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Auto Accident Lawyer Salt Lake City UT
Our auto accident lawyer in Salt Lake City UT knows that if you have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver, you will need to file a claim with their insurance company in order to be compensated for your injuries and vehicle damage. During this process, you will likely be contacted by the insurance adjuster from that company who is handling the claim. In order to not jeopardize your claim, a Salt Lake City, Utah auto accident lawyer from Rasmussen & Miner recommends you contact our office before speaking with the adjuster.
In the meantime, the following tips will help you in dealing with insurance companies.
The Insurance Company Is Not Looking Out for Your Best Interest
Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. Whenever they have to pay a claim, that amount cuts into that profit. Their profit is what they are really looking out for and not the financial justice victims deserve. There are a number of ways insurance companies manipulate and trick victims in order to convince the victim that the company is looking out for them. They will even discourage victims from consulting with a Salt Lake City UT auto accident lawyer.
Insurance Company Tactics to Know About
Your insurance company—or the other driver’s—wants you to talk to them. They want to seem like they are on your side, but really? They’re not. It doesn’t help that most insurance commercials feature friendly animals like geckos and geese or say that they’re a great neighbor and are there for you. Doesn’t even matter if you’ve just had a car crash or had one ages ago.
To know how to fight an insurance claim, you need to know how they fight back in claims. Your lawyer will also know these things, but it’s good for you to know them as well.
First thing’s first, that insurance adjuster? They’ll play friendship. If you make a claim on an insurance policy after an accident, the claims adjuster that represents that company is going to call you. They’re friendly, they are going to express concern and ask how you’re doing. Don’t let yourself be caught up in their kindness, it’s part of their employee training—they know how to get more information that they can use against you by being nice, courteous and sympathetic. The information you share with them can and will be used against your claim.
Settling your claim might not be as urgent as it feels. After all, if you’re chatting with an insurance company, they may make you feel rushed. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you feel like you need to settle fast?
- Are they saying their offer is only available for a limited time?
- Are they rushing you to make a decision?
This is done by design because while you cannot wait forever to file damages after a car crash, you have to abide by the limitations in your state—and statutes vary based on state. In Utah this is four years, save for some exceptions. But the gist of the matter is, insurance adjusters want you to think you have to accept an offer within weeks of your accident because they want to settle the claim and avoid litigation—a lawsuit typically forces them to offer you more money.
Most personal injury lawyers that deal in car accidents are going to give you a very honest answer involving your claims—especially about what you can expect to get offered in settlement or by going to court.
The insurance companies know they’re offering you a low settlement. The insurance adjuster is quickly putting an offer on the table, and that most likely means it’s extremely low. It’s a lot less than you’re owed and they are aware of that. They know they would rather have money now than fight them on it.
Some insurance companies may even have a “deny first” strategy and what that means is they may deny your claim outright even though it’s valid. While insurers can get in trouble for using this strategy, they’ll still do it because it saves them money—especially if you’re trying to fight on your own, and they’re lowballing you, they know you’ll likely take whatever they offer if they first deny you.
What You Say Can Be Used Against You to Deny Your Claim
The insurance adjuster will try contacting a victim to ask them questions. At this point, they are already aware of how the crash occurred because they have interviewed their client (the at-fault driver) and have access to police reports. They know what a victim’s injuries and damages are based on the claim the victim has filed. However, they also know how to frame a question in a way that the victim could answer in a way that would hurt their claim. This is why you should let your Salt Lake City UT auto accident lawyer do all the talking with the insurance company.
Watch Out for Low Settlement Offers
The insurance company will try to settle a claim as quickly as possible. They will also try to settle a claim for as little as possible. Often an insurance adjuster may offer a settlement that is much less than the victim’s injuries add up to. Many victims are unaware of all the damages they may actually be entitled to. In some cases, it may be so soon after the crash that they do not realize the long-term effect or permanent damage their injuries may have. A Salt Lake City UT auto accident lawyer can help by ensuring that long term injuries are accounted for when pursuing a settlement or award. Once you settle, you cannot go back and get more compensation if you discover your injuries are worse than originally thought. Do not accept any settlement without first speaking with a Salt Lake City UT auto accident lawyer.
