A study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) projects that the number of pedestrian deaths in 2018 will be the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in almost three decades. According to the GHSA, it is estimated that 6,277 pedestrians died in traffic-related accidents during 2018. In 2017, 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents. California had the highest number of pedestrian deaths in 2017 (858). California also had the highest number of deaths from pedestrian accidents in the first half of 2018 (432).
In this article, our Sacramento pedestrian accident attorneys discuss several issues related to pedestrian accidents in California.
Highlights From This Article:
- Pedestrian Accident Statistics
- Potential Factors Impacting the Rise in the Number of Pedestrian Deaths
- Why Are Traffic Accidents Deadly for Pedestrians?
- What Should You Do If You Are Injured in a Pedestrian-Vehicle Accident?
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
The number of individuals killed in pedestrian-vehicle accidents in 1990 was 6,482. While the expected number of pedestrian deaths in 2018 is just below that figure, the 2018 figure is higher than any other year since 2009. In 2009, pedestrian fatalities dropped to 4,109, but began increasing again over the next decade.
Other key statistics from the report include:
- California led in the number of pedestrian deaths for several years.
- From 2008 through 2017, pedestrian deaths increased by 35 percent compared to a decrease of six percent in the total of all traffic deaths during that same period.
- Pedestrian deaths increased by four percent from 2017 to 2018.
- California, along with Arizona, Florida, Texas, and Georgia, accounted for 46 percent of the pedestrian deaths in 2017.
- Twenty-five states experienced an increase in pedestrian fatalities from 2017 to 2018.
- Pedestrian deaths increased by 45 percent during the nighttime compared to an 11 percent increase in daytime pedestrian deaths from 2008 through 2017.
- From 2013 to 2017, the number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents involving SUVs increased by 50 percent, compared to a 30 percent increase in traffic accidents involving passenger vehicles, even though passenger vehicles comprised 42 percent of the total vehicles involved in pedestrian accidents.
- About one-half of the pedestrian-vehicle fatalities in 2017 involved alcohol impairment of the driver or pedestrian.
Potential Factors Impacting the Rise in the Number of Pedestrian Deaths
There could be numerous factors at play that could contribute to the increase in pedestrian deaths. Some of the trends that the GHSA cited as potential causes in the rise of pedestrian fatalities include:
- An increase in the number of people walking. One survey found a four percent increase in the number of people who walk to work between 2007 and 2016.
- The need for safer crossings could contribute to the number of pedestrian accidents since most deaths occur at night on local roads.
- In about one-half of the pedestrian-vehicle accidents, unsafe behaviors were reported, such as distractions, speeding, alcohol impairment, and drowsy driving.
- The number of SUVs on roads may play a factor in the higher number of pedestrian deaths. A USA Today Network/Detroit Free Press investigation concluded that the popularity of SUVs was a leading cause of the increase in pedestrian deaths. SUVs have a higher front end, which can be deadly for pedestrians struck by these vehicles.
- Driver behaviors continue to be factors in pedestrian accidents. Speeding, drunk driving, reckless driving, drowsy driving, and failing to yield the right of way are just a few of the driving behaviors that contribute to the number of pedestrians killed each year.
Regardless of the reason why a pedestrian-vehicle accident occurs, the pedestrian is typically the victim who suffers the most severe injuries in the accident.
Why Are Traffic Accidents Deadly for Pedestrians?
Pedestrians do not have any protection from the impact of a collision with a vehicle. The individual’s body receives the full force of the impact. In some cases, a vehicle may actually run over the pedestrian, thereby crushing the person under the vehicle. In other cases, a pedestrian may be thrown causing the person to hit another object or violently strike the ground. In either case, the person’s body can be severely injured from the impact.
Life-threatening injuries, including internal bleeding and damage to internal organs, can result in immediate death or death within a few days. Other injuries may result in lifelong disabilities that severely limit the person’s ability to work, care for themselves, and care for their families.
Some of the common injuries that pedestrians sustain when they are struck by a vehicle include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Head and brain injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions
- Damage to internal organs
- Internal bleeding
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent disabilities and impairments
Pedestrians who are injured in a motor vehicle accident can experience great financial hardship in addition to physical and emotional injuries. By filing an accident claim with the insurance company for the driver, an injured pedestrian may recover compensation for financial losses, physical injuries, and emotional suffering.
