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Temecula’s famous wine-growing region attracts tourists from around the world, which leads to a large number of pedestrians strolling through the city’s historic Old Town, as well as other areas throughout the city. Given the high number of pedestrians in Temecula on any given day, it’s not surprising that pedestrian accidents are, unfortunately, common in the city. If you or a loved one has been struck by a car, truck, or another vehicle while walking in Temecula, contact the experienced legal team at Gomez Trial Attorneys today to discuss your eligibility to seek compensation for your injuries.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, pedestrian accidents, while unfortunate, are not uncommon. California’s rate of deaths in pedestrian accidents increased by 26 percent over a matter of just four years. Nearly 900 people a year die in pedestrian accidents in the state—as many as 27 in Temecula—and another 14,000 are injured.
In one decade in California, around 7,500 people died after being hit by a motor vehicle while walking or jogging on state roadways. Vehicles have struck as many as five children younger than age 15 and as many as four elders in recent single years in Temecula.
Our area of the country is not the only place with a sharp increase in this type of accident in recent years, however. National experts have also seen increases.
According to an investigation by Detroit Free Press and the USA Today Network, national pedestrian accident data suggests a surprising reason for the 46 percent increase in pedestrian accident deaths in the past decade: the growing popularity of SUVs. This study uncovered information that revealed that federal regulators have known for at least the past five years that SUVs pose a significant danger to pedestrians due to the high profile front end that is found on these vehicles.
The higher profile means that the point of impact between the vehicle and the human body occurs in the head, neck, chest, and torso area—all of which are more likely to cause a catastrophic injury. With smaller sedans, the impact point would be lower on the body, in the area of the legs and hips. While this area can also result in serious injury, injuries to the legs and hips are less likely to result in death.
Other information revealed through the investigation includes:
While SUVs are now a major culprit in pedestrian accidents, other factors contribute to the growing number of pedestrian accident deaths, including:
As previously stated, SUVs pose a higher risk of injuries to a pedestrian’s head or neck, which are two parts of the body that, when injured, have a limited ability to heal.
Head injuries can result in permanent brain damage and cause deficits to functions such as:
Spinal cord injuries are of particular concern as they can result in the loss of sensation and function below the area that was injured. The spinal cord extends from the base of the skull to the lower back. If a person has a spinal cord injury in the cervical (neck) area, the injury often results in paralysis in all of the body below the neck. Because the spine and the brain make up the central nervous system and control all of the body’s voluntary and involuntary responses, injuries to these areas are often catastrophic.
In addition to spinal cord and brain injuries, pedestrians frequently suffer broken bones. Which bones are broken is determined by the point of impact on the body. Larger vehicles will often cause fractures to the ribs or hips. Smaller vehicles will impact the hips or legs. It is not uncommon to experience severely shattered bones in this type of accident, which can result in amputation in some cases. Another common body part to become injured in a pedestrian accident is the bones in the arms, wrists, and hands. This is due to the body’s natural instinct to “catch” itself when falling by extending the arms.
Severe and even disfiguring lacerations are also common in pedestrians who have been hit by a car. These lacerations are often caused by contact with the vehicle’s hood or windshield, or from being thrown forcefully onto the roadway or into other objects.
There are few things in life more impactful than a spinal cord or brain injury. Because of the high likelihood of permanent disability, those who suffer injuries to these areas of the body often can no longer perform the job-related tasks that they previously performed. In fact, many brain or spinal cord-injured individuals cannot work at all.
While unemployment is high among those who have suffered serious injuries, the costs of medical treatment for those injuries is also extraordinarily high. Brain and spinal cord injuries often produce expenses in the millions of dollars to treat the initial injury as well as complications that may arise as a result of the injury.
The home life of the injured person changes dramatically as well, with family members often losing the relationship they had with the injured person and assuming the role of caretaker. Spouses of the severely injured often suffer a loss of consortium, which is physical intimacy and companionship that the couple previously shared. Those with this type of injury, and their family members, find that their relationships with friends are also permanently altered by the injury, as friends suddenly find themselves having few common interests with the injured person.
Those with serious injuries often require professional assistance at work, school, or home, and may need modifications made to their home, including widened doors, ramps, lowered countertops, roll-in showers, lifts to transport the person into and out of bed, and automatic door openers.
With proper attention and care, drivers can prevent nearly all Temecula pedestrian accidents. They can:
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in Temecula, the experienced accident attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys are ready to help you understand your legal options for pursuing compensation to pay for the injuries and expenses you face. Contact us online or by calling (619) 237-3490 for a free case evaluation.
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