Contact a Salt Lake City UT Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have been in a car accident, contact an auto accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT clients recommend from Rasmussen & Miner. Call our office to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation and find out how our legal team can help ensure your rights are protected and you get the financial compensation you deserve.
4 Things a Car Accident Lawyer Can Do for You
Being involved in an automobile accident can certainly be a traumatic experience, and even worse, if things head to the courtroom it may be time to see an attorney. Car accidents happen every day in every state of the country. Every case is unique, so an attorney from Rasmussen & Miner: Personal Injury Attorney might be able to help out by learning the details of your incident and coming up with a unique strategy. Here are a few services an auto accident lawyer in Salt Lake City UT, might be able to offer.
1. Help Defending Against a Lawsuit
An auto accident lawyer in Salt Lake City UT, may be able to offer legal defense services. After an auto accident, one of the involved parties might decide to file a lawsuit against another. This lawsuit is separate from the ones that take place between vehicle insurance companies. Suits can be very serious depending on the severity of the accident. Not every car accident requires hiring an attorney for legal help; however, there are vehicle accidents that do require the help of an attorney to make sure justice is upheld and disputes are properly resolved.
2. Consult and Explain Legal Documents
Someone may receive a letter, registered mail, an overnight envelope, or they may be served in person explaining that a lawsuit has been filed and they are named in the case. This letter should be brought to an auto accident lawyer in Salt Lake City UT, as quickly as possible. Beginning with a free consultation, an attorney like one from Rasmussen & Miner: Personal Injury Attorney might be able to offer guidance with interpreting legal letters and documents.
3. File a Lawsuit Against Someone
Unfortunately, things can get to a point where a lawsuit is required in order to resolve an issue. An auto accident lawyer in Salt Lake City UT, might be able to assist by helping a person file a lawsuit against an entity involved in the auto accident. From large suits against trucking companies to small suits involving a fender-bender, a personal injury lawyer who focuses on vehicle accidents is going to be the best use of money when looking to resolve an issue after a car wreck.
4. Resolve a Dispute With an Insurance Company
Sometimes one’s own insurance provider can become the adversary in a legal battle. These companies are like banks filled with money and lawyers. A normal person can quickly become overwhelmed after corresponding with an insurance company’s legal team. Fight fire with fire and schedule a free consultation with an attorney.
How to Maximize Your Car Accident Settlement
Insurance providers are in the business of making money. Thus, it comes as no surprise that these companies will try their best to avoid paying more than they have to for damages and personal injuries in the wake of a car crash.
Insurance adjusters are trained professionals who want to minimize your settlement as much as possible. Trying to negotiate with them can be overwhelming and stressful, especially for those who have little to no experience in this department. Thankfully, with the help of a seasoned Salt Lake City, Utah auto accident lawyer, it is possible to maximize your settlement to get the funds you need and deserve. The experienced team at Rasmussen & Miner is more than happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the insurance claims process. Before you attend your consultation with one of our firm’s Salt Lake City, UT auto accident lawyers, feel free to write down any questions you have so that you can reference them at any time. If, in reading the basic information below regarding insurance claims, you’re inspired to ask even more questions than you have now, write them down! We’re glad to answer them all.
Why is it Critical to Keep Accurate Records?
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is crucial to keep accurate records of the crash. This is because the other driver’s insurance provider and/or any other responsible parties will collect as much data as possible that could potentially be used against your case. This can leave you at a severe disadvantage if you do not obtain the proper information during and after the incident. Important information to collect includes police reports, witness testimonials, a report from the doctor you sought treatment from, and photographs of the scene. If you have questions about what kind of records you should gather in the wake of your crash, please ask our Salt Lake City, UT auto accident lawyer team.
Why Should I Take Pictures?
