Pedestrian Accidents and You
Pedestrian accidents can cause extremely serious, if not deadly injuries. While Utah has laws in place to protect pedestrians whenever they cross a roadway, pedestrian accidents continue to happen in Utah at a rate of nearly 2 and a half a day. Pedestrian accidents are so often serious due to how little protection pedestrians have against the full, brunt force of a vehicle plowing into them at an accelerated speed. Indeed, pedestrian accidents occur at a greater rate than most people realize. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that upwards of 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for non-fatal crash-related injuries in 2015. And with more and more cars and pedestrians on the road each year, the risk of a pedestrian accident is a continuing and grim reality for most everyone who travels on US roads.
Thankfully, there are a number of precautions both pedestrians and drivers can take to help prevent pedestrian accidents from ever occurring. According to Utah law, drivers have a duty to stop for any and all pedestrians using crosswalks, sidewalks, in parking lots, or walking in any location expressly designated for pedestrian use. When yielding for pedestrians, vehicles must come to a full stop in order to allow nearby pedestrians to cross the road in a safe manner. Drivers should also remain vigilant for any pedestrians who might suddenly appear within their path. Likewise, pedestrians should respect vehicles in motion by using crosswalks whenever they are available. When a crosswalk is not available, pedestrians should look both ways before crossing a roadway and only cross when they are absolutely sure there is no oncoming traffic.
How Can A Personal Injury Attorney Help Me?
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident you will need an attorney to help you obtain just compensation for your injuries and losses. The legal knowledge and expertise of a personal injury lawyer is invaluable when attempting to navigate the complex world of pedestrian accident injury law. The Advocates experienced personal injury attorneys ready to help you fight the insurance companies to ensure your life is made whole again after your pedestrian accident. The Advocates can help you recover compensation for the medical bills you accumulate from your pedestrian accident, the wages you lost while recovering, and any rehabilitation you will need in the weeks and months to come. The Advocates will be your best ally in returning your life to what it was before your pedestrian accident.
More than anything, insurance companies want to keep the settlements they pay out as low as possible. In order to accomplish this they will often attempt to force you to settle for a total far lower than what your actual case is worth, if not deny your pedestrian accident claim altogether. Indeed, insurance adjusters are trained to use the inexperience of the general public about insurance law to keep accident settlements as low as possible. With an Advocate on your side, you will never have to worry about getting an unfair settlement. We have helped countless pedestrian accident victims over the years and know just what a just settlement should look like. Don’t wait to contact the Advocates today for a free evaluation of your case.
What Is My Pedestrian Accident Claim Worth?
During your free case evaluation, you and your Advocate will sit down and calculate your pedestrian accident claim by determining both the economic and non-economic damages you have suffered. Economic damages are calculated by including expenses like medical bills, lost wages, and any other cost you suffered from your pedestrian accident. Virtually any expense that can be tabulated is considered to be economic damages. Non-economic damages are far more problematic to tabulate since they include more abstract expenses such as pain and suffering, the age of the victim, visible scars, impact on lifestyle, potential disability, and such other considerations.
With an Advocate standing for your best interests, we’ll assemble each of these considerations in order to build an airtight pedestrian accident claim. Our attorneys have successfully settled thousands of pedestrian accident cases over the years and will include each and every expense in your demand letter that you incurred from your pedestrian accident. When you hire an Advocate as your personal injury attorney, you won’t have to worry about a missing medical bill or an overlookd, yet relevant expense. Trust us. The Advocates take pride in being the very definition of thorough.
Pedestrian Accident Laws and Injuries
When drivers encounter pedestrians walking in crosswalks, in parking lots, or sidewalks they have a responsibility to yield in order for them to cross safely. Whenever a vehicle yields it should stop completely so that any nearby pedestrians can cross without harm. Drivers should also be diligent by keeping their eyes on the road in case a pedestrian suddenly appears out of nowhere.
