When you were first learning how to drive, you probably approached busy intersections with a feeling of dread. Even for experienced drivers, intersections can be confusing and dangerous, especially if they aren’t clearly marked by prominent signs and road paint. Add aggressive, impatient, or downright careless drivers into the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster.
If you or one of your loved ones was injured in a car crash at an intersection in the Salt Lake City area, you should speak with an automotive accident attorney, like Jay Sheen of Overson & Sheen. With over 33 years of experience handling intersection crash claims and lawsuits throughout Utah, Jay can determine whether you have a case – and if so, how to approach building a strategic, compelling argument on your behalf. When a Utah resident is injured through no fault of their own, they may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other hardships resulting from the accident.
Call Jay right away at (801) 618-3580 to arrange for a free and private legal consultation. Jay can answer your questions, provide you with a clear and honest assessment of your case, and help you understand some of the options that might be available to you and your loved ones.
What Are the Most Dangerous Intersections in UT? What Injuries Result from Crashes and Accidents?
Like any large urban center, Salt Lake City contains more than its fair share of busy, accident-prone intersections. For example, the intersection of State Street and 1500 South near Salt Lake Community College and Whittier Elementary School is widely regarded as one of the most hazardous intersections in the area.
Even in the absence of design flaws, like potholes or traffic signs which are difficult to see, intersections present unique dangers. There can be numerous drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians simultaneously traveling in different directions at different speeds, with some intersections featuring as many as six converging lanes.
Of course, Salt Lake City isn’t the only Utah location to feature hazardous, collision-prone intersections. Risky intersections with high crash, injury, and/or fatality rates can be found throughout the state, with some notable examples including:
- 31st Street and Wall Avenue in Ogden
- 700 East and 3300 South in South Salt Lake
- 3500 South and 4200 West in West Valley City
- 5400 South and Redwood Road in West Jordan
- Bangerter Highway and 5400 South in Taylorsville
- Main Street and 800 East in Hyrum
- Riverdale Road and Pacific Avenue in Riverdale
- State Street and Wood Avenue in Salt Lake City
- University Avenue and 900 North in Provo
- University Parkway and State Street in Orem
Even at low speeds, intersection crashes can cause serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. Seatbelts and airbags reduce the risk of injury, but cannot guarantee a vehicle occupants’ safety. Some common examples of common injuries resulting from multi-vehicle crashes include:
- Back Injuries
- Broken Bones/Bone Fractures
- Cuts and Lacerations
- Head Injuries
- Internal Bleeding
- Organ Damage
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
- Strains and Sprains
- Torn Ligaments
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Whiplash Neck Injuries
Which Driver is Liable for a Collision at an Intersection?
Utah utilizes a “no-fault” auto insurance system, meaning accident victims are compensated through their own insurers no matter which driver was at fault for the crash or collision. However, the victim may file a lawsuit against the driver at fault if his or her injuries meet either of the following criteria:
- The injuries resulted in medical bills exceeding $3,000. Considering the tremendous costs associated with medical care, this scenario is very common. For example, according to Becker’s Hospital Review, the average cost to spend a single day in a Utah hospital ranges anywhere from $1,990 to $2,625. Once you begin to add costs like ambulance rides, casts, and stitches, the bill increases quickly – and for major injuries, the associated expenses can be absolutely devastating. For example, the average cost of a total knee replacement in Utah is about $ 36,760.
- The injuries meet certain severity thresholds. This includes permanent disfigurement, permanent disability, and permanent impairment of functions or systems. Dismemberment (loss of limb) also qualifies.
In order to obtain compensation, the person filing the lawsuit, known as the plaintiff, must be able to prove the other driver or drivers were primarily at fault for the accident. However, because intersection crashes almost always involve at least two or three vehicles – and sometimes as many as four or five – liability is not always obvious, even to the driver or passenger who was injured.
Utah’s traffic laws help to shed some light on matters of liability for intersection accidents. For instance, Utah Code § 41-6a-902, which deals with intersection collisions, provides that “after having stopped at a stop sign, the operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard.”
Crucially for accident victims, Utah Code § 41-6a-902(4) provides the following:
“A collision is prima facie evidence of an operator’s failure to yield the right-of-way after passing a yield sign without stopping if the operator is involved in a collision with [either] (1) a vehicle in the intersection or junction of roadways, [or] (2) a pedestrian at an adjacent crosswalk.”
However, the statue also provides that “a collision… is not considered negligence per se in determining liability for the accident.” In order to prove that the other driver or drivers were negligent, meaning their failures to take normal driving precautions resulted in your injury, your attorney will compile evidence such as photographs of the accident site, lab analysis of wreckage, medical records, expert doctor opinions, eyewitness testimony where available, and other important facts.
Utah Personal Injury Lawyers Handling Intersection Accident Cases
If another driver hit your car while you were driving through an intersection in Salt Lake City or the surrounding area, you should speak to attorney Jay Sheen about getting compensated for your accident. To set up a free, completely confidential consultation with Jay, call Overson & Sheen at (801) 618-3580, including evenings and weekends.