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Dealing With Insurance- Car Accident?

Posted by on 3:56 pm in blog, Car Accidents, Personal Injury, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Car Accident: Dealing With Insurance After A Car Accident? One of the most common questions I get is, “How do I deal with the auto insurance company after a car crash?” Many people start the process after a car accident believing that insurance companies are not going to treat them fairly. I believe this belief is not unfounded. While I have seen insurance companies treat people fairly, I have also seen them treat people very unfairly. On one side, I have seen certain insurance companies treat their clients and others very fairly. On the other side, I have heard stories and tactics used by insurance companies that are shocking and unethical, in my opinion. Interestingly enough, there are certain insurance companies that I know who tend to usually be more fair and generous in their offers and service, while their are others that nearly always tend to be unfair and offer low settlements. I’m not going to name the specific insurance companies here, but certainly there is a difference between insurance companies. My first piece of advice would be to not talk directly to the insurance company of the person who hit you or who was also involved in the car accident if you have any significant injuries. On the other hand, if the car accident was minor and did not involve much property damage, then you could be okay discussing the claim with the other auto insurance company. The tricky situation is when you are hurting after a car crash, but not sure how injured or hurt you might be. In those situations, it is best to err on the side of caution and not communicate with the other insurance company. However, if you need to communicate with the other insurance company for the damages to your vehicle, for example if you do not have full coverage or  you have a high deductible for property damage, then in those situations I would communicate, but limit your communication to the property damage issues and discuss nothing else, which you are entitled to do. Unfortunately, I have heard recordings and seen situations where the insurance company adjuster will try to twist people’s words in such a way to minimize their injuries, which they will later use against the person.  Sometimes they will add leading questions or begin an question by improperly suggesting the previous answer was something different. There are many techniques that they use, which is why it is often best to simply hire an attorney to communicate on your behalf. Secondly, never, under any circumstances, accept a settlement immediately or soon after a car crash for injuries. I have heard of people getting offered a minimal amount of money to sign away their rights to pursue an injury claim the day of the crash or soon after. Some of those who accept this minimal amount later realize that they actually had more serious injuries and now they are bound by the release they signed with the insurance company. While there are some ways to get out of such releases, many times there is not a way out and you will be legally bound to the settlement. Some of these people end up paying out of pocket for medical bills, unfortunately. Third, be honest with the insurance company. I’ve seen...

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Woman Killed in Car Crash In Salt Lake

Posted by on 5:48 pm in blog, Car Accidents, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death | 0 comments

Sadly, several media outlets, including KSL, are reporting that a woman was killed in a car crash when her vehicle hit a concrete barrier on I-80 near 700 East in Salt Lake City. This is near our office in Sugarhouse. According to news reports, the woman was not wearing her seatbelt and was partially ejected from the vehicle. Although it is unknown whether or not a seatbelt would have saved her life on this particular occasion, many studies by the government have shown that seatbelts do save lives. We do not know the reason why she did not have her seatbelt on, nor will I speculate. The point of this blog is to suggest that we can all do better wearing our seatbelts. I have been handling car accident cases in Utah for years and years. Most of my clients are from the West Valley City area or West Jordan, although I have clients in every part of the Salt Lake Valley. I can tell you from my experience, based on the severity of injuries I have seen from my clients, that seatbelts do indeed make a huge difference. Not only do seatbelts prevent death, but they also limit how bad injuries are during an accident. For example, head injuries can be some of the most devastating injuries. Although my clients do survive, they can have severe cognitive and memory limitations for months or even years. This can disrupt everything from work, to school, to even relationships. Many times, although not always, a seatbelt can limit the persons range of movement enough that their head will not strike anything inside the car during an accident, thereby limiting concussions and head injuries. Some will argue that a seatbelt might limit them from escaping their vehicle if they drive into a river or if the vehicle catches on fire. While that is true, you have to examine the likelihood of those circumstances happening. As I mentioned, I have handled a couple thousand auto accident injury cases. I have never seen either of those scenarios in all the cases I have handled. On the other hand, I have seen quite a few cases where passengers or drivers were ejected from vehicles and killed because they were not wearing a seatbelt. So in sum, in comes down to math. It is very unlikely that a seatbelt will harm you more and highly likely that it will save your life and limit the extent of your injuries. If you have been hurt in a car accident, call me today. I’d love to help. 801-738-9999. Here is the KSL video below. Use the back button in your browser to return to this...