If you have a smartphone or a phone with a camera function, take numerous pictures of the accident scene (if possible), as well as the injuries that you suffered. Images of the crash can be utilized as evidence during the negotiation process if your case goes to trial and can act as a striking visual for the jury and the judge.
Why Shouldn’t I Accept the First Offer that Comes My Way?
Insurance companies will use all kinds of tricks to get you to agree to a very low settlement amount. They may even try to get you to say that the accident was your fault, even if it wasn’t. If you accept the first offer from them, you’ll almost certainly be losing out on significant compensation that you’re otherwise entitled to.
It’s critical to always seek the advice of an experienced Salt Lake City, UT auto accident lawyer before you conduct any negotiations with an insurance adjuster. Our firm understands all of the tactics adjusters use to entice victims to take a lower settlement and we can fight to get you the funds you deserve.
Why Should I Follow My Doctor’s Orders?
If you suffered from injuries due to a car collision and received treatment from a doctor, it is imperative that you continue to see this healthcare professional after the initial appointment.
If you need to undergo a treatment plan to recover from the crash and don’t follow your doctor’s orders, you can lose a huge portion of your settlement. This is because an insurance provider will look at any gap in treatment and try to say you were no longer hurt because you did not closely follow the doctor’s advice and missed a treatment session. If you don’t believe you need follow-up treatment or you’re concerned about costs, please consult a Salt Lake City, UT auto accident lawyer before committing to a plan of action.
When to Hire an Auto Accident Lawyer in Salt Lake City UT
You were in a car accident. It was scary, it was stressful and now you’re wondering how to move on. Don’t you need to report the accident to multiple people? How are you going to pay all those medical bills? The questions could really start flooding in when you’re in a car accident and don’t know what to do. Our Salt Lake City UT auto accident lawyer at Rasmussen & Miner can help you determine the best route to take so you’re not left high and dry after your car accident.
When the Accident Was the Other Driver’s Fault
If your car accident wasn’t even your fault, why would you need a Salt Lake City UT auto accident lawyer? The following are just a few reasons
- Dealing With the Other Driver’s Insurance Provider – It’s possible the at-fault party’s insurance provider will try to contact you to offer a settlement. You should never accept an offer from an insurer without speaking to an auto accident attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah. Your attorney can help you see the difference between the offer and what you could obtain otherwise.
- Understanding Damages You’re Eligible For – There are various types of damages you could be eligible for after a car accident. Unless you’ve been in this situation before, you may not know what to seek. Some common damages people ask for include medical costs, both current and future, pain and suffering, lost wages, and punitive damages.
- Winning the Blame Game – Even when fault is determined to be that of the other driver, the insurer could try to claim it was actually your fault based off evidence the insurance adjuster noticed. Your Salt Lake City UT auto accident lawyer can help you fight the claim.
When the Accident Was Your Fault
There are some obvious reasons you may want a lawyer if the accident was your fault. For example, if the other party is suing you, you’ll want legal representation. Some other reasons to hire a Salt Lake City UT auto accident lawyer when you’re at fault include the following:
- To Deal With Your Insurer – Yes, your insurance company is supposedly on your side, but they are also looking out for their own bottom line. You need someone completely dedicated to you, and not someone who has an interest in both you and the insurance company.
- To Understand Your Rights – Don’t let the system take advantage of you because you don’t understand it. A lawyer can help you understand your rights so you don’t end up a total loss at the end of the whole ordeal.
What are your options if both drivers were partially at fault?
Much of life is messy, and fault for car accidents is no exception. There are many instances in which both drivers in a car accident are at least partially to blame for causing the crash or increasing the severity of their own injuries in that crash.
How are such cases resolved? Can either driver sue the other if both were at fault? Thankfully, being partially at fault doesn’t necessarily prevent you from seeking compensation with the help of a Salt Lake City, UT Auto Accident Lawyer like those at Rasmussen & Miner. Below, we’ll discuss what’s known as the “comparative negligence” law in Utah.
How the law treats joint negligence
Utah recognizes a type of comparative negligence commonly known as “modified comparative fault.” This principle says that even if you were partially to blame for the accident or the severity of injuries, you still have the right to pursue compensation through litigation as long as your level of fault does not exceed 50 percent. If you win or settle your case, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
An example of shared fault for a crash
Let’s say that you and another driver were involved in an intersection crash. You were waiting to turn left across oncoming traffic. Although the light was yellow, you decided to make a left turn before it turned red (instead of waiting for the next green light). While you were turning, the oncoming driver tried to speed through the intersection, violating a red light and slamming into your car.
The other driver was 70 percent at fault for running a red light and speeding. You were deemed 30 percent at fault for making an unsafe turn. If you were to win your case, you could collect 70 percent of the full damages you were seeking.
How a skilled Salt Lake City, UT Auto Accident Lawyer can help
At Rasmussen & Miner, we regularly work with clients who share some blame for the accident they were involved in, even though their level of fault was much lower than the other driver’s. The specific percentage of assigned fault isn’t always clear at the beginning of the process. Therefore, one of our main priorities is to help minimize your own liability and demonstrate the other driver deserves the vast majority of the blame for what happened. In doing so, we can help you maximize the amount of money you could recover in a settlement or jury award.
If you’ve been hurt in a crash, don’t let the idea of shared fault stop you from discussing your legal options with a Salt Lake City, UT Auto Accident Lawyer. The attorneys at Rasmussen & Miner are here to help you seek the compensation you need and deserve.
Contacting Your Salt Lake City UT Auto Accident Lawyer to Get Started
Getting started as soon as possible is the best way to ensure you are looked after and legally taken care of every step of the way. If you’ve been in a car accident, contact Rasmussen & Miner, a Salt Lake City UT auto accident lawyer that you can rely on.
Whiplash in Car Accidents
While many rear-end crashes end up just being minor collisions that leave little to no damage to the vehicles involved, that is not always the case when it comes to personal injuries. When the rear vehicle crashes into the front vehicle, that impact can cause the neck and head to jerk back and forth, just like a whip does when it is cracked, causing whiplash. That jerking motion can cause injury to the bones, tendons, and muscles.
A victim involved in a rear-end crash should seek medical treatment immediately and then contact a car accident attorney. At Rasmussen & Miner, we understand just how serious a whiplash injury can be and the long-term effects it can have on a family’s physical and financial situations. Allow our experienced Salt Lake City, Utah auto accident lawyer team to help you evaluate your legal options after suffering this challenging injury.
In some cases, the symptoms of whiplash are immediate and intense. However, in many other situations, the symptoms may be delayed. It can take several hours or several days before the symptoms begin to emerge. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to connect with an experienced Salt Lake City, UT auto accident lawyer in the wake of a crash, even if you don’t believe you’ve been injured. It can take time for your symptoms to manifest. Some of these symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
- Lack of mobility in the back and neck
- Neck, shoulder, jaw, or arm pain
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
- Ringing in the ears
- Stiffness of the neck, shoulder, and back
How serious a whiplash injury is often depends on several factors. Some of these factors include how old the victim is, how hard the impact of the crash was, and if the victim has any history of back or neck injuries. If you suspect you have whiplash, contact your doctor right away.
Under Utah law, the legal presumption is that the driver who is the rear vehicle is the one who is at fault in a rear-end crash. This is because of the common causes of these types of accidents. One of the most common is tailgating, when the rear vehicle follows too closely behind the vehicle in front. The tailgating could be because the driver was not paying attention, was driving too fast, or is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is not to say that you can’t have suffered whiplash under other circumstances or that you were necessarily at fault if you were driving behind another car and crashed into it. A Salt Lake City, UT auto accident lawyer can help to clarify who was at fault for the crash.
