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Car Accidents

Car Accident Attorney Tips on Taking Photos After a Collision

Car Accident Attorney Tips on Taking Photos After a Collision

By on Jul 14, 2020 in blog, Car Accidents |

Calling an experienced car accident attorney is a smart step to take if you’re involved in a collision in northern Utah. A lawyer will explain exactly what to do – and what not to do – to protect your rights and interests. At Symkoviak Law Firm, we’ve been helping people with personal injury and car accident claims for more than a decade. We know what it takes to win a case and obtain the maximum amount of compensation, and photos taken at the scene of a collision can make a major difference. Below, you’ll find our best tips on how to document the aftermath a car crash. Get Someone You Trust to Take Pictures If you’re injured, your car accident attorney will tell you that getting medical attention takes priority over getting photos of the crash site. Don’t risk your health to take pictures – ask a friend, neighbor, co-worker or family member to come out and handle the task. Get Photos of the Overall Accident Scene Pictures that clearly show the entire area where the car crash occurred can help others understand what happened. Wide-angle shots taken from several different perspectives are particularly important, as are photos of road markings, stop signs and traffic signals. And if the collision left skid marks or vehicle parts on the road, your auto accident attorney will want to see pictures. Take Pictures of Every Vehicle Involved Getting pictures of all of the vehicles involved in the collision can benefit your case. You’ll want to record the positions of each vehicle after the car crash, snapping photos from multiple angles. Take shots of the damage or lack thereof on every vehicle, too, and be extremely thorough – you don’t want there to be any doubt about the integrity of your visual documentation. Document Any Injuries You Sustained Your car accident attorney may be able to use photos of your wounds as evidence in your personal injury claim. Make sure to take pictures of any cuts, scrapes, bruises and other visible injuries as quickly as possible after the car crash. If necessary, ask the medical professionals who provide you with treatment or the hospital staff to take snapshots. Having the right pictures can...

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Why Call an Auto Accident Lawyer Before Your Insurance Company?

Why Call an Auto Accident Lawyer Before Your Insurance Company?

By on Jan 14, 2020 in blog, Car Accidents |

If you’re involved in a car crash, you’ll need to contact your insurance company – but before you do, call an auto accident lawyer. A collision can affect your life in many ways, and a claims adjuster is not going to look out for you or advocate for your rights and needs. In contrast, an auto accident attorney will be on your side. And, an experienced lawyer can help you receive a fair personal injury settlement. Reasons to Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer First Emotions tend to run high after a car crash, and you’ll likely feel rather stressed. And if you suffer any injuries as a result of the collision, dealing with everything can be even more difficult. Yet after an accident, you’ll need to make decisions rather quickly – and the choices you make can impact your personal injury settlement. An accident lawyer can explain what to do and what to avoid doing at the scene of the collision. Plus, an attorney will provide with sound advice on how to give a driver statement to the police, how to handle the call to your insurance company and how to respond if liability for the collision is in dispute. Furthermore, an auto accident lawyer attorney can help speed up the insurance settlement process. And by resolving your case quickly, you’ll have the money you need for car repairs and any necessary medical treatment. Why You Shouldn’t Call Your Insurance Company First Your claims adjuster may sound friendly over the phone, but make no mistake – they aren’t trying to help you out. Making money for the company is their goal, and if at all possible, they’ll try to deny your insurance claim. And even if the claims adjuster approves your claim, you can often count on receiving a lowball offer. Many times it seems that it’s their job to find a way to get you to accept the lowest possible personal injury settlement amount. An experienced auto accident attorney can make sure that the settlement offer from your insurance company is worth taking – and if not, you’ll have an expert negotiator working on your behalf. What if You Already Called Your Insurance Company? If you’ve already spoken...

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Children in Car Accidents

Children in Car Accidents

By on Jan 14, 2020 in blog, Car Accidents |

I recently represented a client and her daughter who were in a car accident in West Valley City, Utah. My clients were hit from behind while they were stopped, and the impact smashed in their back bumper. The daughter was taken to the hospital. She was released after medical testing with a neck collar. She had to wear the neck collar for a couple weeks as a precaution. Child in a Car Accident Car accident cases where a child is injured present some unique legal consequences. Unlike adults, children or minors usually cannot resolve their own car accident injury case as only legal adults can settle a claim. Anyone under the age of 18 is considered a minor, except for a few unusual exceptions. Even if a minor is about to turn 18, they are still considered a minor until they do. This was the situation for the car crash in West Valley City. Legal Guardian Needed In most situations, the child’s parent or legal guardian needs to be involved to resolve or settle a minor’s car accident claim. There are exceptions for unusual circumstances. Court Oversight Required In Utah, if a minor is going to receive more than $10,000 from a settlement with an insurance company, court oversight is required. That is because there is a Utah statute that indicates that payments to minors or their guardians can only be made in sums of $10,000 or less per year. Most insurance companies will require court oversight as well to protect themselves from future legal liability. What is required at court? The court will generally require a Petition to be filed, along with other documents. There will then be a hearing to determine if the settlement is in the minor’s best interest. Depending on the case, some judges will want quite a bit of information and evidence regarding the settlement. At other times, the hearing can be quicker, especially in smaller cases or cases where settlement is clearly the best option. Once the judge approves the settlement, the court will enter an order. This order is then sent to the insurance companies for payment. With the recent bad weather, it’s important that we all drive safe. Even though my...

