Burlingame Car Accident Lawyer

Aftermath of a car crash accident in Burlingame

Unlike the movies, people are commonly injured in automobile collisions. Unfortunately, when you need to focus on your health and your recovery, you are inundated with so many things it can be quite overwhelming. There are police reports, repair estimates, rental cars, insurance companies, missed time from work, medical care, and photographs just to name a few. Unfortunately, many people injured in  never obtain the amount of compensation which they should receive.

Proven  Ready To Assist You

Some people do not know the full value of their case and agree to the offer made by the insurance company because they think they are being treated fairly. After all, they look so nice in the television commercials. In reality, the insurance company wants to resolve your claim for a little money as they can and before you realize how injured you are. It is important not to settle until you have time to evaluate the full extent of your injuries and compensatory damages. It is important to hire an experienced Burlingame car crash accident lawyer such as Mr. Shapiro as soon as possible to obtain the justice that you deserve as well as maximize and protect your economic recovery.

Our experienced Burlingame car accident attorney can help you:

  • Establish fault by gathering important evidence and contacting potential witnesses
  • Obtain necessary and beneficial medical treatment in a timely manner
  • Understand the applicable legal statutes including filing deadlines
  • Gather your medical records and bills to document your reasonable treatment as a result of your injuries
  • Make important decisions based on your economic interests choosing between settlement and litigation and considering the full extent of your damages.

While Mr. Shapiro has handled over a thousand automobile accident cases, we understand this may be the first time you have been in this situation. Our Burlingame auto accident attorney will help you every step along the way. You will not be waiting weeks to hear back from your attorney. Call or email Mr. Shapiro for your free consultation.

Types of Car Accidents

There are 4 main types of common car accidents. You might not often think about this, but the type of accident can affect how easy or hard it is to figure out who was at fault for the crash.

Head-On Collision

Head-on collisions occur when two cars that are traveling in opposite directions collide with one another. A head-on collision can occur when a driver swerves to avoid an object in the road, when a driver is distracted and doesn’t notice they are drifting into an oncoming lane, or when a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These crashes can be catastrophic, but the level of injury is greatly influenced by the speed of the cars at the time of impact. Determining fault in a head-on collision requires a detailed analysis of the point of impact, available witnesses, and skid marks, as well as the damage to each vehicle.

Rear-End Collision

A rear-end collision is just what it sounds like – one car hitting the other from behind. Fault in this type of accident is usually easy to determine because, as a general rule, the driver of the rear car is responsible for maintaining control over their vehicle. If the rear driver hits the car in front of him, chances are great that he was either speeding or following too close. In either case, the fault lies with the driver of the rear car.

More complicated versions involve multiple cars in a chain. These chain rear-end collisions involve multiple impacts as each vehicle struck is pushed forward into the rear of the car in front of them. Sometimes one driver is responsible for two or three rear-end impacts. Other times more than one driver is at fault. For example, there is an initial rear-end collision involving just two cars but then the at-fault driver is struck from behind pushing their vehicle forward and causing a second impact with the front vehicle.

The driver of the front vehicle who was struck twice may have claims against both at-fault drivers with complicated issues of apportionment. 

Side Impact or T-Bone

Side impact crashes, otherwise known as T-Bone crashes, typically happen at intersections. The at-fault driver fails to stop at a red light or stop sign, thereby failing to yield the right-of-way to a car that is attempting to cross the intersection. This is particularly true of left-turning vehicles that get struck by a car running a red light. Determining fault in this scenario involves determining who had the right-of-way at the time of the crash.

Lane Change Collisions

One of the most inherently difficult collisions occurs when a driver changes lanes directly into another vehicle. The property damage on the sides of both vehicles can often appear inconclusive for determining fault. Pictures of the scene, and obtaining witness identification, can be crucial factors in proving liability. 


  • Take comprehensive photographs of your property damage. It is true that some collisions involve extensive damage while the occupant is unscathed and some collisions cause minor damage but significant personal injuries. However, insurance companies view the amount of property damage as correlated to the likelihood of physical injury. Therefore it is important that you take good pictures of all damage to the car while you can. This, of course, means before it is repaired. Also, when a car is totaled, which means the cost of repair is greater than the value of the car, most owners prefer to transfer title to the insurance company so the payoff includes the salvage value. This means pictures must be taken before the car is transferred. If you want to see whether the pictures you have are sufficient you can contact our Burlingame auto accident lawyer for a free consultation and email the photos for his review.
  • Take pictures of the scene. While most helpful at the scene where you can photograph the other vehicles involved in the collision, this is usually helpful regardless even days later. Telling the story of what happened is always easier with pictures. In addition, there could be a specific aspect of the scene which factors into why the accident happened in the first place. 
  • Obtain medical treatment right away. If you delay when you are hurt you support a narrative that you are not really injured. You deserve appropriate medical care for your injuries. Take care of yourself.
  • An auto collision may leave you feeling dazed and confused.  Accidents occur so suddenly and violently that sorting out what happened and how it happened can be difficult, even for trained investigators. It is best to refrain from offering opinions at the accident scene about what might have occurred. This also applies to comments about the extent of your injuries.  Don’t discuss the accident or how you feel with other parties or bystanders. Some injuries, such as concussions and whiplash, might not show symptoms for hours. It is best to let a physician do a thorough examination to determine the extent of your injuries instead of making statements that could be used against you later to weaken your claim for compensation.
  • If you have collision coverage you have two choices as to how to handle your property damage; your insurance company or the other driver's insurance company. The main advantage of using your own company is expediency. Plus while you should not give recorded statements to any insurance company it will be easier to avoid this if you are dealing with your company than if you are dealing with the other driver's company. Many people do not go through their own company because they don't want to be charged the deductible at the outset or do not want to make a claim under their policy. However your insurance company will try to recover your deductible later if there is insurance for the at-fault driver and reimburse you. Plus making a claim is why you have the insurance. Your rates are more related to accidents you cause as most of your premium goes to liability coverage.
  • Get first party protections on your auto insurance such as a medical payment provision and an uninsured motorist provision. These relatively inexpensive coverages protect you, everyone in your car, and all blood relatives in your household for medical expenses and protection in case you are struck by an uninsured motorist or an under-insured motorist. An under-insured motorist is someone who has insurance but doesn't have enough insurance to cover the amount of damage they caused. When seriously injured you need to make sure you and your loved ones are protected.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the minimum auto insurance requirements in California?

