HIT BY A CAR IN A UTAH CROSS WALK. WHO IS AT-FAULT?

Does It Matter, Legally, If I Was Hit By A Car While Walking Inside A Crosswalk?

 

Pedestrian Crosswalk Injury LawyerYes. It Does Matter, But It Is Not Conclusive Or Decides The Issue.   Being hit inside or outside of a crosswalk as a pedestrian is just one factor in deciding who was at-fault for a vehicle-pedestrian collision.   It is one of many factors in Utah law in deciding who was at-fault for a jaywalking accident or crosswalk accident.

Obviously being hit while inside of an activated cross walk when you have the legal right to use the crosswalk is a more important factor than the shoes you were wearing, or whether you had a reflective runner’s belt on.  Each factor in determining who was at-fault has different weight and some are not as important as other factors.  Whether you were wearing high heel shoes may be a factor, but would be a small factor if you were clearly hit within the crosswalk during the middle of a sunny day.

Factors Influencing Who Is At-Fault For Car versus Pedestrian Accidents.  Crosswalk Accident Attorney

Here is a non-exclusive list of common factors in determining who his at-fault when pedestrians are hit by cars, causing personal injuries.

–Was the pedestrian in a crosswalk?

–Did the pedestrian have the right-of-way to use the crosswalk at that time?

–Other witnesses who saw the crosswalk lights activated for use?

–How busy is the street where the collision occurred?  Bangerter Highway, Orem State Street or a small residential backroad near BYU?

–Was the pedestrian dismounted on their bicycle or speeding across it on their scooter?

–Was the pedestrian or car driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol that impaired their ability to drive?

–Was the pedestrian a small child and darting across the street in an unexpected fashion?

–Did the pedestrian have headphones on?  Wearing dark clothing and at night?

What Happens If I Was Jaywalking And Hit By A Car In Utah?

The same factors and many more apply to who was at-fault if you were a pedestrian and hit by a car while jaywalking.  Jaywalking on I-15 is whole lot different than illegally crossing the road on a 25 m.p.h. residential backroad.   It is fact specific to where you were jaywalking and what were the surrounding facts about the car v. pedestrian collision.   Jaywalking alone is not a bar to recovery, because the general rule is that you are not supposed to let your car hit human beings.

Examples.  Canyon Road, Provo, Utah.  Truck Versus Pedestrian.

Canyon Road in Provo, Utah is smaller backroad artery with  many designate crosswalks that handle limited neighborhood foot traffic and larges amounts of junior and high aged kids during the school year at Timpview Highschool.

If a child was hit while walking in the crosswalk, or outside of the crosswalk would both be strong evidence that the driver was at-fault for the child’s injuries.  The rule is that you are not supposed to hit objects in front of you when driving a car.  You have breaks and are looking forward and therefore in a good position to not hit objects in front of you.

If the child was walking just one foot outside of the  designated cross walk, that wouldn’t even matter and the car would still be at-fault.

It is much more questionable as to who is at-fault when the child is jaywalking in the middle of the road and is hit by a car.  There are arguments on both sides as to who should have been more aware and been able to avoid the collision.

Utah Comparative Fault Laws–Crosswalk Pedestrian Accidents

Utah is a 51 percent state.  Meaning that you can’t be 51 percent or more at-fault for accident causing injury or you are barred from any recovery for your injuries from the other side.

If you don’t like what the insurance adjuster is telling you regarding who was at-fault for  the car-pedestrian accident, you can take it to the jury. Filing a lawsuit and having a jury decide the issue is your constitutional remedy.   The jury is the ultimate decision maker on who is at-fault in accident pedestrian cases.  The jury will be asked to apportion fault between the jaywalker and the car and decide who is at-fault and what their percentages are.  If the jury finds the illegal jaywalker 60 percent at-fault, the jaywalker recovers nothing and loses the case.

Here is a more in-depth article on Utah’s Comparative Fault Laws.   https://www.gunterinjurylaw.com/can-i-still-recover-compensation-for-my-utah-car-accident-injuries-if-i-was-partially-at-fault/

Proving Fault in a Auto v. Pedestrian Car Collision.

