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Riverside Car Accidents
Because cars are a cornerstone of transportation in Riverside and the rest of Southern California, car accidents are a daily occurrence in such a densely populated area. Though some accidents can be minor fender benders, others are catastrophic and result in severe or even fatal injuries that change the course of an unsuspecting victim’s life in a split second. Even more unfortunately, many of these accidents were avoidable but for the bad driving behavior of someone on the road. Though nothing can undo the trauma of a collision, if you were hurt in a car crash caused by someone’s negligent behavior you should contact an experienced Riverside car accident attorney to see if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.Injuries and Fatalities in Riverside Car Accidents
In 2017 alone, California’s Office of Traffic Safety reported 2,119 injuries and fatalities from traffic accidents occurred in Riverside. This doesn’t take into account crashes where injuries presented later and were not recorded at time the crash took place, so the number is likely much higher. However, the number is unfortunately not surprising.
With a population of 326,270 and rising, the city is a popular place to call home thanks to its lower cost of living than many major cities in Southern California. Its proximity to the congested, massive 15, 215, and 91 freeways make it a town full of daily commuters. These motorists must share the highways with a large number of large commercial trucks passing through – Riverside County is the third busiest county in California for these massive vehicles. The large number of residents, large number of freeways, large number of commercial trucks, and large commuter population make it no surprise that accidents and injuries commonly occur on highways and well as city streets. In 2019, a four-vehicle collision at the intersection of Alessandro Blvd. and Via Vista Drive left 3 people injured and 1 dead.Common Causes of Car Accidents
Riverside car accidents, as with collisions in most places, are the result of someone’s bad behavior. Negligence is not limited to other drivers – repair and maintenance shops, manufacturers, and government agencies charges with maintaining safe roads may all be liable if they breached their duty of care. Car accidents, however, are most often caused by negligent behavior by motorists such as:
- Texting while driving,
- Failing to yield,
- Running a red light or stop sign,
- Unsafe turns and lane changes,
- Driving while intoxicated, and
Car accident victims in Riverside most commonly pursue compensation for their injuries by filing a personal injury lawsuit in court arguing that another party acted negligently and should be ordered to compensate them for their injuries. To establish negligence in California, you must prove:
- The defendant owed you a legal duty of care
- They breached their duty through an act or omission
- Their breach caused you actual injury.
If you prove these elements, the defendant will be presumed to have acted negligently without a valid legal defense and be liable for your injuries.
You may alternately establish liability under negligence per se if you can show that the defendant broke a law, rule, or regulation meant to promote safety while injuring you. This can include traffic laws such as speeding or not texting while driving. If this is established by evidence such as skid marks at the accident scene or cell phone records, the defendant is presumed to have acted negligently.What You May Recover for Your Injuries
Compensatory damages are meant to make victims whole for negligently inflicted injuries. These can be awarded for a variety of physical, mental, emotional, and financial injuries including:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent scarring, disability, or disfigurement
- Loss of consortium.
When the at-fault party’s behavior was particularly vile or reprehensible, victims may receive an additional award of damages meant purely to punish the wrongdoer and discourage repetition of the conduct by them and others. To be eligible for these punitive damages, victims must satisfy a high burden of proof; the awards are also discretionary, so the case for additional damages is best made by a skilled Riverside car accident attorney.What Should I Do If I Was Involved in a Riverside Car Accident?
If you or a loved one was injured in a Riverside car accident, it is important you take a few simple steps to help your physical and emotional recovery as well as strengthen any potential legal claim for compensation you bring in the future.Notify the Authorities
Call 911 immediately after your accident. In cases of injury, death, or serious property damage, you have a legal obligation to notify law enforcement. Give a complete statement about what happened to responding officers and be sure to get a copy of the completed report from your local police station or your insurance company.Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Get medical treatment as soon as possible after a car accident occurs even if you don’t think you were hurt. Some serious injuries do not show symptoms for days or even weeks after they happen. A medical evaluation will also help document the cause and severity of your injuries. It’s important you follow all treatment plans, take medication as prescribed even if you’re feeling better, and go to all recommended follow-up appointments.Gather Helpful Evidence for Your Case
Recovering for your injuries will depend on evidence – not only to establish whether the defendant behaved negligently but demonstrate the severity of your injuries. If you can, take pictures of the accident, the cars, and any traffic control implements such as traffic signs or stop lights. Notify authorities, give a statement, and get a copy of the police report. Get names and contact information for any eyewitnesses, and keep all bills, receipts, paystubs, records, reports, or documents generated showing your injures and expenses associated with them.Contact a Riverside Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one was hurt in a motor vehicle collision, contact the skilled Riverside car accident attorneys at Walton Law right away. Our attorneys have spent years representing victims like you and delivering results; we have recovered millions for their injuries through personalized, aggressive advocacy. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866) 338-7079 or online through our Contact Us webpage to schedule your risk-free case review today. There is no obligation, and the initial consultation is always free – you pay nothing until we win your case. Let our experienced attorneys review the facts of your case, answer your questions, and use our knowledge, skill, and resources to secure the best possible outcome on your behalf.