What laws apply to Utah Auto Accidents?

Car accidents are a the number one cause of unnecessary deaths in the United States.  They are also the number one source of personal injury claims in the United States.

In 2010, 32,885 people were killed in auto accidents.  That out of 1,546,000 accidents involving injuries. dents took the lives of 18,440 people, and injury accidents harmed another 1,573,000.

The law gets involved when a motor vehicle is involved in an event or series of events that causes harm, such as property damage, back injuries, broken bones, traumatic brain injury and/or death.

Most motor vehicle accidents involve an element of negligence, corresponding with a traffic law violation.   In the State of Utah, when a person operates a motor vehicle in a negligent manner and injuries another person, the negligent person is legally required to help the injured person financially.

This type of law is often times referred to as tort law or personal injury law.  The law starts with the assumption that if person A is careless and hurts person B, person A owes a moral responsibility to person B to help them.  We all learned this as kids.  We all learned that if you break your neighbors window, the right thing to do is to knock on your neighbor’s door and offer to pay for the window.

Unfortunately, many people have forgotten this lesson they learned at home as a child.  More often than not, when someone drives a car carelessly and hurts another person, the careless driver makes no effort to help.

The law gives the injured person the legal right to obtain the help that should have been offered.  To win a case following an auto accident, the injured party must prove a few things:

  1. The defendant was negligent (in other words, the defendant failed to operate his or her motor vehicle in a reasonably prudent manner);
  2. The defendant’s negligence caused the crash; and
  3. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff was injured.

When all of these things are proved, the defendant is required to pay money to the plaintiff.  The amount of money owed is the amount required to compensate the plaintiff for his or her losses.