Cars and highways are the cornerstones of Southern California transportation. Unfortunately, the reliance on these major roadways means drivers and passengers alike are at risk every time 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 Moreno Valley 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 Moreno Valley Highway Accident Lawyer to see if you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Risks of Highway Driving in Moreno Valley
California’s Office of Traffic Safety reported that 939 individuals were hurt or killed in Moreno Valley traffic accidents in 2017. Thanks to the major companies such as Amazon and Aldi Foods that have made Moreno Valley home, the town is extremely commuter heavy and nearly 1.1 million people in the workforce travel the 60, 10, and 215 freeways to get to and from work in the area. The large number of motorists on these busy freeways, in combination of the prevalence of negligent behavior behind the wheel such as speeding and texting while driving, means highway accidents and tragic results are unfortunately common in and around the city even when you exercise the utmost vigilance while driving. In September 2019, 2 people were killed and the 60 eastbound was shut down due to an accident caused by a reckless driver.
Commonly Sustained 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
After a Moreno Valley highway accident, the insurance companies for you and any other drivers involved will commonly investigate the accident and either deny your claim for damages or negotiate with you to settle your claim as quickly and inexpensively as possible. If you decide to retain an attorney, they will conduct their own investigation regarding who caused the accident and will negotiate with insurers on your behalf to reach a fair settlement.
Prevailing in a Lawsuit
However, if the insurance companies won’t offer a fair settlement, 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 get around proving the elements of negligence if you can show the defendant caused your harm while violating a law such as the speed limit. Under California’s doctrine of negligence per se, a presumption of negligent behavior is created if the defendant caused injury while violating a law, rule, or regulation designed to promote safety. 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.
What’s My Case Worth?
Highway accidents can easily result in astronomical medical bills, long-term or permanent inability to work, the need for lifelong care, and the need for expensive accommodations to accomplish daily tasks – it’s no wonder victims ask how much they can recover! If a defendant negligently caused their injuries, courts may award victims compensatory damages to make them whole for physical, mental, emotional, and financial harms including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Burial costs
- Scarring or permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (companionship).
In some cases, victims may be entitled to punitive damages designed to punish a defendant’s extremely bad behavior and discourage its repetition; however, it’s difficult to receive these damages because the decision of whether to award them and in what amount is entirely up to the court. Punitive damages also require victims to satisfy an extremely high burden of proof – much higher than the threshold for compensatory damages.
Speak to an Attorney Today
If you or a loved one were hurt in a collision on one of Southern California’s massive, crowded highways, you know firsthand the life-changing consequences that can result. Though it may seem daunting to act so quickly after your accident, time is not on your side. Contact the skilled Moreno Valley Highway Accident Attorneys at Walton Law, APC to protect your rights, protect your health, and protect your claim for recovery. Our attorneys have spent years delivering personalized, aggressive representation for clients like you and delivering results; we’ve recovered millions in compensation for their injuries. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or through our Contact Page to schedule your no risk, no obligation initial case evaluation today. The confidential consultation is free, and you don’t pay until we win your case. Let our attorneys review your case, answer your questions, and use our knowledge and resources to fight for the outcome you deserve.