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Riverside Pedestrian Accident Attorneys

Aiding Those Injured in Riverside Pedestrian Accidents

With a pedestrian mall, walking trails, and the University of California Riverside’s Center for Sustainable Suburban Development working to make the community more walkable, you might think our city is safe for pedestrians—and that motor vehicle drivers pay close attention to them when driving through Riverside. But if you Google “Riverside pedestrian,” you will find news report after news report about cars and trucks hitting and even killing Riverside pedestrians.

If you or a loved one were injured in a Riverside pedestrian accident, get the care you deserve. To find out more about your rights after an accident, contact the Riverside personal injury accident lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys.

Gomez Trial Attorneys: Our Case Results

At Gomez Trial Attorneys, our clients are our number one priority. Our job is to help them recover compensation for their injuries and losses. While money won’t take away their pain, it can help support them as they regain their health and rebuild their lives.

Over the years, our team has recovered substantial compensation for injured pedestrians, including $1.7 million for a settlement for a back injury.

Of course, we can never guarantee that any Riverside pedestrian accident victim will recover this type of compensation, or any compensation for that matter. However, our team can promise to represent the interests of our clients with determination and skill, to give them the best possible chance to recover the compensation they deserve.

Leading Causes of Riverside Pedestrian Accidents

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, the number of pedestrian accidents is rising so fast that OTS calls the issue a problem of “crisis proportions.” In a four year span, the number of pedestrians killed on California streets increased by over 25 percent. And while the number of pedestrian accidents has seen a sharp increase nationwide, California’s pedestrian fatality rate still falls nearly 25 percent higher than the national average.

Drivers and pedestrians alike play a role in pedestrian safety. Your actions as either can help keep you and other pedestrians safe. However, there is only so much you can control. That’s why it is always important to stay aware of your surroundings and to avoid dangerous pedestrian situations. Some of the most common causes of Riverside pedestrian accidents include:

Speeding

Speeding is dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speed is a factor in over one-quarter of all traffic fatalities. Speeding reduces a driver’s reaction time, lengthens a vehicle’s stopping distance, and increases the deadly force of a collision. Unfortunately, over 41 million people receive speeding citations every year. While this may slow drivers down temporarily, speeding continues to be one of the biggest dangers for pedestrians.

Failure to Yield the Right of Way

In Riverside, pedestrians have the right of way in marked and unmarked crosswalks. In other words, drivers always have to stop for you. However, as a pedestrian, you should never assume that a vehicle actually is going to stop, even at a marked intersection with clear traffic control signals. An accident can happen when a driver runs a red light or attempts to make a turn through a crosswalk without stopping to look for pedestrians.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a growing problem across the United States. California law prohibits drivers from holding a cell phone while driving. For drivers under 18, cell phone use of any kind is prohibited while driving. Unfortunately, drivers continue to use their cell phones on the road. This can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, miss a stoplight, or swerve into the path of a pedestrian.

Drunk Driving

According to the CDC, 47 percent of all traffic accidents that result in the death of pedestrians involve alcohol. More than 200 people get into drunk driving accidents in Riverside every year, and as many as 30 drivers were younger than 21.

Poor Visibility

Sadly, many accidents happen because the driver simply didn’t see the pedestrian. This is usually the case when an accident involves a small child or the driver is driving in reverse. As a pedestrian, you can take steps to stay safe. Try to avoid situations where a driver may not see you. If a driver backs up, wait for them to get out of the way and avoid standing or walking in a driver’s blind spots. If you have to walk at night, be sure to wear bright or reflective clothing. Avoid walking under poor weather conditions and be particularly careful around blind turns.

Common Injuries After a Pedestrian Accident

Pedestrian accidents can cause serious and life-threatening injuries. It’s important to get the help you need right away. Do not attempt to drive yourself to the doctor after a serious injury. Take an ambulance or get someone to drive you. Even if you don’t feel pain, it’s always a good idea to go to the doctor after an accident for a thorough exam.

Common injuries after a pedestrian accident include:

Traumatic Brain Injuries

The brain is one of our most sensitive organs. It controls our most vital functions and allows us to think, move, and walk. After a serious trauma such as the impact from a motor vehicle accident, the brain may become injured. Unfortunately, symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may not show up right away. If you experience any of the following symptoms, or the ones listed here, seek emergency medical attention.

