Accidents happen unexpectedly. In Salt Lake City, Utah, countless individuals suffer injuries each year due to car accidents, workplace mishaps, defective products, and other forms of negligence.

If you’ve been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, it’s critical to understand your legal rights. A knowledgeable Salt Lake City injury attorney can help protect those rights and guide you through challenging times.

Our team of Salt Lake City injury attorneys at Craig Swapp & Associates specializes in personal injury law, dedicated to helping injury victims obtain the justice and compensation they deserve.

Your Rights After Getting Injured in Salt Lake City

When someone else’s careless or reckless behavior causes you harm, Utah law provides a path for holding them accountable. As an injured person, you have specific legal rights. These include:

1. Right to Medical Care

You have the right to seek prompt and appropriate medical attention for your injuries after an accident. This includes emergency care, doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, and any other necessary medical treatments. You should not delay medical treatment because of financial concerns.

This right stems from the principle of negligence in personal injury law in Utah. When someone acts negligently and causes injuries, they are responsible for the resulting damages, including the victim’s medical expenses. Utah, like many other states, also has Good Samaritan law that protects individuals who render aid at the scene of an accident.

Prompt and consistent medical care is essential in building a strong personal injury case. This is because:

  • Establishes Your Injuries: Medical records serve as evidence of the extent and severity of your injuries.
  • Links Injuries to the Accident: Seeking treatment right away establishes a clear connection between the accident and the injuries sustained. Delays in getting care can lead to doubts about the cause of the injuries.
  • Maximizes Recovery: Treatment is essential for proper healing and minimizes the potential for future complications.

2. Right to Seek Compensation

You can seek compensation from the at-fault party or parties involved in the accident. This could be the driver of another vehicle, a property owner, a product manufacturer, or another liable party.

In Utah’s no-fault system, your initial right to compensation is through your own insurance coverage.  However, if your injuries are severe or exceed your PIP coverage, you may seek compensation from the at-fault party or parties involved in the accident.

Compensation is designed to put you back in the position you were in before the accident. This covers:

  • Medical Expenses: Everything from hospital bills and medications to ongoing therapy or rehabilitation costs.
  • Lost Wages and Future Earning Capacity: Compensation for time missed from work, as well as any diminished ability to earn income in the future due to your injuries.
  • Property Damage: The cost to repair or replace your vehicle or other damaged property.
  • Pain and Suffering: This recognizes the physical, emotional, and psychological suffering endured as a result of the accident.

3. Right to File a Lawsuit

If you can’t reach a fair settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit in Salt Lake City. This initiates a legal process where the court can evaluate your case and determine the amount of compensation you deserve.

While settlement outside of court is preferred, the right to file a lawsuit serves multiple functions:

  • Leverage: The possibility of a personal injury lawsuit can motivate insurance companies to take your claim seriously and offer a fair settlement.
  • Last Resort: If the at-fault party refuses to provide reasonable compensation despite evidence, going to court may be your only way to seek fair compensation.
  • A Formal Process: A court offers a structured process where a judge or jury can hear evidence and determine your rightful compensation.

4. Right to a Fair Settlement

The at-fault party (as well as their insurance company) has a legal obligation to negotiate a fair settlement that reflects the full extent of your damages. Negotiations are often complex, which is why many injured individuals benefit from having an injury attorney in Salt Lake City, UT on their side.

Insurance companies have an implied duty to act in good faith towards their policyholders and in interactions with injured parties. This means offering fair settlements and not using deceitful or manipulative tactics.

Further, the very basis of Utah personal injury law is that the negligent party has a responsibility to make the injured party whole. A fair settlement acknowledges the full scope of damages and strives to restore that financial loss.

Understanding your right to a fair settlement means:

  • You Don’t Have to Accept the First Offer: Many initial offers are low to see if you’ll accept.
  • Your Damages Deserve Full Consideration: Settlement figures should reflect the full scope of both your financial losses and less tangible forms of suffering caused by the accident.
  • Insurance Companies Aren’t Your Friend: Their goal is to minimize payouts. An attorney, as your advocate, can negotiate more effectively and recognize unfair tactics.

5. Right to Legal Representation

You have the right to hire a Salt Lake City injury attorney to represent your interests and fight for the compensation you deserve. An experienced Salt Lake City injury attorney can handle all of the legal processes and negotiations, so you can focus on your recovery and well-being.

Personal injury law is complex, with specific statutes, deadlines, and the nuances of Utah’s no-fault system. An injury attorney in Salt Lake City has the knowledge and experience to navigate these complexities, ensuring your case is filed correctly and meets all requirements. They know how to gather and present evidence effectively, including medical records, accident reports, witness testimony, and more.

Most Salt Lake City personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. This means you don’t pay anything upfront, and they only receive payment if they successfully recover compensation for you.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Salt Lake City

Utah law has a statute of limitations, or deadline, for filing personal injury lawsuits. The general time limits are as follows:

It is important to note that there are exceptions to the statute of limitations. Consulting with a Salt Lake City injury attorney is the best way to determine the specific time limit and legal nuances for your individual situation.

Choosing the Right Injury Attorney to Protect Your Rights

If you have suffered an injury in an accident, seeking legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney is one of the best ways to protect your rights. Craig Swapp & Associates specializes in helping injured Utah residents. Our team of Salt Lake City personal injury lawyers has a proven track record of securing fair settlements and verdicts for our clients.

If you have questions about your legal rights as an injured person, contact us and let our qualified injury attorney in Salt Lake City, UT assist you with your case.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp