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Car Crash Lawsuit Utah
Car accidents are dangerous events with a strong likelihood of serious and potentially life-threatening personal injuries. Even in the event of a minor crash or collision, your actions in the immediate aftermath could put you at risk. It is important to follow the proper precautions at the accident scene, whether it occurs on a neighborhood street, parking lot, or on a major highway. The following highlights the potential dangers and offers tips on how to protect yourself. If you have been injured in an accident, contact our firm to discuss your legal options for a car crash lawsuit Utah law allows.
Car Accident Statistics
According to national data, there are more than six million car accidents each year in this country that result in injuries to approximately three million people. Two million of those victims are left permanently disabled. These crashes also cause the deaths of 90 people every single day. The top three causes of those fatal crashes are:
- Alcohol is responsible for 40 percent of fatal crashes
- Reckless driving is responsible for 33 percent of fatal crashes
- Speeding is responsible for 30 percent of fatal crashes
Distracted driving is quickly becoming one of the top causes of crashes, responsible for nine fatalities every day. One in five crashes report distracted driving as a factor in causing the accident.
One of the easiest ways to avoid injuries in a car crash or minimize the extent of injuries is to wear seatbelts. Seatbelts reduce the risk of death in a crash by 45 percent and serious injuries by 50 percent, yet one in seven drivers refuse to wear a seatbelt.
Protecting Yourself at a Car Accident Scene
Car accident scenes are generally chaotic. And while your safety is paramount, it is also important to remember everything that takes place at the scene can have an impact on any car crash lawsuit filed in Utah. Even in a relatively minor crash, those involved are likely to be in shock. It is important to be aware of the potential dangers you face during this time, particularly if your vehicle is still on the road and blocking traffic. Your first step should be to notify local law enforcement or state highway officials.
Once they arrive, they can secure the accident site and help ensure your safety. If your vehicle is still drivable, you will want to pull over in a safe location. If this is not possible, you need to put your flashers on to alert passing motorists. Use caution before making the decision to leave your vehicle. Sitting in a disabled vehicle in the middle of the road puts you at risk, but so does exiting the vehicle amidst high traffic conditions. If you do get out of your car, make sure there are no other vehicles approaching and stand as far off the road as possible until the police arrive. Before making any statements pertaining to the accident itself, wait until after you have consulted with an attorney.
Let Us Help You Today
Before making any statements, which could jeopardize your rights in a claim, reach out and contact Rasmussen & Miner first. Request a consultation with one of our car accident attorneys to discuss the steps we can take to pursue a car crash lawsuit in Utah on your behalf.
Many people who are interested in filing a Utah car crash lawsuit ask, “How much is my case worth?” The goal of the law is to return you to the financial situation you were in prior to your injury. Essentially, you will be pursuing compensation for your losses by claiming “damages” for the financial (and some personal) hardships that you have suffered as a result of your accident. Every case is different, which is why it’s important to speak with an experienced Salt Lake City, UT car accident lawyer from Rasmussen & Miner before making any assumptions about the value of your Utah car crash lawsuit.
Three Types of Damages
All damages will fall into one of three categories. The nature of the suffering determines which category it falls into:
- Special Compensatory Damages – This type of damages accounts for all financial losses. If you had to spend money because of your injury, all claims for compensation will be special compensatory damages. The most common example of this kind of damages is your hospital bill, but it can include miscellaneous purchases, missed paychecks, and other expenses too. If you can claim an exact dollar value, then it falls into this category.
- General Compensatory Damages – This type of damages accounts for all non-financial losses. The most common example of this kind of damages is pain and suffering. This is the primary way you might receive more than you spent on an injury. You are entitled to compensation for all kinds of suffering, but it is the judge who will decide if a claim is reasonable. If general compensatory damage is accepted, then the judge will decide how much it is worth.
- Punitive Damages – This type of damages is completely different from the other two. Rather than being compensatory in nature, punitive damages are assigned strictly to punish the defendant. Punitive damages are very rare in personal injury cases and there is nothing you or your attorney can do to encourage the judge to assign them. Punitive damages are usually only assigned when a law has been broken, rather than when someone causes an injury due to a genuine accident.
If you have any questions about the categories of damages or about filing a Utah car crash lawsuit, please contact our firm today. This will allow you to make an informed decision about your unique legal circumstances. We look forward to speaking with you.