Common symptoms of a TBI include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nausea or vomiting

Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord sends messages to and from the brain. An accident involving the spinal cord can cause permanent injury, including paralysis. Symptoms of a spinal cord injury may appear right away or slowly over the days following an accident. If you suspect a spinal cord injury, go to the doctor right away.

Symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:

  • Extreme back pain
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Difficulty moving or walking
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Difficulty breathing

Road Rash

Road rash may seem like a minor injury compared to other possible injuries, but these injuries can lead to more serious issues. Road rash occurs when the skin rubs against a rough surface such as the road or sidewalk. The friction can cause deep abrasions which can lead to extreme pain or even loss of movement. Additionally, you need to watch out for signs of infection. This can include swelling, redness, fever, or fluid coming from the wound. While minor cuts and scrapes can be treated at home, more serious wounds require medical attention.

Internal Injuries

The force of a 2,000-pound vehicle can cause substantial damage to your internal organs. These injuries are life-threatening and can lead to long-term side effects. Prompt medical attention is extremely important when it comes to internal injuries.

Signs to look out for include:

  • Dizziness
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness.

Emotional Distress

Pedestrian accidents are scary. They usually take the victim by surprise and can leave serious, permanent injuries. It is not uncommon for the brain to have a hard time processing the events of an accident. Mental health injuries are just as serious as physical injuries. If you develop new symptoms such as anxiety, depression, or changes in mood or sleeping patterns, contact a mental health professional.

If you have suffered from one or more of the above illnesses and injuries then contact our experienced riverside pedestrian accident attorneys and see what they can do for you today. don’t hesitate call (619) 237-3490 today

What to Do After a Riverside Pedestrian Accident

After an accident, take care of yourself. Your safety and well-being is the most important thing. While we don’t plan for accidents, we can prepare for them.

Things you should do directly following the accident include:

  1. Check for injuries: Serious injuries may or may not be immediately apparent. If you feel pain, don’t push yourself. Walking or moving may cause more serious damage. If you can walk without pain, try to move out of the road to prevent further injury.
  2. Contact emergency services: After an accident, the police will come to take a report of what happened. They will get the driver’s information and take any witness statements. Be sure to tell the operator if you are injured so they can send appropriate help to get you to the hospital.
  3. Gather evidence: You should only worry about evidence if you can get up and move around. While there likely won’t be a debate about who is at fault, evidence can help prove negligence as well as how your injuries occurred. The best way to document evidence is through pictures.
  4. Get a thorough medical exam: It’s normal for adrenaline to kick in after an accident. While this is your body’s natural way of protecting you, it may also hide signs of injury. Being a pedestrian involved in a Riverside car accident is serious. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get checked out to make sure there are no life-threatening injuries.
  5. Contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney: In the event of an accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can evaluate your case and help you process a suit against the negligent party. The law allows victims two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury suit. Give your attorney as much time as possible so they can present a solid case.

Understanding the Value of Your Riverside Pedestrian Accident Case

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

John Gomez, Riverside Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

The goal of a pedestrian accident suit is to give you the tools to try to get back on your feet. Every case is different and its outcome will depend on a variety of circumstances. While it’s impossible to predict the value of your case, there are a few categories of damages you can typically try to recover in a personal injury suit.

This includes:

  • Medical costs, including office visits, medications, surgeries, and rehabilitation. This may include future medical costs
  • Lost income, for any time missed from work as the result of your injuries. For serious cases, this may include future lost income.
  • Residential modifications, when your injuries limit your mobility throughout your own house. This may include wheelchair ramps, stairlifts, handrails, or other adaptive devices.
  • Pain and suffering, including chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. These costs depend on the degree of pain as well as how much the pain interferes with your quality of life.
  • Loss of companionship, when your injuries interfere with the quality of your personal relationships, which can happen after a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or a mental health injury.
  • Loss of enjoyment, when your injuries interfere with your ability to participate in activities that you enjoyed before your accident.

A Riverside Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Answers Your Frequently Asked Questions

When you leave your house, no matter where you go or what you do, you expect to return home safely. Even if you just go for a walk around your neighborhood or to the store, you likely expect to return home safely.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, people are in deadly pedestrian accidents. It’s a truly tragic situation and one that usually results from human error. This fact makes it even more frustrating when you realize that your injuries and your suffering were entirely preventable.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of suffering injuries after being struck by a vehicle, you need a trusted Riverside pedestrian accident lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve. When someone else has caused you pain and suffering, that individual should pay your medical expenses. To make sure that happens, you need to file a pedestrian accident claim, but that is a complex legal process, and that’s why it is in your best interest to hire a lawyer who can guide you through the process and help you maximize your compensation.