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Car Crashes from Snow Storm in Utah

Posted by on 3:29 pm in blog, Car Accidents, Personal Injury, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Large snow storms hit the Salt Lake Valley area February 19, 2018. All areas of the valley were affected including West Valley City and West Jordan. According to many news outlets, Sandy city was hit the hardest with some areas receiving two feet of snow! All of this snow lead to dangerous driving conditions all over the Salt Lake Valley. Many new outlets reports over 300 crashes alone on February 19, 2018. It can be very difficult to drive in snow storms and avoid crashes. The most simple rule is to slow down. Some drivers feel that because they have superior tires, this rule does not apply to them. It does. Any car or truck can slide on black ice. Snow often turns into black ice. So slow down when it is snowing. It is not worth risking injury or death to arrive at your destination 10 minutes earlier. Some vehicles were hit multiple times after being involved in the initial collisions. To avoid this from happening and possibly getting seriously injured in a subsequent impact, the Utah Highway Patrol has requested that if the initial crash involves minor property damage or no injuries to move the vehicles off the highway or freeway to a safer location. Once in a safer location, police can respond to that location to assist. In fact, many police vehicles were involved in subsequent impacts on Monday. Therefore, it is not only dangerous for the occupants of the vehicle, but also for police officers as well. We have all probably seen videos of vehicles sliding out of control on ice and striking police cars or people. Let’s try to avoid that this year in Utah. Obviously, if you are seriously hurt in the initial impact in your car or truck, then it may be best to remain where you are and many times your vehicle will be immobile anyways. If you are hurt in the snow storm car crashes and need assistance, feel free to call or text us anytime. We can advise you as to your rights and assist you with your injuries....

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Most Common Types Of Back Injury From A Car Accident

Posted by on 5:09 pm in blog, Personal Injury | 0 comments

Your spine is one of the more common areas to be injured during a car accident.  Even with technological and safety features such as airbags and seatbelts, you can still get a back injury from the impact of another car or object. Today we will be taking a look at those most common types of back injury in auto accidents that you can suffer from. Whiplash A whiplash is one of the more common types of an injury in a car accident.  This type of an injury occurs when the neck is snapped backward.  While whiplash will go away with rehab and rest, sometimes this can cause more severe issues down the line.  Whiplash will cause everything from a back injury to headaches, stiffness, even dizziness. Spinal Fracture While seatbelts are meant to keep us in place and safe when a car accident happens, they aren’t fool proof by any means.  A seatbelt, while it will keep you safer than not wearing one, still allows the top part of your chest and head to still move around.  Add in the force of another car hitting you, you hitting another car or an object and this can result in a back injury such as spinal compression fracture. Often these will heal on their own, but sometimes they will require surgery and rehab.  A spinal fracture can cause muscle weakness, bladder issues, pain, and numbness. Disc Herniation The discs between your vertebrae can absorb a lot of pressure and force when you’re in a car accident.  It’s no surprise that these discs can shift out of place an when that happens the discs can actually compress your nerves.  Most all of the disc herniation cases can be fixed with natural home remedies and conservative care such as applying hot or cold packs to the area.  However, in some special cases, surgery will be needed. Onset Symptoms From A Previous Back Injury You can also have worsening symptoms from previous injuries which can cause things like spinal stenosis.  Special stenosis isin’t usually caused by a car accident, but if you already had issues with your back or had a back injury prior to the car accident, the accident can actually bring onset symptoms.  Spinal stenosis can create symptoms such as pain, balance issues, loss of bladder control, stiffness or weakness. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident and have a back injury, whether it’s minor or severe, you will need to consider treatment options.  If the car accident was the fault of someone else, you can receive compensation to help pay for things like surgery, rehab, acupuncture or even Chiropractic care. If you’ve been in an accident, don’t just ignore a back injury, go an see a doctor immediately so that they can have a record as to what issues you are having, how the back injury was caused and what treatment options you will need. This will, in turn, be on record so if down the line you need to hire a lawyer, you will have valid proof that you were indeed hurt in the car accident.  You can also receive temporary or permanent loss of income compensation as well.  This works well for people that need a few weeks or months off for rest and rehab or are permanently...