However, the steps a person takes immediately after a pedestrian accident can have a significant impact on an insurance claim. One way to protect your legal rights and best interests is to contact a Sacramento pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your claim. An attorney works to obtain a fair and just settlement for your losses and damages.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured in a Pedestrian-Vehicle Accident?
Being injured by a driver while you are crossing the road, jogging, walking to work, or otherwise enjoying walking can turn your world upside down. Below are some steps that our Sacramento pedestrian accident attorneys recommend that you take after a pedestrian-vehicle accident. While you may not be able to take all steps, the steps you can take can improve your chance of recovering full compensation for an accident claim.
Report the accident immediately.
Calling 911 is typically the best way to report the crash and request emergency medical services. In most cases, a pedestrian is severely injured; therefore, someone who witnessed the accident called the police to report the crash. Your attorneys may obtain the 911 records as evidence in your case.
Go to the emergency room for treatment.
In a few cases, a pedestrian may walk away from an accident thinking that he or she is not severely injured. However, the person could have sustained internal injuries or head trauma. It is wise to be checked and examined by a medical professional after being struck by a vehicle. In addition, refusal of transport to the ER is typically noted in the accident report, which could be used by an insurance provider to argue you were not injured in the crash.
Seek medical treatment.
If you do not go to the emergency room, it is wise to follow up with your physician as soon as possible. Seeing a doctor protects your health, but it also documents your injuries for an insurance claim.
Ask eyewitnesses for their names and contact information.
Eyewitness testimony can be extremely helpful for proving fault and liability for a pedestrian accident. If possible, ask witnesses to write their information down for you, text the information to you, or give their information to the police officer.
Take pictures of the accident scene.
This step may be impossible for a pedestrian who has been hit by a vehicle. However, the person may be able to ask a bystander to take a few pictures if the person’s cell phone was not damaged in the crash.
Do not discuss the accident.
Anything you say can be used by the insurance provider later in your case. Therefore, refrain from providing statements, written or recorded, to an insurance adjuster or other party representing the insurance provider or driver. Also, you may want to refrain from posting on social media until you speak with a Sacramento pedestrian accident attorney. A talented trial attorney could twist the meaning of innocent posts to convince jury members that you were not injured or not injured as severely as you claim.
Document damages and your recovery.
As you recover from your injuries, it helps to take photographs of your injuries and keep a journal detailing your pain and suffering. You should also keep detailed records of your financial losses and expenses related to the accident, your injuries, and your recovery. You must have evidence of financial losses to include amounts in a settlement demand.
Contact a Sacramento Pedestrian Accident Attorney
As soon as possible, call our office to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. Our legal team helps you document your damages, investigates the crash, gathers evidence, protects you from aggressive insurance adjusters, and fights to get you the money you deserve after being injured by a reckless driver.
Pedestrian Accident Attorneys in Sacramento Fighting for Justice for Accident Victims and Their Families
Contact The Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our websiteto schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys.
You deserve to have a legal team working diligently to protect your best interests. The insurance adjuster does not work for you! Instead of trusting an employee working for the insurance company, trust the Tiemann legal team to handle your pedestrian accident claim.
Whiplash injuries are commonly associated with rear-end car crashes. However, you can sustain whiplash and other soft tissue injuries from any type of collision. Unfortunately, these types of car accident injuries are often treated as “minor” or “exaggerated” injuries by insurance companies. Our Sacramento car accident attorneys help whiplash victims recover the compensation they deserve after an injury.
In this article we discuss:
- What Is Whiplash?
- How Can I Tell If I Have Whiplash?
- Why Can Whiplash Claims Be More Difficult To Settle?
- What Can I Do To Help My Attorney With My Whiplash Claim?
- Do’s And Don’ts Of A Whiplash Insurance Claim
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is most often associated with a car accident. However, a person may develop whiplash from any blow to the head or jolt to the head that causes the head to “jerk” forward and backward in a “whipping” motion, such as a fall, contact sports, bicycling injuries, abuse, or even amusement park rides. It is called whiplash because of this sudden, violent whipping motion of the neck and head.
When your head suddenly jerks forward and backward, the motion stretches the tendons and muscles in your neck. In some cases, the force of the movement can cause tears in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck. Some individuals may experience immediate pain; however, it could day hours or days for the stiffness and pain to become uncomfortable or unbearable for someone.
