In Utah and throughout the U.S., the law requires drivers to yield the right-of-way to people on foot. The truth is that pedestrians face increasing danger, risk of injury, and even death. A Governors Highway Safety Association report indicated that an average of 20 pedestrians die in accidents daily in our country, nearly 7,500 every 24 hours. In Utah, the statistics are alarming:
- While only 0.5% of people die in motor vehicle accidents, pedestrians make up 15% of all auto accident fatalities.
- In 2017, 87% of pedestrian accidents resulted in some type of injury; 5% of pedestrians were killed in auto crashes.
- Most pedestrian accidents occur between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm.
The team at Injury Smart Law fights for pedestrian accident victims and their families, obtaining the compensation they need and deserve. If you were seriously injured as a pedestrian due to a negligent or reckless car, motorcycle, bicycle, or truck operator, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Utah law protects pedestrians by encouraging safer driving, but people can be injured and even killed when motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists fail to follow the rules of the road. If you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
The disturbing number of pedestrian injuries and deaths each year suggests far too many drivers don’t comply with the law or follow the rules of the road, putting pedestrians at risk.
Motor vehicle operators endanger pedestrian safety by:
- Driving vehicles while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or marijuana.
- Exceeding safe speeds.
- Engaging in distracted driving, including texting while driving.
- Failing to pay sufficient attention to the roadway and road conditions, especially at night or in inclement weather.
- Failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Impeding other drivers’ views of pedestrians.
- Backing up and moving through parking lots and structures without keeping an eye out for pedestrians, especially children.
Pedestrians have the most to fear from drunk, drugged, and impaired drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10% of pedestrian fatalities are caused by drivers with blood alcohol content levels of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher.
The CDC also found that children and seniors make up a large percentage of pedestrian accident victims. In 2020, for example, 20% of all kids killed in auto accidents were pedestrians, and 20% of all pedestrian deaths included adults aged 65 and older. Closer to home, Utah statistics indicate that while just over half of drivers in auto-pedestrian crashes are under 40, nearly the same percentage of pedestrians in those accidents are under 25.
Locations of Pedestrian Accidents
Data from the Utah Department of Public Safety tells us where most pedestrian accidents take place:
- At intersections in marked crosswalks (44%).
- In roadways without crosswalks or intersections (24%).
- On sidewalks (8%).
- In unmarked crosswalks at intersections (7%).
- In midblock crosswalks (4%).
Parking lots are just as hazardous. Results from a National Safety Council reveal how drivers become distracted in parking areas:
- Talking on the phone (66% of adults, 60% of teens).
- Entering information in navigation systems (63%).
- Grooming – hair, makeup, etc. (59% of teenagers, 53% of adults).
- Texting on smart devices (56%).
- Using social media apps (52%).
- Emailing (50%).
- Taking or looking at photos and videos (49%).
As you might imagine, there are more accidents around the holidays when people fill shopping malls and shopping centers.
Bringing a Utah Pedestrian Injury Lawsuit
If you were hit by an automobile, truck, bus, motorcycle, or bicycle as a pedestrian and suffered injuries, the law gives you a right to pursue a claim against the operator and owner.
Insurance companies may want to settle before you file a lawsuit and want you to believe it will be easier and more convenient than going to court. That may be true, but research shows your payout will be less than if you were represented by a lawyer, especially an experienced lawyer skilled in car and pedestrian accident cases.
The bottom line is that you should never initiate a legal claim without consulting an attorney. Don’t make it easy for the insurance company; they’re not on your side, and the less money they pay you, the more profits they make.
Pedestrian Accident Damages in Utah
If you’re hurt in a pedestrian accident, damages are a way to make you whole.
Damages are generally divided into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover the financial impact of your injuries, such as:
- The cost of medical care and treatment, both past and future.
- Any income you lose, starting at the time of the accident
- The earning capacity you give up because of your injury and healing.
- Replacement services associated with household and daily living expenses.
- The costs of activities that must be performed but that you can no longer do.
Non-economic damages cover injuries that are more difficult to value, such as:
- Pain and suffering.
- Mental and emotional distress.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Your spouse’s loss of consortium.
In a lawsuit, the attorneys for the insurance company may allege you were responsible for the accident, at least in part. Utah has a “modified comparative negligence” system, so if the judge or jury finds you were no more than 49% at fault, they can award you a proportionate amount of your damages.
Talk With a Utah Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love was injured or killed by a motor vehicle while walking, you need an attorney familiar with the law, the court system, and ways to get you the compensation you deserve.
When you retain Injury Smart Law to represent you, we’ll treat you with respect, courtesy, and sensitivity and promise to answer any question at any stage of the case. No two matters are the same, and we treat each client as an individual, getting to know you, your family, and how someone else’s carelessness has changed your life.
To learn more about how we can help you, please contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your situation.