Injury Lawyer Utah
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Injury Lawyer Utah
Getting an injury lawyer Utah is the key to receiving the compensation you deserve after an accident caused by someone else's negligence. So how exactly can such an attorney help? Read on to learn more.
But first things first, if you need to find out whether you have a valid claim, fill out our free case evaluation form today.
Reasons to Hire An Injury Lawyer In Utah
Many different factors make personal injury cases in Utah particularly complex to settle. That explains why you should always consider hiring an attorney if you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else's negligence. Just to give you some perspective, here are some reasons why you shouldn't think twice about hiring a personal injury attorney.
Utah's Negligence Laws Are Complex
Utah has adopted the modified comparative negligence law when it comes to personal injury cases. Under this law, your ability to recover compensation for your injuries depends on the degree of fault you've been assigned by the judge or jury. Specifically, if found to be 50% or more at fault, you may not be eligible to receive any compensation from the other party involved.
This law can significantly impact your case. That's because the conversation shifts from who was at fault for the accident to their extent of fault, usually in terms of a percentage.
This is where hiring a personal injury lawyer becomes crucial. The attorney will strive to minimize the percentage of fault assigned to you because this aspect alone directly affects your ability to receive compensation. We haven't even looked at the other party's insurance coverage limits and how they could influence the amount you may be entitled to as compensation for your injuries.
If you hire a skilled attorney to represent you, preferably from Morgan and Morgan, they will use different legal strategies to challenge the opposing party's claims and keep your level of fault below the threshold of 50%. This could increase your chances of recovering damages proportional to the other party's share of responsibility.
Navigating Utah's Damage Caps
The unfortunate truth about certain personal injury cases, especially those that involve medical malpractice, is that although you may be entitled to compensation, Utah's damage caps may prevent you from recovering the full amount of damages you deserve.
According to the Utah Code Section 78B-3-410, there is a limit on the amount of non-economic damages you can recover after an injury. For cases that occurred on or after May 15, 2010, the cap is set at $450,000. If the medical malpractice incident took place before that date, the Utah Courts website has a tool you can use to calculate the specific cap that applies to your situation.
Because of these caps, hiring an attorney is more important than ever before. Precisely, you need a lawyer to maximize your claim, which is the whole point of filing a medical malpractice case in the first place. A skilled attorney will evaluate your case and find other ways to recover compensation for your injuries and losses, ensuring that you are adequately compensated despite any damage caps that may apply to the case.
Bypassing the Government's Sovereign Immunity Law
In personal injury cases, there's something known as Sovereign Immunity. This is a legal doctrine that limits the liability of the government and its agencies in personal injury claims. So if you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of a government employee or agency in Utah, sovereign immunity is one of those things that could significantly influence your personal injury claim. You don't want that to happen to you or a loved one.
A different set of rules and limitations apply when government agencies or employees are involved in these cases. For instance, in Utah, the time limit for filing a standard claim after an injury case is four years from the date the injury occurred. However, when filing a case against the state government, the deadline drops to one year. Similarly, if your initial claim is denied, you have one year to file an appeal.
The Utah Governmental Immunity Act outlines the procedures, limitations, and requirements for pursuing a claim against a government entity or employee. It sets forth specific guidelines that you must adhere to in order to seek compensation for your injuries.
One of the significant effects of sovereign immunity is that it places limitations on the amount of compensation you can recover from the government. In this state, there are statutory caps on damages that can be awarded in personal injury claims against the government. These caps are in place to protect the financial resources of the government.
For context, let's say you were injured by a government agency or employee, filed a claim, and won. Regardless of the amount you may be entitled to, the Governmental Immunity Act does not allow you to recover more than $583,900 as compensation for your injuries.
That's why you need an attorney specializing in personal injury claims against the government. Such an attorney will have in-depth knowledge of the Utah Governmental Immunity Act and its implications for the specifics of your case. They can ensure that you receive the compensation you need and deserve despite the limitations.
Utah's No-Fault System Can Further Complicate Your Claim
Another thing you need to know is that Utah follows the no-fault system when it comes to car accidents. While this system may seem reasonable on paper and easy to navigate, that's not usually the case, especially if you've suffered serious injuries.
This system can further complicate your personal injury claim. First, let's take a quick look at how it works.
Each driver's insurance company is responsible for covering their own insured's medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. Keep in mind that you can only file a claim with your insurer if you purchased the minimum personal injury protection insurance required, which is usually $3,000 for medical expenses.
