Stockton has earned repeated recognition as an All-American City. The Haggin Museum in Victory Park commemorates the city’s history. Pixie Woods is the entertainment venue of choice for children, while adults can enjoy live music at or sporting events at the Stockton Arena, or take in a movie at the Bob Hope Theatre. Stockton hosts more than two dozen festivals each year, including the Asparagus Festival and Stockton Beer Week. The city’s diverse culture is reflected in more than 275 restaurants, serving delicious dishes from the Philippines, Mexico, Cambodia, and all other parts of the world.
While residents find many good reasons to live in Stockton, traffic safety is not one of them. In the most recent year for which the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) has compiled statistics, Stockton had 2,271 traffic accident injuries and deaths. When adjusted for population and miles driven, the OTS ranked Stockton as having the fourth worst accident rate among the fifteen largest California cities.
Sadly, OTS gave Stockton the worst ranking in two collision categories:
Stockton also had poor rankings in these categories:
Whether a traffic accident involves passenger car occupants, a pedestrian, a bicycle rider, or a motorcyclist, a dedicated traffic accident lawyer can help injury victims obtain the compensation they deserve. Michael Rehm helps accident victims in Stockton and surrounding communities recover compensation for their losses.
Stockton Pedestrian Accidents
Dozens of children are injured in traffic accidents every year on Stockton’s city streets. The police regard Kelley Drive in Northeast Stockton as the city’s most dangerous street for young pedestrians. Many of those accidents are caused by drivers who speed or ignore stop signs on the busy road.
Elderly pedestrians, like children, are particularly vulnerable to traffic accidents. While a nimble adult may be able to avoid an oncoming car, an elderly pedestrian is more likely to become a collision victim. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pedestrians ages 65 and older account for 19% of all pedestrian deaths and 13% of all pedestrians injured in collisions with cars and trucks.
Stockton Bicycle Accidents
Stockton only recently created a Bicycle Master Plan to reduce the city’s epidemic of bicycle accidents. Most of the longer city streets are interrupted by waterways, train tracks, or high-speed cross streets. In the absence of bicycle or pedestrian bridges, bicyclists are crowded into “choke points” that are designed for cars. The city’s few bicycle lanes tend to run alongside traffic lanes. Many of them come to an abrupt end, leaving bicycle riders to share traffic lanes with cars. One survey identified 70% of the city’s bicycle lanes as “high stress” because of their proximity to traffic.
Drivers collide with bicyclists when they encroach on bike lanes, run red lights or stop signs, or fail to yield to bicycle riders who are crossing the street. Distracted drivers crash into the rear of bicycles because the driver isn’t watching the road.
Drivers who speed in school zones contribute to the high number of bicycle accident victims who are under the age of 15. Speeding in residential neighborhoods, where kids are most likely to be riding their bikes, is another act of negligence that causes bicycle accidents in Stockton.
Drunk Driving Accidents in Stockton
Any driver who drives with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above .08% is violating the law, but most serious alcohol-related traffic accidents are caused by drivers with a BAC of at least .15% — drivers who are undeniably impaired by alcohol consumption. Drunk drivers tend to fall asleep at the wheel, to stray outside of their traffic lanes, or to fix their attention on something other than the road. Many head-on and rear-end collisions are caused by drunk drivers.
When a drunk driver causes an accident, it may be possible to recover punitive damages as well as ordinary compensation for injuries. Punitive damages punish the driver for willfully engaging in dangerous behavior. Many drunk driving accidents are cause by drivers who have a history of violating impaired driving laws. Judges and juries are particularly likely to assess punitive damages against drivers who refuse to learn a lesson about drunk driving.
Hit and Run Accidents in Stockton
Too many traffic accidents in Stockton are hit-and-run collisions. Many hit-and-run drivers fail to stop because they are unlicensed or have been drinking and fear the consequences of an arrest. Some hit-and-run drivers have no insurance, so obtaining compensation can be difficult even if the driver is identified by traffic cameras or witnesses.
Fortunately, most accident victims have uninsured motorist coverage that will pay compensation in the event of a hit-and-run accident. Pedestrians and bicyclists might also be covered by other sources of insurance. A traffic accident lawyer can help accident victims explore all possible sources of compensation for accident injuries.
San Joaquin County Accident Injuries
Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycle riders are more likely to suffer fatal injuries from a collision than drivers and passengers who have the protection of a vehicle. However, a head-on collision, a high-speed T-bone collision, or a crash that causes a rollover can be fatal to car occupants, notwithstanding the protection they receive from seatbelts and airbags.
Nonfatal accident injuries include:
All injuries are painful. Physical injuries are nearly always accompanied by emotional distress, mental anguish, and a temporary or long-term loss of enjoyment of life.
Compensation depends upon a number of factors, including the comparative fault of the people involved in the accident, the severity of the victim’s injuries, and practical concerns, such as the amount of available insurance coverage and how a jury is likely to feel about the witnesses who might testify at trial.
Compensation for traffic accident injuries generally covers:
Compensation for a wrongful death is available to the accident victim’s spouse, children, and certain other family members. That compensation covers the loss of the victim’s financial and emotional contributions to the family.
Stockton Accident Lawyer
A traffic accident lawyer can help Stockton accident victims recover the compensation they deserve. The Law Office of Michael Rehm helps victims of car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents.
To learn how the Law Office of Michael Rehm can help you, call (209) 490-5049.