Utah Personal Injury Lawyers

Utah Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal injury lawyers help individuals who have sustained injuries in accidents to recover financial compensation.

These funds are often needed to pay for medical treatment, make up for lost wages, pain and suffering, and provide compensation for injuries suffered. Personal injuries Lawyer specialize in tort law, which covers all civil litigation for injuries or wrongdoings resulting from negligence. The main goal of personal injury lawyers who practice tort law is to make their client (the injured “plaintiff”) whole again and discourage others from committing a similar offense. Common examples of personal injury practice areas include motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, defective products, workplace injuries and medical malpractice. A personal injury lawyer can help in a number of different judicial forums. For example, he or she may help with informal negotiation with the insurance company before or after a case is filed in court.

Alternatively, they may help litigate a case if the settlement offer is not satisfactory to the client or the claim is denied. However, personal injury lawyers can also help in other types of forums such as alternative dispute resolution. Arbitration may be required if the victim’s own insurance company is involved. This involves presenting a case in front of a neutral arbitrator who makes a binding decision. Mediation consists of the victim and the person responsible for the injury working together to reach a solution out of court with the help of a third-party neutral. (See more on mediation and arbitration.) The law defines personal injury as an injury to the body, mind, or emotions. This is in contrast to an injury to property. Personal injury lawsuits fall under US civil and tort law. Tort law concerns acts that cause harm but are not necessarily illegal as with criminal law.

Personal injury lawyers, also known as plaintiff lawyers or trial lawyers deal with cases concerning:

• Personal injury resulting in serious injuries or death of a family member
• Medical malpractice and harm
• Cases of assault and battery
• Insurance companies’ refusal to pay for medical expenses of the injured party or whose coverage is less than what was contracted
• Slander, libel and defamation
• Product fault and liability
• Injuries occurring while on the land or premise of the accused party

Tips on Choosing Great Personal Injury Lawyers

Many people in Utah rely on personal injury attorneys to help them claim compensation for their loss, accidents or injuries. They also provide an opportunity for people to rebuild their lives following an unfortunate accident or injury. If others have been negligent, reckless, have committed malpractice or have even deliberately acted in a way that has caused you unnecessary and undue suffering, that’s when you need to be thinking about claiming compensation. Such compensation can cover any lost wages that you would have earned had you not been injured, medical expenses incurred and costs for disability, defamation, emotional suffering or various other categories of loss. Some of the most common types of injury claim in Utah include accidents at work (where you’d sue your employer/their insurer), road traffic accident claims (where you’d sue the driver responsible for your accident/their insurer), slips/falls in public places and medical malpractice. There are, of course, many other types of accident claims, some of which are very niche and for which specialist types of personal injury lawyers should be considered. What will your personal injury attorney do if you instruct them? They’ll investigate your claim fully, acquire all relevant evidence, research the relevant law, draft pleas, interview witnesses, advise you as their client, negotiate to try to claim for you the maximum amount of compensation you could claim and more. Most personal injury lawsuits settle outside of court so not all personal injury attorneys will have a good deal of trial experience. Given that there are tens of thousands of personal injury Lawyers in the Utah today, finding one locally, with great experience, knowledge, reviews and testimonials can be tough.

Some of the questions you should ask yourself when looking for your injury Lawyer are:

• Are they licensed?
• How much experience do they have for your type of claim?
• How many great online reviews / testimonials do they have?
• What accreditations do they have?
• Are they specialists in the area of personal injury claim that you need?
• Have they won any awards?
• Do they offer no win no fee or other enticing feeing arrangement?
• Do they offer a free initial legal consultation?
These are just some of the questions you should be asking. It’s also best to visit several and acquiring various quotes before making your mind up about who to instruct.

How A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

The idea of talking to a personal injury lawyer may be intimidating to some individuals. Once you’ve been hurt and you know someone else is at fault, but maybe you think addressing the issue on your own is easier. Your thought may be to submit an insurance claim and wait for the payment to be made. However, there are many ways a personal injury lawyer can significantly enhance your chance of getting paid for your medical bills and other damages incurred. Sometimes personal injury claims can be very complicated, most especially if multiple parties are involved in the collision. It can also be complicated to make claims if your injuries are severe and will require treatment for a long duration, or lead to some degree of disability. A personal injury lawyer can help to ensure that you get a fair settlement for your claim. If you handle it all alone, there is high tendency of getting less than your claim is actually worth. Once you hire a personal injury attorney, your attorney can take care of the case and also deal with the necessary details while you concentrate on recovering from the injuries you sustain and also take care of your family. There are some steps along the process after your accident where an experienced Utah personal injury lawyer can be valuable. There is need for you to gather evidence to support your allegations that the other person caused your accident, and that you have sustained injuries that can be compensated financially whenever you have an accident and want to make a claim for your injuries. A personal injury lawyer will know the kind of evidence you need, how to source for such evidence, and how to prove with the evidence that the other person’s recklessness, negligence, or intentional actions caused your injuries. Your lawyer should also have a set of experienced people who can assist with the various aspect of the investigation. Such individuals may include a physician who can perform an assessment on your injuries, an accident reconstruction expert, or an appraisal that can assist to determine the value of the damaged property. After gathering all the evidence, your lawyer will put it into writing as a demand letter to the insurance company of the individual that caused your injuries.

