Although personal injury claims provide justice and compensation, they don’t guarantee a win all the time. The success of every case depends on many factors, such as the timeliness and specialization of the lawyer.
People in Utah, though, can increase their chances of winning the lawsuit. The tips below can help those who meet an auto accident:
1. Gather Evidence As Soon As Possible
Documenting may be the last thing on the mind of someone who met an accident. However, it is a vital process that can strengthen the case.
As long as they are able, the driver or passenger (or both) can call an officer to investigate the scene. They can take photos or videos and store the same media captured by their vehicle’s camera.
When they are at the hospital, they need to undergo diagnostic exams. These patients should keep medical receipts, prescriptions, and test results.
Under Utah law, the responding police officer must file a report when the accident resulted in an injury or death. This document is also essential if the property damage costs at least $1,500 in value.
The police may also ask the involved parties to do the same, although they can share the information with the officer instead. They can request this report online.
2. Look for an Auto Accident Lawyer
Personal injury is broad and not limited to auto accidents. It includes medical malpractice, dog bites, and slips and falls. When the injured person dies, the lawsuit can change to wrongful death.
The laws for each category can differ. For this reason, Utahns who meet a car accident need to approach an expert auto accident lawyer in Salt Lake City, for instance. They can assess the situation better and formulate strategies to improve the likelihood of winning.
Most of these lawyers offer a free consultation. They can also hold their fees until the lawsuit is over. By then, their charges will depend on the value of the damages won.
3. File a Claim within the Statute of Limitations
In Utah, an injured person (or their families) may sue for auto accident injury within four years since the date of the accident. However, the law comes with caveats:
- If the person is a minor, they can postpone the lawsuit until they turn 18 years old.
- If the defendant is a motorist with no insurance or insufficient coverage, the statute of limitations is three years.
- If the person passed away, the family members might sue the other party for wrongful death within two years. The clock starts on the date of death, not at the time of the accident.
For a higher success of winning, auto accident lawyers encourage Utahns to file a claim as soon as they can. Documents may be easier to find, and the details of the incident may still be fresh in their memory. Prompt filing can also weaken the defense of the other party.
4. Know the Degree of Fault
Utah is one state that follows the principle of comparative negligence. It means the law recognizes that both parties may be to blame for the accident, but their degree of fault can differ.
Usually, this degree is expressed as a percentage. In the Beehive State, the plaintiff should be no more than 50% at fault. Otherwise, they cannot sue. Working with an auto accident lawyer in Salt Lake City can help them assess their level of negligence.
Personal injury claims won’t send the defendant to jail or prison. However, the compensation can fill the gaps caused by income loss and growing hospital bills. Winning it can help increase the peace of mind for the injured individuals and their families.