A woman, 24 years old, now has two severely broken legs thanks to the UTA bus driver who negligently turned in front of her on December 12, 2011. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the pedestrian, whose name was not mentioned in the article, was lawfully crossing the street in a marked cross walk at 3650 South and 3200 West in West Valley City around 10:35 a.m. when a UTA bus driver failed to yield the right-of-way to her and hit her as the driver was making a left-hand turn. According to the story, the bus actually drove over the woman’s legs, severely crushing them. There is no mention of other injuries, such as head injuries that may have happened. The bus driver was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian and is on administrative leave.
I send my best wishes to this woman who has a long road ahead of her as she recovers from what sounds like permanent, life-changing injuries.
UTA, sadly, is no stranger when it comes to its bus drivers hurting others. I have blogged on this in the past, click HERE and most recently HERE. This case sounds a lot like an accident that I blogged on a couple years ago. Unfortunately, UTA’s drivers continue to hurt others through their negligent driving. Even the Salt Lake Tribune recognizes that “UTA has had a high rate of pedestrian accidents this year, with TRAX striking eight people and FrontRunner trains striking two. Seven of those accidents resulted in deaths.”
I think a big cause of a lot of these accidents is the lack of training provided to UTA’s drivers and operators. I also don’t think they value safety as much as they should. From my own personal experience litigating cases against UTA, I know that they can downplay the seriousness of the driving infraction and where they can, blame the incident for happening on the victim.
This woman of course has a claim against UTA for her injuries, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, for permanent disability, emotional and mental anguish. Unfortunately, however, her total recovery is capped by statute at around $620,000, give or take. This statute has been twice challenged and has been upheld each time. Pursuant to the Utah Governmental Immunity Act, a document titled “Notice of Claim” needs to be filed within one year’s time to preserve her claim against UTA, which is considered a Utah governmental agency. I would recommend that she consult with a Utah attorney to make sure she properly preserves her claim.
The opinions expressed above belong to ,Ron Kramer, a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-601-1229 for a free consultation.