If you were not primarily at fault for the crash, you should be able to recover compensation from the party (or parties) who were more responsible for the crash than you were. Some of the expenses that a victim may be entitled to recover include medical expenses, loss of income, pain, and suffering, emotional anguish, and more. The at-fault driver may also be responsible for the loss of future income if the victim is left with permanent injuries that leave them unable to do the work they were doing before the accident.
The Most Important Winter Driving Tips To Follow
If you plan on traveling to visit family members and friends during the holiday season, you need to be aware of winter weather. Even if you live in the south, you may be traveling north. Winter weather can happen at any time, and you need to know what to do to stay safe. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident this winter, you should rely on an auto accident lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT, such as an attorney from Rasmussen & Miner: Personal Injury Attorney.
Allow Extra Distance Between Yourself and the Car in Front of You
Snow and ice can make it harder for you to stop short. Because your tires will not have as much grip on the road, it may take you longer to come to a complete stop. If you need to stop short, you may end up running into the back of the car in front of you. You can prevent this from happening by allowing extra distance between your car and the car in front of you.
Check Your Tires
Before you hit the road this winter, you should also check your tires. Make sure they have plenty of tread on them. If your tires do not have a strong grip on the road, you might have a difficult time maintaining control of your vehicle. You should take your car to the shop before you hit the road for a winter road trip. Mechanics can let you know if you need to replace your tires, rotate your tires, or recommend a new set of tires specifically for the winter.
Do Not Drive at Night
Finally, do not drive at night. Winter driving is already hazardous enough, but if you hit the road at night, you will have a difficult time seeing hazards that could increase your chances of being involved in an accident. Examples include animals, black ice, and pedestrians. It is always better to wait until you can see the road. Stay safe, and avoid driving at night.
Call an Auto Accident Lawyer
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident during the winter, you should seek medical care as quickly as possible. Then, call an auto accident lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT, such as a lawyer from Rasmussen & Miner: Personal Injury Attorney, who can help you. If the accident was not your fault, you could be entitled to financial compensation.
Contact Our Salt Lake City Car Accident Attorneys
If you have been in a car accident, contact our office today. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin preserving your legal options and protecting your rights.
Do’s and Don’ts for Filing Auto Accident Claims
If you were injured in an auto accident caused by another driver, you may be entitled to compensation. It is important to file a legal claim promptly to receive the money you deserve. Here are the do’s and don’ts of filing a claim that an auto accident lawyer in Salt Lake City UT wants you to know.
Do Be Honest with Your Doctor About Your Injury
When you see a doctor about the injury you suffered in an auto accident, be completely truthful. Tell your doctor the exact symptoms you’ve experienced and how they are affecting your daily life. Don’t exaggerate your symptoms, as it can hurt your claim.
Do Gather Evidence
The more evidence you have, the stronger your auto accident claim will be. Make sure to take several photos of the accident scene and visible injuries. You should also obtain a copy of the police report, medical records and auto repair bills.
Do Speak to a Lawyer
If you plan to file a legal claim for your injury, it’s in your best interest to have an experienced auto accident lawyer in Salt Lake City UT on your side. These claims can be very complex and you don’t want to make costly mistakes. A lawyer will help you file a timely claim and make sure that you have the proper evidence. He or she will also negotiate with the insurance company.
Don’t Accept the Insurance Company’s First Offer
When your medical bills are piling up, it can be tempting to accept the insurance company’s first settlement offer. However, this is not beneficial to you in the long run. The insurance company’s first offer usually is not enough to cover all of your expenses. Be patient and allow your lawyer to negotiate a better offer.
Don’t Ignore Your Emotional Injuries
When many people think about auto accidents, they only imagine physical injuries. However, these accidents can also result in emotional injuries, like depression, anxiety, anger and post-traumatic stress disorder. Don’t be afraid to seek mental health counseling for your emotional injuries.
Don’t Stop Medical Treatment Early
Even if you start to feel better sooner than you expected, you should still follow your doctor’s treatment plan. If you stop your treatment too early, you could jeopardize your health and your legal claim.