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Question of Liability in A No-Fault Auto Car Insurance State

Posted by on 3:05 pm in blog, Car Accidents | 0 comments

It might seem crazy to think that a drunk driver who blows a stop sign and hits into your car would NOT be considered “at fault: in the accident.  But, if Utah is a no-fault state,  isn’t that exactly what happens? Not exactly.  The no-fault car insurance term is one that is often misunderstood and in turn often prevents people from pursuing a claim in a car accident when it was not their fault.  If you question what no-fault means or have a question of liability in terms of who is at fault, continue reading below for more information. What Is The Purpose Of No-Fault Besides Utah, 12 other states have a No-Fault car insurance law put into place.  Originally when this law was first created it was done so in order to offer lower insurance premiums to people who owned cars, but really all the no-fault law ended up doing was increasing insurance companies profits.  Around 13 different states have dropped the no-fault law over the years, but Utah still has it. How Does It Work? Generally speaking, no-fault coverage simply means that if you are a victim of a car accident and it was a minor accident, that you cannot file a claim against the other driver for general damages or a settlement, unless you meet certain criteria, such as having over $3000 in medical bills.  Instead, your insurance company will pay your medical bills and lost wages.  No-fault will not cover the cost of getting your car fixed. In the state of Utah, your insurance company is supposed to pay up to $3,000 in personal injury protection – otherwise known as PIP, and it doesn’t matter who was at fault for the car accident.  If you had a minor accident, this might be the end of the process.  For example, if you were stopped at a light and someone came up from behind, smashed your fender in, and you or they had minor injuries, the insurance company would pay for the bills and that would be that. However, if someone hits you and they cause serious injury, you can take legal action against the person that hit you.  If your medical bills are over $3000 you can file a lawsuit against the other driver.  According to Utah’s injury threshold the following injuries can lead to a lawsuit: Dismemberment Permanent Disfigurement Permanent Disability Permanent Impairment Insurance Cover Requirements In the state of Utah when you have car insurance it must carry a minimum amount.  The minimum amount rule known as 25/65/15 is as follows: $25,000 per person for injuries $65,000 per accident if one or more people suffer injury $15,000 per accident for property damage Obviously, this is the minimum amount of coverage you are required to purchase, but it’s always better if you carry even more insurance. The reason for this is because if you hurt someone in a car accident and the medical costs exceed the $25,000 threshold, you will be held personally responsible for the additional costs.  Wouldn’t it be better to have extra coverage, rather than not having  enough and needing to cover it out-of-pocket? No-Fault Laws Are Confusing by Design Unfortunately, no-fault laws are made to be confusing by design.  If you live in Utah and you get into a car accident – whether it...

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Multiple vehicle car accident in West Valley City

Posted by on 3:57 pm in blog, Car Accidents, Personal Injury, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I recently represented another client who was involved in a multiple vehicle car crash in West Valley City, Utah. My client was actually one of several vehicles involved in the crash. The person who caused the crash hit the initial vehicle so forcefully that it pushed that vehicle into several other vehicles, causing a chain-reaction crash. This was no fender-bender crash in West Valley City. Several of the vehicles were so mangled from the accident that they hardly looked like the same cars they were before the car accident. Indeed, one of the people injured in the accident, whom I did not represent, had catastrophic injuries. Fortunately, my client did not have too serious of injuries. She was initially taken to the hospital with a concussion and followed-up later with a chiropractor for neck and back pain. She made a good recovery eventually. As there were so many people injured in the car accident in West Valley City, my client had concerns about whether or not there would be enough insurance money to fairly compensate her for her injuries. We discussed the options with the client and worked through her cases. We were able to get her fairly compensated for her injuries. We also had to make a claim with her own insurance company for this car accident in West Valley City, Utah, which we were able to do since she had underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) insurance. This allows you also to make a claim with your own insurance company if the driver who causes a car accident doesn’t have enough insurance. My client also contact us several months after the car accident in West Valley City. As long as you have not waited more than 4 years after a car accident in Utah, it is still not too late to contact a personal injury lawyer. Contact us today and let’s see if we can help you as well....

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The 3 Main Types Of Distracted Driving

Posted by on 6:10 pm in blog | 0 comments

Distracted driving might not seem like that big of a deal until you get into a car accident and severely hurt yourself or someone else.  While there are all types of reasons to get distracted while driving, here are three categories of distracted driving you should be aware of. Visual Distractions This type of distracted driving involves taking your eyes off of the road.  Even for a few seconds. These include – Checking the kid’s seatbelts – Looking down at a mobile phone – Fiddling with a GPS tracker – Changing DVDs, CDs or the radio While all of these situations above are considered strictly visual,  mobile phone use and texting  also carries over into manual and cognitive distractions. Texting and driving is becoming a nuisance across the globe, especially in the US.  According to statistics, around 660,000 drivers per day are driving  and attempting to look down or text while driving. Some cell phone statistics: – One out of every four car accidents that happens in the US is because of texting and driving. – Over 330,000 accidents a year are caused by driving and texting. – 94% of drivers are FOR an overall ban of texting while driving and 74% are FOR banning any use of hand-held phones while driving. – At least 11 teenagers die every day because of texting and driving. Manual Distractions This type of distracted driving deals involves person someone removing their hands from the wheel for any particular reason. – Eating or Drinking while driving – Getting something out of their wallet or purse – Adjusting their briefcase in the other seat – Putting makeup on – *Looking down at your phone or texting – Getting dressed in the car – yes it does happen! Let’s be clear here.  When you get into a car, you shouldn’t be doing anything but driving and while it would be nice to know everyone else is following the same rules, they probably won’t be.   Eating or putting on makeup should be done before getting into or after getting out of the car and yet so many people do it. – In 2013 alone, over 3,000 people were killed due to distracted driving – Also in 2013, 10% of all of the accidents that happened was because of distracted driving of a driver between the ages of 16 and 19. Cognitive Distractions A cognitive distraction is one that happens when your mind is not focused on the task at hand.  Whether it’s driving, turning, stopping at a stop sign, or anything that requires your full attention.  A cognitive distraction can happen if: – Someone else in the car is talking to you – Your phone is ringing – *Texting – Daydreaming – Even having the radio up too loud can be considered a cognitive distraction Make it a rule that if someone drives with you, they have to let you concentrate on the road.  Always make sure you keep your music off or at a low level.  Also turn your ringer off while in the car so you can concentrate better.  Lastly, make sure that if you are traveling someplace new and using a GPS, that you set it up before you take off in your car. If you’ve been involved in a car accident because of distracted driving – whether it was your fault or someone else’s and you need a Utah...

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Is my car accident injury case too small for me to get a lawyer?

Posted by on 4:36 pm in blog, Car Accidents, Personal Injury | 0 comments

Is my car accident injury case too small for me to get a lawyer? I get this question a lot. Sometimes potential clients are worried about wasting my time and so they are afraid to ask for help for their injury case. The answer is always to contact a lawyer if you have been hurt in a car accident. We can then advise you as to whether or not your case is worth retaining a lawyer. Sometimes what seems like a little case can turn out to be a very large case. For example, I recently represented a gentlemen who had been involved in a crash in West Valley City with little property damage. I agreed to represent the client and it turned out that his injuries were much more severe than originally anticipated. In the end, he ended up with a good settlement, which he would not have received without assistance. He also had substantial medical bills, so a settlement was needed to not leave him in debt. So sometimes you never know how severe your injuries might be right after the accident. For that reason, it is best to consult an attorney. Everyone once in a while, cases will go the opposite way. Over the years, I have represented a few clients who seemed to have moderate injuries. However, those injuries quickly resolved and those clients did not qualify for a settlement as their medical bills did not exceed $3,000, nor did they fit any of the other requirements under the Utah statute for a settlement for general damages. In those rare situations, the personal injury protection usually covers all the clients’ medical expenses and I do not charge a fee for my time and services, as I work on a contingency fee. So there is no risk to hire me if your case does not work out or your case does not develop into a case we can pursue. Once again, my best advice is to always contact a lawyer if you have been hurt in a car accident. As mentioned above, we can help screen your case and we do not charge a fee if it does not work out. Call me today-...

