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Who pays my medical bills after a car accident in Utah?

By on Jun 26, 2017 in blog, Car Accidents, Personal Injury | 0 comments

If you have been in a car accident in Utah, you might be wondering who pays for your medical bills. You may have been contacted by your own insurance and told about PIP or personal injury protection benefits. Utah automobile insurance policies must give you coverage of at least $3,000 for PIP coverage. This means that when you are in a car accident, you should actually use your own PIP benefits to cover your initial medical bills up to the PIP limit. This might seem strange, especially if someone else caused the accident. Why shouldn’t the person who hit you or caused the accident pay for your medical bills, instead of your own insurance? Or at least, why shouldn’t that person’s insurance pay instead of your own insurance? The reason is because of the laws in Utah with PIP coverage. The idea is that the Utah legislature wanted those who are hurt in car accidents to have immediate access to medical coverage so they can get the treatment they need. This is especially true if you don’t have health insurance and need to go to the ER or emergency room. With your PIP coverage, you hopefully will have your hospital bill and the ambulance bill covered or at least a good part of those bills covered. Now don’t feel too bad for your own insurance company yet in this scenario. They typically will get reimbursed from the at-fault party’s insurance company eventually for what they paid to you under the PIP coverage. Also, once you have used up the $3,000 in PIP coverage, you can qualify for a settlement for pain and suffering, in addition to any additional medical expenses through the insurance of the person who hit you. This is where we typically step in and help our clients out. We help them get a settlement for pain and suffering, along with helping them get the medical bills over PIP covered and any lost wages covered. Call us today to help you out as well-...

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Getting your car repaired after an accident?

By on Jun 11, 2017 in blog, Car Accidents, Personal Injury | 0 comments

Getting your car repaired after an accident? Many people have questions about getting their car or truck fixed after they have been in a car accident. This post will attempt to answer some questions about the property damage claim you might have after a car crash. Will my car be fixed or replaced? That depends on how much damage has been done to your vehicle. Most insurance companies have a general formula to determine if they will fix a car or deem it a total loss. For example, one insurance company might decide that a vehicle will not be repaired if the value of the repairs exceed 80% of the value of the vehicle. Typically, the value of the vehicle is determined by comparable sales of similar vehicles. This includes options and the mileage on the vehicle. Under Utah law, the insurance company has the choice of whether to ‘total’ a vehicle or to repair it. Sometimes, you can influence this decision. I’ve been involved in some cases where we have influenced the insurance company to either total or repair a vehicle, depending on my client’s wishes. Should my insurance company or the insurance company of the other driver fix my car? The answer is that it depends on the circumstances. If the other driver caused the car accident and is at-fault, you do have the option to have the other insurance company fix your vehicle. If you have ‘full coverage’ or property damage coverage under your own policy, you do have the option to have your own insurance company fix your car. When deciding between the two insurance companies, you should consider factors such as your deductible and the reputation of the insurance company. Typically you will have to cover or pay for the deductible if you fix your car through your own insurance. If the other party is at-fault, you will usually get this deductible money back, but sometimes it can weeks or months. In fact, I’ve had to fight with insurance companies many times to return my client’s deductibles. The deductible amount is set by your insurance contract, but it is usually something like $250, $500, or $1000. The other factor is will you be satisfied...

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Back and neck injury after a car accident?

By on Jun 4, 2017 in blog, Car Accidents, Personal Injury | 0 comments

It is very common to sustain back and neck injuries in a car accident. The reason for this is because of the forces involved in the accident itself.  For example, when you vehicle is hit from behind, you might be thrust backwards violently. Sometimes your head will snap back and strike the headrest of the car, resulting in a neck injury. Even worse, sometimes your car or truck will be pushed into another vehicle in front of you. This may then cause you to violently be thrown forward. In fact, you could be thrown backwards and forwards multiple times, as vehicles are known to ‘pin-ball’ back in forth between two vehicles at times. Your neck and back were not designed for such violent acceleration and deceleration changes. For this reason, your neck and back can be injured in the accident. The mildest form of neck and back injury would be a strain or sprain. This is what insurance companies refer to as a ‘whiplash’ injury. On the other end of the spectrum are the more serious neck and back injuries. You can suffer broken bones in your spinal column. You could also suffer a herniated or bulging disc in your spine. Some of these injuries require surgical intervention. While spinal x-rays will typically show whether or not you have  broken bone in you spine, they will usually not show if you have a herniated or bulging disc. For that you usually will need to have an MRI done or a CT scan. Although I am a lawyer and not a doctor, I have seen thousands of injury cases and I have a pretty good idea of what type of imaging you might need to investigate your injuries to the fullest. Of course, I always recommend that you follow the advice of your medical professional. However, I have worked with many different types of medical specialists over the years that I can refer you to so that you can get the proper medical treatment. I work with medical professionals in all areas of Salt Lake County, including Salt Lake City, West Jordan and West Valley City.  I even work with some medical professionals that will see you if you do...

