealt with a range of such cases. At Beahm Law, our experienced team can help you take appropriate legal action against the driver and their insurance company and fight for a fair settlement covering medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
After a Car Accident
Types of car accidents in San Mateo can vary from violation of traffic laws (speeding, texting and driving) to improper labeling of construction zones to even manufacturer negligence, such as dangerous flaws in a car's design. Following a car accident, you might be wondering whether you have a claim for compensation.
To be eligible for collecting damages, your accident must:
- Be at least partially caused by another party's negligence; and
- Cause you or a family member to suffer serious physical injuries.
Be aware that in order to make a claim for negligence, you are required to prove the following elements:
- The driver owed you a duty of care, as per California law;
- The driver breached his or her duty of care, such as failing to follow applicable traffic laws;
- The driver's breach led to your injuries; and
- You suffered monetary and/or non-monetary injuries as a result.
Compensation for Damages
California has an "at fault" system (also called a “tort” system) for insurance claims, which means you must show fault on the part of the other driver if you want to make a successful claim.
Further, if your case goes beyond an insurance claim to a full legal proceeding, be aware that California is a "pure comparative negligence" jurisdiction. In other words, if your case goes to trial, the judge or jury will calculate percentages of fault for each driver and reduce each driver's liability accordingly. For example, if a driver suffers $10,000 in damages but is found to be 10% at fault, their recovery will be limited to 90% of their damages, so $9,000.
To better evaluate your due compensation, note that auto accident damages are generally categorized as economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include:
- repair or replacement of the damaged cars,
- past and future medical expenses,
- lost income, and
- other out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-economic damages cover things related to:
- emotional distress,
- and disability or disfigurement.
While you may seek compensation for any amount of personal damages incurred, note that the time limit for filing a legal case in California is two years for bodily injury claims and three years for property claims. However, if a government party is involved (i.e. a police cruiser), you only have six months to file a case.
If you are involved in a ride-sharing accident in California, note that 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, it is mandatory for companies to provide uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for operators and passengers. So, where the responsible driver may flee or not carry insurance as required by law, you can still obtain compensation for your damages.
Whether you have been involved in a car accident, ride-sharing accident, or pedestrian accident, our San Mateo car accident attorney can help you negotiate the compensation you deserve. With more than 12 years of personal injury experience, our team will fight for your rightful recovery.