What is a pedestrian accident?

A pedestrian accident is just like it sounds. It occurs when a vehicle crashes into a pedestrian. This can happen in a crosswalk, at a random section of the street, or even on a sidewalk. Pedestrian accidents kill nearly 6,000 people every year. While not every pedestrian accident will cause death, serious accidents can cause extreme pain and suffering and result in a lifetime of medical care and attention.

When a car strikes a pedestrian, nothing protects his or her body from the impact with the car. So the pedestrian’s body takes the full force of the impact. This often results in broken bones and spinal cord injuries, which could forever impact an injured individual’s life.

If you have suffered injuries after being struck by a vehicle, you may face an altered life. Besides that, you likely face extremely high medical bills. That’s why you need to speak with an experienced Riverside pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident.

Why are Riverside pedestrian accidents so common?

In one recent year, nearly 900 pedestrians died in pedestrian accidents in California. This puts California nearly 25 percent above the national average. There are several reasons for this.

Riverside gets lots of tourists. We’re close to glorious weather, beaches, and attractions that bring people from all over the world. Many of them are unfamiliar with the area and have trouble navigating it safely, in which case they end up paying closer attention to the maps on their phones than to their surroundings, ultimately leading to a greater likelihood of striking a pedestrian. Locals get into pedestrian accidents, too. Even when someone knows where they are going, they can still become distracted, and that’s the number one reason pedestrian accidents happen: distracted driving.

Holding a cell phone while driving in California is against the law. Cell phone use while driving causes more accidents than any other means of distracted driving, but it’s not the only contributing factor.

Other common causes of pedestrian accidents include:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Improper lane use
  • Unmarked crosswalks
  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield
  • Bad weather
  • Back up accident

No matter what caused your pedestrian accident, you may suffer because of someone else’s mistake. When you work with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in Riverside, your lawyer can help you hold the at-fault party liable for your injuries and accountable for your medical bills.

How much is my case worth?

This is the most frequent question that we receive, and there is no straightforward answer.

The amount of compensation that you ultimately recover will depend on many factors, including the following:

  • The amount of time you spend out of work
  • Your medical diagnosis and prognosis
  • What insurance is available
  • Your amount of suffering
  • The severity of your injuries

No lawyer can tell you exactly what your case is worth. If you find one who does, you shouldn’t work with that lawyer. Regardless, with the right attorney by your side, you can create an accurate estimate of the full value of your claim. It is important to go through this exercise so that you know how much you should seek to cover all of your injury expenses, especially your future needs.

Many people do not account for their future needs and thus underestimate the total value of their claims.

By working with a skilled pedestrian accident attorney in Riverside, your lawyer will try to secure you compensation for the following damages:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Loss of consortium/companionship
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Present and future medical bills
  • Rehabilitation costs

It is often future needs that trip people up the most when calculating their pedestrian accident claim. Your injuries could be quite severe and require multiple surgeries, extended hospital stays, and significant rehabilitation. These medical procedures come at extremely high costs.

Besides that, you might also be out of work for a long time, maybe even permanently. If you can ultimately return to work, you may never return in the same capacity. Either of these scenarios may cause you to miss out on income that you would have otherwise received had it not been for the negligence of another driver who struck you while you were walking.

You should receive compensation for these medical expenses and your lost income. That payment should come from the negligent driver. You and your family should bear none of the responsibility for the bills and lost income, and that’s why you should speak with a trusted Riverside pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Working with an attorney will help to maximize your compensation.

How do I prove the driver was at fault?

Proving that a driver was at fault in a pedestrian accident is not as simple as it might sound. If you’ve been involved in such an accident, you may already know that the driver caused your accident and your injuries, but the law requires more—actual proof of fault.

To prevail in a pedestrian accident claim, you must establish the following elements of negligence:

  1. The driver owed you a duty of care to drive safely and remain undistracted.
  2. The driver breached that duty of care by driving in a dangerous or distracted manner.
  3. The driver’s breach caused your accident.
  4. You suffered injuries in the accident.

