Cars and highways are the cornerstones of transportation in Riverside and the rest of Southern California. Unfortunately, the daily use of these major roadways means everyone is at risk whenever they use one of these crowded highways to get to work, school, or to go about their daily lives. Negligent behavior behind the wheel often results in accidents on Riverside highways, causing severe injuries and fatalities that contribute to the nearly 40,000 people killed in car accidents each year. If you or a loved one were hurt on the highway by a negligent driver, contact a Riverside Highway Accident Lawyer to see if you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Risks of Highway Driving in Riverside
California’s Office of Traffic Safety reported that 2,119 people were hurt or killed in Riverside traffic accidents in 2017. The large number of motorists on busy freeways such as the 15, 215, and 91, in combination of the prevalence of negligent behavior admitted by motorists behind the wheel like texting while driving, means highway accidents and tragic results are unfortunately common in and around the city even when you exercise extreme caution while driving.
Highway Accident Injuries
Because of their elevated speed limits, highway accidents usually have a higher collision force and result in more severe injuries than accidents on city streets. Even a 5 mile an hour speed limit increase increases the fatality rate in accidents by 8 percent, so crashes on busy freeways are always cause for concern. The potential for serious injury is only increased considering the potential for colliding with one of the commercial trucks frequently present on highways that often weigh in excess of 100,000 pounds.
Victims involved in highway accidents often sustain severe injuries if they’re fortunate enough to survive. Due to the violent impact involved in many of these collisions, it’s common to see:
- Brain injuries including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Broken bones, and
- Organ damage.
Even in cases where you think you weren’t injured, it’s vital you seek medical attention after a highway accident. Many injuries don’t show symptoms immediately, but some, like TBIs, can be fatal if undiagnosed and left untreated. There is no way to diagnose a TBI without medical testing, you need to be examined by a medical professional as soon as possible and follow their recommendations.
How to Recover for Your Injuries
After a Riverside highway accident occurs, the insurance companies for you and other drivers involved will usually investigate the accident and either negotiate with you to settle your claim as quickly and inexpensively as possible or deny your claim for compensation outright through any number of excuses and tactics. If you hire an attorney, they will conduct their own investigation and then negotiate with insurers on your behalf to try and reach a settlement for an appropriate amount.
If an insurance company won’t offer a fair settlement, which is often common, the next move may be filing a lawsuit in civil court to recover damages for injuries caused by another party’s negligence. To establish a defendant acted negligently, you must show:
- The defendant owed you a legal duty of care,
- They breached that duty through either an act or a failure to act when needed, and
- The breach caused you harm.
You may also prove a defendant is negligent if you can show they caused your harm while violating a law, rule, or regulation designed to promote safety such as speed limits and prohibitions against texting while driving. It may be possible to use evidence from the scene such as skid marks, traffic camera footage, or eyewitness testimony to help establish if the defendant was breaking a law when the accident occurred.
How Much Are My Highway Accident Injuries Worth?
Highway accidents can easily result in expensive medical bills, emotional trauma, long-term or permanent inability to work, a lifetime need for care, and the need for expensive accommodations to accomplish simple tasks in daily life; it’s no surprise many victims ask how much they can recover if someone negligently inflicted their injuries. Courts may award victims compensatory damages to make up for physical, mental, emotional, and financial harms including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Burial costs or funeral expenses
- Scarring, disfigurement, or permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Some victims may be entitled an additional award of punitive damages from the court to punish a defendant’s vile, reprehensible behavior and discourage its repetition by anyone at a later date; however, these damages are not awarded often because they are discretionary and victims must satisfy an extremely high burden of proof that is much more stringent than the standard for negligence. It’s wise to work with an experience personal injury attorney to avoid costly legal missteps in your case for recovery and obtain the best possible result.
Speak to an Attorney Today
If you or a loved one were hurt in a collision on one of huge, congested highways in or around Riverside, you know firsthand they can turn all aspects of your life upside down. Time is not on your side to seek compensation and protect your legal rights, so contact the skilled Riverside Highway Accident Attorneys at Walton Law, APC right away. Our attorneys have years of experience providing tailored, dedicated representation for injury victims like you and delivering results; we’ve recovered millions in compensation on their behalf. Contact us 24/7 by calling (866)-338-7079 or using our Contact Page to schedule your no risk, no obligation initial case review. The confidential consultation is free, and you pay nothing until we win your case. Let our attorneys evaluate the facts of your situation, answer your questions, and use our knowledge and resources to fight for the outcome you deserve.