How to Approach a Truck Accident Case that Requires Litigation in California, Even if You Live Hundreds or Thousands of Miles Away
The greater San Francisco Bay Area (including San Mateo County) is home to more than 7.5 million people, making it one of the largest metro areas in the country. Still, there are millions upon millions of people who not only don't live here but also have never even been here at all. (Side note: if you haven't at least visited, you should. It's amazing here!) However, even if you've never set foot in the great state of California, that doesn't mean that you may not find yourself in a situation where you are litigating your vehicle accident case in California. If you do encounter that sort of circumstance, then you and your case can almost certainly benefit from the services of an experienced San Mateo auto injury attorney.
As an example, we can look at the truck accident case
of J.A. She was a 22-year-old woman who lived in south Texas. One day, while traveling between San Antonio and Houston, a semi-truck struck the Mazda sedan in which she was a passenger not once, not twice, but a total of three times. The collisions happened when the semi-truck entered the Mazda's lane of travel on the highway. The third of the three impacts sent the sedan off the road and into a grass field. She suffered a substantial back injury as a result.
Based on the reported facts of the case, J.A. didn't appear really to have any connection with California, except for one thing: the trucker who hit the Mazda and the trucking company for which the trucker drove were based in this state
. As a result, the woman's injury lawsuit proceeded in California Superior Court.
How Jurisdiction in the Various States' Trial Courts Works
If you're injured in an auto accident
, you get to choose what court you file in. You potentially can pursue your case in any state where the courts have jurisdiction over the defendants. Some states, such as the state in which a defendant legally resides, automatically have personal jurisdiction over a person or an entity. Additionally, a state's court may have what's called "long-arm" jurisdiction over a defendant if they did business in the state, committed an act of negligence in the state, or owned or used property in that state.
In many cases, an injured plaintiff will prefer the "home-field advantage" of litigating close to home. However, there may be reasons why you prefer to (or eventually are forced to) litigate somewhere else. Be aware that the legal counsel you need for that long-distance litigation is an attorney licensed in that state.
For example, J.A. was a Texan injured in a Texas truck crash
. In many situations, a case like that would permit litigation in Texas, as the trucker and truck company allegedly committed negligence in Texas. Nevertheless, the case proceeded in California. A Texas attorney cannot help in a case like that unless he/she gets special permission from the California judge.
Even still, getting a California attorney for a case like this will offer distinct benefits. A California attorney will be fully up-to-date with the relevant concepts of California injury law, keenly familiar with the California rules of court procedure, as well as have the experience that gives him/her greater insight into California jurors and the judges who sit on the trial court bench in that county.
In J.A.'s case, hers was a Southern California litigation, and she was represented by a Southern California injury attorney. She also, at the trial's end, secured a successful judgment finding the trucker and the trucking company at fault and awarding her almost $1.1 million in damages.
Contact a San Mateo Truck Accident Attorney
Whether you live right here in Northern California or you live thousands of miles away, if you have an injury case that requires litigation in this state, legal representation from an experienced Bay Area attorney can provide invaluable benefits. Look to the knowledgeable and diligent San Mateo truck accident attorneys
at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to be that kind of advocate for you. Our helpful attorneys
have handled a full array of truck accidents, and are equipped and ready to help you. To set up a free consultation
, contact us at 650-345-8484
or through our website.