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Does having surgery increase the value of my case?

By on May 11, 2017 in blog, Car Accidents, Personal Injury | 0 comments

Does having surgery increase the value of my personal injury or car accident case? There are several reasons why having surgery increases the value of your personal injury case. First, insurance companies receive numerous claims from potential claimants each day. They have to determine which claims are more serious and will require higher settlements. One of the factors that they look at is what type of medical treatment is received and how invasive such treatment is on the life of the claimant. Since surgery usually involves high medical bills, a long recovery, and a high amount of risk to the patient, surgical claimants are deemed to have more serious injuries. Therefore, the insurance companies set aside more money for such claimants. Secondly, insurance companies are also trying to determine which claims have merit. Unfortunately, insurance companies believe that some claims are not made in good faith by claimants. Once such factor that helps them determine whether or not a claim has merit is what the claimant was willing to undergo to seek relief from their injury. Typically, most insurance adjusters believe that a claimant will not risk their health, time, and body to have an unnecessary surgery. Thirdly, surgical claimants usually have a demonstrable injury, rather than a subjective injury. For example, if back surgery is required on a herniated disc, such injury can typically be see on an MRI. Conversely, a claimant claiming whip-lash injuries sometimes will not be able to demonstrate their injury on any type of diagnostic test. This proof or ability to show the injury becomes especially important if the claimants injury requires filling in court. If an insurance adjuster feels a claimant will not do well in court, such adjuster may offer less on the claim, as there is less exposure for the insurance company should the claim not settle and be required to go to court. In addition the above, there are other reasons why surgery increases the value of your case. Please call me to discuss your case or potential surgery....

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What Exactly is Whiplash in Medical and Legal Terms?

By on Mar 23, 2017 in blog | 0 comments

Most everyone who has ever been involved in a real-world, rear-end car crash as well as those who have witnessed one on television believe that whiplash is an inevitable result of this type of accident. The actual truth is a little more complicated. Here is a quick rundown on what doctors will diagnose as whiplash, as well as its repercussions in the legal and insurance worlds: Medical diagnosis – As the name implies, whiplash is a serious injury to the neck caused by a rapid back-and-forth movement like the cracking of a whip. Symptoms include pain, stiffness and headaches. Treatment includes medication, massage, and exercise. It is usually curable with regular therapy but in some people the pain will become chronic. Insurance aspect – The problem for insurance companies is that many people do not recognize the symptoms of whiplash until several days after the accident. This means that doctors cannot say for sure whether or not the car crash caused the problem. It is essential for a victim to get immediate medical care after a crash, whether they think they are hurt or not. Legal ramifications – As mentioned above, the first step in being compensated for any whiplash related problems is to see a doctor. Document all the fees associated with the initial office visit and follow-up treatments. In addition, you may be well compensated for pain and suffering caused by the condition if the other driver was negligent or otherwise at fault. If you have been injured in a car wreck in the Salt Lake City area and experience whiplash, you may want to discuss your legal options with an experienced car accident lawyer. If so, please contact us at the Symkoviak Law Firm. We can be found online at or reached directly at...

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Four Things You Must Do if Involved in a Road Accident

By on Mar 14, 2017 in blog | 0 comments

No one ever wants to be involved in a road accident but they can happen at the most unexpected time. It is only prudent to deal with it in a timely and completely legal manner. Here are four things a driver must do in the event of a road accident to ensure that they have as little difficulty as possible: Comply with law enforcement – As with the medical profession, the first step is to do no more harm to your case than necessary. Try to aid anyone hurt in the accident and give accurate information to any law enforcement personnel who arrives afterward. It serves no purpose to conceal any evidence as it will usually be revealed by forensic analysis. Trade contact information with the other party – If there are no more pressing concerns to be dealt with, trade contact information with the other party. However, do not just take their word for it. Instead, confirm as best you can by dialing the phone number or ask the police officer who takes your report to also confirm the information. Document everything – Be sure to use your cell phone to document the scene and damages to your vehicle, if possible. Otherwise, the two insurance companies involved will end up with a “he said, she said” situation. In the end, even if you are not at fault, you will end footing the bill for the damage to your car. Notify your insurance company – Do not overlook this seemingly trivial factor. Even if you have a police report from the actual accident, insurance companies will try to avoid culpability by claiming you did not inform them in a timely manner. It is unfortunate but it is a fairly standard practice in the industry so make them your first call the morning after the accident. For more information on what to do if you are involved in a road accident of any kind, please contact the Symkoviak Law Firm. We can be found online at or reached directly at...

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