Citizens living in the San Mateo area enjoy the fantastic Bay Area climate and the bustle of Silicon Valley city living; but, they also need to deal with notorious traffic, a large and vastly growing population, and a generally high risk of injury from a variety of scenarios. When you suffer injuries or other damages due to the negligence of others, you need a reliable San Mateo personal injury lawyer to help secure compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
The San Mateo injury attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger are the best in the business- and we don’t just say that, we have the track record to prove it. We offer free consultations, work on a contingency fee basis (meaning no fees or payments ever if we don’t win your case), and have more multi-million dollar settlements and awards than any other Northern California firm.
Becoming a Plaintiff in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Personal injury lawsuits are civil actions between private citizens or privately owned entities. All personal injury claims hinge on the concept of negligence. In the legal world, “negligence” is a catch-all term that describes one party’s failure to exercise appropriate care in a situation. For example, driving at 50 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour speed limit zone is not only illegal, it is also negligent because it puts other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians nearby at serious risk.
An injured plaintiff will need to consult with a reliable San Mateo personal injury attorney to start the claims process. California state law has two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. This means an injured plaintiff has two years from the date an injury-causing incident occurred to file a claim. It’s important to note that some injuries do not immediately display symptoms, or an injury may not manifest its full effects immediately. Some injuries like brain injuries, back injuries, and internal organ damage may not immediately display. In these cases, California law allows the statute of limitations to begin on the “date of discovery,” or the date the injury became noticeable to the plaintiff.
Proving Negligence is Key to Maximum Injury Compensation
Injured plaintiffs will need to prove that the defendants- persons responsible for causing an injury- in their cases were negligent to succeed in their personal injury claims. Proving negligence involves showing the court these facts about the incident:
- First, the plaintiff must show the court that the defendant had a duty to the plaintiff to act with reasonable care. For example, a driver has a duty of care to operate his or her vehicle responsibly, follow all posted traffic signs, and not exceed acceptable speeds while traveling to prevent injury and damage to others.
- Second, the plaintiff must show how the defendant breached this duty of care. This could be through a specific action, such as texting while driving or speeding through a red light, or inaction, such as a failure to address a known problem with the vehicle that could be potentially hazardous on the road.
- Next, the plaintiff must prove that his or her injuries and other damages were the direct result of the defendant’s breach of duty. This is known as proving “cause in fact,” and generally means the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions more likely than not caused his or her damages.
- Finally, the plaintiff must have suffered “actual harm,” or incurred some injury or loss. If the plaintiff did not suffer an injury or financial harm from property damage, lost income, or other losses, then the plaintiff has no claim.
The right personal injury lawyer can help injured plaintiffs in San Mateo recover damages including medical expenses, lost income, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, property damage, and more in some cases.
The attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger have secured more million-dollar settlements and case awards for clients than any other law firm in Northern California, and we are happy to provide professional legal representation to citizens of the San Mateo area. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning clients pay nothing unless we win. Reach out to our office to schedule a free consultation about your personal injury claim in San Mateo