After an accident, your recovery is a top priority. Your financial obligations, however, will continue to pile up. Bills and other every day expenses can add additional stress to an overwhelming financial hardship. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can help you pay for these costs and compensate you for your pain and suffering. There is nothing more personal than an injury. Injuries can rob you of your financial stability, physical and mental well-being, and your future. Even minor personal injuries can present significant interruptions to your life. It can feel impossible to get past a personal injury, especially if someone else’s act of negligence or carelessness caused the accident.
Personal Injury Facts and Statistics
Learning the facts about personal injury accidents can help you grasp the magnitude of this issue in the U.S. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for individuals aged 1 to 44. In the United States, an injury severe enough to require medical evaluation occurs every second of every day. That translates into 4,520 injuries per hour, 108,500 per day, 761,500 per week, and nearly 40 million each year. Here are several other facts:
• In 2012, the rate of men and women seeking medical attention for injuries was almost equal. The rate was slightly higher for women (51.8%) than men (48.2%).
• Most injuries occurred in the home (51.9%). Injuries in public (on streets, sidewalks, highways, and parking lots) took second place at 12.6%, and injuries at sports and recreation areas took third (12%).
• About 29% of all emergency department visits in 2011 were injury-related. This equates to about 40.2 million injury-related visits out of 136.3 million total.
• There were 4 million emergency department visits throughout the U.S. in 2013. OF these, 37.2 million were injury-related.
• The most frequent body sites that sustained injuries were the upper extremities, including the hands, wrists, and fingers.
• In Utah, unintentional personal injuries account for about 9,715 hospitalizations and 1,125 deaths each year. This doesn’t include thousands of less serious injuries.
• The rate of unintentional injuries was the highest in Southeast Utah, followed by TriCounty and Tooele County. The current rate throughout
Utah is similar to the national rate.
The odds of becoming a victim of an unintentional injury in your lifetime are high. It is often not a matter of if, but when. Not all unintentional injury victims have the right to sue someone for financial recovery. Only those with injuries that stem from someone else’s act of negligence, carelessness, or lawlessness can bring personal injury claims in Utah. Other types of claims, such as product liability and premises liability, require other elements of proof. Partner with an attorney for facts about your specific injury.
Common Types of Serious Injuries
The possibilities for serious injuries are almost endless. However, some types of injuries are more common than others. In our years of legal services at personal injury law firm Fielding Law, we’ve come across many of the same types of injuries that give rise to civil lawsuits. If you’ve suffered one of the following types of injuries, talk to a personal injury attorney about your rights to bring a lawsuit:
• Slip and Fall injuries.: Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injury in almost every age, and the leading cause of death in ages 69 and older. Falls accounted for the greatest number of emergency department visits in 2011. Slips, trips, and falls can occur on slippery surfaces, down staircases, off ladders, over obstacles, and off platforms while at work.
• Poisoning. In 2011, poisoning overtook motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of unintentional injury death for the first time. Poisoning can cause serious illnesses that debilitate the victim temporarily or permanently. Poisoning may occur due to defective drugs, medication errors, and exposure to hazardous substances.
• Car accident injuries: Vehicle accidents can put the body in great peril. The human body often cannot withstand the extreme forces that a vehicle collision exerts. This leads to the body giving way to the object that strikes it, whether it’s the seatbelt, steering column, window, or other element. Car accidents can cause a wide range of personal injuries.
• Motorcycle Accidents: Crashes while riding a motorcycle are among the most common personal injuries. A motorcycle accident attorney will help you get the compensation you deserve, even if your crash was a hit-and-run.
• Malpractice-related injuries: A healthcare provider may cause unintentional injuries through incompetence or negligence. These injuries can occur in the form of misdiagnoses, surgical errors, medication errors, and birth injuries.
• Acts of violence. Violence from persons or animals can cause serious injuries such as gunshot wounds, lacerations, and blunt force trauma. Assaults are intentional torts that do not require proof of negligence since they involve broken laws. Animal attacks may end in owner liability in Utah. These common personal injuries accidents can result in broken bones, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and wrongful death. A “catastrophic” injury is one that inflicts long-term pain or disability on the victim. If you have a serious or catastrophic injury and believe someone else is to blame, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer.
Total Cost of Unintentional Injuries
In 2013 (the most recent year data is available), unintentional injuries cost the United States $820.6 billion. This includes the costs of fatal and nonfatal injuries, vehicle damages, medical expenses, productivity losses, administrative fees, and employers insured and uninsured costs. The value of lost quality of life in 2013 equaled an additional $4,253.9 billion. Motor vehicle accidents cost the most, accounting for $264.2 billion. At-home unintentional injuries followed, then work accidents and public accidents. When employees sustain injuries that put them out of work, America pays. Most of the $820.6 billion in national expenses went toward wage and productivity losses ($388.4 billion). The second-largest component was medical expenses, totaling $219.8 billion in 2013. The total cost of personal injuries to the U.S. is the equivalent of 51 centers per dollar spent on food in the country. The parties that absorb the costs of personal injuries in the U.S. include private insurers, taxpayers, and the injured victims themselves.
How Much is Case Worth?
Every personal injury case is worth a different amount depending on the impact the injuries have on the victim’s life and livelihood. The only way to get an accurate estimate of the value of your claim is to speak to an injury attorney. Otherwise, you may be able to get a rough idea by looking at the costs of your economic and non-economic damages. Adding up these expenses can give you an idea of what your claim could be worth:
• Past and future accident-related medical expenses. These may include the costs of hospitalization, surgeries, medications, medical equipment, live-in nursing care, rehabilitation, and home or vehicle modifications. Look at your existing medical bills and what your injuries may cost in the future to calculate these expenses.