Even though whiplash is considered a relatively mild injury, some cases of whiplash can cause long-term impairment and chronic pain. Some accident victims may develop complications from whiplash. Therefore, it is extremely important that accident victims recognize the symptoms of whiplash and see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
How Can I Tell If I Have Whiplash?
The symptoms of whiplash usually develop within a day of the injury, but some individuals with a high tolerance for pain may not realize how severe the injury may be for a few days following the accident. Whiplash symptoms may include:
- Stiffness and pain in the neck and/or shoulders
- Loss of range of motion when you try to turn your head or move your neck
- Pain that increases with neck movement
- Headaches that may begin at the base of the skull
- Fatigue or sleep disturbances
- Dizziness, blurred vision, and/or ringing in the ears
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
- Pain or tenderness in the arms, shoulders, or upper back
- Difficulty with concentration or memory
- Depression or irritability
Whiplash can often be treated with time, rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and ice packs. However, additional treatments may be necessary if the pain, stiffness, or impaired range of motion continues. A doctor can perform a physical examination and other diagnostic tests to determine the extent of the injury. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, a doctor may perform x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computerized tomography (CT scans) to determine the extent of damage caused by the whiplash.
Other forms of treatment that might be prescribed to treat whiplash include:
- Muscle relaxants
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
- Cervical collars
It is important to remember that each case of whiplash is different. The individual’s health conditions and other factors may also impact the severity of the injury. As with any car accident injury, it is usually a wise decision to see a doctor for an examination as soon after the crash as possible to diagnose the full extent of injuries sustained in the accident. Prompt medical treatment can help reduce the risk of long-term complications and permanent impairments after a car accident.
Why Can Whiplash Claims Be More Difficult To Settle?
Injuries to the muscles, ligaments, or tendons anywhere in the body are referred to as soft tissue injuries. These injuries include strains, sprains, and whiplash. Even though soft tissue injuries can cause severe pain and long-term impairments, these injuries are often overlooked and underestimated. Some of the reasons it can be difficult to recover full compensation for a whiplash injury include:
- Whiplash can be difficult to diagnose. Because there no outward signs of trauma, a physician must rely on the symptoms reported by an accident victim. A victim may experience severe pain even though diagnostic tests do not reveal substantial damage. Because the pain and symptoms are subjective, insurance companies often claim that accident victims are exaggerating their symptoms to recover a larger settlement.
- Whiplash symptoms may not be present for several days after the initial trauma. A person may attempt to treat the symptoms at home before seeing a physician. The delay in symptoms and the delay in medical treatment is used by an insurance company to argue that the injury was not sustained in the accident. The adjuster may argue that if the victim had been injured, he or she would have sought medical treatment immediately.
- There is a history of fraud related to whiplash and other soft tissue injuries. Unfortunately, some people make false claims after car accidents. They use whiplash and other soft tissue injuries as a way to recover compensation because they understand that it is difficult to prove or disprove the severity of pain and impaired motion. Because of a few individuals seeking to take advantage of the claims system, insurance companies have become wary of whiplash claims.
Even though a soft tissue injury may not result in outward trauma, that does not mean an individual is not in pain. Chronic whiplash can result in a lifetime of pain and reduced range of motion. Therefore, it is important to treat any neck injury seriously. Seeking medical treatment and consulting with a Sacramento personal injury lawyer can help you protect your right to recover the compensation you deserve for a whiplash injury.
What Can I Do To Help My Attorney With My Whiplash Claim?
Seeing your doctor and calling your attorney are two of the best ways to help your attorney with a whiplash claim. However, because whiplash injuries can vary greatly, it can also be very helpful to keep a daily journal recording your daily struggles after the car crash. Things to note in your journal include:
- Your pain level each day, including the level of stiffness and limited motion. Make sure you give detailed examples and descriptions. For instance, rate your pain level on a scale from 1 to 10 and state how far you can raise your arms or turn your head.
- Keep a detailed list of the tasks you are unable to perform each day because of the injury. For example, you need help getting dressed, you cannot pick up your child without pain, or you cannot perform certain household chores.
- If you miss family or work functions because of the injury, make sure you note these in your journal with the date and reason you could not attend.
- In addition to the pain, make sure you list all related symptoms and the severity of those symptoms.
- If your doctor prescribes a certain treatment, make notes about whether the treatment helped or failed. If the treatment helped, how did it help?
