Riverside County, California offers residents and visitors so much to see and do. From the wineries of Temecula to the world famous Coachella Valley, millions flock to Riverside County’s attractions every year. And while most residents and visitors go about their day without incident, pedestrian accidents do happen. When they do, pedestrian collisions with motor vehicles usually result in serious and even catastrophic injuries for the pedestrian.
If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a pedestrian accident in Riverside, call The Dominguez Firm today at 800-818-1818 for a free consultation. Our Riverside pedestrian accident lawyers will fight for your right to the maximum legal compensation you are entitled to for your injuries or loss.
Please keep reading to find out more about pedestrian accidents in Riverside and how The Dominguez Firm can help you and your family.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to the latest data from 2018, 330,080 people live in Riverside County. Most of the population is concentrated around the county seat of the city of Riverside and in the Coachella Valley. When it comes to pedestrian traffic accidents and deaths, the good news is that overall, Riverside County ranks at or near the bottom for total number of pedestrians injured or killed in accidents.
However, there is also bad news. The Coachella Valley city of Palm Springs ranked 6th among similarly sized cities in California for pedestrian deaths and injuries for those 65 years of age and over in 2018. Couple that with the fact that Palm Springs ranks 9th for injuries and deaths attributed to drunk drivers between the ages of 21 and 34 and you have a deadly combination.
Surprisingly, the downturn in traffic due to COVID-19 didn’t help.In 2020, 25 pedestrians were killed in accidents in the Coachella Valley, making it the second deadliest year after 2016. To get an idea of how much of a problem pedestrian accidents and deaths are in the Coachella Valley, there were 18 pedestrian fatalities in 2018, which was higher than in San Francisco, a city with a much higher population.
What is the Most Common Cause of Pedestrian Accidents in Riverside?
Most pedestrian accidents in Riverside County are caused by driver error, be it the driver of a passenger car, truck or bus. Although much less common, collisions between pedestrians and bicycle riders have also been known to cause injuries and even deaths.
For drivers, not yielding the right of way in crosswalks, attempting to get through traffic lights or texting while driving are all well-known causes of pedestrian accidents in Riverside.
Having said that, pedestrians also have a legal responsibility to be careful when crossing the street. Two of the most common reasons pedestrians share the blame for accidents is when they jaywalk or are distracted by their cellphones while walking.
Yet you can share part of the blame for your traffic accident and still file a claim because California is a comparative negligence state. The court will determine how much responsibility you share for your accident and subtract it from your final settlement or verdict. So if you were 25% to blame for your pedestrian accident and were awarded $500,000, you would recover $375,000 for your injuries ($500,000 – 25% = $375,000).
Laws Affecting Pedestrian Safety
A good Riverside pedestrian accident attorney will take traffic laws into account when trying to piece together a pedestrian traffic accident. Many of these laws revolve around crosswalks. They include:
- Drivers cannot stop in a crosswalk
- If there is a pedestrian in a crosswalk, drivers must always yield the right of way, no exceptions
- If you are stopped at a crosswalk to allow pedestrians to pass, other drivers cannot go through either
- Drivers are only allowed to cross a sidewalk when entering or exiting a driveway or garage
- Pedestrians cannot jaywalk
- Drivers can only use their cellphones while driving if they have a hands free device
- There is no law forbidding pedestrians from using their phones while walking, but the town of Montclair, CA has begun ticketing pedestrians who use their phones in crosswalks
Dangerous Intersections for Pedestrians in Riverside
Several intersections in Riverside County can claim the dubious distinction of being considered among the most dangerous in the state. Within the city of Riverside, several intersections along Van Buren Blvd. have been the scene of multiple crashes and traffic fatalities according to the Riverside police department. The worst is Van Buren Blvd. and Arlington Ave. with 186 crashes over a 10 year period.
Other dangerous intersections in Riverside County based on crash statistics including injuries and fatalities are:
- Magnolia Avenue & Tyler Street in Riverside
- Winchester Road & Ynez Road in Temecula
- Bridge Street & Gilman Springs Road in Moreno Valley
Crosswalks are certainly the safest option, but they aren’t foolproof by any means. It’s sad to say, but as a pedestrian, you should not assume drivers will automatically stop when they see you entering a crosswalk, especially if there is no traffic signal and they are approaching quickly.
For crosswalks with traffic signals, the light can change too fast, leaving vulnerable pedestrians only halfway or three quarters of the way across the crosswalk. This is especially true for senior citizens attempting to navigate wide avenues.
In short, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security in crosswalks. Always make sure all vehicles have come to a stop before crossing. If you can, look for clearly marked crosswalks, preferably with a stop sign or traffic signal.
What Should You Do if You Are Hit By a Car While Walking?
Your safety should be your top priority. If you can and it’s safe to do so, move to a protected area and immediately call 911. If you can’t call 911 yourself, have someone do it for you. Always seek medical attention. Even if you believe you were just “bumped”, note that any pedestrian accident has the potential to hide serious internal injuries. You may still be in shock and unaware of the extent of your injuries.
