Salt Lake City Car Accident Lawyer
Work with a Salt Lake City car crash attorney from Craig Swapp & Associates to recover your losses. Our lawyers will help you get the compensation and justice you deserve for what you’ve suffered.
Car accidents are a leading cause of serious injury and death in this country. Many people’s lives are changed in an instant when they suffer injuries in these collisions. If you were seriously injured in a preventable car crash, you could be eligible for compensation from the at-fault driver.
Utah’s personal injury laws are wordy and not easy to understand, and filing a personal injury claim isn’t easy, either. When you work with a car accident lawyer from our office, we will provide you with up-to-the-minute information and guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim. Our car accident lawyers will do everything in their power to make sure you receive a positive outcome and provide you with the practical legal representation and professional care you deserve.
Dealing with Insurance Companies After an Accident
For minor car wrecks, it’s common to just file a claim with the insurance company to recover your damage and losses. Your damages will likely be low—minor damage to your vehicle and maybe some small medical bills. But when you’ve been involved in a serious accident, the damages and expenses can really skyrocket.
Worse, the person responsible for your injuries may do everything they can to not compensate you for the damage and injuries you suffered. While the other driver didn’t set out to injure you, it’s still a fact that their negligence caused the accident, meaning they need to see you compensated.
Insurance companies are for-profit organizations, which means they have procedures in place meant to reduce their financial losses. That absolutely includes trying to lower the amount of compensation for your injuries. Don’t be surprised if you get a personable insurance adjuster who seems to care about what you’ve suffered, only to then receive a low-ball offer to settle your car accident claim. Your crash and damages are not personal for them. They have profits to make and investors to please.
That’s especially difficult if you’re dealing with specific types of accidents, like trucking accidents. These vehicles tend to cause more devastating accidents due to their size. Because of this, your claim may be more expensive. Likewise with a motorcycle accident: motorcycle riders tend to experience serious injuries due to the open nature of their vehicle. Unfortunately, insurance companies may try to avoid paying the full value of your accident needs.
Our legal consultants won’t let them treat you that way. Your Salt Lake City car accident lawyer can take their calls and has the necessary knowledge and experience to negotiate a fair settlement so they won’t be able to cheat you out of the compensation you need and deserve. Don’t accept a settlement offer from an insurance company without discussing it with your attorney first.
How Utah’s Negligence Laws Impact Accident Victims
After being injured in an automobile crash, most residents of Utah and the surrounding areas believe they just have to file a claim with their insurance company, and their damages and medical bills will be covered. That’s great in theory, but what if you’re seriously injured in the accident?
Serious injuries could have you in the hospital for months—or even leave you permanently disabled. Will the insurance company cover your losses? All of the losses and damage related to the accident? That’s where a personal injury lawsuit comes into play. You need compensation not only for the immediate hospital bills, but also for your lost wages and future medical expenses related to your injury.
When it’s been determined that someone else’s negligence caused your crash, that person should be held responsible for any expenses and medical care that resulted from the vehicle accident that exceed what your insurer will cover.
But pushing the at-fault party to provide compensation may not be easy. Utah uses a system called modified comparative negligence to determine how much each party involved is responsible for their share of the incident. Unfortunately, this system may benefit the at-fault party who doesn’t want to compensate you for what the accident caused.
Utah uses a system called modified comparative negligence to determine how much each party involved is responsible for their share of the incident. Getting the most accident compensation under this system will require providing substantial evidence of the other driver’s negligence.
If you’re found partially responsible for your injuries, your compensation award can be reduced by the percentage for which you’ve been found responsible. If you’re found 50 percent or more responsible, you will lose the right to seek damages altogether. Be careful to avoid admitting any fault for an accident you didn’t cause, and let our accident lawyers handle the communication with the insurance company on your behalf so that you don’t lose any of your rights.
Causes of Car Accidents in Salt Lake City
There are many causes of car accidents that happen more commonly in Salt Lake City. Many of these accidents are preventable. Understanding these causes can help you determine what to expect or put on your claim if you’re injured in an accident.
Below is just a sample of the common causes of Salt Lake City car accidents:
- Driving drowsy
- Driving while under the influence of either drugs or alcohol
- Failure to yield to the right-of-way traffic
- Driving while distracted
- Poor road conditions or maintenance
- Faulty car parts
While this is not an exhaustive list of what causes accidents to happen, these causes account for a large portion of accidents on Salt Lake City’s roads. There are many other causes that can bring about accidents, as well, so speak with a Salt Lake City car accident lawyer even if you don’t see your accident represented here.
What Is No-Fault Insurance in Utah?
There are two options for collecting damages if you’ve been in a car accident in Utah. You’re able to file a claim with the insurance company or file a lawsuit with civil court. Utah is a no-fault insurance state, which means your insurance policy is an option regardless of fault.
