Were you in an accident involving a sports utility vehicle (SUV)? You can see these popular vehicles on the roads and interstate, but in a collision, they can prove harmful – or even deadly. If your wreck with a negligent SUV driver caused injuries, a loss of life, or damages over $1,500, you would need a traffic report and likely a Utah SUV accident lawyer.
The damages you suffered in your SUV accident may not always be immediately apparent. It might be tempting to downplay the effect they have on you. Only later will you realize the extent of the injuries and their aftermath.
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The knowledgeable and experienced Utah auto accident attorneys at Parker + McConkie are here to address all your post-SUV accident needs. We will ensure that you get the medical care you need immediately following your accident and during your weeks or months of recovery.
When the adjuster for the insurance company representing the negligent SUV driver contacts you, we can intercede and begin negotiations to see that you receive the total value of your personal injury claim.
Most personal injury cases settle before ever getting to the trial phase. But the aggressive Utah SUV accident lawyers at Parker + McConkie are always ready to battle for you in the courtroom. Our goal is always to get you the financial compensation you deserve after your Utah SUV accident.
According to research done during a dual investigation by the Detroit Free Press and USA TODAY NETWORK, the enduring popularity of SUVs drives the uptick in pedestrian deaths across the nation. Their analysis revealed that since 2009, pedestrian fatalities have increased by 46%.
As the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimated, the fatality rate for pedestrians in SUV accidents jumped over 80% in a recent seven-year period.
Federal safety regulators have largely ignored the problem rather than intervening and informing the public of the dangers of SUVs to pedestrians.
Automakers vehemently oppose including pedestrian data in the safety ratings for vehicles. Yet every day, the most vulnerable on the road, the children, adult pedestrians, and joggers, suffer the highest fatality rates in SUV accidents.
The Utah State Highway Patrol (USHP) lists human error as the number one cause of highway fatalities. Speeding and distracted driving also contribute to the severe problem.
When you look at the size and weight disparity of an SUV with a much smaller and lighter passenger vehicle, it is easy to see why the driver and passengers of the smaller vehicle typically fare much worse in a collision than those riding the SUV.
Below are some factors that contribute to the damage SUVs cause when they are involved in wrecks with other vehicles.
The height of SUVs increases their center of gravity, making them more likely than smaller vehicles to roll over in a collision. Approximately 35% of traffic deaths in SUVs were related to rollover accidents in comparison with 16% of deaths from rollovers in other cars.
The science behind SUV accidents shows that rollovers are caused by turning instability. Stability relates to the track width between the wheels and its connection to the center of gravity in the SUV.
SUV’s narrower track width combined with higher centers of gravity decrease the stability of the SUV in a skid or even just a sudden turn to evade an obstacle. If an SUV goes into a skid, it will likely roll over on the road.
SUVs are designed to have higher ground clearance than smaller passenger vehicles. The term refers to the distance between the road surface and the lowest part of the SUV. Because the weight of the load drops the clearance level and the road surface is subject to change, this figure can fluctuate.
The high ground clearance of SUVs is another factor affecting the center of gravity and the rollover capacity of the SUV. Even taking a corner too sharply can cause an SUV to tip over onto the vehicles in the next lane or hapless pedestrians walking on the sidewalk.
The blind spots on a large SUV can stretch more than 12 feet ahead of its bumper. With the most prominent models, as many as nine kids could sit on the ground in front of one of these highway behemoths, and the driver wouldn’t be able to see any of them.
Because blind spots on SUVs are expanding, more accidents, injuries, and deaths occur. One collision data analysis revealed that 64 kids lost their lives in accidents in a single year after being struck by SUVs operating off-road because the drivers couldn’t see them.
Automakers are encouraged to continue producing faster, more powerful SUVs that far eclipse the smaller passenger vehicles. It makes the SUVs much more hazardous to those vehicles when they collide.
Drivers of SUVs often operate them under a false sense of security. There they sit, high above all but the 18-wheelers. These drivers tool down the highway enclosed in all that protective material and metal.
The laws of physics apply, so those wearing seatbelts driving and riding in SUVs are more likely to survive a collision than those inside much smaller passenger cars.
But as we addressed above, all bets are off if a rollover crash occurs. The false sense of security can lull drivers into believing they are invincible behind the wheel when they remain vulnerable.
The aftermath of a severe SUV and car accident is chaotic and confusing. It can be impossible to sort out facts in those first moments, so don’t attempt to make any statements.
It is also likely that you are injured and in shock. Take the following steps to ensure your and your passengers’ safety and preserve the accident scene.
After assessing your own and others’ injuries, dial 911, be brief in your call, and stick to the basics. There was an accident at that location. Inform the 911 dispatcher of any known injuries so first responders can prepare.
Remember that all 911 calls are recorded and will become part of any subsequent litigation. If you suspect that you caused or had a role in the collision, do not admit that to the dispatcher or police. The accident investigators will determine the cause of the crash.
If you can do so safely, document the scene with pictures. Take pictures of the final resting spots of all vehicles and any skid marks or snow tracks.
Gather information from witnesses and get auto insurance information from the other drivers if they can provide it.
Why should you call a personal injury attorney? Can’t you handle your personal injury claim?
In a word, no. You technically could, but there are better choices than that. For one thing, insurance companies make their bread and butter by denying legitimate claimants the relief they deserve.
They get away with this by low-balling claims and offering the bare minimum they think they might accept to go away. They’ll provide a quick check, hoping they will take the bait.
But in the days, weeks, and even months after an accident with a negligent driver of an SUV, you might not realize the full extent of your injuries.
The pain in your neck and back that you attribute to soft tissue injuries could be much more severe. You could even require expensive surgery and have a long rehabilitation ahead with physical and occupational therapists.
Car accident victims are at a significant disadvantage if they try to deal with insurance claims alone. It is vital to move quickly to file a car accident claim against the negligent driver of the SUV after your accident.
Personal injury cases proscribe after four years in Utah. It is a significantly more extended period to seek civil justice than many other states have for those injured in accidents.
Don’t delay. Time flies, and you will start to accrue bills from your accident. Below are some of the expenses you can expect after your accident with the SUV.
You shouldn’t be the one to bear the costs of your collision with another liable driver.
Because you must have justice, you must prepare to fight for your right to total and fair compensation for your injuries, losses, medical bills, and damages from the auto accident with the negligent SUV driver.
The highly skilled legal team at Parker + McConkie can help you sort everything out after your wreck. They will handle all the legal aspects of your case. It allows you to entirely focus on healing and returning to your former, pre-accident life.
Below are some of the services we offer our clients.
We will get out in the field and examine the crash scene from all angles. We can track down witnesses and get their sworn statements. We will document all of your injuries and gather all your medical records.
Most people who need legal training know the actual values of their personal injury claims, so they agree to settle for far less than what their cases are worth.
With a reputable and experienced legal advocate at the helm of your case, that will never happen at Parker + McConkie.
As trustworthy and dedicated car accident lawyers at Parker + McConkie, we bring our best every time we represent our personal injury clients. Whether at the negotiation table hammering out a settlement or in the courtroom fighting for justice, you can be sure that you will never have to go it alone.
Were you in an auto accident with a negligent driver of an SUV? If so, our auto accident attorney at Parker + McConkie can help! Recover a fair and full settlement or court judgment that compensates you for the damages, medical expenses, and injuries you suffered in your auto accident with another liable driver.
Schedule a consultation with our Utah car accident attorneys today by completing our online contact form or contacting us at (801) 509-9283. Parker + McConkie is a renowned and multi-awarded personal injury law firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Call 801-845-0440 to get in touch with a member of our firm after your accident. We can review your case for free!