Our Pedestrian Accident Practice
Tragically, pedestrian accidents continue to be on the rise in much of the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there were 5,376 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in the United States. This amounts to about one crash-related pedestrian death every 1.6 hours. Adults age 65 and older accounted for approximately 19% of all pedestrian deaths, and almost half of the crashes that resulted in deaths involved alcohol by the driver or the pedestrian.
What is the Cost for Pedestrian Injuries in the United States?
A study on pedestrian accident costs in the United States found that pedestrian accidents in 2000 resulting in injuries and fatalities resulted in around $25,791,000,000 in life time costs-costs which included medical costs, lost wages, and quality of life losses. The economic cost for pedestrian injuries and deaths today is likely higher than these amounts.
In Utah, approximately 30 pedestrians are killed in motor vehicle accidents every year, and nearly 800 additional pedestrians require emergency care or hospitalization as the result of motor vehicle accidents.
As with our personal injury practice generally, our pedestrian accident practice is focused on helping those who have been severely injured recover full compensation from all those responsible. Our trial practice is devoted to a singular mission – prepare for trial at the outset, and if defendants are not willing to pay what they owe, proceed to trial and let a jury determine what verdict is proper.
Making Your Case for Full Compensation
We are highly experienced in representing clients who have been severely injured, and in making the cases for future compensation likely to be incurred. Such damages and compensation can include those for:
Lost wages based upon either the future inability to work at all, or based upon a diminished ability to earn a gainful employment
Medical care, for those who are likely to need ongoing health care for their injuries for an extended period or even the rest of their life
Future pain and suffering, including pain and suffering that may be sustained from future surgeries or otherwise as a result of the injuries
Other costs, which can include medical costs and associated injury costs.
Under Utah law (and the laws of other states), injury victims will only have one opportunity at trial or in a settlement to seek full compensation for all of their damages. With respect to future damages, injury victims are entitled to compensation for future damages that are reasonably likely to be suffered or incurred.
As a result, all future damages must be carefully calculated so that a full recovery can be made. There is not any possibility to go after defendants at a later time if the damages obtained in trial prove not to be sufficient.
If I Wasn't in a Crosswalk, Does this Mean I Can't Recover?
The short answer is no. Drivers have a duty to drive safely at all times, which includes making sure that other vehicles are safe, as well as pedestrians who may be crossing the street.
What is Comparative Negligence in Utah?
In personal injury matters, Utah employs what is called the “modified comparative negligence” doctrine. This means that the damages that may be awarded to an injury victim may be offset by the injury victim’s actions (or inaction) that contributes to the accident. As a result, if a jury determines that there were $100,000 in damages and that the injury victim was 20% liable for the accident, the damage award would be reduced by 20% (so that the injury victim would receive $80,000).
The exception to this rule is that if a jury determines that the injury victim was 50% or more at fault, the injury victim may not bring a claim against any defendants. In the example above, if a jury determines that the injury victim was 60% at fault, the injury victim will not be entitled to any damages from the defendant.
Allocations of Fault
Because many pedestrian injury cases do not occur in crosswalks, an allocation of fault to the injury victim will be highly fact specific, and will be highly dependent upon the circumstances of the accident. An injury victim attempting to cross a busy street downtown outside of a crosswalk may be allocated more fault than an injury victim crossing the street in the middle of a residential area (where the allocation of fault may be solely with the driver).
 It is up to a jury to determine the percentage of fault allocated to the injury victim.
GET IN TOUCH
Call us to schedule a free consultation.
At this consultation, we can learn about your case and advise you as to your options for seeking compensation and how our firm can help you if we are retained. We can also answer any questions that you may have about the legal process.
We accept wrongful death and injury cases on what is known as a “contingency fee” basis, meaning that you will not have to pay us for our services while your case is pending, and that we are only entitled to a fee if we are successful in recovering compensation for you.