The same principles of finding who is at-fault for a Utah car accident on I-15 applies to pedestrian injuries by cars in Provo, Salt Lake City or St. George.

Each party has a duty to act reasonable under the circumstances and the jury will ultimately decide who is at-fault and determine percentages of fault.

 

Common Techniques To Prove Fault In A Utah Pedestrian Accident Include:

–Hiring an accident scene reconstructionist.  This is often a specially trained retired police officer who worked accident reconstruction during his law enforcement career.

–Immediately photographing the scene for tire marks, skid marks.  If you don’t get to the scene fast, these marks often wear away and are forever lost.

–Immediately reviewing the property damage to the car to see where the impacts occurred.  Most of the time it is standard operating practice for insurance companies to take extensive photographs of all property damage.

–Using property damage location to determine fault and position of the car and pedestrian at the moment of impact.

–Property debris from the collision scene. 

–Police report witness statements.    Sometimes your attorney needs to call these witnesses and get statements when statements where not provided to the police.

Types Of Damages Recoverable In A Car V. Pedestrian Crossing Accident.

Here are some common injuries that are recoverable in a pedestrian crosswalk accidents:

–Past medical bills.  ER and ambulance bills.  Chiropractic or physical therapy bills.

–Future medical treatment.  Future epidural injections, ablations, and physical therapy.

–Future lost earning capacity to make a living. 

Example.   You were a heart surgeon, but the crosswalk accident permanently damaged your hands where you can’t operate anymore causing a great economic loss over time.  This would be a claim for lost earning capacity.

–Past lost wages.  Time missed to attend medical treatment.  Not time missed for court appearance or depositions.

–General pain and suffering compensation. This is making up for the pain, lost time, impairment to the human body and overall damage caused by the crosswalk collision.

Controlling Utah Pedestrian Injury Laws.

The Utah Traffic Code is large and very influential on who is at-fault for pedestrian car accident injuries.   Some pertinent Utah code provisions for pedestrian injury cases are:

Utah Code Ann. 41-6a-305   Describes when a car must yield to a pedestrian.  Section 305 goes on to discuss other specific situations where cars must yield to pedestrians.

Utah Code Ann.  41-6a-1006(1). More discussion on when motor vehicles must avoid pedestrians.

Utah Traffic Code.  41-6a-1002. States when a pedestrian may cross an intersection.  It talks about a Utah driver’s duty to stop at crosswalks.

Utah Traffic Code.   41-6a-306.  This talks about when pedestrians cannot cross a road.

Utah Traffic Code.   41-6a-1004. Emergency vehicles and pedestrian duties when ambulances and other emergency vehicles are present.

Utah Traffic Code.   41-6a-1008. This law talks about crosswalks and cars and who must yield.

Utah Traffic Code.  41-6a-1003.  Discusses jaywalking and pedestrians illegal crossing Utah roadways.

Utah Traffic Code.  41-6a-1009. Pedestrian can’t generally cross Utah roadways outside of an intersection crossing.

As you can see, there are several statutes directly on-point discussing how cars and pedestrians interact on Utah roadways.  Violation of a Utah Traffic Code is persuasive proof in proving fault, but not 100 percent determative.

Common Causes Of Pedestrians Injuries Caused By Cars In Utah.

–Drivers not paying attention to non-cars while driving.

–Distracted driving and not identifying pedestrians using crosswalks.

–Pedestrians not visible, even when legally crossing the road.

What are the Statute of Limitations for a Utah Pedestrian Crosswalk Accident?

The general statute of limitations is 4 years for crosswalk pedestrian injuries in Utah.  A statute of limitation time period is where you must settle your claim or file a lawsuit or forever lose your legal right to recovery.  There are different statute of limitations for minors, incapacitated people and claims against government actors.

BEING HIT IN A CROSSWALK OR NOT IN THE CROSSWALK IS JUST ONE FACTOR IN DETERMING WHO IS AT-FAULT.   Utah pedestrian injury attorney Jake Gunter has been trying lawsuits for nearly 20 years, helping injured people receive compensation.    Free consultation at (801) 373-6345. TXT or Call.