Plaintiffs must prove these elements to move onto the next step, which is to pursue compensation for injuries and resulting costs. Using the services of a lawyer whom you trust can help you build a strong legal case that establishes the negligence of the at-fault party. If you cannot prove all four elements of negligence, you may miss out on the compensation that you need to ensure a full recovery.

What happens if the at-fault driver was uninsured?

Unfortunately, this scenario happens frequently. When drivers are uninsured or underinsured, it creates many more problems for pedestrian accident victims. As an injured pedestrian, you could seek compensation under your own insurance carrier; however, these benefits do not always exist, and filing a claim may cause your rates to go up, even if the accident was not your fault.

In some cases, your pedestrian accident might qualify as a hit and run if the driver does not stop. This may complicate matters even further, because you may not even know whom to blame for your injuries.

In either scenario, your best bet at holding the at-fault driver liable for your injuries is by using the services of a trusted Riverside pedestrian accident attorney. Your lawyer can investigate your case, gaining a complete understanding of who is to blame and what avenues you have to seek compensation.

Do I have to file my claim soon?

Yes. In California, you only have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim against a negligent driver. Two years might seem like a long time, but when you realize how long your road to recovery is, those two years can fly by. During that time, you may face medical procedures, rehabilitation, and in-home care. You may also spend time out of work. Before you know it, two years have passed by and you missed out on your opportunity to collect compensation for your suffering.

Do not let this happen to you. Make sure you contact a Riverside pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Your best chance of getting back to your regular life is for you to let go of the legal stress and the worry around how you will pay your bills. When you shift that burden onto your lawyer, you can focus all of your effort and energy on your physical recovery, while we work hard to protect your rights and maximize your compensation.

Shouldn’t I just take the quick settlement offer?

Many pedestrian accident victims get excited when insurance companies representing negligent drivers call and offer settlements, but we urge you to use caution. These initial settlement offers are most likely low-ball offers intended to close your claim for as little money as possible.

Generally, when making these initial offers, insurance companies may hope that you have not yet retained a lawyer, so they can pull a fast one on you by getting you to settle for less than your case is worth. When pedestrian accident victims like you do not have legal representation looking out for their best interests, people often fall prey to insurance companies’ defensive tactics.

What’s worse, when accident victims accept these initial settlement offers and then realize months or even years later that the funds were not enough to cover all of the victims’ needs, it’s too late, and they will have to pay out of their own pockets for medical expenses. When you sign a settlement offer, you will waive your right to bring any future claims against the insurance company for this accident.

Do not let yourself fall victim to this tactic. When you work with Gomez Trial Attorneys, we can provide you with the knowledge of many years of experience taking on the big insurance companies and making sure victims like you get a fair settlement. You and your family have suffered enough. Your family might even feel additional and unnecessary stress and worry about finances because of your current situation and your inability to work. None of this is your fault or your family’s fault, and that’s why you should retain a lawyer to hold the at-fault driver liable for your injuries.

While most pedestrian accident cases settle out of court, you still want a lawyer by your side with trial experience. Sometimes, insurance companies refuse to act reasonably and settle your case for a fair amount. This results in a need to take your case to trial to ensure that you receive fair compensation. A trial takes longer than settling, but we do not want to see you suffer financial hardship on top of all of your physical and mental suffering. That’s why our goals align with yours and not the insurance company. We work hard to protect your rights and help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries.

Why do I need a Riverside pedestrian accident lawyer?

The right Riverside pedestrian accident lawyer can make a difference in your injury claim. Pedestrian accident cases are complex legal procedures that shouldn’t be trusted to inexperienced lawyers. You should seek out a Riverside pedestrian accident lawyer with experience in pedestrian accident cases, in particular.

Your lawyer will work hard to protect your rights, including ensuring that you meet all filing deadlines, fully investigating your accident, negotiating with insurance companies, and representing your best interests at trial, if necessary.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury because of a pedestrian accident, speak with a trusted Riverside pedestrian accident attorney today to start your path to recovery. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we have experience handling pedestrian accident cases and would welcome the opportunity to speak with you and determine your eligibility to file a claim.

Gomez Trial Attorneys: Helping Riverside Pedestrian Accident Victims Seek Justice

A serious Riverside pedestrian accident can change your life in the blink of an eye. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we know these accidents don’t just affect you, they can affect your entire family. Our job is to support you and help you get the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one were in a Riverside pedestrian accident, you have rights. Contact our Riverside pedestrian accident lawyers at (619) 237-3490 or fill out our online request form for a free case evaluation.

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