Personal Injury Law in Utah

Were you hurt due to another’s negligence in Utah? If so, it may have far-reaching consequences such as a loss of wages or extensive medical treatment. Personal injury law allows an injured person to get damages if the responsible person acted recklessly. A personal injury attorney in Utah can help navigate the lawsuit to make sure you receive all of the compensation you deserve.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law in Utah relates to the legal process of getting compensation for an injury caused by someone else’s negligent behavior. These cases involve one party, the plaintiff, trying to seek financial compensation for expenses incurred and money lost as a result of the defendant’s reckless behavior. These cases involve both parties’ insurance companies and may even settle before proceeding to litigation.

Examples of Personal Injury Claims in Utah

Some personal injury claims are more common than others. However, almost any incident that ends with a physical or mental injury could qualify, depending on the circumstances.

A few of the most common personal injury claims are:

  • Car Accidents
  • Slip and Fall
  • Dog Bites
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Workplace Accidents
  • Burn Injuries

Most Common Injuries in Utah 

The Utah Department of Health states leading causes of injury hospitalization as falls, poisonings, and motor vehicle traffic crashes. Based on annual rate figures, the state’s hospitals saw about 65,000 patients per year for fall injuries from 2012-2014. Unfortunately, unintentional injury claims the lives of more Utahns ages 1 through 44 than any other cause of death. According to Utah’s Health Database, poisonings have trended upward at an alarming rate to become the clear leading cause of unintentional injury death during the past decade. Over the past 20 years, fall deaths have increased while motor vehicle traffic crash deaths have decreased.

Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Utah

Once you determine that you wish to proceed forward with a personal injury action in Utah

A lawsuit begins when a complaint is filed with the court and served on the defendant. The complaint alleges your assertion as the plaintiff that the defendant’s negligent behavior resulted in damage to your body or mental state. As the process proceeds forward, you may have to go through depositions, independent medical evaluations and document production. This discovery process is lengthy and ends in either settlement or a court appearance.

A Utah small claims court will handle your case if its value is $10,000 or less. For larger cases, visit the civil courthouse in the county where you sustained your injuries.

Utah Personal Injury Settlement

With most personal injury cases, insurance companies and injured parties prefer settlement negotiations rather than going to court for a trial. You may wonder how much you should seek in your settlement and factors that impact the final amount.

According to the Utah Department of Health, fall-related inpatient hospital charges alone totaled more than $185 million in 2014. Considering injury rate and state population that year, this figure equates to a per-person cost of about $12,500. When factoring in the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of your injury, your settlement amount could end up being significantly larger. A legal team will be able to help formulate the damages owed to you based on the specific details of your case.

If the other party has insurance, the insurance company likely wants to settle out of court to avoid leaving the final settlement decision to a jury. Settlements benefit injured parties as much as they do insurance companies. This is because accepting a settlement means you receive compensation sooner rather than later. Also, by going to court in UT, that means you risk not receiving any compensation at all.

Damage Awards in Utah

If your Utah personal injury lawsuit goes before a judge or jury, your legal team will be ready with a request for damages. In personal injury cases, there are three types of damage awards a court may order the defendant to pay to compensate you for the damage he or she inflicted.

Special compensatory damages reimburse you for things such as lost income, medical bills and insurance deductibles. You submit receipts proving these losses.

General compensatory damages are subjective. If you receive special compensatory damages, you may also collect general damages. If your injury was particularly painful, you might request that the judge order the defendant compensate you for the pain and anguish.

Punitive damages are the most rarely awarded and are up to the court. The judge or jury may determine that the defendant’s negligence was particularly heinous and the resulting injury to you was equally horrific.

Generally, the state of Utah does not limit or cap personal injury damages. However, state law imposes limitations for a few exceptions. In medical malpractice cases, for example, state law caps potential compensation at $450,000.

Statute of Limitations in Utah Personal Injury Law?

The injured party may have a set amount of time to file suit for a personal injury case. State law establishes statutes of limitation. Commonly, the plaintiff’s injury or discovery of the injury begins the statute of limitations. However, the latter factor is trickier, as the plaintiff will have to prove when the injury was first realized.

The statute of limitations in Utah is four years from the date of discovery of your injury. Failing to act within this window generally means losing the opportunity to recover.

We recommend you speak with a personal injury lawyer for this matter. Don’t wait too long and miss out on receiving the compensation you deserve for your injury. 

Work With an Experienced Utah Lawyer

Pursue a personal injury claim in Utah against the responsible person if you are dealing with an injury caused by someone else. One of our experienced lawyers can help you navigate your personal injury claim.  We can even help you connect with an attorney across Utah state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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