Car accidents happen all the time, and unfortunately, many can result in serious injuries, property damage, and lasting trauma. The rules and regulations governing vehicle accidents and personal injury law in Utah can be complex. Seeking legal advice from a Salt Lake City accident lawyer can make a significant difference in your case.

At Craig Swapp & Associates, our team of experienced vehicle accident lawyers in Salt Lake City is dedicated to helping you deal with the complexities of the legal system in vehicular crashes and obtain the compensation you deserve after getting injured.

Legal Challenges After a Vehicle Accident in Salt Lake City

Several legal complexities can arise after a vehicle accident. An experienced Salt Lake City accident lawyer can help you manage these challenges effectively:

1. No-Fault Insurance System

Under Utah’s no-fault insurance system, codified in the Utah Code Section 31A-22-307, your own insurance company covers your medical costs and certain other expenses up to the limit of your personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, irrespective of who is at fault for the accident.

While this system streamlines the process for receiving initial treatment and coverage, it also imposes restrictions on suing the at-fault driver for damages unless your injuries exceed a certain threshold of severity or cost. An experienced Salt Lake City vehicle accident lawyer can assess your situation and determine if your case qualifies for additional compensation beyond what your PIP coverage provides.

2. Insurance Claims and Disputes

Utah insurance law sets out the duties expected of insurance companies within the state. These include the obligation to act with good intentions and to approach claims fairly. Insurers are expected to investigate accident and injury claims without delay and pay out legitimate claims without unreasonable postponements or efforts to diminish the value of losses.

Disputes often center on the extent of damage (insurers may underplay the value of your property damage or the seriousness of your vehicle accident injuries), liability (insurers may try to assign blame to you even when you were not at fault), or may even stem from disagreements over the interpretation of your insurance policy language.

Utah’s law on unfair claim settlement practices exists to specifically ban insurance companies from engaging in unfair or misleading practices. This includes misrepresenting facts related to the accident, misrepresenting the terms of your insurance policy,  or not responding to communications regarding your claim in a timely manner.

3. Comparative Negligence Rule

Utah’s comparative negligence law rules that any financial award you might receive can be decreased by the percentage of responsibility assigned to you for the accident. For instance, if you were deemed 15% at fault due to running a stop sign and you have  $100,000 in damages, your potential award could be lowered to $85,000.

Utah specifically follows a “modified” comparative negligence rule. This means that if you are found to be 50% or more responsible, you may not recover any compensation. Even if you share some partial responsibility, a Salt Lake City accident lawyer will work to ensure that the negligence of all other involved parties is adequately considered, working to maximize the compensation you receive within the bounds of the law.

4. Personal Injury Claim Disputes

Utah allows injured individuals to pursue compensation for both economic losses (like medical bills and lost wages) and non-economic losses (like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and reduced quality of life) caused by another person’s negligence.

Disputes often arise with insurance companies (and potentially the at-fault party’s legal representation) over the true value of your injuries. They may argue that some of your medical treatment wasn’t necessary, or they might downplay the future impact your injuries will have on your life and your earning potential. Additionally, the subjective aspect of pain and suffering makes it a difficult category to value, one that insurers frequently try to minimize.

5. Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Utah’s personal injury law sets a four-year statute of limitations for filing most personal injury lawsuits. However, it’s important to note that there are some exceptions and nuances to this rule. For instance, if the injured person is a minor, the clock often doesn’t start until they turn 18.

Cases that involve medical malpractice have a two-year limit, but that could potentially expand to four years depending on when the injury was discovered. It gets even more complicated if your claim is against a government entity – these deadlines may be as short as one year and involve additional notice requirements.

The statute of limitations is an unyielding deadline. If you miss it, the court may permanently prevent you from pursuing a lawsuit. Attempting to navigate this alone increases the chances you’ll miss important deadlines.

Seeking the Right Legal Support from Our Salt Lake City Accident Lawyer

You may wonder if hiring a Salt Lake City vehicle accident lawyer is worth it. The truth is, that attempting to handle your personal injury claim on your own after the accident could jeopardize your ability to recover the financial compensation you’re entitled to.

If you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident in Salt Lake City, our Salt Lake City accident lawyer at Craig Swapp & Associates understands the challenges you’re facing. We’re ready to provide the legal support you need to manage the complexities you may encounter.

  • Free Case Evaluation: We offer a no-obligation consultation to review your situation and explain your legal options upfront. This helps you make informed decisions without any financial pressure.
  • Contingency Fee: Our fee structure means you don’t pay us anything unless we successfully recover compensation for you. This ensures our goals are perfectly aligned – we both want the best possible outcome for your case.
  • Personalized Attention: We recognize that every vehicle accident is unique. We’ll take the time to understand your specific needs, tailor our legal strategy accordingly, and keep you updated throughout the process.
  • Experience You Can Count On: Our attorneys have a proven track record of success in helping injured individuals in Salt Lake City. We put that experience and knowledge to work for you, advocating fiercely for your fair compensation.

Don’t wait to take action after a vehicle accident in Salt Lake City. Contact Craig Swapp & Associates today and let us handle the legal complexities while you focus on healing. We’ll fight tirelessly to protect your rights and obtain the financial resources you need to rebuild after a vehicle accident.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp