Aggressive, Determined Car Accident Lawyers in Salt Lake City and Ogden

Car accidents can happen anywhere, any time in Salt Lake City. You and your family could be traveling along Interstate 15 or Interstate 80 when you’re suddenly rear-ended by a distracted or drunk driver. A fatigued driver could fall asleep behind the wheel, veer across lanes of traffic, and cause a head-on crash in Layton or Ogden.

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At the Law Offices of Peter W. Summerill, our attorneys know that these accidents can happen in a matter of seconds, leave drivers with little time to react, and result in long-term injuries that turn your life upside down. And even worse – your accident might not have even been your fault.

If you’ve been in a car accident due to somebody else’s negligent or careless behavior, contact the Law Offices of Peter W. Summerill immediately to discuss your legal options with an experienced attorney who knows how to protect your rights. You could be entitled to compensation. Our attorneys are familiar with the top causes of car accidents in Utah and the most common types of car accidents that drivers face every day. We’re familiar with the common types of car accident injuries that drivers, passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists face. We know how to aggressively pursue compensation from insurance companies who might try to bully you into accepting a low ball “settlement” or even blame you for the accident.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

The dangers of drunk driving are well-documented in Utah. At the Law Offices of Peter W. Summerill, we know that despite these dangers, drunk driving remains one of the top causes of car accidents in Salt Lake City, Ogden, and across the Wasatch Front. It only takes a moment’s notice for a moving vehicle to turn into a deadly weapon as a result of an impaired driver. From rear-end crashes to head-on collisions, drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs make unpredictable – and unsafe – decisions behind the wheel. If you suspect your accident was caused by an intoxicated driver, don’t wait. Contact us today. You could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, drunk driving accidents are on the rise in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah. Statistics show that an average of more than 13,000 DUI arrests were made in Utah each year between 2010 and 2012 – and that’s only the people that were caught by law enforcement officials. In addition to causing close to 2,000 car accidents per year on Utah roadways, statistics show that DUI fatalities represented close to one-fifth of the state’s traffic-related fatalities in 2011, with 39 alcohol-related deaths reported in car accidents.

Although much effort has been made to raise awareness over the dangers of distracted driving, many drivers across Utah continue to engage in dangerous behaviors that take their hands off the wheel and eyes off the road. Cell phone use is the most obvious culprit, with texting and driving remaining one of the top causes of car accidents in Utah. The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter W. Summerill know that it can only take a split-second of driver inattention to cause a serious accident and that ‘distracted’ driving can take many shapes and forms, ranging from cell phone use, to adjusting a radio or GPS system, to passenger distraction.

At the Law Offices of Peter W. Summerill, our lawyers work hard to make sure that distracted drivers are held accountable for their actions. We firmly believe that no one should suffer the consequences of somebody else ignoring basic safety rules and putting the driving public in jeopardy. If the driver who caused your crash was paying more attention to their phone or portable electronic device instead of the road ahead, contact us today to discuss your legal options. You could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Distracted Driving, Utah Statistics, and Lawsuits

In Utah, the impact of distracted driving car crash related injuries, medical expenses, wrongful death and work losses can be difficult to gauge because it often goes unreported. However, some of the statistics and findings include:

  • In 2010, there were 4,355 crashes in Utah where the driver was known to be distracted.
  • The main effect of cell phone use is distraction of the mind (not the eyes or ears).
  • Texting increases a drivers’ crash risk six times.
  • Passengers make up 14% of all distracted driving crashes with cell phones at 15%.
  • Nearly half of distracted driving crashes were rear-end auto accidents.
  • Drivers between ages 15-25 make up more than half of those involved in collisions due to distracted driving.

Most – if not all – drivers in Utah are taught the importance of adhering to posted speed limits on roads and highways across the state. Even so, high-speed accidents remain one of the top causes of car accidents in Utah. From I-15 to the Bangerter Highway in Salt Lake City, all the way to the rural roads surrounding communities such as Ogden and Brigham City, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter W. Summerill know that high-speed accidents can occur anywhere, anytime, and often result in serious injuries. Contact us today to discuss your options with an attorney who knows how to protect your rights.

Vehicles traveling at high speeds and crashing into another vehicle or fixed object can be a deadly combination for Utah drivers and passengers. Speeding contributes to some of the state’s most catastrophic rear-end accidents, head-on collisions, and rollover accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speed alone is said to be a contributing factor for up to one-third of all fatal crashes per year. Drivers willing to ignore posted speed limits not only have more difficulty controlling their vehicle, but are also liable to engage in other types of dangerous behaviors such as driving while under the influence of alcohol, ignoring traffic signals, or swerving in and out of traffic lanes.

Most people may be quick to associate fatigued driving accidents with 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles. However, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter W. Summerill understand that tired drivers are one of the top causes of car accidents in Salt Lake City, Ogden and across Utah. Drowsy driving is impaired driving. Driving while excessively fatigued carries many of the same risks that drunk drivers face while behind the wheel, including impaired judgment, delayed reaction times, and even the risk of losing consciousness altogether. Contact our firm immediately if you’ve been injured by a drowsy driver.

While it’s possible that drivers who fall asleep at the wheel might get more sympathy than drunk drivers or texting drivers, the Law Offices of Peter W. Summerill understands that they’re still negligent in collisions. Drowsy drivers make a choice every time they step behind the wheel of their vehicle. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that drivers age 30 and under account for two-thirds of drowsy driver accidents. Even worse, surveys from insurance companies indicate that up to 40% of all drivers say that they have driven while drowsy within the past twelve months.

