Our state is home to nearly 1000 miles of interstate highways, not including the countless state and local roads throughout some 250 towns and cities. While keeping us connected and providing a convenient method of transportation, Utah roadways were the site of nearly 65,000 crashes in 2019, which injured 26,800 and killed 258.
Many car accidents are caused by dangerous conditions and driver negligence. These accidents often leave victims with extensive injuries, mounting medical bills, and financial stress. If you have been injured in a Utah dangerous road conditions accident, the team at Fielding Law can help.
We are available to answer your questions and help you understand your legal rights after a car accident. Contact us today at 877-880-4090 to schedule your free consultation and case review.
There are many different types of dangerous conditions that can result in accidents. While some, such as inclement weather, cannot be avoided, driver negligence also often plays a part in these crashes.
During the winter months, Utah residents are no stranger to snow and ice. When driving in snowy conditions, there are two main dangers: slippery roads and limited visibility.
Snowfall can make it a challenge to properly see other vehicles, markings on the road, and important road signs. Especially during a blizzard or snowstorm, visibility becomes nearly nonexistent.
Slippery conditions caused by snow and ice also increase the risk of an accident. During severe winter weather, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) can restrict the use of certain roads, making it mandatory for vehicles to use certain traction devices.
When this happens, it becomes mandatory for:
If a driver does not take the necessary precautions, including driving at reduced speeds and using the appropriate tires, he or she puts other drivers on the road at increased risk.
One other weather hazard that limits visibility on the road is fog. Often seen in the morning hours – when there are many drivers commuting to work and school – fog can wreak havoc on Utah roads.
When driving in foggy conditions, it can be difficult to see a danger ahead of you. For example, depth perception can be especially limited, only seeing a braking car, obstruction, or another hazard when it is already too late.
When fog creates poor visibility, you should drive slowly, using your low-beams to increase visibility and help others see your vehicle. It is also important to keep a good distance between other vehicles to give yourself enough room.
A driver who drives too fast for the conditions may not be able to stop in time to avoid a car crash.
Rain is one of the most dangerous weather conditions on the road. Like snow and ice, rain can dramatically decrease the traction of your tires, making it difficult to steer and control your vehicle.
When mixed with oil and other substances on the road, rain also creates slippery conditions that make it harder to break in time to avoid a potential collision. This is especially true when a vehicle hydroplanes.
Drivers must adjust their driving patterns in rainy conditions. That includes keeping a farther distance from the vehicles ahead to provide enough room to brake. Applying too much pressure to the brakes can cause the vehicle to lose control and cause an accident.
The existence of obstacles can increase the risk of an accident, either when a vehicle collides with the hazard or swerves to avoid it, striking another car on the road. Unexpected obstacles on the road are especially dangerous when driving on a highway at a high rate of speed.
Some obstacles that can exist on Utah roads include:
At times, an item that is improperly secured on the back of a truck can become loose, creating an obstacle on the road, or striking another vehicle. Others may recklessly throw an item onto a roadway as a so-called prank, causing a serious accident.
After a Utah motor vehicle accident, it is important to know some state-specific facts regarding personal injury claims. As part of the no-fault insurance coverage, your injury-related expenses are to be covered by your own insurance company.
You can file a lawsuit against the other driver only if:
If you were partially at fault for the accident, the damages you recover may be reduced in relation to your percentage of fault. For example, if your damages were $100,000 and you were 10 percent at fault, you would only be able to recover $90,000. However, unlike some other states, there is no cap for motor vehicle accident injuries in Utah.
Depending on the road, the local, state, or federal government may be responsible for regular maintenance. Sometimes proper maintenance may not be performed. There may also be insufficient lighting or safety precautions, such as guardrails or road signs. Unsafe road design can also be the cause of an accident.
Generally, government entities have “sovereign immunity,” meaning that they cannot be sued. However, in cases of negligence leading to personal injury, there are exceptions.
It is important to know that while personal injury victims normally have 4 years to submit a claim – one of the longest times in the nation – this time period is dramatically reduced in the case of government negligence. For personal injury claims against the government, you only have 1 year to file a claim.
Proving that the government entity in question was liable for the accident can be a difficult process. As personal injury cases involving the government are complex cases, it is best to consult with one of Fielding Law’s experienced attorneys to see whether you have a case.
After a motor vehicle accident, you deserve a law firm that can provide you with the personal attention and specialized representation your case deserves. At Fielding Law, our job is to give our clients the best, and we take our job seriously.
When you work with us, you don’t have to worry about fighting with the insurance company for fair compensation. We can aggressively and effectively fight for you to receive the maximum compensation available for your injuries while keeping you updated regularly on the progress of your case.
Schedule your free consultation with our attorneys today to learn more about how we can help you and your family after your Utah car accident. Fill out our simple contact form to get started.