Every day, car accidents occur on the streets and highways of Utah. In 2018, there were just over 62,000 total car crashes in Utah.
Of the total car crashes recorded, 237 of the crashes resulted in fatalities, 260 victims lost their lives, with a staggering 25,645 more sustaining injuries.
These statistics clearly reveal the dangers of driving. But the injuries sustained, small or big, can permanently affect the precious gifts we take for granted, like, your health, the ability to work, and your quality of life.
The financial burden of your medical bills, treatment options, and more can be unbearable. That’s why it’s crucial to contact a lawyer immediately after a car crash. An experienced car accident lawyer in Utah will help you seek the compensation you need and deserve.
Why Hire an Accident Lawyer
Here are some of the top reasons why you should hire a Utah car accident lawyer after a collision.
Receive fair compensation
Our experienced accident lawyers in Utah have represented numerous car accident victims. Based on this, they know whether settlement values are fair or not.
An accident lawyer will consider factors such as repair costs, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages to help determine whether your compensation was valued fairly. Valuing a settlement can be complex, and having a skilled lawyer will help you ensure you get a fair offer.
Dealing with insurance companies
Dealing with insurance companies can be a huge hassle for any accident victim. Large insurance companies will do everything they can to avoid paying large sums of money to injury victims.
For instance, they may try to devalue your injuries to pay you less. They may also try to blame your injuries on a pre-existing condition.
A car accident lawyer holds insurance companies accountable when dealing with the claim process. A lawyer levels the playing field, so these large corporations are unable to bully victims into settling quickly.
Navigate through complex legal procedures
Meeting deadlines, trial procedures, and knowing what laws apply to your unique case requires years of training and experience.
Our Utah auto accident attorneys will help navigate you through all these legal procedures. We’ll walk you through your best legal options, what steps you need to take, and ensure you won’t miss any important deadlines.
Peace of mind
Sustaining an injury after a car crash can not only cause physical injuries but emotional and psychological trauma.
Both physical injuries and emotional trauma can be debilitating and permanently affect your quality of life.
Our background as personal injury attorneys in Salt Lake City, as well as other areas of Utah, gives us the experience to fight on your behalf while you focus on recovering from your injuries. Maintain peace of mind knowing that a qualified professional is looking out for your best interests.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Utah
It’s likely no surprise that speed is the leading cause of fatal motor vehicle crashes in Utah. But in addition to speed, here are some common causes of car accidents on Utah roadways:
From 2012-2016, speed contributed to 40% of all car crash fatalities in Utah. Speeding is especially dangerous. This is because the higher the velocity, the higher the force of impact. The faster you drive, the less time you have to react as well.
If you sustained injuries due to another driver speeding, you have a claim for damages. If you need an accident attorney in Utah, Valiente Mott is ready to guide you throughout the entire legal process.
Impaired driving is another common contributor to injuries and deaths on the road. High levels of blood alcohol concentration cause a decline in visual capabilities as well as inhibit the ability to maneuver the vehicle safely.
Utah has one of the lowest blood alcohol limits in the nation at .05%. However, drunk driving-related deaths still account for 13% of car crash deaths in the state. Speak with a car accident lawyer in Utah to see how you can seek compensation for your injuries.
With the prevalence of hand-held devices and in-car entertainment systems, distracted driving is a major concern. A driver diverting their attention for even a split-second can cause harm to vehicles or pedestrians around them.
If you were injured by a distracted driver, you have a right to seek compensation. Even a minor rear-end accident can cause back or neck pains, requiring you to take time off work and undergo costly treatment.
Aggressive driving such as tailgating, swerving, and speeding is a danger to everyone on the roads. These reckless driving antics may be due to road rage, alcohol, or even teenagers trying to impress their friends. When a driver shows signs of reckless driving, take extra precautions to protect you and your passengers from a car accident.
In 2017, there were nearly 30.7 million vehicles recalled from American roads. Defective parts, such as brake failure, damaged tires, or malfunctioning steering mechanisms, can all result in serious car accidents.
A lawyer can file a suit against manufacturers on the basis of product liability. If you were injured due to a car defect, contact one of our Utah car accident lawyers today.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Utah
Car accidents can be a traumatic experience. However, understanding what to do after a car accident can better position you for recovery and potentially maximize compensation.
Here are the steps you should take after a car accident in Utah:
Stop and gather yourself right after a collision. Take a couple of breaths and try to reorient yourself.
If possible, move your vehicle to the curb or somewhere away from traffic. Your vehicle could become a potential hazard, causing another accident if not moved to the side.
Check for any major injuries to both yourself and your passengers. Call 911 regardless. Injuries may not be visible; but receiving a proper medical evaluation could be paramount in the event injuries are experienced later.
You should also let the police know about the accident. A police officer will investigate and ask you questions about the accident. They’ll fill out a police report, an important document required for your insurance claim.
Exchange names, contact details, license plate numbers, and insurance information with the other driver. Keep your interactions to a minimum and never admit fault.
- Document the accident scene
Take detailed photos of the accident scene. This includes photos of the cars (before they are moved, if at all possible), any obvious injuries, and the surrounding area. Note details, such as:
- Time of the accident
- Street and intersection of the accident
- Placement and position of the cars involved
- Extent of damages to the car
- Symptoms of any injuries
If there were any witnesses nearby, ask for their contact information. Witness testimonies can help strengthen your case if any facts are in dispute between you and the other driver.
- Call an auto accident attorney in Utah
An experienced car accident attorney will provide you with advice on what to do following an accident. Provide as much information to your attorney about the incident as possible.
Your attorney will contact the insurance company on your behalf to start the insurance claims process. Insurance companies are well-known for strong-arming victims into hastily settling. Experienced accident attorneys in Utah are trained to deal and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure fair compensation for the victims.
Legal Obligations Following a Car Accident
There are certain legal requirements you must abide by, following a car accident in Utah. Whether you were directly or indirectly involved with a car crash, take these following steps to protect yourself from potential legal action:
- Remain at the accident scene: You must remain at the scene following an accident. Even if you think it is minor and there were no damages, you must stay. Leaving the scene can be grounds for a hit-and-run. If the other driver flees the scene, take note of their physical appearance and license plate number so you can report to the police.
- Provide assistance: Utah drivers are obligated to provide ‘reasonable assistance’ for those injured in an accident. Reasonable assistance could mean helping the driver escape from the car or contacting emergency medical personnel.
- Notify authorities: An accident must be immediately reported to law enforcement if the collision resulted in $2,500 or more in property damage. Drivers must also complete and file a traffic accident report to the Utah Department of Public Safety within ten days.
- Exchange driver details: As previously mentioned, name, address, vehicle information, and insurance provider must all be exchanged between the drivers involved.
- Claiming damages: Utah operates on a no-fault car insurance system. All drivers must claim damages under their own insurance policy, up to a specified limit. You are not allowed to pursue a lawsuit against the other driver unless you’ve incurred over $3,000 in medical bills or suffered a serious injury.
Sustaining injuries from a car accident, no matter how serious, can be a challenging time. Valiente Mott is dedicated to helping personal injury victims across Utah.
Our attorneys all have experience working for large insurance companies. We’ve seen first-hand the tactics they use to force victims into low-value settlements. Rather than working for these large insurance companies, our attorneys are now siding with those who need help the most.
Through our compassionate yet aggressive representation, we aim to bring stability and peace of mind to you and your loved ones. Contact us today for your free consultation.