The demand letter will state clearly what happened to you, how you are affected, and also make a demand for the compensation owed to you based on such facts and evidence. The demand letter is the first step to take in the process of negotiation. A good personal injury attorney brings to the negotiations knowledge of Utah law, insurance policies, and the claims processes, as well as an understanding of the approach most insurance companies use to try to minimize the amount they pay out. Your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf based on his or her knowledge so as to get a reasonable settlement for you. A lawsuit may become necessary if the insurance company refuse to pay you. A good personal injury lawyer brings your case to the state and federal court where your case will be heard, including working with judges, clerks, and the lawyer who may be representing the other side. Your lawyer will also be with you through every step of the litigation process, from writing and filing the complaint to trying the case in the court. Your claim may end up hinging some part of Utah or federal law, in which case you would want an attorney who understands the law in details and can make the best possible arguments on your behalf. When you or a family member have experienced personal injury caused by an individual or corporate entity, you will be faced with a multitude of concerns not normally considered in daily life. Questions will arise around medical bills, compensation, insurance coverage, and whether hiring a lawyer is going to be necessary. At a time when you are feeling your most vulnerable, these complex logistical details can become an overwhelming burden.

Thankfully, there is help. There are two parts to any personal injury or wrongful death claim. The first part is a liability question. Is the other person or corporation responsible for the damages that have been done? The second part of the claim is about damages. This is a description of how much the injured party has lost, and therefore how much they are due. By determining who is going to be liable and the severity of the damages, the basis of a personal injury case is outlined. This guide to personal and bodily injury claims is designed to provide you with an overview of the procedure, and give you an idea of what to expect as you make your way through the maze of the personal injury legal world.

Types of Personal Injuries

Personal injury claims are made in a civil court. This is different than most of the court cases we see in movies and TV shows, which feature a criminal court. In criminal cases, the state brings forward a case against the alleged perpetrator of the crime, in order to determine if they are guilty or not guilty. The state asks the court to provide punishment for the criminal based on their unlawful acts. It is important to be aware that civil court is quite different from criminal court. In civil law for personal injury, the individual who has been injured sues the responsible party and a case is made against the person or organization who is blamed for the injury. The injured party asks for a monetary award to compensate them for their losses. Although money cannot bring back someone’s health after an injury, or fully restore someone’s reputation after being slandered, it can pay for medical care or lost wages. “Pain and suffering” monetary awards will compensate the injured party to some extent, but they are not specifically designed to punish the responsible party. The legal question to be considered in a personal injury case is whether or not the defendant is actually responsible for causing injury to the aggrieved party. If you have been injured, it is important to determine if you have been injured wrongly. If a person or a business is in any way responsible for your injury, you could decide that a legal claim for damages is appropriate. Be certain to discuss your situation with a personal injury lawyer, such as those at Acadia Law Group, in order to understand your options. Not every injury is wrongful, and not every personal injury will be legally compensated.

These are some of the most common types of situations that can cause most personal injuries, although this list is not comprehensive.

Auto Accidents: A car accident is the most common type of personal injury claim. Many medical issues arise, both temporarily and permanently, for those who have been involved in an auto accident. This includes drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Repairs to vehicles, medical costs, lost wages and many other losses are part of auto accident claims.
Slip and Fall: In a Slip and Fall case the injured person sues the property owner for a lack of maintenance of their premises. There must be enough negligence to cause adequate danger of the injury.

Dog Bites: Dog owners are generally responsible for any injuries caused by their dogs. The laws vary from state to state, but a claim for a loss due to a dog bite can be made in all 50 states. Usually these only include medical bills, but they could include lost wages or other damages.
Medical Malpractice: If a healthcare professional is negligent in their care of a patient, a medical malpractice claim may be in order. The laws are very specific, and vary state to state. You will need to prove that not only was the care provider was negligent, but that their negligence caused your injury, and that there is a specific loss as a result.
Toxic Tort: Exposure to a dangerous chemical that causes an injury with a loss is called toxic tort. This could be contaminated water, work related chemicals, or even medications.

Assault, Battery, and Intentional Torts: When someone has been tried or convicted of assault or battery in criminal court, they can then be sued by the injured party in civil court. The injured party can claim damages, no matter if the harm was accidental or intentional.

Defamation of Character Through Libel or Slander: You can make a personal injury claim if someone lies about you and your reputation is injured. There must be a loss incurred, the same as other personal injury cases. Stating an opinion is not considered defamation, and telling the truth, no matter how it impacts someone’s reputation, is always an excellent defense.

Always seek the appropriate medical attention, first and foremost. Call 911 if necessary. Visit a doctor. Make sure that the injured party receives the medical attention they require, before all else. If there is any risk of further injury, secure the scene and make sure everyone is safely out of harm’s way. As soon as everyone is safe, document what has happened. Be thorough and as detailed as possible. These days, everyone owns a smartphone which makes the documentation process much easier. Take photos of any vehicles involved, the area surrounding the accident, and any damage, plus take videos of witnesses as they describe what happened and provide you with their contact information. Make sure you keep every single receipt. Every single one. Medical bills, prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines (like Tylenol), car repairs, clothing tailoring or replacement if your clothes were damaged, bicycle repairs. Keep everything. Your losses can only be calculated if there is evidence of your costs. Don’t judge the seriousness of an injury right away. Many times, internal injuries are not obvious until later. Visit a doctor and wait for a professional evaluation. Contact your insurance company. Whether you will be filing insurance claim or not, contact your insurance company as quickly as possible. The other person or organization may have an insurance company they have contacted, so it is important to alert your provider about what happened before they are contacted by the other company. Discuss how to handle any immediate medical expenses, as your insurance company may cover them. You may be required to pay initial expenses out of your own pocket.

Personal Injury Lawyers Free Consultation

When you need legal help with personal injuries in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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What To Do In A Car Accident?

What To Do In A Car Accident

Anyone who has had a car accident with another driver will know the crunch of metal and tinkling of glass hitting the road is only the start of it. There are many things you should and should not do if you have a car accident.

PREPARE

Firstly, have a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and a safety triangle handy. These will be helpful items if you are involved in an accident or witness one. A car accident can ruin your day people may be injured, and serious damage to your vehicle and that of others, can occur in seconds. You may also have to deal with liability issues which can carry huge costs. Ensure your vehicle is insured. If you do have an accident, you should be covered for any damages that may be caused.

STAY CALM

If you are involved in an accident, try to stay calm. Panic can cause others to become hysterical or alarmed, which will make the situation worse. Take a deep breath and think about what you need to do.

CHECK FOR INJURIES

Check for any injuries to the people in your vehicle. If everyone is okay and you are able to, check that the occupants of the other vehicle are uninjured. There may be some basic first aid treatment that you can attend to otherwise, if the injuries are more serious, you will need to seek medical help.

MAKE YOURSELF SAFE

If it is safe to do so, switch on your hazard lights and get out of your vehicle. Otherwise, move your vehicle to a safe spot that is not blocking traffic. Set up safety triangles to warn other motorists that there has been an accident and to slow down. If you can’t get out of your car, or it is not safe to, stay seat belted in, call 911 and wait for help to arrive.

CALL THE POLICE

Even if the accident you have been involved in is minor, the police should still be notified that there has been an incident. Call 911 and this way the police can file an accident report for the records, and any required fire or ambulance teams can be sent to the scene.

IDENTIFY WITNESSES

See if there are any witnesses to the crash. If anyone else saw what happened, ask them to stay on the scene so that they can provide statements about their view of the accident.

LOOK FOR DETAILS

Look for the other driver’s license plate number and make and model of vehicle that they are driving. Exchange personal information, such as name, address, phone numbers, insurance company and policy number, with all drivers involved in the incident. If the driver doesn’t own the vehicle, be sure to get the owner’s details as well. This information will be very helpful for insurance purposes after the initial shock of the accident. If the other driver is aggressive and uncooperative, record any information you can about the vehicle (eg number plate, make and model) and report the incident to police.

TAKE NOTES

If the accident is a minor one, note down anything you remember. Describe what happened with notes and images of how the accident occurred. You could even take pictures of the scene including any damage to vehicles, the roads, traffic signs and the direction the cars were travelling in. This information will help authorities to decide who was at fault.

TALK TO YOUR INSURANCE PROVIDER

If you need to, file a claim with your insurance company. If the accident was minor and your car does not need extensive repairs, it may cost less to pay for the repairs, rather than take out an insurance claim. You should still notify the insurance company of the incident, regardless of the damage caused.

THINGS TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

Car accidents can wreak havoc on lives. Not only can car accidents cause serious bodily injury and sometimes permanent disability, but they can also cause a lot of financial problems through property damage, lost wages, etc. They also cause stress, anxiety, and duress. Many people think that if someone else hits them, they’ll be fine–the other person’s insurance will take care of everything. This isn’t always true.

• Check for injuries and make sure everyone is okay. Call an ambulance if needed.

• Stay at the scene. You can be charged with a crime if you leave the scene, especially is someone is injured.

• Call the police, even if it is a minor accident. Having a police report is helpful to determine liability.

• Tell The Truth and Don’t Apologize: Everything you say is probably going to be written down in a police report. If it wasn’t your fault then don’t say it was and don’t apologize. Just give an accurate and detailed witness statement. It will likely be used later to help determine liability.

• Take pictures: If possible to do safely, take pictures of the accident before cars are moved. However, it is important to stay safe and move the vehicles to the side of the road. If you weren’t able before, take pictures once the cars are moved.

• Exchange Information: It is important to know who all was involved. Don’t rely on the police to preserve the information. They are usually pretty good but mistakes do happen. Write down the license plates of all parties involved, including witnesses, full name and contact information, Insurance company and policy number, Driver’s license and license plate number, Type, color and model of vehicle

• Location of accident: The III recommends that you avoid discussing fault when going over the facts with the other driver: When you file an insurance claim, the adjuster reviewing your claim will determine who’s at fault based on an inspection of the vehicles/property damaged, information provided by you and the other parties involved in the accident, and any supporting documentation, like the police report or photographs from the scene.

• Seek Medical Attention: it won’t cost you anything initially: All insurance policies have PIP, which covers a minimum of $3000 of medical care after an accident. Many people don’t seek care because they are worried about paying for it. For purposes of the case, it is important to document your injuries as well. Seek medical care from a certified injury professional. Not all doctors are the same and know what to do after an accident. We can refer you to our recommended professionals if you like.

• Contact Your Insurance Company: Report the claim to your insurance company at your earliest convenience. Many people think if they were not at fault they don’t need to file a claim. That is not true; you do need to file a claim. Utah Law states that your premiums will not go up if you file a claim for which you are not at fault.

• Seek Legal Advice: Almost all personal injury attorneys offer free consultations. Seek advice early on. We can steer you away from common pitfalls and tell you if you do or do not have a case. Find a qualified attorney who focuses on personal injury, not your neighbor or church member. Personal Injury Law is just as specialized and complicated as any other area of law. Insurance companies will try to convince you not to seek an attorney…because they don’t want you to have one. Protect your own rights.

• Do Not Sign Things Without Reading Them. Many times insurance companies try to get you to sign things that are prejudicial to you. For example, sometimes they slip in a full release of your bodily injury claims in the property damage papers. Make sure you are reading everything or hire an attorney before you have to sign anything.

• Keep a Journal and Accurate Records: Lots of things will happen all at once and you think you’ll remember everything later, but over time you will start to forget things. Keep accurate records and notes in case you need to recall details later.

Making a claim to your insurance provider

Phone your insurance company as soon as possible ideally at the time of the accident. They’ll ask for:
• Your policy number or information to identify you, such as your post code and car registration number.
• The registration number of the cars involved.
• The driver’s name, address and phone number.
• The driver’s insurance details if you have them.
Still tell your insurer about the accident, because the other driver may try to make a claim without you knowing. You may choose not to claim:
• To keep your no claims discount intact, if you don’t have a ‘protected no claims discount’.
• If you decide to pay for the repairs yourself.

Crash-for-cash claimants

These are people who arrange accidents in order to make a fraudulent insurance claim. They may do this by braking unexpectedly, causing you to go into the back of their car, or by flashing their lights to indicate you’re free to go before purposely crashing into you. They may also take out their brake light bulbs, giving you no warning when they hit the brakes in front of you, and making it more likely you will crash into them. Crash-for-cash claimants will usually blame you for the accident and give you their insurance information, which is sometimes written out ready on a bit of paper. A few weeks after this happens, you might receive a letter from your insurance company highlighting the damage from the accident the claims they make can be exaggerated (sometimes including recovery vehicle, car hire, or whiplash injuries to others that haven’t occurred) to maximize the money they try to win back.

You’ll be less likely to be involved in such a scam if you keep your eyes open and:
• Be especially careful in stop to start traffic, at merging junctions and roundabouts.
• Leave plenty of space between you and the car in front.
• Be wary of erratic driving behavior such as slowing for no reason.
• Take note if their brake lights don’t seem to be working and increase your distance.
Some drivers install dash-cams to show their innocence against a crash-for-cash claim. These can be very helpful in establishing proof of a crash-for-cash claim.

Safety technology

Car safety technology may help to reduce the risk of having a car accident leaving you feeling safer while you drive. Cars fitted with certain types of safety technology will usually have a lower insurance group than a similar car not so equipped, which can attract a lower premium. Many cars already come with audible and visual sensors when maneuvering your car in tight spaces or automatic parallel parking. You can check with your insurance company to see if they’ll offer additional discount for such equipment. These are the few safety tech features:

• Autonomous emergency braking (AEB): the brakes are automatically applied if sensors on the car detect that you’re going to have a crash, helping to either stop or decrease the severity of the accident.

• Adaptive cruise control: the car automatically reduces its set speed if the traffic ahead is travelling more slowly than you.

• Dashboard cameras: these record the traffic ahead of (and, optionally, behind) you, which can help prevent crash-for-cash claimants from making fraudulent insurance claims or provide evidence of what happened when you have to make a claim.

• Lane departure warning system: sensors or cameras pick up your cars position on the road and warn you if you’re swaying out of your lane.

