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.