Sadly, pedestrian accidents involving automobiles frequently cause serious injures and even death in some instances. Some of the most common injuries are:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Hemotomas and/or hemmorrhages
- Torn or sprained ligaments
Statute of Limitations
Regardless of whether you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident or by some other means, you have a set window of time in which to take legal action. This window of time is known as the statute of limitations (SOL). For example, in Utah you have four years following your pedestrian accident to file a legal claim against the person or persons responsible for your injuries and losses. If this window closes before you file a pedestrian accident claim, your chance to take legal action closes as well. Typically, the statute of limitations differs depending on which state you reside, so be sure to check the length the SOL in your state after you’ve been in a pedestrian accident. The statue of limitations is the best reason to get started with your case as soon as humanly possible.
Utah Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Thousands of people are affected by pedestrian accidents every year. In recent years, pedestrian accident problems have worsened. For example, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2015, pedestrian fatalities rose to a total of 5,376 deaths. This group is one of the few road users who has experienced an increase in fatalities. The 5,376 deaths mean that an average of one pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in crashes.
Certain groups are more at risk of being a victim of a pedestrian accident. For example, the NHTSA reports that people ages 65 and older made up 19 percent of all pedestrian deaths and 13 percent of those injured in 2015. Also, in 2015, one in every five children under the age of 15 that were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians. Alcohol also plays a role in pedestrian deaths. Nearly half of crashes that caused pedestrian deaths involved alcohol (for either the driver or the pedestrian).
Specific statistics paint a similar picture for Utah. According to the state-sponsored Zero Fatalities website, 29 percent of all fatalities on Utah roads involve people who aren’t in a car. This statistic includes 100 pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. The Utah Violence and Injury Prevention Program reports that in 2016, 39 pedestrians were hit and killed by a car in Utah. There were also 785 people that were treated in emergency rooms or hospitals because of injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident. According to the Utah Highway Safety Office, the percentage of crashes that involve a pedestrian is one of the fatality measures that continues to increase since 2009.
Utah has some pedestrian specific laws that are more favorable to pedestrians than other states. For example, in Utah, pedestrians have the right-of-way at both marked or unmarked crosswalks. Similarly, a pedestrian can cross the street at any location unless specifically prohibited. However, if a pedestrian is crossing the road at a point without a crosswalk, the pedestrian must yield to oncoming vehicles. An operator of a motor vehicle must exercise due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian, regardless of the situation.
One unfortunate trend in Utah is that young children have an increased likelihood of being hit by a vehicle. Of pedestrian deaths involving children, nearly half occurred in a driveway. This type of accident is known as a “back over.” Back over accidents can lead to a host of traumatic injuries and even death. Such a tragedy can impact families, neighbors, and others for years and years. According to Kids and Cars.org, a back over typically occurs because many drivers are not aware of the large and dangerous blind spot behind their car. Children also do not comprehend the danger of a slow moving vehicle. In the past ten years, more than 60 Utah children have been killed, and more than 500 have been severely injured in a back over accident in Utah.
Contact The Advocates About Your Pedestrian Accident
Multiple studies have shown the dramatic effect hiring a personal injury attorney can have on your pedestrian accident claim. With a personal injury lawyer on your side your case is far more likely to settle for larger amount than if you tried to pursue your claim without legal representation. Insurance adjusters are trained to reject or diminish pedestrian accident claims due to how rarely they are filed. They will try to make low offers under the assumption that accident victims do not know what their claim is worth. Don’t let the insurance companies push you around with their underhanded tactics and strategies. Hiring an attorney to represent you is the best way to maximize the financial potential of your pedestrian accident claim.
Here, at the Advocates, our attorneys have seen thousands of pedestrian accident cases over the years. We know exactly how to calculate the approximate value of your case and know better than most what a fair settlement looks like. So, if you aren’t sure if the settlement offer you received is enough to cover all of your medical bills, the income you lost to injury, and any other costs you may have incurred, don’t wait to contact The Advocates today. Our attorneys can help you gain a clearer understanding of your case and what options are available to you. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident through no fault of your own, call The Advocates at 801-326-0809 or chat online with a live attorney right now. Don’t wait to get back on the road to recovery. You deserve an Advocate!