Accidents are sometimes hard to avoid regardless of how carefully you drive. Keeping a checklist with post-accident steps in the car can help you make sure you’re covered when contacting your car insurer.

Car Accident Attorney Free Consultation

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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I Was In A Car Accident Now What?

I Was In A Car Accident Now What

Even with amazing advances in automotive safety, the number of car accidents is rising, with more than 2.3 million crash injuries reported annually throughout the U.S. American roadways are busier than ever, and not just in big cities. With so many cars on the road, it’s no surprise the average driver can expect to be in three or four accidents during their lifetime. Utah has its share of car accidents with over 62,000 car crashes that injured more than 26,000 people in one year. Yet, when an accident happens, it always seems to come out of the blue. One minute you’re safely driving along, and the next minute you’re on the roadside, stunned by a sudden collision. Recovering from injuries and losses after a car accident can be difficult and expensive. Your financial recovery will hinge on the success of your auto insurance claim. You can’t always avoid being hit by a negligent driver, but you can build a strong insurance claim if you know what to say and do, and what pitfalls to avoid after a car accident.
What you need to know if you’ve been in a Utah Car Accident
Here are some steps toward building a strong auto insurance claim.

Stop, Check for Injuries, Call 911

Immediately stop as close to the accident site as you safely can. Check to see if anyone is injured, then call 911.
Tell the 911 dispatcher:

Location: Emergency responders can get there faster if they know where to find you, so tell the dispatcher the road you’re on, which direction you were heading, the nearest intersecting street names or mile markers, GPS coordinates, or any landmarks that will help describe your location.
Injuries: Tell the dispatcher if anyone is injured or asking for medical help.

Hazards: Accidents scenes can be dangerous, with commotion around the wrecked cars and closely passing traffic. Tell the dispatcher if anyone is trapped, if there are overturned vehicles, or if there are hazards in the area like leaking fuel or downed power lines.

Drivers are legally required to immediately notify police in the event of an accident involving injuries, death or property damage. Drivers in Utah are also obligated to provide “reasonable assistance” to the injured after an accident. Reasonable assistance means helping the injured as best you can, and arranging for them to be transported for medical treatment. This obligation is typically fulfilled by calling 911 to ask for police and rescue services. Finally, drivers are required to provide their name, address, car registration and proof of insurance information to all other persons involved in the crash, unless that information has already been given to the investigating police officer. Your injuries from a car accident may be painfully obvious, like broken bones or bad burns. But injuries from car accidents aren’t always easy to see, even potentially life-threatening injuries like head trauma or internal bleeding. Shock and distress can mask your symptoms. Some injury symptoms may not fully develop until hours or even days after the crash. Never refuse medical treatment at the scene. Tell emergency responders about any symptoms you’re experiencing, no matter how mild. If paramedics want to transport you to the hospital, let them take you. If you’re not taken directly to the hospital from the accident scene, make sure you’re seen by a medical provider as soon as possible after the accident. If your primary provider isn’t available, go to the nearest urgent care center or hospital emergency department. Refusing or delaying medical treatment after an accident can seriously undermine your insurance claim when the insurance company argues that your injuries were not caused by the collision.

What if I hit a parked car or other property?

If you’ve hit a parked car or other property, like a street sign or utility pole, you must stop immediately. Try to locate the person in charge of the property and provide your name, address and the registration number of the car you were driving. If you can’t find the property owner, leave a note with your name, address, and the car’s registration number.

Police Accident Investigations

Police are usually dispatched to auto accidents where there are injuries, fatalities, traffic is blocked, or there are reported hazards. In busy jurisdictions, an officer may not be available to respond to non-injury accidents like fender-benders. Police officers are highly trained in accident management and investigation. The investigating officer is authorized to:
• Secure the accident scene
• Coordinate care and transport of the injured
• Gather evidence and determine fault
• Conduct sobriety tests
• Issue citations
You can try telling the police your side of the story, but the officer on the scene doesn’t have to stop and listen. Police have a job to do. If the officer tells you to wait or gives you any other instructions, you should cooperate. If the officer determines you’ve violated Utah traffic laws, you may be cited. While you can try to talk the officer out of giving you a ticket, once it’s issued you should accept the citation. Accepting a traffic citation is not an admission of guilt. Dispute the ticket in traffic court, not at the accident scene. The easiest way to obtain a copy of the report for your accident is to visit the Utah Department of Public Safety Accident Report Database.

Start Gathering Evidence

Accident scenes change quickly. When cars are towed, and the drivers and witnesses leave, they may be taking valuable evidence with them. Use the short window of time right after an accident to begin collecting critical evidence, before it’s gone. The evidence you collect from the accident scene will strengthen your insurance claim, especially when the accident was caused by a negligent driver. You’ll need proof the other driver did something wrong or failed to act responsibly.

