UTAH CAR ACCIDENT CLAIMS
Gosdis Law is a top Utah car accident law firm. It has collected millions and millions of dollars for Utah car accident victims. If you get hurt in an auto accident in Utah, call or text us for help at (385) 429-9960. The team at Gosdis Law will help you get your life back on track.
IS MY CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM WORTH PURSUING?
You may have heard that a good case is one that you can prove. That is true in all cases and particularly true in car accident claims. In a good car accident case, you can prove fault and damages. The plaintiff needs to prove their injuries.
To build a case, you will need as many facts in your favor as possible. Making your case starts from the moment of impact. You will have to collect evidence, describe your injuries and damages, tell your story repeatedly to insurance companies, your lawyer, and a jury or court. Your ability to tell your story is what helps you advocate for yourself. Below is some important information to have when you begin to pursue your car accident claim.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
The success of a car accident claim depends on the case built following the accident. In some cases, you will need to treat your injuries and make your case simultaneously. Evidence can start to degrade as soon as the accident happens. Following an accident, here’s how to react and begin building your case.
Take the following steps after an accident:
- Check for injuries and call 911
The state of Utah requires that a driver involved in an accident immediately call 911 if they are able. You must remain at the scene until first responders arrive. You will need to tell the 911 operator some crucial details. These details include the location of the accident, details about the vehicles involved, the types of injuries sustained, and any hazards that the emergency vehicles need to be aware of, including fuel leaks or overturned cars.
- Begin collecting evidence
Find out who the other driver is. Find out their name. Make sure to get their license plate number. Get the other driver’s insurance information.Observe the vehicles. Look for each car’s make, model, color, year, license plate number, expiration date, and VIN.
Prepare a drawing showing the location of the cars and their direction of travel following the accident scene. Take pictures and videos to reveal essential details of the vehicles and crash site: record how people acted and any admissions of guilt. When building and arguing your case, it is better to rely on visual evidence rather than your memory. Pictures and videos tell your story to the insurance company during negotiations and to the jury if your case goes to trial.
Try to find out who the other driver’s passengers are. Find out names, addresses, birthdates, phone numbers, and additional contact information. Passengers of the other driver are not obligated to speak with you. If the passengers do not provide you with any information, take good notes about the number of witnesses and what you heard them say at the scene.
- Notify your insurance company
To comply with your insurance policy, you must notify your insurance company. Even if you are not at fault, you must notify your insurance company after an accident. As part of your insurance policy, you agree to notify your insurance company when you are involved in an accident and cooperate with the accident investigation.
Your insurance company may raise your premiums, decline to renew your policy, or even cancel it if you do not notify them.
- Submit the driver’s accident report
The driver of vehicles involved in an accident in Utah may be required to complete and submit a written accident report form. If the driver involved in the accident is not the vehicle owner, the owner must submit the accident report within 15 days of becoming aware of the accident.
- Call Gosdis Law
Contact Gosdis Law. We are the number one Utah personal injury lawyer for a reason. We fight for our clients and get results. Over two decades, Gosdis Law has recovered millions and millions of dollars for our clients. Call or visit our website to schedule a free consultation today.
POLICE INVESTIGATION OF UTAH CAR ACCIDENTS
If you are involved in an accident that causes injury or property damage, you must call the police and an ambulance. You are required to cooperate with the police and other investigators until the investigation is completed. During the investigation, you may receive phone calls and letters from the insurance company that require your response.
The Utah police will respond to car accidents that involve injury or property damage always. However, if you live in a more highly populated area, the police may not have the resources to respond to the scene.
WHAT ARE TYPICAL DAMAGES IN UTAH CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM?
Below are some of the usual types of damages that car accident victims suffer. This is not exhaustive, but these are some of the broad categories of harm that you may encounter.
What Are Economic Damages?
Economic damages are easily quantifiable damages. Economic damages are monetary losses. Economic damages can include things like:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
The amount of damages is based on an amount considered to compensate the injured party for losses caused by the injury itself but by their circumstances. The number of special damages varies from victim to victim. Special damages should make the victim whole for expenses incurred or the money lost due to the incident or accident that caused their injuries.
General damages are paid as compensation for loss caused by an injury for which another party is liable; money may be awarded to one party in a civil suit.
What Are Non-Economic Damages?
Non-economic damages are damages that are not readily quantifiable. These damages can be considered personal losses. They can include things like:
- Loss of consortium: A claim for loss of consortium is that because of the injury of a family member, usually a spouse, the spouse cannot have the same relationship with the claimant that they had before the injury.
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are imposed on a defendant to punish and deter the defendant from acting in a certain way. For wildly outrageous conduct, the court may award punitive damages. Punitive damages are recovered along with economic damages and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are rare.
The amount of damages awarded is three times the amount the wrongdoer is found liable. Treble damages are available under the statute that allows them. Treble damages are a type of punitive damages. The goal is to deter others from committing the same offense. Plaintiffs must prove that the defendant requested treble damages in their complaint to receive damages in personal injury cases.
Wrongful Death Damages
Wrongful death damages include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pre-death medical expenses
- Survivors’ emotional distress
- The financial loss of the deceased
- Loss of services and support
- Loss of companionship and support
HOW ARE PAIN AND SUFFERING DAMAGES CALCULATED FOR A CAR ACCIDENT?
One method to calculate pain and suffering damages is to use a pain and suffering multiplier. A pain and suffering multiplier determines how much your pain and suffering are worth. Multiply all actual damages by 1.5 to 10 to find the amount for pain and suffering.
When determining the appropriate multiplier for your pain and suffering, factors to consider include the degree of the other driver’s fault, the seriousness of your injuries and permanent disability, clear proof of your pain and suffering, and your recovery period.
You will need medical records at a minimum to prove your pain and suffering claim. You may need to provide witness testimony, police reports, medical treatment bills, photos, and therapist notes to establish a more severe injury to the insurance company or a jury.
Your lawyer can help you build your case to prove your amount of pain and suffering.
HOW DO I COLLECT MY JUDGMENT?
Even if a jury finds that a defendant is responsible for your injuries, that does not mean that you will automatically receive your money. A defendant may be unwilling or unable to pay part or all the damages awards. You have some options available if you are not receiving payments. You can start the collection process or investigate garnishing wages. In most cases, the insurance company will pay a valid damages award or settlement without any hassle up to the liability limits.
WHAT ARE TYPICAL INJURIES PEOPLE SUFFER FROM IN A CAR ACCIDENT?
Below are some of the usual types of injuries that car accident victims suffer. This is not exhaustive, but these are some of the broad categories of harm that you may encounter.
Soft Injuries vs. Hard Injuries
You may have different types of injuries and more than one type of injury. Most injuries are classified as “soft” or “hard” injuries.
Soft injuries are injuries to the body that do not usually require invasive medical treatment. Examples of soft injuries are bruises, cuts, scrapes, whiplash, or sprains. These injuries may require medical care, but they are usually not likely to cause long-term detrimental physical effects for the victim. A car accident that only causes soft injuries is the best-case scenario if you are injured. Usually, a jury will not hear cases involving soft-tissue injuries in personal injury cases. The insurance company may be able to negotiate with you.
You must have an advocate in your corner when getting what you deserve from an insurance company. Gosdis Law is passionate about personal injury and helping people put their lives back together after an accident. Call us or visit our website for a free consultation with Gosdis Law.
Hard injuries are considered more severe injuries. Hard injuries include traumatic brain injuries, head trauma, amputation, broken bones, paralysis, or death. This type of injury can make it to court. While these types of injuries seem apparent, it can still be an uphill battle to get the treatment and financial support you need to recover.
Hard injuries have a substantial dollar amount. Hard injuries will require medical care (often long-term medical care), unlike soft injuries. Again, these injuries are apparent most of the time. Most people you come across will see the cast your broken arm is in or will notice that you have lost a limb. And it seems evident that the cause of hard injuries is the car accident you have suffered.
However, many people who suffer catastrophic injuries from car accidents still face resistance from the insurance company while trying to get the money they need to get well. At Gosdis Law, we have seen this problem before, and we are the best at getting our clients the resources they need to start their lives again.
Gosdis Law is a top personal injury law firm in Utah. We can help you through your most challenging time after a car accident. We are here to guide you through making your Utah car accident claim. You need a Murray personal injury lawyer with years of experience collecting millions and millions of dollars for accident victims for the best result. We are here to help put your life back on track.
WHAT IS COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE?
The state of Utah is a comparative negligence state. Comparative negligence is a theory present in civil litigation when both the plaintiff and defendant are partly at fault. The insurance company, jury, or court will determine the percentage of fault. Based on the facts, a court might decide that the plaintiff is 30% at fault for an accident and the defendant is 70% at fault for the accident. In a comparative negligence jurisdiction, the plaintiff will only recover 70% of their accident claim. Contributing to the accident would reduce a plaintiff’s ability to recover by 30%.
If you disagree with the insurance company’s determination of fault, you may need to hire an attorney. Gosdis Law only handles personal injury cases, so we are experienced in making the correct arguments, compellingly presenting your claim, and talking to the intimidating insurance companies to ensure that you get the best outcome possible. If you have the proper representation on your side, you will be better able to recover from your injury fully.
WHAT AUTO INSURANCE IS REQUIRED IN UTAH?
In Utah, every driver must have a minimum amount of auto insurance. All drivers must have liability insurance, personal injury protection, uninsured motorist, and underinsured motorist insurance unless they waive them in writing.
No-fault insurance is personal injury protection insurance. Utah requires each driver to have a minimum of $3,000 in no-fault insurance coverage. Personal injury protection is used when a person is hurt. Under Utah’s no-fault system, each driver involved in a car crash must use their personal injury protection insurance to pay their medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF CAR INSURANCE COVERAGE THAT I NEED IN UTAH?
Utah drivers must carry liability insurance and Personal Injury Protection coverage unless waived in writing by the insured, uninsured motorist insurance, and underinsured motorist coverage.
In addition to Personal Injury Protection coverage of at least $3000, you must carry at least $25,0000 in liability coverage per person and $65,000 per accident, $15,000 in property damage coverage, and uninsured motorist coverage equal to the amount of liability coverage that you carry.
HOW LONG DOES AN INSURANCE COMPANY HAVE TO SETTLE A CLAIM IN UTAH?
The insurance company may try to intimidate you into settling by using the upcoming statute of limitations. The insurance company may not even inform you that you have a statute of limitations if you do not comply with it.
The insurance company of the other driver has no obligation to you. Utah allows four years from the accident to settle the claim or file a lawsuit.
If you are suffering from the effects of injuries caused by a car crash in Utah, you need the number one personal injury attorney in the state. Gosdis Law prides itself on the service that we provide to our clients. We work for you, and we have a client-centered approach to individual representation. We want to serve you. We get results.
HOW DOES THE UTAH STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS WORK ON CAR ACCIDENTS?
To successfully file a claim for a car accident, you must first determine your statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is when a claim or lawsuit for damages must be settled or filed. Different types of claims have various statutes of limitations. Each state has its law determining the statute of limitations for bringing a claim for injuries because of a car accident. Utah has a statute of limitations of four years for a plaintiff to resolve their case by settling with the insurance company or filing a lawsuit in the proper court. A person who has a car accident claim has four years from the date of the accident to settle the claim or file a lawsuit.
The statute of limitations is a hurdle because you are barred from recovery forever if you miss the time to settle or file. The statute of limitations is used to move a case along reasonably and efficiently.
Having a statute of limitations ensures that the case is pursued steadily so that the court system is not clogged up with stagnant cases. A deadline for settling or filing a lawsuit preserves evidence. Evidence may be lost if too much time passes between the date of the accident and when the case is filed in court. Witnesses of the accident may be unavailable if too much time passes. Your injuries may heal quickly, making your case less persuasive to an insurance company or a jury. On the other hand, your physical condition can deteriorate because you lack access to proper health care to help you get better. Having a prompt and clear deadline to keep the case moving protects both parties from laborious litigation.
The law only allows limited exceptions to the statute of limitations. The Discovery Rule’s legal doctrine is the narrow exception to the statute of limitations. Per the discovery rule, the statute of limitations for a claim does not begin to run until the plaintiff discovers their injury. This exception is beneficial for those who suffer “hidden” injuries.
For example, if a person has a brain injury, they may not notice a change themselves. Often people who are close to an accident victim are the ones that see symptoms of a brain injury, including memory loss, emotional instability, and changes in speech patterns. In exceptional cases like that, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the person knows they have been injured. They will have four years from the date of discovery to settle the car accident claim or bring a lawsuit.
WHAT KIND OF SETTLEMENT SHOULD I GET FOR A CAR ACCIDENT IN UTAH?
Your attorney can help you determine how much your claim is worth. The insurance company’s job is to settle allegations that its insured are at fault for the smallest amount of money possible. That is why negotiating solely with the insurance company alone is not the best route to take. Be wary of an insurance company’s first and final offer. The other driver’s insurance company is not here to advocate for you. You need someone on your team. Hiring a good personal injury attorney is your best next step.
Gosdis Law is a Murray personal injury law firm that only focuses on personal injury law. We are passionate about protecting our clients from greedy insurance companies that want to shortchange injured people. At Gosdis Law, we approach every case with expertise, professionalism, and empathy. That is why we have won millions and millions of dollars for our clients. We want to help you put your life back together after you experience a car crash. If you have been in an accident in Murray, Utah, call the best Murray personal injury lawyers at Gosdis Law.
WE WILL FIGHT TO RECOVER THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR YOUR UTAH ACCIDENT
SCHEDULE A FREE CASE EVALUATION WITH A UTAH AUTO ACCIDENT LAWYER TODAY.
If you have been injured in an auto accident in Utah, you need to retain a Utah attorney who focuses on auto accidents. You are entitled to compensation. Gosdis Law will help you get it. Our attorneys are committed to obtaining justice for all our clients and believe it is essential to get your life back on track as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
The personal injury attorneys at Gosdis Law have decades of experience getting our clients the compensation they deserve for their car accident cases.
Call or text us today at (385) 429-9960 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Utah auto accident lawyer.