A no-fault insurance state means that you must carry a specific amount of coverage for personal injuries. If you were injured, you have to file a claim with your own insurance company first, which gives you a chance to settle more quickly. Once you do this, you’re then able to file a claim against the other party’s insurance company.
However, there are specific injuries that make you exempt from having to file with your own insurance company first.
- Permanent impairments, disabilities, or disfigurement
- Medical expenses that exceed $3,000
Utah is also a state with a modified comparative fault rule. This means you can claim compensation as long as the party at fault is responsible for the larger portion of fault in the accident. Your damages will be reduced by the percentage of the accident you’re responsible for.
The insurance laws in Utah can be confusing and complex. This is why it is important to reach out to a Salt Lake City car accident lawyer that understands the laws and car accidents in the state. You should focus on recovery and allow them to negotiate a fair settlement.
Serious Injuries Associated with Car Wrecks
Serious injuries can impact you for the rest of your life. They can greatly change your quality of life, leaving you with crippling pain or limited mobility and medical problems. Some serious injuries can make it difficult or impossible for you to work, or you may have permanent scars that affect your self-confidence.
When you’ve suffered these injuries in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, such as by distracted or drunk drivers, you should be compensated financially for all the ways in which your suffering will impact your life. The compensation the insurance companies provide for your injuries will correlate with your injuries’ seriousness, as well as how they will impact your future.
Even with seat belts and air bags, all accidents have the potential to cause serious injury, but some types of injuries are unique to vehicle crashes, such as whiplash. Below, you’ll find some common serious injuries associated with motorcycle, truck, and car accident cases:
- Spine, back, and neck injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Dismemberment and amputation
- Severe burns
- Permanent scarring
Car Accident Statistics in Salt Lake City
Car accidents are a significant concern in Utah, with millions of drivers that drive in the state, there are many crashes occurring yearly. The high traffic volume, combined with various factors such as speeding, distraction, drowsy driving, and alcohol use, contribute to the high number of accidents.
2021 Utah Department of Transportation Report
According to an ABC4 report, Utah car crashes in 2021 resulted in more deaths compared to the previous 11 years. There were over 130 deaths from January 1 to June 15 in the same year alone, based on the reports from the Utah Department of Transportation.
Further, 102 fatalities are also reported. Compared to the 2020 traffic fatality rate, the traffic fatalities in 2021 have increased by about 50%, which is described to be a terrible year, according to UDOT spokesperson John Gleason.
Driving Habits in Salt Lake City
Car accidents don’t happen out of a sudden. There are many cases when driving habits make a huge impact leading to car accidents. In Salt Lake City, the driving habits of drivers are said to be one of the worst, according to a national report by QuoteWizard. Salt Lake City drivers have been ranked as the eighth worst in the nation based on the analyzed data. The report highlights that Salt Lake City is positioned as the fifth-highest city in the nation for car accidents, ranking 10th for incidents of driving under the influence (DUIs), eighth for speeding tickets issued, and 19th for other citations.
Driving under the influence and speeding are two major causes of car accidents. The high ranking in these categories highlights the need for greater attention to be placed on road safety in Salt Lake City.
2021 Utah Department of Public Safety Report
In the 2021 Utah Department of Public Safety’s Highway Safety Office crash statistics, there were a total of 26,726 crashes that were caused by various factors such as distraction-related, drowsy driving, drug-related, motorcycle-involved, speeding, alcohol-related, unrestrained driving, and teen driving. These crashes resulted in 9,096 injuries and 232 fatalities. The top three among these related crashes are teen-involved (13,622), followed by speeding and distracted driving.
Although it is common for car accidents to happen at night or during rush hours, the 2021 report shows that among the aforementioned crashes, crashes happened at 2 p.m. each day – which has the highest record.
With that, it shows that there is still much work to be done to improve road safety and reduce the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities in the state of Utah. Addressing the various causes of crashes, such as distraction, drowsy driving, drug use, and speeding, is key to reducing the number of accidents on the state’s roads.
What To Do After a Salt Lake City Car Accident
Car accidents are scary and often, you don’t think about what you should do in the overwhelming aftermath. Tensions may be high, and you may have a lot on your mind in the confusion of the moment.
However, there are essential things you should do to protect yourself, your rights, and any claim you may want to make later.
- Safety First – It’s important that you’re in a safe area after an accident. You want to check yourself and others in the vehicle for any injuries and move the vehicle out of the road. If you’re unable to move the vehicle, getting out of the vehicle and going to the side of the road is recommended.
- Receive Medical Care – If there are serious injuries, call 911 to obtain medical help as soon as possible. Even if you do not have any noticeable injuries, seeking medical attention can ensure you’re not injured internally or suffering a delayed injury.