Start by collecting key information from the other driver:
• Name and address
• Vehicle registration information
• Driver’s license information
• Insurance information
Passengers: Ask for passengers’ names, addresses, birth dates, telephone numbers, work numbers, and any other contact information. Occupants of the other vehicle are not required to talk to you, but you can make detailed notes for yourself about how many passengers were in the other car, approximate ages, what they looked like, how they were behaving, and what you heard them say.

Vehicles: Look for the make, model, year, license plate number, expiration date, and vehicle identification number (VIN) for each vehicle in the accident. The VIN can normally be found on the left corner of the dashboard near the windshield, or inside the door jamb of the driver’s side door. Don’t enter another vehicle without permission. The VIN may also be found on the driver’s insurance card.

Diagrams: Create a drawing of the accident scene showing the position of the cars before and after the crash, and the direction they were heading. Show road conditions, like ice or construction areas. Add notes about the weather, traffic, blinding sunlight, and anything else that contributed to the accident. Using your phone, tablet or any other device to take pictures and videos at the scene can greatly help your claim. Walk around the scene, taking as many pictures and videos as you can from different angles. Photographs and video footage can reveal important details of the vehicles and crash site. Sometimes, pictures or sound-enabled videos can capture how the drivers and passengers were behaving, admissions of fault, signs of drug or alcohol intoxication, and other important factors that will have a tremendous bearing on your insurance claim. Photographs and videos can be compelling evidence, making it harder for those involved to change their story after the accident.

Witnesses are not legally required to talk to you, but you can try to speak with any potential witness long enough to find out if they saw anything helpful to your claim. If you have a cooperative witness, get their name and contact information, and ask if they’ll write down what they saw. Have the witness sign and date any written statement. Be ready for the unexpected with our free Car Accident Information Form. Keep a copy with a pen in your car, in the same place you stash your insurance and registration cards. You’ll always be prepared to collect the evidence you’ll need for a successful insurance claim.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Your auto insurance policy is a legal contract between you and your insurance company. The insurance company should defend you when you’re in an accident, but you must do your part. Your obligations under the policy include telling your insurance company when an accident happens. Take a close look at your insurance policy. Almost every policy has a Notice of Occurrence and Cooperation clause. The clause means you agree to tell your insurance company when you’re in an accident, and you agree to cooperate with their accident investigation. The clause will have wording like this: “Insured (you) agrees to notify the insurer (your insurance company) of any accidents and thereafter comply with all information, assistance, and cooperation which the insurer reasonably requests, and agrees that in the event of a claim the insurer and the insured will do nothing that shall prejudice the insurer’s position…” You are obligated to notify your insurance company of every accident, even if the accident wasn’t your fault or no one seems to be hurt. Your insurance company can still protect you, even when the accident wasn’t your fault. For example, when the other driver doesn’t have insurance, or changes their story and decides to blame you for the crash. By promptly reporting the accident, you give your insurance company the best chance to protect your interests if someone from the other car decides to hire a lawyer or begins to complain of injuries hours or days after the collision. Failure to notify your insurance company is a breach of your contract that could lead the company to raise your premiums, decline to renew your policy, or even cancel your insurance policy.

There are plenty of mobile device applications that make starting a car accident claim faster and easier. Depending on the app, you can:
• Gather information from the other driver and passengers
• Collect car registration and insurance information
• Pinpoint the location of the crash
• Gather witness information
• Create diagrams of the accident scene
• Take photographs and videos
• Notify your insurance company

Submit Driver’s Accident Report

Drivers involved in a car accident in Utah may be required to complete and submit a written accident report form, in addition to the crash report documentation prepared by the investigating police officer. Drivers who are physically incapable of preparing a report will be excused from the reporting requirement during the period of incapacity. If the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident is incapacitated, and was not the owner of the vehicle, the owner is required to submit the accident report within 15 days of being made aware of the accident. You must report the accident if the accident resulted in injury, death, or property damage that appears to be more than $1,500 within ten (10) days. Forms are available from local law enforcement agencies or court offices.

Understanding No-Fault Insurance

Utah relies on a no-fault car insurance system. Under the no-fault system, each driver involved in a crash relies on their own car insurance to pay medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages resulting from a crash. No-fault insurance does not pay for pain and suffering. Auto insurance policies issued in Utah must provide personal injury coverage in accordance with the state’s no-fault laws, as well as liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage claims. Finally, the insurance company is obligated to provide uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage, unless the policyholder rejects those coverages in writing. Utah relies on a no-fault car insurance system. Under the no-fault system, each driver involved in a crash relies on their own car insurance to pay medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages resulting from a crash. No-fault insurance does not pay for pain and suffering.

Learn About Comparative Negligence

Drivers in Utah are subject to modified comparative negligence rules, meaning each driver will be held liable for damages sustained in the accident in proportion to each driver’s percentage of fault. In other words, when you’ve been in a Utah car accident, you can pursue the other driver for compensation for your damages, so long as the other driver was more to blame for the accident than you. If you are equally to blame, you won’t be able to recover any financial compensation from the other driver or the other driver’s insurance company. Under Utah’s comparative negligence laws your eligibility for compensation from the other driver or the other driver’s insurance company will depend upon your portion of blame for the accident. The insurance company will decide your share of blame for the accident before paying any claims. If the other driver’s insurance company thinks you are equally to blame for the crash, you won’t get a dime. Whether the insurance company decides you are eligible for partial compensation or none at all, if you don’t agree with their determination you will need an attorney to reach an appropriate settlement amount.

When You Need an Attorney

When you’ve been in a car accident, there are some injury claims you’ll be able to settle on your own. Other claims require the skill of an experienced injury attorney to persuade the insurance company to pay what your claim is worth. Before deciding to face the insurance company on your own, think about the type of injuries you’ve suffered, and what it will take to get the insurance company to pay. Experienced personal injury attorneys have the skill, knowledge and legal tactics to convince the insurance company to pay the amount you deserve for your injuries, pain and suffering.

How much will an attorney charge?

You won’t have to pay anything to find out how a personal injury attorney can help you. Most reputable attorneys offer accident victims a free initial consultation. Before your first meeting with an attorney, gather all your accident-related documents, including your medical records, police report, your notes, photos, and records of any communication you’ve had with the insurance company. After listening to your account of the crash and reviewing your documents, the attorney will discuss your claim’s value, how long it could take to settle, and if you’ll need to file a lawsuit. Personal injury attorneys are usually paid on a contingency fee basis, meaning that your attorney’s fees will be paid out of your insurance settlement or court award. Contingency fees can range from 25% up to around 40% of your gross settlement amount or court verdict. If your attorney can’t settle your claim or loses your case in court, you won’t owe any fees.

Utah is a no-fault insurance state. However, Utah car accident victims can file separate lawsuits in small claims court for their property damage and personal injury claims. While the rules in small claims court are more relaxed, and plaintiffs don’t generally need an attorney to handle a small claims case, the Utah Department of Insurance suggests you speak to an attorney before filing car accidents claims in small claims court.

Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is the legal deadline for an accident victim to either settle their insurance claim or file a lawsuit. If you miss the statute of limitations deadline, you lose your right to pursue your claim with the at-fault driver or the driver’s insurance company. The Utah statute of limitations for personal injuries and property damage from a car accident is three (3) years. The statute begins to run on the accident date.

Car Accident Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help for your personal injuries and car accident in Utha, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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What To Do After A Car Accident

What to do after a car accident

A саr ассіdеnt саn bе a trаumаtіс еvеnt fоr еvеrуоnе іnvоlvеd. Cаr сrаѕhеѕ аrе ѕсаrу, ѕtrеѕѕful еvеntѕ thаt саn rеѕult іn еxtrеmе рhуѕісаl оr рѕусhоlоgісаl trаumа аnd еvеn dеаth tо vісtіmѕ. If уоu аrе еvеr іnvоlvеd іn a саr ассіdеnt, thеrе аrе сеrtаіn thіngѕ уоu саn dо іn thе mоmеntѕ fоllоwіng thаt саn іnсrеаѕе уоur сhаnсеѕ оf mаkіng a full rесоvеrу – рhуѕісаllу, рѕусhоlоgісаllу аnd fіnаnсіаllу. Bеlоw аrе a fеw tірѕ tо hеlр уоu knоw whаt tо dо аftеr a саr ассіdеnt.

If you haven’t done so, the first thing to do is call Emergency Services – Dial 911 – for help.

Have an Emеrgеnсу Kіt In Your Car

Onе оf thе bеѕt ріесеѕ оf аdvісе іѕ thаt уоu ѕhоuld аlwауѕ kеер аn еmеrgеnсу kіt іn уоur vеhісlе’ѕ trunk оr glоvе соmраrtmеnt. A сеll рhоnе іѕ a grеаt wау tо соntасt thе роlісе аftеr аn ассіdеnt. Alѕо, kеер a раd оf рареr аnd a реn tо dосumеnt аnуthіng thаt nееdѕ tо bе wrіttеn dоwn. A dіѕроѕаblе саmеrа іѕ аlѕо hеlрful іf уоu nееd tо tаkе рісturеѕ оf thе ассіdеnt tо hеlр уоur іnѕurаnсе аgеnt аnd thе аuthоrіtіеѕ ѕоrt оut whо wаѕ аt fаult fоr thе ассіdеnt. Yоu ѕhоuld аlѕо kеер a mеdісаl іnfоrmаtіоn саrd wіth аnу hеаlth соndіtіоnѕ уоu mіght hаvе іn саѕе уоu аrе іnjurеd іn thе ассіdеnt.

Chесk оn All Drіvеrѕ аnd Pаѕѕеngеrѕ

Bеfоrе аѕѕеѕѕіng рrореrtу dаmаgе, mаkе ѕurе еvеrуоnе іnvоlvеd іn thе ассіdеnt іѕ оkау. Gеt mеdісаl аttеntіоn fоr аnуоnе who nееdѕ іt. If a реrѕоn іѕ unсоnѕсіоuѕ оr hаѕ nесk оr bасk раіn, dоn’t mоvе thеm untіl ԛuаlіfіеd mеdісаl hеlр аrrіvеѕ, unlеѕѕ a hаzаrd rеԛuіrеѕ mоvіng thе реrѕоn.

Trаdе іnfоrmаtіоn wіth оthеrѕ іnvоlvеd

Gеt thе nаmеѕ, numbеrѕ, аddrеѕѕеѕ, drіvеrѕ’ lісеnѕе numbеrѕ, lісеnѕе рlаtе numbеrѕ, аnd bаѕіс іnѕurаnсе іnfоrmаtіоn frоm аll drіvеrѕ іnvоlvеd. Get a copy of their insurance information card from their car. If thеrе аrе раѕѕеngеrѕ, аlѕо оbtаіn thеіr nаmеѕ, numbеrѕ, аnd аddrеѕѕеѕ. In tаlkіng tо оthеr drіvеrѕ, trу tо bе соrdіаl аnd соореrаtіvе. Hоwеvеr, уоu ѕhоuldn’t ароlоgіzе fоr аnуthіng аt thе ѕсеnе. Fоr еxаmрlе, іf уоu ѕау, “I’m ѕо ѕоrrу I rаn thаt rеd lіght! Iѕ еvеrуоnе оkау?” уоu mау bе аdmіttіng lеgаl lіаbіlіtу fоr whаt hарреnеd. Immеdіаtеlу аftеr аn ассіdеnt, іt mіght nоt be сlеаr whо wаѕ аt fаult оr mоrе аt fаult. Mоrеоvеr, іn mаnу ѕtаtеѕ, thе fаult іѕn’t dеtеrmіnаtіvе оf whісh іnѕurеr wіll рау fоr аnу lоѕѕ. Thеrеfоrе, trу nоt tо аdmіt guіlt unіntеntіоnаllу оr unnесеѕѕаrіlу.

Tаkе Pісturеѕ

If уоu hарреn tо hаvе a саmеrа іn уоur vеhісlе, оr a сеll рhоnе еԛuірреd wіth a саmеrа, уоu ѕhоuld tаkе рісturеѕ оf thе vеhісlеѕ іf thеrе іѕ vіѕіblе dаmаgе. If уоu hаvе vіѕіblе іnjurіеѕ, уоu ѕhоuld рhоtоgrарh thеm аѕ wеll. Hоwеvеr, уоu ѕhоuld іn nо wау іntеrfеrе wіth thе оn-gоіng роlісе іnvеѕtіgаtіоn. If уоu cannot tаkе рісturеѕ аt thе ѕсеnе оf thе ассіdеnt, tаkе thеm аѕ ѕооn аѕ роѕѕіblе аftеr thе ассіdеnt.

Infоrm Yоur Inѕurаnсе Cоmраnу

Nоtіfу уоur іnѕurаnсе соmраnу аѕ ѕооn аѕ роѕѕіblе. Their phone number will be on your car insurance card that you keep in your glove box. Mаnу роlісіеѕ rеԛuіrе іmmеdіаtе rероrtіng аnd full соореrаtіоn. Fіnd оut іf уоu hаvе mеdісаl bеnеfіtѕ аѕ раrt оf уоur іnѕurаnсе соvеrаgе. Yоu рау еxtrа fоr thаt tуре оf соvеrаgе – knоwn аѕ “mеd рау” – so уоu ѕhоuld uѕе іt. In fасt, іf уоu hаvе mеd рау соvеrаgе, уоu аrе rеԛuіrеd tо ѕubmіt уоur ассіdеnt-rеlаtеd mеdісаl bіllѕ tо уоur insurance соmраnу. Mеdрау соvеrаgе іѕ primary fоr ассіdеnt-rеlаtеd mеdісаl bіllѕ. Onсе mеd рау bеnеfіtѕ аrе еxhаuѕtеd, рrіvаtе hеаlth іnѕurаnсе bесоmеѕ уоur рrіmаrу іnѕurеr. Mеdрау bеnеfіtѕ аrе аvаіlаblе tо аll thе оссuраntѕ оf thе vеhісlе. Yоur іnѕurаnсе rаtеѕ ѕhоuld nоt іnсrеаѕе аѕ a rеѕult оf ѕubmіttіng сlаіmѕ fоr mеd рау соvеrаgе.

Call Ascent Law

Last, but not least, be sure and pick up the phone can call the personal injury lawyers at Ascent Law, LLC. We will fight for you. Don’t face the insurance company alone, call the professionals today at (801) 676-5506. Hореfullу, thеѕе tірѕ wіll hеlр уоu knоw whаt tо dо аftеr a саr ассіdеnt іn thе еvеnt уоu аrе еvеr іnvоlvеd іn оnе.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah 84088
United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews


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