Highways are the foundation of travel in Lake Elsinore, Riverside County, and Southern California in general. The city is connected to the Los Angeles metro area, Orange County, and San Diego by the busy 15 freeway, which is used by commuters daily to get to their jobs in more urban areas, visitors to the area looking to enjoy the trails and nearby lake, and residents going about daily life. Unfortunately, traveling the highways come with a risk of serious accidents – SUV rollovers, multi-vehicle accidents, jackknifes, and sideswipes are all unfortunately common to the area and result in far too many injuries and deaths.
In 2016 California’s Office of Traffic Safety reported 312 injuries and deaths on Lake Elsinore’s roadways. Many of these accidents are unfortunately due to unsafe driving behavior such as speeding, tailgating, driving while intoxicated and distracted driving; this negligent behavior can have lifelong catastrophic consequences for innocent victims lucky enough to survive a highway collision. In April 2019, an avoidable 4-vehicle highway accident on the 15 freeway south of the Lake Street exit sent seven people to the hospital because a single driver got distracted looking at the poppy “super bloom” visible from the road. This and many other collisions took place because of negligence; the tragedy is only greater because so many people were subjected to serious and fatal injuries that should never have happened. If you or a loved one were hurt in a collision on one of Riverside County’s many highways, contact a Lake Elsinore Highway Accident Lawyer to see if you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Common Highway Accident Injuries When compared to relatively low-speed travel on city streets, the elevated speed limits on highways and large population of massive commercial trucks makes any highway accident cause for serious concern. Studies have shown that just a 5 mile an hour speed limit increase increases the fatality rate in accidents by 8 percent. Survivors often face catastrophic injuries and may need lifetime medical treatment and comprehensive accommodation in order to go about daily life. Common highway accident injuries include:
- Head and brain injuries;
- Neck injuries such as whiplash;
- Soft tissue damage;
- Lacerations and contusions;
- Spinal cord injuries including paralysis;
- Back injuries;
- Broken and crushed bones; and
- Organ damage or internal bleeding.
Of all the injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are perhaps the most dangerous for victims. TBIs can be fatal if left untreated, but they are often not diagnosed because victims don’t realize symptoms may not appear for days or even weeks after the injury or simply don’t seek medical attention after the accident. There is also no way to diagnose a TBI without a medical evaluation; this is one reason it’s so critical to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible and attend all recommended follow-ups.
Negligence In Lake Elsinore, victims most commonly try to recover for their injuries by arguing someone’s negligence damaged them and they’re owed compensation. If you can prove the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached it, and the breach caused your injury, they are negligent and will be liable for your harm. However, highway accident victims may also try to prove argue negligence per se if the defendant violated a rule or regulation – including traffic laws like speeding or texting while driving – when they caused your harm. If you can establish this, it creates a presumption of the defendant’s negligence. Though it may sound like a difficult task, it’s often possible to prove a violation through evidence such as eyewitness reports, traffic cameras, police reports, cell phone records, or evidence at the scene such as skid marks.
Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover some damages for your injuries. Under comparative negligence, California allows courts to evaluate the facts of cases and assign each party involved a percentage of fault for the injury-causing event. Once an award of damages is made, the amount you may recover is reduced by your percentage of responsibility for the accident.
Can I Recover for My Injuries? If you prove someone’s negligence caused your injuries, a court may award damages to make you whole for your suffering. Because highway accident injuries are often severe due to higher speed and heavy travel by big rigs and semi-trucks, it’s no surprise victims face astronomical expenses for medical care. For this reason, compensatory damages may be given to make up for various damages, such as:
- Pain and suffering,
- Medical expenses,
- Lost income,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Property damage.
Additionally, in particularly egregious cases, it’s possible the court may award victims additional damages to punish a wrongdoer’s vile and reprehensible behavior; these completely discretionary punitive damages can be difficult to prove and best tackled by an experienced Lake Elsinore Highway Accident Lawyer.
Speak to an Attorney Today If you or a loved one were injured during an accident on one of the highways or busy roads intersecting with highways in the Southern California area, you understand how catastrophic the impact of these collisions can be physically, financially, and emotionally. Don’t wait – contact the Lake Elsinore Highway Attorneys at Walton Law, APC to fight for the compensation you deserve. Our skilled attorneys have spent years providing aggressive representation on behalf of victims just like you. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 through our online Contact Page to schedule your no risk, no obligation initial case evaluation today. The confidential consultation is free, and you pay nothing until we win your case. Let us review your case and work to secure maximum recovery on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery.