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Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Salt Lake City UT
Things You Shouldn’t Say After a Car Accident
A car accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT locals recommend understands that being a victim of a car accident can be one of the most stressful events of your life. However, it’s important to retain your composure so that you avoid saying the wrong things. Robert Miner of Rasmussen & Miner is a Salt Lake City car accident lawyer who has seen many individuals not get a fair settlement because of what they said after the accident.
Here are some things you shouldn’t say after a car accident:
I Think That..
If you were involved in a car accident, the police, your insurance company, and your attorney will ask you questions about the event. Avoid speculating when it comes to answers. Doing so can damage your claim. If you’re not ensure about the answer, simply say, “I don’t know.” A car accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT residents choose from our firm can speak on your behalf.
Sometimes people say they’re sorry after car accidents to reduce tension, even if they didn’t do anything wrong. However, apologizing can make it seem like you’re admitting fault. To avoid damaging your claim, avoid saying you’re sorry.
I’m Not Injured
Even if you feel perfectly fine after the car accident, you should avoid saying that you’re not hurt. Some injuries, like whiplash and traumatic brain injuries, don’t show up until days or weeks after the accident. That’s why you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor can give a proper evaluation and determine if you’re truly injured or not. If you previously said you were not injured, the at-fault driver’s insurance company can claim you are fine. After your diagnosis, a car accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT victims trust can submit your medical records with the claim as they will show proof of injury.
That Was My Fault
Under no circumstances should you admit to any degree of fault after a car accident. Any admission of guilt can affect your chances of receiving compensation. Even saying things like, “I didn’t see you,” or “I took my eyes off the road for just a second” can be damaging. As soon as possible after the accident, write down everything that happened and make a copy for when you hire a car accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT motorists turn to in similar situations. Learn More: Can I Recover Damages if I Didn’t Wear a Seat Belt?
I Don’t Have a Lawyer
If you don’t plan to work with an attorney on your claim, you shouldn’t advertise this to the insurance company. Just tell them that you are still considering your representation options. At Rasmussen & Miner, we offer a free consultation so it may be worth it to at least discuss your case with a car accident lawyer in Salt Lake City UT who will have your best interests in mind.
If you were involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, the other driver’s insurance company may contact you and offer you a settlement. You should avoid accepting the first offer. The insurance company will likely offer you the lowest possible amount, which isn’t fair to you. Talk to your attorney before you accept any settlement offer.
If you were injured in a car accident, it may be in your best interest to consult with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. He or she may review your case and advise you the best way to proceed. Learn more about The Car Accident Injury Often Forgotten About.
At Rasmussen & Miner, we understand how overwhelming it can be to deal with the aftermath of a car accident and want to help you as much as possible. Rob Miner has represented many people in difficult situations and he truly cares about the well-being of his clients. If you would like to meet with a car accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT respects for a free consultation, call Rob Miner at (801) 683-9944 today.
How Injury Settlements are Calculated
Anyone who is a victim of an accident caused by another party is legally able to file a claim against the at-fault party, through their insurance company, for the losses that their injuries have caused them. Arriving at a fair and just amount, however, often requires the assistance of a car accident lawyer Salt Lake City, UT to help protect the rights of the victim.
When an accident claim is filed with an insurance company, they will assign it to one of their insurance adjusters. The adjuster is tasked with determining how much the value of the victim’s claim is, however, their end goal is to settle the case for the least amount of money possible.
It is with goal in mind that the insurance adjuster will make the first settlement offer. This amount is typically much lower than what the claim is actually worth. However, the goal of the insurance company is also to avoid litigation and having the claim end up as a lawsuit where the determination of how much the victim’s losses are worth is made by a jury or a judge. This could end up being much costlier for the company.
Therefore, the insurance company is open to negotiations with the victim’s car accident lawyer Salt Lake City, UT. During these negotiations, the adjuster will likely examine the following when coming up with an amount that both sides will agree to:
- All of the documented expenses the victim has incurred as a result of the injuries. This includes medical bills, travel expenses for treatments, and property damage.
- Past, present, and future loss of income and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Permanent disability
The adjuster will also look at evidence presented by the Salt Lake City, UT car accident lawyer regarding how the injury has impacted the victim’s daily life, including their ability to enjoy and participate in the activities the way they did before the accident.
After the insurance adjuster has examined all of the evidence submitted by the victim’s Salt Lake City car accident lawyer and researched similar types of injuries, they will make a decision regarding just how strong the victim’s case is against their client. The stronger the evidence, the stronger the commitment of the insurance company to negotiate in good faith and offer a higher settlement amount.
When it comes to determining the settlement amount, there are economic and noneconomic damages to consider. The economic damages have actual dollar amounts attached to them, such as lost wages and medical expenses. Noneconomic damages are things like pain and suffering and emotional anguish and do not have a tangible value like economic damages do.
Since noneconomic damages do not have dollar amounts, they have to be determined a different way. There are two common formulas that insurance companies use for these types of damages.
The first is the per diem method. This is where the insurance adjuster will set a per day value for each day the victim suffered. They will then multiply that amount by the total number of days the victim was recovering.
The second way they can use is referred to as the pain multiplier method. The insurance company will choose a multiplier between the numbers of 1.5 and 5. This number is based on how much pain and suffering the victim endured. They will then multiply that number to the total amount of medical bills and lost wages.
Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident
There’s no denying that a car accident is an extremely stressful event. After the crash, you may have a million thoughts rushing through your mind and not know how to act. However, don’t let the stress of the accident cause you to say or do something that may jeopardize your car accident claim. Here are some common mistakes you should avoid making after a car accident.
Things to Know About Insurance Companies
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.
Your insurance company HAS to assess your claim in good faith. This is a legal doctrine that is complex, and is based on a pretty easy notion to understand—people should treat other people reasonably, often fairly, honestly and by the law. If you think your insurance adjuster is investigating or negotiating your claim in a “bad faith” manner, they could get in trouble—in fact if they are found guilty of acting in bad faith, they may have to pay you a lot more money.
Your contract with that insurance company states that they have to act in good faith against you. If they’re not, let a personal injury lawyer know. 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.
Your insurance company is not going to be afraid to use what you say to them against you. Anything you tell them can be turned into a contradictory statement later, if you go to court. They’ll use your own words—and even short conversations with an adjuster can be tricky. There is an obligation to talk to your insurance company after you’ve made your claim, but you should be especially wary of speaking openly to the other driver’s insurance company. If you feel that you have a case, have your lawyer talk to both insurance companies to avoid anything being said that could later be misconstrued.
Insurance companies exist to make profit, and you’ve paid your bills to them to protect yourself. So, know that they make their profit by lowballing claims—not every claim is worth millions, but any cost associated with the accident and lifelong injury should be covered under your insurance. Don’t take a settlement that’s offered to you without discussing it with your lawyer.
If you were driving a few miles over the speed limit or forgot to use your turn signal, you might think that you are partially to blame for the car accident. However, you should avoid admitting any kind of fault. Let the police and insurance adjusters investigate the true cause of the accident. If you admit fault, it can give the insurance company a reason to deny your claim.
Failing to Preserve Evidence
In order to get compensation for a car accident claim, you must have sufficient evidence. Before you leave the crash scene, don’t forget to take several pictures of all the vehicles involved in the accident, skid marks on the road, road signs and anything else that may have contributed to the crash. If you are physically unable to take photos, you should ask a bystander to do it for you.
Delaying Medical Care
Even if you feel fine, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible. Some car accident injuries, like whiplash, don’t show symptoms until days or weeks later. A medical professional should examine your injuries and then recommend the best treatment. If you delay medical care, you’re not just putting your health in jeopardy. You’re also risking getting your claim denied. If the insurance company finds out that you didn’t seek medical care right away, they might think that you’re not as injured as you claim.
Accepting a Quick Settlement
Dealing with a car accident claim is stressful, so it is understandable that you want to get the process over with quickly. However, that doesn’t mean that you should accept the insurance company’s first offer. It’s likely much less than you deserve. It’s important to be patient and let your car accident lawyer in Salt Lake City UT negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.
Not Hiring a Salt Lake City Car Accident Lawyer
While it is possible to handle a car accident claim on your own, it is not recommended. Car accident claims can be incredibly complex and you want someone with knowledge and experience on your side. A skilled car accident lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT will tell you what you can expect and protect your legal rights. They will help you gather evidence, locate key witnesses and negotiate with the insurance company. Your attorney won’t let the insurance company get away with offering you a settlement that’s less than you deserve. They will improve your chances of getting a fair settlement offer.
An experienced car accident lawyer Salt Lake City, UT will fight to protect your rights and win you the compensation you deserve. Call Rasmussen & Miner now for your no obligation consultation.
Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
If you suffered injuries in a car accident caused by another driver, it is important to take legal action. You deserve compensation for what you’ve endured. Here are a few benefits of hiring a car accident lawyer in Salt Lake City UT to help you.
- Know the True Value of Your Claim: If you do not have a legal background, you probably don’t know much your claim is truly worth and may accept a lower offer from the insurance company. An experienced car accident lawyer has handled many car accident claims in the past. Therefore, he or she will know how much your claim is actually worth. Your lawyer will take your medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity and other factors into account before determining a figure.
- Prevent You from Hurting Your Claim: Many people have jeopardized their car accidents claims without even realizing it. For example, they may have provided the insurance company with too much information about their case or discussed their case on social media. If you have an experienced lawyer on your side, he or she can prevent you from making these costly mistakes.
- Negotiate With the Insurance Company: Car accident claims are very expensive for insurance companies, so they may try to do anything to avoid paying you what you deserve. That’s another good reason to work with a car accident lawyer in Salt Lake City UT. He or she will possess excellent negotiating skills and won’t get intimidated by insurance adjusters.
- Reduce Stress: If you have suffered injuries in a car accident, you probably feel very overwhelmed. Handling a legal claim on your own will just add to your stress. If you hire a car accident lawyer, he or she will handle all the legwork for you. This way, you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries.
- Represent You in Court: The majority of car accident claims get settled out of court. However, sometimes it is necessary to take a case to trial if the insurance company will not offer a fair settlement. In this situation, it is critical to have a car accident lawyer in Salt Lake City UT standing next to you. He or she will work hard to persuade the jury to side with you and help you feel more comfortable.