- Contact the Local Salt Lake City Police – You want to obtain a police report of the accident to assist you in future claims made to insurance companies or against other drivers. Answer their questions truthfully. They will record their initial thoughts on what may have happened at the scene.
- Exchange Information – Exchange contact information with the other driver. You need to know names, insurance information, license plate number, make, model, and year of the vehicle, and location where the vehicles were in an accident. You’ll also want to record the police officer’s names and badge numbers. Any witnesses that stopped to assist should provide their contact information for future questions that may arise.
- Take Pictures of the Scene – You want pictures of the vehicles, damage, injuries, and important areas of interest involved in the accident. You want as many different angles of these items as possible and that they’re clear. The more proof of the accident that you have, the stronger your case may be.
Get Compensated for Your Salt Lake City Auto Collision
After an accident, you may experience pain physically and emotionally, and all you really want is to not have to shoulder the financial responsibility that resulted from it, as well. If a reckless or negligent driver injured you, they should have to pay for your accident-related injuries. Unfortunately, your insurer’s billings may suggest they think otherwise.
You’re not looking for some get-rich-quick scheme, although the insurance companies will treat you like you are. You deserve to be treated better than that as all you really want is to protect your legal rights. All you want is to be fairly compensated for your losses, and you deserve to receive that compensation. Your attorney will help make sure you get it.
Listed below are some of the losses you might suffer in a serious auto accident, many of which people don’t realize they can include in their insurance or accident claim unless they have a lawyer’s guidance and counsel:
- Lost or damaged property
- Medical care and expenses, including hospital bills, medications, physical therapy, and future medical expenses related to your injuries
- Your pain and suffering
- The mental anguish your accident caused you
- Mental health treatment
- Lost wages, including lost future earning potential
- Caregiving service and transportation services
- Reductions to your quality of life
The Claims Process for Car Accidents in Salt Lake City
The claims process for car accidents in Salt Lake City, Utah can be a complex and confusing process, but it is important to understand the steps involved in order to ensure that your rights are protected. If you have been involved in a car accident, the following is a general overview of the claims process that you can expect to go through.
Report the accident to the police and your insurance company.
The first step in the claims process is to report the accident to the police and your insurance company.
This should be done as soon as possible after the accident. The police will create a report that can be used as evidence in any legal proceedings, and your insurance company will begin the process of investigating the accident and determining liability.
Be sure to gather as much evidence as possible about the accident, including photos of the scene, contact information for any witnesses, and any documentation of injuries or property damage. This information will be used to support your claim.
Seek medical attention if necessary.
If you are injured in the accident, make sure you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Not only is this important for your health, but it will also be important to document any injuries as part of your claim.
File a claim with the insurance company.
Once you have reported the accident to your insurance company, you will need to file a claim. This involves providing the insurance company with all of the relevant information about the accident, including the police report, any medical records, and any other evidence that you have gathered. The insurance company will then use this information to determine liability and calculate the amount of the settlement that they are willing to offer.
Negotiate a settlement.
After the insurance company has completed its investigation, they will usually offer a settlement. It’s important to understand that the initial settlement offer may not be the final offer, and that you have the right to negotiate for a higher settlement. It’s also important to understand that you have the right to reject a settlement offer if you do not believe it is fair.
File a lawsuit.
If the insurance company’s settlement offer is not acceptable, you may have the option to file a lawsuit. This is typically a last resort, and should only be done after all other options have been exhausted. A lawsuit can be a lengthy and expensive process, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of the potential costs and benefits before proceeding.
Note that the claims process for car accidents can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. It is highly recommended that you seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the claims process and protect your rights. A Salt Lake City car accident lawyer can advise you on the best course of action for your specific case, including negotiating a settlement with the insurance company or filing a lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Salt Lake City
The statute of limitations for car accidents in Salt Lake City, Utah is four years for injuries and three years for property damage. This means that an individual who has been involved in a car accident has three to four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury or property damage claim. If a claim is not filed within this time frame, the individual may be barred from pursuing legal action.
It is important to note that the statute of limitations for car accidents can vary depending on the type of claim being filed. For example, if the individual is filing a claim for wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years. It is also important to be aware that the statute of limitations can be different for government entities (the statute of limitations is one year), so it is important to check with a car accident lawyer in Salt Lake City for specific details.
The statute of limitations may be paused or “tolled” under certain circumstances. For example, if the injured party is a minor or if the individual is unable to file a claim due to incapacity, the statute of limitations may be paused.
It is important to consult with a Salt Lake City car accident lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident to ensure that all deadlines and requirements are met. An attorney can also advise the individual on the best course of action for their specific case, including negotiating a settlement with the insurance company or filing a lawsuit.
Legal Representation from a Salt Lake City Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve never worked with a lawyer after suffering injuries in an accident before, you may be worried about details like their services, their legal fees, and other concerns. We’ve helped many clients make the right choice for their accident cases by providing them with practical legal advice and guidance.
For example, you may have trouble pushing the insurance company to provide a timely settlement, or the at-fault party may refuse to work with you. That’s where we can step in and use the law to help car accident victims settle their claims for the funds they’re due, not what the insurance company is willing to pay.
Additionally, we’ve worked with automobile accident victims who struggled with determining whether they were eligible to be compensated. If you’re not sure what your accident claim is worth, our team of professionals and legal consultants have the tools and experience to quantify the value of your losses. Rest assured, we’ve helped many injury victims with cases like yours, and we’re ready to help you succeed, too.
Get a Free Consultation with Our Salt Lake City Car Accident Lawyers
Being injured in an auto collision is an experience that wasn’t on your bucket list, but you got through it. Now, let us help you recover from it by getting you the justice and compensation you deserve. Craig Swapp & Associates can help you file your claim for car accident compensation today.
We will do the legal heavy lifting, from obtaining your accident report to winning in court, so you can focus on recovering from this difficult incident. To get your questions answered by a qualified Salt Lake City car accident lawyer, call us for a free case review at 1-800-404-9000 or fill out the online contact form at the bottom of this page.
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Salt Lake City Car Accident FAQ
Are some injuries more common in car accidents than others?
The type of personal injury you suffer in the accident will largely depend on the seriousness of the accident you were involved in. We have seen injury types ranging from broken bones and whiplash to traumatic brain injuries and amputations.
Will I need to go to court for a car accident?
You should always be prepared to go to court, although our personal injury attorneys are usually able to avoid going to trial by successfully negotiating with the insurance company to obtain a settlement that is both fair and reasonable for your injuries.
How much does it cost to hire a car accident attorney?
When you choose an injury attorney at Craig Swapp & Associates, you won’t have to worry about how much it costs unless we win your case. We don’t charge our clients a dime unless or until we win.
If the insurer made an offer to settle my accident claim, do I have to accept it?
No, you are not legally obligated to accept an offer made by the insurance company. In fact, if the insurer made you an offer quickly, it’s very possible that the insurance adjuster understands that your claim is worth a lot more and they are hoping to avoid paying you the full amount of compensation you're owed. Before accepting an offer, you should review it with a car accident lawyer from Craig Swapp & Associates so we can go over what your damages really are. You don’t have to settle for less than you are entitled to when we’re handling your claim.
How do you figure out what my accident claim is worth?
We will work hard to ensure that your every medical cost, both now and in the future, is covered. Some medical expenses that might be included in your claim are as follows:
- Cost of prescription medications
- Hospital and medical bills
- Ambulance fees
- Medical equipment
- Adjustments to your home to accommodate medical equipment
- Diagnostic imaging
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Rehabilitative services
- Mental health counseling
- Transportation costs
What if the accident caused the death of my loved one?
If a family member was injured in an accident and passed away due to critical injuries, Craig Swapp & Associates will pursue a wrongful death claim against the party responsible for causing the accident. In the state of Utah, wrongful death claims are pursued the same way a personal injury lawsuit is, and damages are calculated as if the deceased had been alive and able to file a claim on their own behalf.
Is there a cap on the amount of injury compensation I can receive?
Generally speaking, most states will put a cap on noneconomic damages like pain and suffering, or in medical malpractice claims in general. Utah has placed a cap of $450,000 on these types of noneconomic damages. This damage cap does not apply to financial losses like medical bills and vehicle damage, however.
Can I seek punitive damages in my car accident claim?
You will be awarded punitive damages in your injury lawsuit if the judge determines that the actions of the defendant were malicious or egregiously negligent. Punitive damages are unique in that they aren’t meant to compensate you for your losses; they are designed to make an example of the grossly negligent behavior of the wrongdoer.
Can I still seek damages if I was found partially at fault for my accident?
Yes, as long as you are found less than 50 percent responsible. However, your compensation award may be reduced by the percentage of responsibility you hold. For example, if you’re found 30 percent responsible and you are awarded $100,000 in damages. You will only receive $70,000 because your 30 percent of the responsibility will be deducted.
Should I give a recorded statement to the insurance company?
No. You should let your auto accident attorney handle all communications with the insurance companies. Your insurance company will often use what you say against you to reduce your compensation, so it’s often better to get help with the right words to say and questions to ask.
How long does a personal injury case take to be resolved?
That depends. It could take a few months or up to a year or longer. Insurance companies use stalling techniques in the hope of wearing you down so you’ll accept a lower settlement offer. Let us help you deal with insurance. To get fair compensation for your car crash, you need to hang in there and team up with a qualified lawyer who won't be afraid to go to court if need be. It should also be noted that the statute of limitations in Utah for personal injury claims is four years, and the sooner you get started with your case, the easier it is to collect the necessary evidence and witness testimony.