A car accident is never expected, but numerous collisions happen every day in congested Southern California. Even though these accidents are a common occurrence, the consequences for those involved can be uncommon and change lives drastically in a split second; severe injuries with lifelong consequences or even fatalities are not unusual when a serious accident occurs. Even collisions that are not so grave can have major implications for the health of those involved. These unfortunate situations are even more tragic when avoidable car accidents caused by someone’s negligence result in injury or loss of life. If you were involved in a motor vehicle collision, speak to a Hemet Car Accident Attorney to see if you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Hemet Car Accident Statistics
Even though Hemet is a fairly small city of 84,277, it has proven exceptionally dangerous for motorists. In 2016, California’s Office of Traffic Safety ranked Hemet 7th out of 104 cities for having 638 reported injuries and fatalities on its roadways that year. In June 2019, two fatal motor vehicle accidents took place less than six miles and barely four hours apart at the intersection of N. Lyon and Commonwealth Avenues and on Florida Avenue, respectively. Hemet is also located between two busy California roadways – State Routes 74 and 79. Congestion, busy highways, a heavy commuter population, and poor driving behavior all come together to make it a high-risk car accident area for motorists driving in and around Hemet.
What Causes Hemet Car Accidents?
Most car accidents happen when someone behaves negligently, but that is not always the driver of a vehicle. The party whose negligence caused the accident is not always a motorist; government agencies responsible for designing, building, and maintaining roadways, auto manufacturers, and even repair shops can be negligent and cause avoidable car accidents. This means they can also be liable for your injuries.
Drivers are still most commonly at fault for motor vehicle accidents. Not only are roadways overcrowded in Southern California and around Hemet and rest of Riverside County, but unsafe behavior behind the wheel has become commonplace despite its inherent danger and vehicle code regulations banning many of these behaviors. Distracted driving, texting behind the wheel, speeding, unsafe turns, impaired driving, tailgating, and disobeying posted signs can all result in car accidents and cause serious injuries and death. If you were in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to get facts, find out what the police and insurance companies determine caused the accident, and speak to a knowledgeable Hemet Car Accident Attorney to see if you have a claim for recovery.
How Can I Receive Compensation for My Injuries?
Car accident victims in Hemet most often seek compensation for their injuries through court lawsuits alleging negligent infliction of injury. To establish negligence, victims must prove it is more likely than not that:
- The defendant owed them a legal duty of care;
- The defendant breached that duty by act or omission; and
- The breach caused the victim injury.
After establishing these elements, defendant is presumed negligence and will be responsible for the victim’s injuries unless they can establish a valid legal defense.
Additionally, if a victim can show the defendant’s actions broke a law, rule, or regulation, the defendant will be presumed liable under the theory of negligence per se.
Even if a car accident victim is partly responsible for their accident, they may still be able to recover damages. California employs the principle or comparative negligence when more than one person is responsible for an accident or an injury. A judge or jury will evaluate the facts and assign each party a percentage of responsibility. A victim’s award will be reduced by their percentage of responsibility – if they are 30% at fault, their $100,000 award will be reduced by $30,000 and they will receive $70,000.
Because the different theories of negligence are complicated to prove and selecting the best one to pursue can be an important but complicated choice, it’s wise to rely on the expertise of a skilled Hemet Car Accident Lawyer to avoid legal pitfalls.
What Is My Case Worth?
If a victim establishes negligence, they may be awarded compensatory damages for injuries they can prove. They may be awarded for concrete, economic injuries including:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Lost earning potential,
- Funeral expenses, and
- Property damages.
Compensatory damages may also be awarded to make victims whole for less concrete, noneconomic damages that reflect economic, mental, and psychological harm such as:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Disfigurement, and
- Loss of consortium.
What Steps Should I Take If I am Involved in a Hemet Car Accident?
If you were involved in a car accident, there are a few steps you should take quickly to protect your health and put yourself in a better position should you choose to pursue a claim for compensation later.
Seek Medical Care Immediately
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, get medical attention as quickly as possible afterwards. It’s important to be treated for obvious injuries as well as other injuries you’ve suffered that may not be immediately obvious or present symptoms for days or even weeks later. Obey medical provider treatment plans and recommendations, take any prescribed medicine exactly according to instructions, and attend all follow-up appointments. Keep all medical records, as well as all expenses you incur that relate to your injuries and their treatment.
Collect Records and Documentation
Collecting critical evidence to substantiate your injuries and their cause can greatly help any legal claim you may pursue in terms of establishing fault, documenting your injuries, and proving negligence. Take photographs of your accident, the scene, and your injuries if possible. Inform law enforcement, give a detailed statement, and obtain a copy of the police report from the responding police department, a courthouse, or even your insurance company or the company of any additional drivers involved. Get contact information for any witnesses that saw your accident, as well as any repair records for your vehicle accident or other damages – medical and nonmedical – you may have suffered.
Speak with a Hemet Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a car accident, speak to the knowledgeable Hemet Car Accident Attorneys at Walton Law today. Our attorneys have years of experience delivering personalized, passionate representation for victims like you and secured millions in damages for their injuries. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866) 338-7079 or on our Contact Us webpage to schedule a no risk, obligation case evaluation today. The initial review is free of charge, and you won’t pay anything until we win your case. Let the skilled attorneys at Walton Law review the facts of your situation, explain your options to you, and help you start making the best of a bad situation starting today.