With all the distractions facing drivers these days, the chances of a person being hit by a car in Utah are definitely on the rise. If you’re involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s important to know what to do next according to Utah laws. Being aware of how injuries and damages are compensated as well as the basic rules of fault is extremely important.
However, avoiding this kind of highly dangerous accident in the first place should be your number one priority. Obviously, an accident involving two vehicles is scary but it’s no surprise that injuries and even fatalities can result at a higher rate when a vehicle collides with an actual person.
If you live in Utah and have been involved in a pedestrian car accident, we can help. Click the button below to get your free legal consultation.
What should you do right after a pedestrian accident?
No matter what kind of accident you’re involved in, it’s natural to be flustered and upset. In this state of mind, it can be difficult to remain calm and handle the situation in the safest manner. However, there are some basic steps to follow that can be useful and even save lives.
1. Get Everyone to Safety
Before you do anything else, make certain anyone injured is taken to a place of safety. Don’t attempt to administer medical treatment beyond the basic requirements of CPR. Call for medical help and stay with the pedestrian until help arrives. Do not move them if they are seriously injured or unconscious.
2. Call the Police
If you’ve hit a pedestrian, call the police. This step is required by law in most states. It’s also imperative that you never leave the scene of the accident until after they have arrived. Doing so could be considered a hit-and-run and could lead to serious legal consequences involving criminal charges.
3. Document the Accident
Documenting the details of the accident while they are fresh in your mind is very important. This information will be extremely useful when it comes to filing an insurance claim. Here are a few of the most vital pieces of information to take note of:
- Name and badge number of the police officers at the scene
- Time, date, location, road, and weather conditions at the time of the accident
- Your version of how the accident happened
- Contact information of the pedestrian as well as any witnesses to the accident
- Take several photos of the accident scene such as vehicle damages, injuries, and road marks left by vehicles
4. Don’t Discuss Fault
No doubt you may be in a state of shock after hitting a pedestrian. However, remaining calm and in control is very important. You may not have a full understanding of all the facts and may end up assuming liability for an accident that wasn’t your fault. Be careful what you say and don’t apologize or admit it was your fault. Avoid talking extensively with the pedestrian or their friends and family members. There is the possibility that the police and insurance company will find the pedestrian at fault for reasons such as jaywalking.
Be honest when relaying your version of the story. If you were on your phone or breaking traffic laws, it will do you no good to lie about it or cover them up in the long run.
5. Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible following an accident. They can help you understand your coverage as well as communicate with the pedestrian’s attorney on your behalf.
6. Seek Legal Assistance
Before taking legal action or negotiating a settlement on your own, talk to a trusted attorney about your case. Having representation by your side can protect your rights in a situation that can prove extremely complicated.
Who is at fault?
It isn’t always easy to figure out who is at fault when a driver hits a pedestrian. Fault is quite often determined by the law of negligence. Simply stated, this means a person who fails to show responsible care given the circumstances, may be considered “negligent.”
In the state of Utah, negligence and traffic laws require that drivers pay attention to their surroundings and heed hazards on the roadway. Even in the case of hitting the pedestrian not using a designated crosswalk, the driver wasn’t paying attention to their surroundings or heeding the hazards on the roadway. In this instance, the hazard was the pedestrian. Motorists have a legal responsibility to notice and avoid hazards on the road to provide safety.
If a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle in Utah using a legal crosswalk, the crash will almost always be the fault of the driver. Unless the pedestrian simply ran out recklessly onto the roadway, the driver will claim responsibility.
Jaywalking is illegal in the state of Utah. The pedestrian is required to use common sense and marked crosswalks. If they are not paying attention and cross the street without using a crosswalk, the pedestrian is likely to lose their case against the driver.
What happens if you hit a homeless person in Utah?
What happens when a homeless person is involved in a pedestrian accident? The first step is to make sure they receive the medical care they need. Then, find out their identity and file a police report if you believe them to be at fault.
In some instances, a homeless person may try to sue the driver for damages if they feel the driver is at fault. As the driver, thoroughly document the accident as well as get witness statements. If you don’t report the accident you were responsible for, there may be serious legal repercussions in the future. Contact an automobile accident attorney in Utah for legal advice and insight.
What if I hit a pedestrian with my car but he receives no injuries?
In most cases when a pedestrian is hit by a moving vehicle, there are serious injuries or even death. But there are cases where a pedestrian was struck by a motor vehicle and no injuries or damage was inflicted. In these instances, no criminal or civil penalties are extended for either party. However, some injuries may not manifest themselves right away. Adrenaline kicks in and the pedestrian may not fully understand or comprehend damages such as internal bleeding or soft tissue bruising. This is why police reports at the scene of the accident are so crucial. Both parties leave the scene with contact information should they wish to proceed with filing a claim against the other party.
If the vehicle in a pedestrian accident is damaged but the pedestrian sustains no obvious injuries, a report showing evidence of the pedestrian appearing suddenly in front of the driver may help the driver file a claim with their insurance.
How to handle insurance and police reports
The police at the scene will take statements from the pedestrian, driver, and any witnesses involved to determine who was at fault. The police report could indicate which party the officer believes to be at fault on the spot or request a detailed investigation of the accident. Auto insurance companies may dispute the initial findings and send an insurance adjuster to the scene of the accident. He may also examine injuries and property damage shortly after the accident. This would be a good time to reach out to an attorney who can fight for your rights while walking this uncharted path.
What To Do After A Pedestrian Car Accident in Utah Conclusion
Both car drivers and pedestrians have a responsibility to look out for each other on the road. If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s in your best interest to contact a local attorney to advise you of your legal rights and help you gather evidence to prove you were not at fault. Harris, Preston, and Chambers have the experience and knowledge to assist you while navigating the complicated legal system and will fight tirelessly for your rights.