A whiplash injury claim is based on medical evidence; however, your detailed notes can help your attorney demonstrate how your neck injury severely impacted your life.
Do’s And Don’ts Of A Whiplash Insurance Claim
Several do’s and don’ts of a whiplash insurance claim include:
- DO SEE AN ATTORNEY as soon as possible after your accident. An attorney can help you avoid mistakes that could hurt your chance of recovering compensation.
- DO see a doctor as soon as possible and follow your doctor’s instructions.
- DO report your symptoms to your doctor truthfully. Resist the urge to exaggerate, but also resist the urge to understate your symptoms
- DON’T return to work or normal activities until your doctor advises you to do so.
- DON’T provide the insurance company with a written or recorded statement until you meet with a Sacramento personal injury lawyer.
- DON’T sign a medical release form for the insurance company.
- DON’T post on social media accounts without consulting with an injury lawyer. Insurance companies often use this information to claim you were not injured as severely as you claim.
- DO refrain from discussing your injuries with friends or family members, other than immediate family members who are helping with your care.
- DO keep a daily journal recording your pain level and other details about your recovery.
- DO keep receipts and records of all expenses and financial losses.
- DON’T accept a settlement offer without discussing the offer with a Sacramento personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to additional compensation.
Contact a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney About Your Whiplash Injury
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, our attorneys can help you file an insurance claim to hold the person responsible for the crash liable for your damages.
To find out more about accident claims and the compensation you might be entitled to receive, call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 for your free consultation. We do not charge anything for your first visit, and most injury cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis.
Drugged driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. If a driver is using prescription or illegal drugs, the driver’s reaction times and judgment may be impaired. Even over-the-counter medications can have side-effects that might impair a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
Being able to spot a drugged driver might help you avoid a car accident. However, you may not have time to notice driving behaviors that would indicate a person is impaired by drugs. Therefore, it might help to recognize some of the signs that a person is abusing drugs so that you can point this out to the police officer at the accident scene.
Signs That a Person May be Under the Influence of Drugs at an Accident Scene
According to the Mayo Clinic, five signs that a driver might be impaired by drugs include:
Lack of Coordination and Slurred Speech
In addition to being signs that someone may have been consuming alcohol, poor coordination and slurred speech may also indicate drug use. Many drugs may have this effect, especially painkillers and anti-anxiety medications when taken excessively. Overuse of drugs can severely impair motor function thereby causing a drugged driving accident.
Paranoia and Agitation
Many people are upset after a traffic accident. However, if someone is overly agitated or paranoid, it could be an indication that the person is abusing a prescription stimulant. The drugs may not impair everyone’s ability to drive. However, if someone is agitated or paranoid, they may make mistakes behind the wheel.
Many drugs have drowsiness as a side effect. If a driver does not appear alert or able to stay awake, you may want to mention this to the police officer. The drowsiness could indicate the person took certain drugs before driving.
Hostility or Violence
Sometimes drugs that cause nervousness or paranoia can cause a person to become violent or hostile. Individuals may feel hostility after a crash, but some may be overly hostile or violent. Do not confront someone like this because drugs could be involved.
Lack of Concentration
A lack of focus or concentration can also be a side effect of using drugs, especially overusing anti-anxiety medications or painkillers. These drugs can significantly impair brain function if abused and cause a drugged driving accident.
Drugged Driving is Illegal in California
Drugged driving or driving while impaired by drugs is illegal. This includes over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, and illegal substances. Based on a driver’s actions, if you believe the driver might be using drugs, do not confront the driver. Individuals using drugs can be very unpredictable. It is best to keep your distance, remain calm, and notify the officer of your suspicions. The officer will take care of the matter.
Filing a Car Accident Claim with the Help of a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a car wreck, our legal team can help you file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. We can investigate the car crash to determine the cause and gather evidence to prove liability.
Contact The Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website to schedule your free consultation with a Sacramento car accident lawyer.
Traffic in Sacramento can be challenging. For Sacramento residents, car accidents are nothing out of the ordinary. However, do you know what you should do if you are involved in a car accident? The steps you take immediately after a car accident can have a significant impact on your ability to recover full compensation for an accident claim. Our Sacramento car accident lawyers have compiled a short car accident checklist. In the aftermath of a car crash, it can help to have a checklist to remind you what you need to do.
California Car Accident Checklist
1. Stay Calm and Call 911
Always call the police to report a traffic accident. If the police are not dispatched to the accident scene, make sure you file an incident report to document the collision for an insurance claim.