If you need to go to the hospital right away, do not delay doing so under any circumstances. But if you can, do the following:
- Give the police your account of what happened
- Get contact information from any eyewitnesses
- Take photos of the scene of the accident, the vehicle that hit you and anything else of note (for example, traffic signs, weather conditions)
- Do not apologize or give statements to the driver or their insurance company
- Call the Riverside pedestrian accident lawyers at The Dominguez Firm right away
Recovering Damages for Your Riverside Pedestrian Accident
If you’ve been injured in a Riverside pedestrian accident, you’ve probably suffered serious injuries. And even though no two cases are alike, a good pedestrian accident lawyer will fight to get you the maximum legal compensation possible (legally known as “damages”) for your injuries.
Generally speaking, your damages will be determined by the extent of your injuries and the negative impact your pedestrian accident has had and will have on your quality of life.
Damages are broken down into economic and non-economic. As the names suggest, economic damages are concrete and can be added up to arrive at an amount. Non-economic damages are subjective but can often make up the largest part of a pedestrian accident victim’s final settlement or verdict. With a few exceptions, there is no cap on the amount that can be awarded for non-economic damages.
Examples of economic damages:
Medical expenses – Any and all medical expenses related to your pedestrian accident in the past, present and in the future fall into this category.
Lost wages – Any income lost if you had to take time off from work because of your injuries can also be recovered.
Lost earning potential – If you cannot return to work or need to return to work in a different or diminished capacity, you could be entitled to damages for lost earning potential. This can include damages for lost promotions or bonuses due to your pedestrian injury.
Home or vehicle modifications – For serious permanent injuries, you can seek damages for reasonable accommodations.
Long term care – If you are permanently disabled by your Riverside pedestrian accident injuries, you can also seek damages to cover long-term care.
Examples of non-economic damages:
Pain and suffering – This is the general term for the emotional and physical suffering the pedestrian accident victim endured. Breaking it down even further, they include:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life (hobbies, sports, etc.)
- Physical pain from the injuries
- Mental anguish and pain
- Psychological trauma
- Physical scarring and disfigurement
How Can Pedestrian Accidents be Prevented?
Both drivers and pedestrians should always be aware of their surroundings. For pedestrians, being able to see and hear everything around them is vital. That might sound like something obvious, but every day, people walk around with ear buds on or glued to their cellphones. Tuning out like this puts them at greater danger of suffering a serious Riverside pedestrian accident.
Besides putting away your cellphone and lowering the volume on your earbuds, as a pedestrian you should also:
- Wear reflective or bright clothing if walking at night
- Only use designated crosswalks, this is especially true for those over 65
- Avoid walking on roads if possible. Always opt for sidewalks. If you must walk on a road, stay on the shoulder and facing oncoming traffic
- Avoid walking in poorly lit areas at night
- Never walk if impaired by drugs or alcohol
According to the NHTSA, 47% of all crashes nationwide were caused by drunk drivers and/or drunk pedestrians.
I was Injured in a Pedestrian Accident in Riverside But I’m an Undocumented Immigrant. Can I Take Legal Action Against the Driver who Injured me?
Yes. Your legal status in this country has nothing to do with your pedestrian accident. Insurance companies and their defense attorneys are barred from bringing it up at any point during your case. If they do, the experienced Riverside pedestrian lawyers at The Dominguez Firm will quickly shut them down.
Rest assured, you can obtain justice and compensation for your pedestrian accident injuries no matter what your immigration status is.
What if I Can’t Afford to Hire a Riverside Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
Not hiring a Riverside pedestrian accident lawyer can end up costing you. Contrary to what insurance company commercials would have you believe they are not there to help you. They are a business. Insurance adjusters are trained to close claims quickly for the least amount possible no matter the extent of your injuries.
And if you think you can’t afford to hire an attorney, nothing could be further from the truth. At The Dominguez Firm we work on a contingency basis. That means we collect a percentage of your final verdict or settlement at the end of your case. You don’t have to worry about up front fees or hidden costs. The percentage we collect will be clearly stated in the client representation agreement you sign with us when you become our client. That percentage is fixed and won’t go up no matter the amount of your final settlement or verdict. And in the unlikely event we aren’t able to obtain any compensation for you, you owe us nothing. In other words, you win, or you don’t pay!
Most of us don’t negotiate settlements with insurance adjusters and lawyers. By going it alone you risk leaving thousands of dollars (or more) on the table. The Riverside pedestrian lawyers at The Dominguez Firm negotiate on behalf of injured clients every day. We’ll deal with the insurance companies and their lawyers while you concentrate on your getting better.
Why You Should Choose The Dominguez Firm for Your Riverside Pedestrian Accident
The Dominguez Firm is a full service personal injury law firm serving all of Southern California. We are not an attorney referral service. We have our own team of in-house trial attorneys ready to fight for your rights as an injured pedestrian in Riverside County.
With more than 130 legal professionals, we also have internal investigators available at a moment’s notice. We’ll never refer your case out or settle for less in order to close out your case. And if the insurance companies and their lawyers attempt to stall or make lowball offers, we are not afraid to go to trial.
The Dominguez Firm has over 30 years of experience successfully handling Riverside pedestrian accident cases. In that time we have won record breaking settlements and verdicts on behalf of injured Riverside pedestrians and their families. So don’t wait, call us today at 800-818-1818 for a FREE consultation.