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When A Car Accident Court Case Goes To Trial

Posted by on 4:53 pm in blog | 0 comments

Most of the time when a car accident claim is filed, the claim is settled before it ever turns into something more.  But, if you happen to have a claim that simply cannot be settled outside of court, you will need to go to court to have it settled. There are many reasons why there might be a car accident court case but one of the more common reasons is when the parties involved cannot agree  on who was at fault and caused the accident to happen.  In other cases, the parties cannot agree on a dollar amount to be settled out of court. If your car accident court case cannot be settled outside of court, then your claim will go to a trial.  If you’ve never been through something like this before you might be wondering how it works or what happens next. Jury Selection In most states, a jury is the one that will look at the case, but before all that happens the lawyers needs to choose people for your trial.  Usually, a jury is comprised of 12 people, but sometimes that number can be lower. The Voir Dire is the first step to your trial.  This is where the jury members are selected.  Potential jurors are asked a bunch of different questions so that the lawyers can learn more about those people.  The whole purpose to this stage is to see if the potential jury members have any prejudices or biases against certain people or situations, which would keep them from being fair and unbiased in the case. Opening Statements In a car accident court case each of the parties is allowed to make an opening statement.  Usually, the plaintiff’s side goes first. Defendants Presentation of Evidence Once the plaintiff’s lawyer has presented all of the evidence for the car accident court case, the plaintiff’s side then rests.  This allows the defendants time to present evidence in the claim. Closing Arguments After each party presents their evidence and witnesses, each side gives a closing argument.  Essentially this is a highlight of all the evidence in the car accident court case that needs to be fresh in their minds of the jurors.  It’s a persuasion to allow the jury to draw certain conclusions from the case and the evidence that was presented. Jury Deliberation After the closing arguments happen, the jury will then proceed to a room away from the courtroom and will make deliberations on the evidence and witness testimony from both parties in the car accident court case.  In every state, jury deliberations are 100% confidential.  Neither the lawyers, the parties in the car accident court case, nor the judge are present for jury deliberations.  In most cases, a verdict will be met within a few hours, but because there is no set time limit, these deliberations can go on for days at a time. The Jury Reaches A Verdict Once the jury reaches a verdict they will then notify the judge that the deliberations have ended.  The jury is then brought back to the courtroom, where the verdict of the jury is read to both parties. While court cases happen everyday if its something you are new at you may have a hard time understanding how all of this works.  You need someone by your side to...

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What Is A Brain Injury and Why Do I Need A Lawyer?

Posted by on 5:25 pm in blog, Car Accidents, Personal Injury | 0 comments

Every single year, brain injuries account for 1.7 million deaths, ER visits and even hospitalizations. The really important factor you need to know about a brain injury is that you don’t need to be involved in an accident at a high rate of speed in order to have one. In fact, most people who hire a  brain injury lawyer have gotten the injury from a fall, sports activity, car accident or even work-related injuries. The 2 Types Of Brain Injuries There are 2 major types of brain injuries: Open and Closed. In an open brain injury the skill is fractured. This can be caused primarily because of the fact  your head comes into contact with another hard surface – such as a floor. On the other hand, a closed brain injury deals with an injury where you do not have a fractured skull, however, you might still have interior bleeding, swelling, formation of clots, etc. In some cases a closed injury can be more dangerous than an open one because of these factors. It doesn’t matter if its an open or closed injury though, any type of injury involving the brain, head or skull can cause paralysis, death, loss of speech, slurred speech, loss of memory and even cause you to go into a coma. Warning Signs Of A Brain Injury If you or a loved one has been in some sort of an accident and you want to know right then and there if they have a brain trauma or injury, there are certain questions you can ask them in order to try and figure it out. *Note: They should still go to the hospital. The warning signs include: – Confusion as to where they are, who they are, who you are – Sluggishness, being overly tired, loss of consciousness – Slurred speech, loss of speech, chopped speech – Severe headaches – Nausea, dizziness It’s also possible that you can suffer a brain injury and not feel like you are suffering at all. You should still immediately call 911. Common Brain Injuries Bruising and swelling within the skull from sports related accidents, car accidents or anything else force your brain to be jolted around. The amount of force this causes inside your skull can cause some really big issues. Bruising might seem like its not that big of a deal and besides it causing issues to your motor functions, it can also make the brain swell – your brain has no place to move which then causes intra-cranial pressure. This can cause death if its not further taken care of. If you need to take a few weeks off of work in order to get better but you also need to make sure that you can get compensation for time off and for the accident that occurred, you need to find a brain injury lawyer to help you in your situation. Serious Brain Injuries On the other hand, if you have a really bad brain injury and you need a more permanent amount of time off either because its left you disabled or you need more time to recuperate with rehabilitation, you too can hire a brain injury lawyer in order to help you receive compensation. If a specific individual or a business is responsible for your injury, the lawyer...

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