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What to Do if You’re Not From California But You Have to Litigate Your Injury Lawsuit in California

The greater San Francisco Bay Area (including San Mateo County) is home to more than 7.5 million people, making it one of the larger 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 yet, come check us out. 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 injury case in California. If you do encounter that sort of circumstance, look to an experienced San Mateo auto injury attorney to provide you with the legal services essential for your case’s success.

For example, consider J.A., a 22-year-old woman who lived in south Texas. One day, while on the road to San Antonio from a town south of Houston, the Mazda sedan in which she was a passenger was struck not once, not twice, but three times by a semi. The collisions happened when the big rig 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. J.A. allegedly suffered a serious back injury as a result.

Based on the reported facts of the case, J.A. didn’t appear to have many (or any) connections with California, except for one thing: the trucker who hit her 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.

If you’re injured in an auto accident, obviously you are the one who has to file the lawsuit, which means that 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 parties. Some states, such as the state in which a defendant legally resides, automatically have personal jurisdiction over a person or entity. Additionally, a state’s courts may have what’s called “long-arm” jurisdiction over a defendant if that entity 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.

Why The Right California Attorney Matters

Look at J.A.’s case. She 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 overseeing the trial.

Even if a Texas attorney was able to get that kind of permission, a California attorney will offer distinct benefits in a case like this. 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, and will have first-hand experience that gives him/her greater insight into California jurors and the California trial court judges 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.

Wherever you’re from Daly City or Dallas, Millbrae or Milwaukee, Pacifica or Pittsburgh, if you’re in the position of litigating your vehicle accident case here, you need counsel that knows the law here, knows the courts here, and knows the juries here. Get in touch with the knowledgeable and hardworking San Mateo truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos. Truck accidents can often involve serious harm and potentially substantial sums of compensation, so count our experienced attorneys to help you get everything you deserve. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.

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    I retained Ilya Frangos of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos on a business litigation matter involving a frivolous lawsuit filed in federal court. Ilya guided me through the case and helped make sure that I understood the process… He always took the time to answer all my questions and helped put my mind at ease. I would highly recommend him and this firm!


    I called Mr Frye after my wife had passed away… John listened to my case over the phone, after aggreeing to represent me, handled everything from there… I have already recommended Mr Frye to a friend for help with a similiar case and would without reserve recommend him to anybody. He came highly recommended as an expert in these type cases, and I believe he demonstrated this personally.


    Chantel Fitting is as good as it gets. If you have been injured, need help and cant get what you know you deserve from one of the big insurance companies, then you have got to call Chantel. She will fight for you like it was her that was hurt… She cares. Call her. You wont be sorry you did.

    Cindy C.

    A great experience. Excellent law firm which treats their client’s with the utmost respect. Very knowledgeable and made me fell extremely secure when handling my personal injury claim. Would highly recommend Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to handle your next case.

    Lisa D.

    I was fortunate enough to have been represented and retained by this law firm for my injuries sustained by an under insured motorist. I must say Chantel Fitting and Illya Frangos went above and beyond trying to resolve my case… I would highly recommend this law firm and stop shopping around if you are looking for the best, as this is as good as it gets.

    Joanna K.

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