2. Move to a safe location if possible.
Injuries may prevent you from moving. If it is safe to do so, move your vehicle out of traffic to a safe location and turn on your emergency lights.
3. Be courteous but do not admit fault.
Exchange driver’s license information and insurance information with the other driver. Do not admit fault or discuss the details of the accident.
4. Take photographs and make videos.
Photographs and videos of the accident scene can be very helpful when you file an accident claim. Try to take as many photographs as possible, but never take photos if doing so will put you or others in danger.
5. Gather as much information at the accident scene as possible.
Make notes at the accident scene to help you remember important details about the crash. If anyone witnessed the crash, ask the person for his or her name and contact information.
6. Ask the officer how to get a copy of the police report.
Make a note of the officer’s name and badge number with notes about how to get a copy of the police report.
7. Report the accident to your insurance company.
Write down the claim number and the name and contact information for the insurance adjuster. Make sure to get information about repairing your vehicle if you were at fault for the crash.
8. Seek medical attention for injuries.
If you did not go to the hospital after the accident, you might want to see your family doctor. It is always a good idea to see a doctor after an accident for an examination. Do not delay medical treatment. A delay in treatment could make an injury worse. It could also hurt your chance of recovering compensation for an injury claim.
9. Obtain estimates to repair your vehicle.
If the accident was not your fault, the insurance company for the other driver should instruct you how to have your car repaired. If the vehicle is totaled, you should receive fair market value for the vehicle. Be very careful when signing any documents related to vehicle damage to avoid releasing the insurance company for physical injuries and damages.
10. Keep detailed notes.
Track your medical treatment, document expenses, and keep detailed notes about each conversation related to the accident or your injury.
11. Get a copy of the police report.
If you intend to consult a Sacramento car accident attorney, your attorney will take care of this step for you.
12. Contact a Sacramento car accident attorney.
Before you provide statements to the insurance company or sign any documents, you should seek legal advice to determine your rights and options for recovering compensation for your claim. You can also discuss other steps that you may need to add to your car accident checklist.
The Tiemann Law Firm offers free consultations. Call (916) 999-9000 to speak with a member of our legal team about your car accident checklist.
The immediate aftermath of a traffic accident can be overwhelming. Many accident victims are in shock and unaware of the extent of their injuries. They are also unaware of the impact that the trauma of the crash will have on their lives in the coming weeks and months. It is never easy to suffer an injury in a car accident, but it is also not easy to get through the trauma caused by the incident.
Triggers Can Lead to Flashbacks
Various triggers can lead to flashbacks of the accident. A sound, sight, or smell may suddenly bring back flashbacks of the traffic accident. In some cases, the flashbacks can be debilitating. Some accident victims may suffer nightmares in addition to flashbacks that disrupt their sleep.
Accident victims and their families should watch for signs of post-traumatic stress disorder after a car crash. An accident victim may have PTSD without being aware of the condition.
Impact on Relationships and Daily Life
A victim can experience changes in their relationships with others, even though they may not have PTSD. The trauma of the car crash can make it difficult to get back into a vehicle to visit friends and family. A person may miss important family functions because they are dealing with the consequences of the trauma from the accident. Some family and friends may not understand the full extent of the trauma, thereby adding to the pressure felt by the accident victim and placing an additional strain on their relationship.
Impact of Trauma on Employment
The trauma of the accident can also have a negative impact on employment. Trauma can cause anxiety attacks, making it difficult or impossible to concentrate on work duties. The lack of sleep because of nightmares can cause problems at work. The anxiety and trauma can be far worse if the employee is required to drive as part of his or her job duties.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Car Crash
When you file a personal injury claim after a car crash, a part of the compensation claimed is for damages related to mental anguish and emotional suffering. PTSD can be included as an injury sustained because of a car crash.
However, claiming PTSD and other emotional disorders after a car crash can be complicated. Many insurance companies are not willing to compensate accident victims for trauma without an accompanying physical injury. You should consult with a Sacramento car accident attorney to discuss the facts in your case and your legal options for recovering compensation for your damages.
In most cases, it is best to discuss your case with an attorney before giving the insurance company a written or recorded statement. You could say something that is misleading, or that may be misinterpreted. If the insurance company is trying to find evidence to disprove your claim of PTSD after an accident, a statement is one way it may try to get information to use against you.