California requires drivers to carry at least the following auto insurance coverage:

  • $15,000 in personal injury liability for each injured person, with a maximum payout of $30,000 per accident no matter how many people are injured;
  •  Property damage liability of at least $5,000 per accident;

Other coverages such as uninsured motorist protection and a medical payment provision are optional but are recommended to protect you and your family.

The driver’s insurance won’t cover all of my claim. Is there any way I can file a claim against a third party?

It depends on the circumstances. You might, for example, file a claim against:

  • The manufacturer of the other driver’s brake drums, if they failed and if their failure caused the accident;
  • The other driver’s employer, if the other driver was acting within the scope of his duties at the time of the accident;
  • A bar that sold the other driver alcohol, if the other driver was a minor who was obviously intoxicated when served and if the intoxication caused the accident; and
  • Other parties, depending on the circumstances.

Is it safe to post about the accident on social media?

No. This is because, if your claim is sizable, it is highly likely that the insurance company will be doing its best to monitor your social media posts as well as the posts of your friends. Anything you post on social media could be used against you.

Will a court enforce a private settlement agreement?

Yes, but it helps if the agreement is crafted by a skilled personal injury attorney.  For example, a settlement during litigation should specify that it is subject to Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6.  This will allow the settlement agreement to be enforced by noticed motion and not by having to file an entirely new lawsuit.  The inclusion of this provision allows the injured party to have piece of mind after the settlement knowing that it will be honored.  When a skilled Burlingame car accident attorney settles a case, their client should know to the greatest extent possible how much they will be getting BEFORE they sign and are legally bound.  

I am unsure of the exact amount of my future medical expenses. If I settle and then run out of money later, can I come back for more?

Not likely, because the settlement agreement will almost certainly include a clause that prevents you from suing again on the same claim. Finality is what the insurance company gets in exchange for paying the gross settlement proceeds.  However, a skilled Burlingame car accident lawyer can help you calculate your future medical needs so that you can demand all of it the first time around. This usually requires expert opinion on what medical care you will probably need in the future and how much it will cost.  

I was injured in an accident as a passenger in an Uber vehicle. Can I sue Uber?

Probably not. The only way would be if you could show that Uber itself was negligent, which could be quite difficult. Since Uber drivers are generally not considered Uber employees, Uber cannot be held liable for its driver’s negligence. This probably won’t matter, however, since Uber insures its drivers far better than the average driver insures himself.  So whether the accident was the Uber driver’s fault or another driver’s fault, as a passenger you should be able to bring a claim against the negligent driver.

When You Share Fault for the Accident

Under California’s “pure comparative negligence” system, you don’t automatically lose if the accident was partly your fault. In fact, it is mathematically possible for you to come out ahead even if the accident was more than 50 percent your fault. It works like this:

  • The court will assign each driver a percentage of fault for the accident – 35 percent vs. 65 percent, for example.
  • A party 35 percent at fault would lose 35 percent of his damages, for example, leaving him only able to collect 65 percent of his damages from the other party. 
  • The party 65 percent at fault would lose 65 percent of his own damages, leaving him only able to collect 35 percent of his damages from the other party.
  • Both parties could collect from the opposing insurance company albeit for less than their full damages. 

If the damages are large enough than a case can be worth pursuing even if some comparative fault is found.

Do You Need Legal Representation?

You need to speak with an auto accident lawyer if you suffered a serious personal injury in a car crash you believe was at least partially caused by the fault of another party. You could be entitled to recover damages, including:

Only an experienced injury law firm has the knowledge and the skills required to review the facts and circumstances of a car wreck accident to determine the best way to proceed.

  • Lost wages
  • Expenses for medical treatment, including future medical care anticipated by your doctors
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Reduced future income caused by full or partial disability
  • Pain and suffering

Contact our Highly Experienced Burlingame Car Accident Lawyer. We Can Help

If you have recently been involved in a car accident, it is in your best interest to contact Mr. Shapiro today. Our Burlingame car accident attorney wants you to receive what you deserve for your injury. 

Shapiro Legal Group also offers a wide variety of legal services for people seriously injured in Burlingame, CA including:

Call him today at 650-274-0180 or fill out the online form for a free consultation

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| Phone: 650-274-0180

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851 Burlway Rd, #500, Burlingame, CA 94010
| Phone: 650-274-0180

Automobile Accidents | Brain Injuries | Burn and Scar Injuries | Defective Products | Dog Bites | Elevator Accidents | Government Claims | Motorcycle Accidents | Pedestrian Accidents | Personal Injury | Spinal Cord Injuries | Slip/Trip and Fall | Truck Accidents | Wrongful Death | Prior Results | About

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