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Should You Settle Your Utah Car Accident Case?

Should You Settle Your Utah Car Accident Case?

By on Sep 10, 2019 in blog, Car Accidents |

If you were injured in a car accident, you have the right to pursue appropriate compensation for your injuries. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go to court to get the compensation you deserve. In most cases, an experienced car accident lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company to get you a reasonable settlement offer. However, if the insurance company won’t make an acceptable offer within a reasonable amount of time, you may face a decision about whether to accept a lower settlement offer or take your case to court. These are a few of the factors that may influence your decision to settle. Your Injuries Might Influence the Decision to Settle Your Case Settling your claim helps get a check in your hand sooner than going to court. It also helps minimize our legal fees and saves you from going through the hassle of a trial. However, if you have injuries that will require ongoing treatment – or if the exact nature or extent of your injuries has yet to be determined – your lawyer may advise holding off on a settlement. Likewise, if your injuries prevent you from going back to work right away, you may want to wait until you know when you can go back to work and whether you can resume your old job duties. Once you accept a settlement, you essentially sign away your ability to pursue the at-fault party for any further damages. The Value of Your Car Accident Claim Can Influence Your Settlement Ultimately, the insurance company will do everything they can to limit how much they have to pay out for your claim. The higher the amount of your claim, the longer they’re likely to try to draw out the negotiation process. In many cases, this will involve a series of settlement offers that fall below the value of your claim. If that happens, your car accident attorney can help you consider the pros and cons of settling for a lower amount as compared to waiting it out or going to court. The statute of limitations requires you to file legal action within a specified period, which will also influence your decision about settling your case or going...

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What to Do with Medical Bills After a Car Accident?

What to Do with Medical Bills After a Car Accident?

By on Sep 6, 2019 in blog, Car Accidents |

The Car Accident You were in a car accident. Your car was damaged, but the worst part is the injuries you suffered. Cars can be replaced or repaired, the things you were planning to do that day can wait, but your physical body cannot be replaced and sometimes the restoration of your health comes at a significant cost. Car Accident Medical Bills Add Up Quickly If you were seriously injured in the car accident most likely you were taken by ambulance to a hospital. The ambulance ride alone could cost you around $1,000- $2,000, possibly more. Then you add on the cost of the emergency room visit which can range from $1,000 to $10,000, or higher, depending on where you are seen and what tests are performed. And sadly, these costs are just the beginning. Many times surgeries are required for significant injuries. When you go into surgery you will not only being paying for your doctor to perform the surgeries, but you will also be paying for the facility in which the surgery is done and the anesthesiologist that assists with the surgery. Even if surgery is not required, many car accident victims spend weeks and months going to a chiropractor or physical therapist to get relief from back and neck injuries. What to Do with the Car Accident Medical Bills? The amount of medical bills that start piling up after a car accident can be staggering! Fortunately, you do not have to handle those bills alone. The PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage on your Utah automobile insurance policy will be the first amount paid towards your bills. Utah law requires motorists to carry a minimum of $3,000 in PIP coverage. What to Do Once the PIP Coverage Is Used Up? However, often times the PIP coverage is not enough to cover your incurred bills. If the accident was not your fault you will often receive compensation from the “at-fault” driver’s insurance or the insurance of the driver that caused the car accident. Often times this insurance company will quickly offer you a small settlement amount. However, this is where it can get a little tricky. Sometimes when the settlement is offered you are not sure what the...

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What to Do If Your Car Is Damaged in an Accident

What to Do If Your Car Is Damaged in an Accident

By on Aug 26, 2019 in blog, Car Accidents |

Car accidents can be a huge hassle! You have to take care of your injuries, some of which require significant time visiting doctors and can affect you for a long time. Also, depending on the type of accident, it is very likely that you will have to deal with damage to your car. This damage can be anything from a minor scuff to a completely totaled car. No matter the degree of damage, having a broken car can be a major inconvenience to your life. Should I use my own insurance or the other driver’s insurance for car repairs? When you choose to address the damage to your car, you have two choices: use your own insurance or use the insurance of the “at-fault driver”.  There are pros and cons to each option. Hopefully as you continue to read you will be able to decide which option is best for you in your situation. Using Your Own Insurance There are a few reasons it would be a good choice to have your car repair paid for by your own insurance. Most likely you will have a better, friendlier experience when you interact with your own insurance carrier. This is because they have the incentive of trying to keep you as a customer. Therefore, they may be more responsive to your requests regarding your car repair and also just answering the phone or returning your calls in general. One reason not to use your own insurance is the fact that you will need to pay the deductible up-front. Although it is important to note that if there is a settlement with the “at-fault driver’s” insurance or if they accept responsibility for the accident, you will likely get the deductible money back. Some insurance companies are even waiving the deductible requirements if the other insurance company accepts responsibility. However, some deductibles can be high and you may have to wait to get that money back on a repaired vehicle. On a totaled vehicle, they may deduct your deductible from the amount they are giving you on your totaled car. If your deductible is $1,000, that is a lot of money to be waiting on. Another big concern is whether or not...

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