Reckless driving is a blanket term that covers a wide variety of traffic violations in Salt Lake City, Ogden and across Utah. From rear-end accidents caused by distracted drivers following others too closely to drivers that cause serious high-speed accidents while weaving in and out of traffic lanes, reckless driving is one of the top causes of car accidents in Utah and can leave victims with serious, oftentimes life threatening injuries. Contact an experienced attorney at the Law Offices of Peter W. Summerill immediately if you’ve been in a car accident you suspect was caused by the reckless behavior of another driver. You could be entitled to compensation for the injuries you or a loved one sustained in the accident.

What is considered reckless driving in Utah?

Accidents caused by careless or negligent drivers take many forms in Utah. The following are some of the most common causes of reckless driving car crashes across the state:

  • Ignoring posted speed limits on highways and residential streets.
  • Ignoring traffic signals, including stop lights, stop signs, and crosswalks.
  • Swerving in and out of traffic lanes.
  • Making illegal turns.
  • Tailgating or following another vehicle too closely.
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication.
  • Not using turn signals when changing lanes or turning.
  • Braking suddenly.

Types of Car Accidents

Fatal

A large number of people die as a result of auto accidents every year. The accident itself may play a direct role in causing the death of drivers, motorcyclists, passengers, pedestrians or bystanders. Because of the often high speeds involved, there may be a number of other factors which contribute to the death.

Bicycle

Salt Lake City is widely known as a city that’s friendly to bicyclists. With popular routes along City Creek Canyon and Bonneville Boulevard available to bicyclists, “Green Shared Lanes” for cyclists throughout the city, and enough bicycle lanes within the city to publish a bicycle map, the city’s on-road bikeway network has grown over recent years to encompass roughly 200 lane miles.

Rear End

In Salt Lake City, Ogden, and across the Wasatch Front, rear-end crashes typically occur as a result of start-and-stop traffic at intersections, traffic lights, pedestrian crossings and parking lots. While the injuries sustained in a lower speed accident may not be apparent at first, neck and back injuries are common.

Pedestrian

Pedestrians put themselves in harm’s way every day in Salt Lake City, Ogden and across Utah. While many pedestrians never experience what it’s like to be struck by a moving vehicle, those hit by speeding drivers, drunk drivers or distracted drivers while on a crosswalk or sidewalk often face catastrophic – or even fatal – injuries due to such serious car accidents.

Rollover

Rollover accidents have become a common type of car accident on the busy highways that surround the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, including well-traveled routes such as I-15, the I-215 Belt Route, and Bangerter Highway. The accident-related injuries sustained by people in a rollover accident can be especially severe or even fatal, with survivors facing oftentimes debilitating spinal cord or brain injuries.

Head On

Head-on car wrecks can be especially catastrophic due to the force created when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide. The lives’ of car accident victims can be changed in an instant after a head-on crash, with accident victims facing serious and sometimes fatal injuries.

Hit and Run

Hit and run accidents occur when one party leaves the scene of the accident before producing driver documentation. Not only can hit and run car accidents be confusing and frustrating to injured drivers. In the state of Utah, fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime.

T-Bone

A T-bone accident occurs when one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle. Also known as broadside collisions, vehicles involved in these types of car accidents usually resemble a T-shape. These accidents are common across Utah and – due to the force of impact and the fact that accident victims have little time to brace or prepare themselves for the accident – often result in serious head, neck, and spinal cord injuries.

What to do After a Car Accident?

At the Law Offices of Peter W. Summerill, we understand the frustration and confusion that can result after a car accident. However, the steps you take in the hours, days, and weeks after an accident can be the difference between receiving the compensation you deserve for the damages you’ve incurred in an accident and a complex legal process that could take months – or even years – to resolve.

If you’ve been in an accident in Salt Lake City, Ogden or anywhere across Utah, please remember to call the Law Offices of Peter W. Summerill before making a statement to an insurance company.

Our firm recommends taking the following steps after a car accident:

  • Pull to the side of the road, if possible.
  • Determine if anyone is injured and seek medical attention immediately.
  • Call 911. Even if nobody is hurt, law enforcement officials can help determine fault in an accident and properly document the circumstances surrounding the crash.
  • Obtain information from drivers involved in the crash (full names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance and license numbers).
  • If a large truck or other commercial vehicle is involved, write down the registration numbers on the trailer and cab.
  • Obtain contact information for any witnesses to the crash.
  • Use your camera (or phone) to take photos of the accident location, including weather, road conditions, and damage to your vehicle.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, discuss the accident with other drivers or witnesses and do not accept responsibility for an accident.

After your accident:

  • See a doctor immediately. Some car accident injuries may take days, weeks or months to become apparent.
  • Contact your insurance company to report the crash. Give them contact information for other drivers involved in the crash. Do not give a statement.
  • Obtain a copy of the accident report.
  • If you’re injured, keep appointments with your doctor and keep him or her informed about your pain and other effects of your injury.
  • Contact a lawyer in Utah.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

How to Deal With Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are more than happy to take your money when you pay premiums. But if you’re in a car accident, you might find that these same insurance companies will stop at nothing to keep this money in their own pockets – and out of yours.

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Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers

It’s hard knowing what to do when you’ve been in an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver. You may have done nothing to cause your car accident. You’ve sustained an injury. However, the person who caused your accident doesn’t have enough money to cover your medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and other expenses directly related to your accident.

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Reading Your Utah Accident Report

Knowing what to do after a car accident in Salt Lake City or elsewhere Utah can be hard, but obtaining and understanding your accident report shouldn’t have to be. Often, insurance companies require copies of your accident report to process a car accident claim. Many clients tell us they want to know exactly what is contained in the report and what it means for their claim.

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petersummerill

Attorney Peter W. Summerill is an attorney who serves the legal needs of personal injury and accident victims in Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo and across Utah.

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