Suffering a severe injury after an accident in Idaho can be incredibly traumatic. Not only are you dealing with the physical and emotional pain, but there’s also the weight of medical expenses, lost wages, and the overwhelming feeling that your life’s been turned upside down.

Idaho personal injury law seeks to protect individuals who have been injured unjustly. The legal system aims to provide compensation and ensure those affected can rebuild their lives. If you’re in this situation, it’s essential to understand your rights so you can make informed decisions.

As one of the trusted Idaho personal injury attorneys, Craig Swapp & Associates is here to demystify this process and help you navigate the complexities of the law.

Your Rights When Injured in an Accident in Idaho

If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another person or entity in Idaho, some of the fundamental legal rights you are entitled to uphold include:

1. Right to Seek Medical Attention

Your health and well-being are the top priority after an accident in Idaho, even if you don’t feel injured immediately. Some injuries don’t manifest right away, and getting checked by a medical professional will also create documentation that’s critical if you decide to file a claim later.

You are expected to take reasonable measures to mitigate injuries. Seeking medical care fulfills this obligation, showing the insurance company or court you are actively trying to recover. Failing to get prompt medical attention can weaken your personal injury claim.

2. Right to Compensation

If someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing caused your accident and injuries, you might be entitled to compensation. This could cover:

  • Medical Expenses: You’re entitled to reimbursement for medical bills directly related to the accident, including hospitalization, surgeries, physical therapy, medications, and future medical treatment.
  • Lost Wages: Your compensation can include income lost while recovering. If the injuries cause long-term or permanent disability affecting your ability to work, you can seek compensation for future lost earning potential.
  • Pain and Suffering: This encompasses the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish caused by the accident and injuries.
  • Property Damage: Should your vehicle or personal property be damaged in the accident, you can seek repair or replacement costs.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your injuries significantly impact your ability to enjoy hobbies, activities, or relationships, you could be eligible for compensation.

Proving negligence is a core principle of personal injury cases. This establishes the right to compensation.

3. Rights Against Insurers

Insurance companies are businesses that prioritize profit. They’ll try to minimize your payout. Understand you have the right to:

  • Be treated fairly and in good faith. Idaho law mandates that insurers engage in fair claims settlement practices. This includes not making unreasonable interpretations of policy language, not misrepresenting facts, and not making lowball offers without reasonable justification.
  • Have your claim investigated promptly. Insurance companies must conduct a timely and thorough investigation of your claim. This means acknowledging they’ve received your claim, initiating an investigation, and making a reasonable effort to assess the damages.
  • Receive timely communication regarding your claim’s status. The insurer must communicate reasonably and keep you up-to-date regarding the progress of your claim. They are generally required to make a determination on coverage and either accept or deny a claim within a reasonable time frame.
  • Challenge any undervaluation of your damages. If you believe the insurance company’s offer is insufficient to cover your losses, you have the right to negotiate with them. If negotiations are unsuccessful, you may consider pursuing legal action to obtain fair compensation.

If you feel an insurance company isn’t fulfilling its obligations, a qualified personal injury attorney in Idaho can help you enforce your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.

4. Right to File a Personal Injury Claim

Filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit means formally taking legal action against the party you believe responsible for your injuries to seek compensation. The most common basis for personal injury claims is proving the elements of negligence (duty, breach, causation, and damages).

Idaho follows a modified comparative fault rule. This means even if you were partially responsible for the accident, you may still recover damages as long as you weren’t more than 50% at fault. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Imagine you were in a car accident where the other driver ran a red light.  However, you were also speeding slightly. The court determines you’re 15% at fault, while the other driver is responsible for 85% of the accident. You could still recover damages, but they would be reduced by 15%.

Idaho has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims, generally two years from the date of injury. This means you must file your claim within this time frame or risk losing your right to pursue compensation.

5. Right to Seek an Injury Attorney

Working with an experienced Boise injury lawyer is vital. They can:

  • Gather Evidence: An injury lawyer has the resources to investigate, collect evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf. They know what evidence matters, how to obtain accident reports, interview witnesses, consult with experts, and preserve key pieces of evidence to support your personal injury claim.
  • Calculate Damages: Ensure you seek compensation for the full extent of your losses. An injury attorney understands the nuances of valuing injuries and calculating damages. They consider economic damages as well as the harder-to-quantify aspects like pain and suffering, long-term disability, and diminished quality of life.
  • Represent You in Court: Protect your interests should your case go to trial after the negotiation. Litigation is complex and requires an in-depth understanding of the law and court procedures. An experienced Idaho personal injury attorney will present your case persuasively before a judge or jury and advocate aggressively for your rights.

The aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming. If you’ve been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, an experienced Boise injury lawyer can be a powerful advocate.

Choose the Right Injury Attorney to Protect Your Rights

At Craig Swapp & Associates, we understand the devastating impact of accidents.  Our personal injury attorneys in Idaho passionately fight for the rights of injured Idahoans.

If your life has been thrown off course, let us advocate for you. Contact us today for a free consultation. Let our experience and knowledge guide you through this difficult time.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp