In 2013, Utah had over 55,000 car accidents, which resulted in over 16,000 injuries and 202 fatalities. Many of these incidents involved wrongful deaths and injuries inflicted on an innocent party through the negligence or misconduct of another.
One might, perhaps, suppose that (in clear cases at least) it would be easy to obtain the compensation the law entitles you to without even hiring a lawyer. The fact is, however, that negotiating with insurers and winning a fair settlement are nearly impossible without the detailed knowledge of Utah injury law that only experienced car accident lawyers possess.
There are many ins and outs to Utah personal injury law, but to give you an idea of the complexity that exists, here are some of the basic rules that apply:
- The No-Fault Insurance Rule: In Utah, your own car insurance must cover all injury-related expenses stemming from a car accident, unless your injury is deemed serious and qualifies for an exception.
- The Statute of Limitations: Most states give you only 2 years to file a claim after an injury, but Utah gives you 4 years. However, wrongful death claims must be filed within 2 years of DOD, and claims against a government agency have only a 1 year statue of limitations.
- The Modified Comparative Fault Rule: In Utah, if you are found partly at fault for a car accident, the dollar amount of your claim is reduced by the percentage of fault that is assigned to you. However, if you are 50% or more at fault, you cannot collect any compensation at all.
- No Damage Caps: Utah has a $450,000 non-economic damage cap for medical malpractice lawsuits, but this does not apply to car accident injuries. How much you can collect for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, psychological trauma, and so on, will largely depend on the skill level of your lawyer.
- Filing a Wrongful Death Claim: Wrongful death claims are much the same as personal injury cases. There are two major differences: funeral costs and loss of consortium compensation are added in and a close relative, heir, or legal guardian must file the claim in the deceased’s behalf.
If you have been seriously injured in a Utah car accident, you can get the expert legal advice you need by contacting ECKO Legal's team of car accident lawyers at (801) 901-3470 or by filling out our online form.