The minimum liability insurance required in this state is as follows:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $65,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $15,000 per accident for property damage
While this system is intended to streamline the claims process and ensure prompt payment of medical bills, it can introduce challenges you didn't anticipate. Here are some of the most notorious.
It limits your ability to file a lawsuit for non-economic damages, and that's because you can only pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver if your injuries meet the state's threshold for "serious injury," as defined by Utah law. This means that unless your injuries result in death, permanent disability, permanent impairment, or significant disfigurement, you may only seek compensation through your own insurance company.
Furthermore, having this system in place does not mean that your insurance provider will compensate you without asking questions. On the contrary, it can lead to disputes and disagreements over the extent of your injuries, the necessary medical treatments, and the amount of compensation you deserve. Regardless of the fault-based system in place, your insurance provider only cares about protecting their interest, which, in this case, is limiting the amount they have to pay you as compensation for your injuries.
Coordinating benefits with multiple insurance policies can also be challenging and stressful, especially when nursing your injuries at the same time. If you have multiple insurance policies, you may require the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney to fill out the complex paperwork, assess the value of your claim, and pursue the compensation you need and deserve.
You Deserve to Focus On Recovering From Your Injuries
Pursuing compensation for your injuries while also focusing on your recovery can be painful, frustrating, and overwhelming. You need to prioritize your recovery and well-being, but we know it's difficult to do so without the help of an attorney. Remember, these cases have strict deadlines. Also, with or without deadlines, your recovery is the most important thing.
Without an attorney, you'll also have to deal with a multitude of legal procedures and paperwork, all of which must be filed correctly. Add that to the extensive investigation and evidence-gathering process required to establish liability and the extent of your damages. These processes require a lot of resources, experience, and above all, good health.
Also, as mentioned earlier, despite the state's no-fault laws, negotiating with insurance is the last thing you want to do while nursing your injuries. Without legal representation, you may be at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating a fair settlement because the insurer knows that you desperately need the money to settle your bills.
When nursing serious injuries, you will likely not be able to settle your bills because you can't work and earn a living. Even though you may be able to recover lost wages further down the road, Utah's payout limit is usually about 85% of what you would have earned had it not been for the injuries you sustained in the accident.
By entrusting your legal matters to an attorney, you can relieve yourself of the stress and burden associated with pursuing compensation for your injuries and losses. Instead, you will switch your focus to healing, attending medical appointments, following your doctor's instructions, and protecting your mental health.
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What Damages Can a Personal Injury Attorney in Utah Help Me Recover?
A personal injury attorney in Utah can help you recover medical expenses and lost wages from your own insurance provider in the case of car accidents. They can also help you seek non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life, by filing a claim against the other party.
Punitive damages may be available — but not guaranteed — if the court rules that the negligent party's conduct was exceptionally reckless or intentional.
What Should I Do if I Get Injured Due to Someone Else's Negligence in Utah?
First, your health and well-being come first. Seek medical attention for your injuries. You can do this by calling 911 if you suffered serious injuries or getting checked by a doctor, even if you believe that your injuries are not that serious.
If you take too long to get checked by a doctor and then develop health complications resulting from the injury further down the road, the insurance company could argue that you got injured elsewhere and that they are not responsible for your compensation.
If there's such an opportunity, don't hesitate to gather evidence from the scene of the incident. Photographs or videos of the accident scene and witnesses' contact information are just some examples of the kind of evidence that could be valuable in supporting your personal injury claim.
Finally, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer immediately. They will review your case and advise you on how to proceed.
What Should I Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney?
Look for an attorney with a solid track record of handling cases relating to your claim. For example, if you have a medical malpractice case, you need someone who only focuses on these types of cases, not a general practitioner.
You need an attorney with access to powerful legal resources such as expert witnesses, investigators, and medical professionals to team up and build a strong case on your behalf. That's the only way they'll be able to hold the other party accountable.
Check the attorney's past case results. Have they won any cases related to your specific claim?
Lastly, reputation is everything. Does the attorney or law firm have reviews you can check out? If so, are these reviews mostly positive?
Injured In Utah? Hire a Morgan and Morgan Injury Lawyer
At Morgan and Morgan, our personal injury lawyers understand your pain. We also know that insurance companies tend to take advantage of such situations to manipulate the injured into accepting lowball offers, that is, if they are even lucky to receive any offer at all. If you have been injured due to someone else's negligence, we may be able to connect you with an injury lawyer Utah who has your best interests at heart.
Fill out this form to learn more.