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El Centro Pedestrian Accident Attorney

If you were injured or lost a loved one due to an El Centro pedestrian accident, you can pursue the recovery of damages through a pedestrian accident lawsuit. The El Centro personal injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys know El Centro’s streets and its courts, and have established a hard-won reputation for helping people just like you recover the compensation you need to pay for the treatment of your injuries.

Read on for more information on this type of accident and the legal process of obtaining compensation, or just call Gomez Trial Attorneys for help with your El Centro pedestrian accident. We’re ready to listen to your story and evaluate your case.

What Causes Pedestrian Accidents?

According to a report from Smart Growth America, the number of pedestrian deaths in California rose more than 38 percent in a decade, with El Centro being one of the top ten most dangerous California cities for pedestrians. Around 22 percent of the fatalities from vehicle-related collisions are pedestrians, making both the number of pedestrian deaths and the percentage of crash fatalities attributed to pedestrians higher than the national average.

Some additional alarming statistics include a pedestrian accident rate that is two times higher for Native American and Black populations than it is for others, and an accident rate that is twice as high for people over the age of 50 than it is for those who are younger.

Pedestrian deaths have increased nearly 50 percent since 2009, and traffic accident experts believe that one of the main culprits of this increase is the love Americans have for SUVs.

According to an investigation of the issue conducted by the Detroit Free Press and USA Today:

  • Federal safety regulators have known for years that SUVs—which feature a higher front end than other types of vehicles—are at least twice as likely to cause the deaths of walkers, joggers, and children. The higher front end changes the area of the body that the vehicle makes its initial contact with from the hips and legs to the head and chest.
  • Regulators have delayed enacting a proposal that would require the pedestrian deaths to be a factor in a vehicle’s safety ratings at the urging of automakers. Federal agencies have, instead, produced a list of safety measures that can be implemented into the construction of SUVs that could save hundreds of pedestrians each year. However, those measures are optional and largely ignored by the auto industry.
  • SUVs and trucks are associated with 30 percent of pedestrian accidents, but they account for 40 percent of the fatalities caused by this type of accident.
  • Minority pedestrians are killed at a disproportionate rate when compared to the death rates of white pedestrians.
  • SUVs account for around 60 percent of all new auto sales, replacing the sedan as the most popular car for families in the U.S.

While SUVs are a major source of pedestrian accidents, they are certainly not the only source. Other issues factor into the increasing number of accidents involving a motor vehicle and a pedestrian, including:

  • Distractions for the driver. Common driving distractions that cause a driver to take his or her eyes from the road and from watching for pedestrians include texting and other cell phone use, such as checking one’s email or browsing social media; adjusting the stereo or vehicle controls in the car, eating, and paying attention to external distractions such as construction zones, previous accidents, billboards, and other vehicles.
  • Alcohol impairment. Alcohol impairment disrupts the brain’s ability to control certain functions that are needed for safe driving and safe walking, including the ability to focus one’s eyes, the ability for drivers to brake effectively or control speeds, and the ability to make good decisions.
  • Jaywalking at night. Pedestrians are already at higher risk of becoming involved in an accident during the nighttime hours, as they are harder to see. This risk increases when they are crossing the road in an area where drivers are unaccustomed to seeing pedestrians.

Males are more likely than females to get into pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than occupants of passenger vehicles to be killed in a crash.

El Centro pedestrian accident lawyers

The Injuries Suffered in Pedestrian Accidents

As previously mentioned, SUVs pose a danger to pedestrians due to having higher-profile front ends. The point of initial injury in a pedestrian accident is the area of the body where the vehicle first makes contact. In higher profile vehicles, this area is higher on the body—in the chest or head area of a child or smaller adult, and in the chest or stomach of a larger adult. With smaller profile vehicles such as sedans, the impact point is lower in the hips and leg area. Often, once the vehicle makes contact, the pedestrian is then either tossed through the air or onto the hood or windshield of the vehicle, creating more opportunities for serious injuries.

Some of the injuries commonly seen in this type of accident include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries. With limited ability to heal itself after injury, portions of the brain can become damaged and result in permanent deficits including the ability to speak or understand spoken language, impulse and behavior control, the ability to move the body in a coordinated manner or to recall events. Brain injuries can also result in consciousness disorders such as a vegetative state or a minimally conscious state, which affects the individual’s sleep/wake cycles and alertness.
  • Spinal cord injuries. Like the brain, the spinal cord also has a limited ability to heal itself. Spinal cord injuries often result in a loss of sensation or movement, known as paralysis, below the area in which the injury occurred. The higher up on the spinal cord the injury is, the more parts of the body will be affected. Injuries occurring in the cervical (neck) portion of the spine often result in quadriplegia—also known as tetraplegia—which is loss of sensation and function in the chest, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, torso, hips, pelvis, legs, and feet.
  • Internal damage. With the point of impact occurring in the torso region, pedestrian accidents often result in damage to the internal organs. This damage can cause internal bleeding and can even result in the need for the surgical removal of an organ due to the damage that is sustained.
  • Broken bones: Broken bones are frequently seen in pedestrians who have been hit by a motor vehicle. For many adults, the impact point of an accident with a smaller vehicle will be in the leg area. Other broken bones—including arms and wrists—can occur due to the body’s instinctual reaction of “catching itself” with the arms when falling. Badly broken bones can result in the amputation of the damaged limb.

School Zones = Danger Zones

While children under the age of 14 had the highest rate of pedestrian accidents in the 1970s, they are now among the lowest affected populations of pedestrians. That said, nearly 20 percent of all children under the age of 14 who are killed in traffic-related collisions are pedestrians at the time of the crash. According to Safe Kids California, pedestrian accidents are the fifth leading cause of accidental death for children ages five to 19. Child pedestrians face risks in school zones and while getting on or off of a school bus, including in El Centro.

How to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents

Here’s how drivers can exercise proper care and reduce the rate of pedestrian accidents in El Centro:

  • Avoid distractions when driving, especially in areas where you know that there will be pedestrians, such as school zones, near parks, and in shopping districts.
  • Slow down in areas where children and other pedestrians are known to be. The higher your speed, the more severe the accident will be and the higher risk there is of serious injury or death.
  • Never drive when impaired by alcohol. Doing so not only places your own life at risk, but the lives of other travelers on the roadway, including pedestrians.
  • Never attempt to pass a vehicle at a crosswalk. The vehicle may have slowed or stopped to allow pedestrian traffic to cross.
  • Never attempt to pass a school bus when it has its red lights flashing and its stop sign arm extended, as there are likely children either getting off of the bus and crossing the street to go home, or children waiting to cross the street and get onto the bus.

Let Us Help With Your El Centro Pedestrian Accident Case

If you or your child were injured in a pedestrian accident that was caused by the negligent or careless actions of a motorist in El Centro, you can pursue compensation for your damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

The damages you could be eligible to collect include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

The motorist’s insurance policy generally pays these damages. The vast majority of personal injury cases settle before the case goes to trial. However, you want the assistance of an experienced pedestrian accident attorney who is comfortable and confident with the notion of presenting your case in court just in case that becomes necessary to obtain the compensation you deserve.

The award-winning accident attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys have experience with the needs of El Centro pedestrians who have been seriously injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle. Let us help you understand the legal process of recovering damages. Contact us online or by calling (619) 237-3490.

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Gomez Trial Attorneys
2299 West Adams Avenue, Suite 102
El Centro, CA 92243
(760)-259-2166

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