Like any major American city, Salt Lake City features a dense mix of pedestrians and motorists. Most of the time, traffic lights and street signs prevent accidents from occurring — but when motorists fail to comply with traffic laws, or simply don’t pay adequate attention to the road, a pedestrian can be seriously injured or killed.
If you or one of your loved ones was hit by a car while walking or jogging in Salt Lake City, you may be entitled to compensation from the driver who caused your injuries. Attorney Jay Sheen has been representing injured pedestrians for more than 33 years, and has built up extensive experience handling hit and run accidents, crosswalk accidents, intersection accidents, and more. Through his combination of skill, tenacity, and attention to detail, Jay has successfully resolved challenging cases for numerous clients. He will do everything in his power to obtain the compensation you deserve.
To set up a free and confidential legal consultation with Jay, call (801) 618-3580 right away. Jay takes calls around the clock, including nights and weekends.
Who Has Right-of-Way? Salt Lake City Crosswalk Ordinances
In order to obtain compensation, a pedestrian injury victim must be able to prove that the other party — generally a driver or motorcyclist — was at fault for the accident which occurred. Determination of fault, which must be proven by evidence such as eyewitness testimony and photographs of the victim’s injuries, depends heavily upon applicable pedestrian and crosswalk laws. For instance, state laws require motorists to yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks.
As a major urban center, Salt Lake City has adopted numerous pedestrian safety ordinances setting forth explicit requirements for motorists. Some examples include:
- 76.050 — Regardless of the circumstances, drivers are always expected to take reasonable precautions to avoid colliding with pedestrians. For instance, drivers should comply with speed limits so that there is sufficient time to react to an emergency.
- 48.030 — If the driver is coming toward a stop sign, he or she must stop the vehicle before proceeding through a crosswalk.
- 48.050, 12.56.440 — Drivers are prohibited from obstructing pedestrian traffic with their vehicles (e.g. parking in a crosswalk so that pedestrians are forced to walk around the vehicle into potential danger).
- 48.040 — Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians on sidewalks by slowing their vehicle to a complete stop before proceeding.
- 48.100 — School buses require special care and attention as small, difficult-to-see children may be entering or exiting out of the passenger vehicle’s view. When approaching from the front or rear a school bus whose red lights are flashing, the driver must (1) stop their vehicle at an appropriate distance before reaching the bus, and (2) remain stopped until the bus’ red lights have stopped flashing.
- 04.110, 12.04.235, 12.04.595 — All intersections feature legal crosswalks, even if no crosswalk is physically painted on the road. The crosswalk extends from the end of the sidewalk.
For their part, pedestrians are generally expected to use crosswalks, overhead walkways, or tunnels. However, if none of these options are available within a distance of 700 feet — about the length of two football fields — the pedestrian may pass directly across the road, using the shortest route possible. The pedestrian should yield to oncoming traffic and wait until it is safe to cross.
Common Pedestrian Injuries From Being Hit by a Car
Unfortunately, pedestrians often sustain serious or life-threatening injuries in accidents with passenger vehicles. Unlike vehicle occupants, who are protected by seatbelts and airbags, pedestrians are completely exposed to the elements with absolutely no physical protection in the event of a crash or collision. As a result, accidents involving pedestrians have high rates of wrongful death and injury.
Some common examples of injuries suffered by struck pedestrians include:
- Lower Body Injuries — Depending on the person’s height, a car generally strikes a pedestrian’s waist or legs first, which can result in a fractured hip, broken femur, broken kneecap, or other serious injuries to the legs, pelvis, or feet. Studies have shown that pelvic injuries are especially common in female accident victims.
- Chest and Abdominal Injuries — As impact to the legs and waist causes the victim to lose balance and rotate, his or her upper body violently strikes the vehicle’s hood or windshield. This impact can result in severe upper body injuries, such as broken ribs or damage to internal organs like the liver, spleen, or intestines.
- Facial Injuries — Facial and dental injuries, such as chipped teeth, knocked-out teeth, broken jaws, and broken noses, can all result from striking the face against an oncoming vehicle’s hood or windshield. Facial injuries can also result when the victim falls onto the ground after the initial impact.
- Spinal Cord and Brain Injuries — Permanently disabling, traumatic injuries to the brain or spinal cord are common in high-speed, high-impact collisions. These injuries can result in paralysis, chronic pain, cognitive problems, incontinence, impaired vision, impaired hearing, and other persistent complications which make employment and many basic functions all but impossible.
Call Our Salt Lake City Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or one of your loved ones was hit by a car while walking your dog or going for a stroll, you deserve an aggressive investigation into the causes of your accident. Call pedestrian accident lawyer Jay Sheen at (801) 618-3580 today to set up a free and confidential legal consultation. You could have a right to compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and other expenses.