• Lost wages. If your personal injuries force you to miss time at work for treatment and recovery, you could recover for these income losses. This includes money you likely would have made in raises and/or promotions during this time.
• Property damage. Did your home, vehicle, or other properties sustain costly damage in the accident? You could recover the full costs to repair or replace these damaged items. Add in the costs of your property damage to your final calculation.
• Pain and suffering. The courts will calculate these non-economic losses using expert testimony, medical records, and other evidence of your physical pain and emotional suffering. Values can vary greatly depending on the severity and type of injury.
• Emotional distress. A PI claim could also result in compensation for emotional harms the accident causes, including mental and psychological damage. You may also recover for lost capacity to earn if your injuries cause permanent disability.
There is currently just one cap on damages an injured party could receive in a personal injury lawsuit in Taylorsville Utah. The only damage cap that exists in Utah is one for non-economic losses in medical malpractice claims. The cap varies according to when the injured party started the cause of action. To get a better idea of exactly what your specific personal injury case could be worth, speak to one of the Taylorsville attorneys.
Do I need Legal Representation?
Taylorsivlle personal injury attorneys exist to help the overwhelming number of people who face damages due to unintentional injuries. It is an attorney’s job to protect the interests of injured parties during insurance settlement negotiations and personal injury trials. Unlike insurance claims adjusters, personal injury lawyers work for the injured party, not for a large corporation. When you trust a personal injury lawyer with your case, you can rest assured he or she is doing whatever possible to maximize your recovery amount. This is the opposite of what insurance companies will try to do, which is get you to settle for as little as possible to save them money. By retaining an injury attorney, you gain instant access to legal resources and professional assistance. You don’t have to research hundreds of federal, state, and local injury law to get to the bottom of your claim. You get a team of lawyers with the ability to tackle these laws for you, and they will investigate your claim using tried and true methods. An injury attorney can help you identify the cause of your personal injury, name the defendant(s), and go about the filing process. You will enjoy a faster, more efficient, and more rewarding claims process.
A Taylorsville personal injury lawyer will help you achieve your goals for your claim. Whether you want to settle your claim as quickly as possible or go to trial in pursuit of maximum compensation, your attorney can help.
How Does Bankruptcy Affect Child Support?
Even after a divorce, parents are both financially responsible for their children. It is very rare that a Utah court will wave this responsibility, as it is regarded as a serious factor in the terms of most divorce cases. Failure to pay child support can result in serious consequences. For this reason, it is important to be aware of all potential situations that may or may not have an effect on child support payments, including filing for bankruptcy. When an ex-spouse who is paying child support goes to file bankruptcy, the other parent might be left to wonder how things will work afterward. Generally, the court will not dismiss the responsibility of child support in the event of bankruptcy. Those who are hoping to avoid their payments by filing for bankruptcy will quickly find that this is no excuse. Different methods are commonly used by court officials to prompt a parent who is in delinquency of child support payments. If the parent feels that they are unable to meet their obligation due to financial reasons, they are encouraged to seek counsel from their attorney. Any and all debts that have been incurred that are related to the well-being and support of the child cannot be dismissed when filing for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy. This type of debt commonly includes medical bills and education. This can significantly restrict the right to discharge debt. If your former spouse has stopped paying child support for whatever reason, a divorce attorney may be able to help you petition the courts to enforce the support agreement.
Wrongful Death Lawyer in Taylorsville, Utah
Accidents can be devastating enough when they lead to injuries, but the accidental death of a loved one is even more tragic. Traffic collisions, slip-and-fall accidents, mistakes during medical care, and any situation where someone failed to take appropriate action to prevent harm to others can all lead to the loss of life. When the death is the result of another party’s action, Utah law gives the surviving family members the right to file a wrongful death claim and recover compensation.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
For a wrongful death case to be eligible for compensation, the law requires:
• A human being has died
• The death was due to another’s negligence, either with or without the intent to cause harm
• Surviving family members are suffering monetary injury because of the death
• There is an appointed personal representative for the deceased’s estate
The type of accident does not matter, as long as it occurred because of another party’s negligence, such as car accidents and medical malpractice cases.
Causes of Wrongful Death in Utah
In the state of Utah, motor vehicle accidents, poisonings and falls are the three leading causes of unintentional death contributing to an age-adjusted unintentional death rate of 44 per 100,000 people, slightly higher than the rate of 39.6 for the entire United States. At a local level, all local health districts in Utah are above the U.S. average, save two – Davis County and Utah County.
Common Causes of wrongful death include:
• Motor vehicle accidents
• Product defects
• Workplace accidents and exposure to occupational hazards
• Premises accidents
• Medical malpractice
• Birth injuries – both to infants and delivering mothers
• Criminal actions such as assaults, shootings and stabbings
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Immediate family members have a right to recover compensation from a wrongful death claim, but only certain individuals can file the claim under Utah law. According to Utah State Code 78B-3-105, those who may file a lawsuit are the deceased’s:
• Surviving adult children
• Surviving parents, natural or adoptive
• Surviving stepchildren who are in their minority at the time of the decedent’s death and are the primarily financially dependent upon the decedent.
• Other blood relatives
• Personal estate representative
When you need legal help from a Talorsville Lawyer, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506