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When you have been hurt in an accident — any type of accident — the next thing you should be thinking about is contacting an attorney. Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations that can be used to learn more about your potential case and ask important questions. An attorney will offer advice and perspective based on their years of experience handling cases like yours.
Leaving your possible claim to your own devices puts you at an extreme disadvantage. Not only are you unfamiliar with the claims (and, potentially, litigation) process, but you are also likely facing people who will see your lack of representation as a sign that they can be a little bolder in their legal strategies. The average person has limited legal knowledge, after all. They could even be taken advantage of, such as being told that an insurance policy wouldn’t cover their accident when, in fact, it would.
The bottom line is that when you are hurt, and medical bills are piling up on top of other expenses, you have nothing to lose by talking to a personal injury lawyer. A Utah attorney at Valley Law Accident and Injury Lawyers can assist you with your case at no up-front cost. Our contingency arrangements enable you to obtain our representation at no risk, with us only earning our fees if we are able to secure a settlement — our court award — for your injury costs and other damages.
Find out what your case could be worth and how our experienced attorneys can help you during a free, confidential, no-obligation case review. Schedule your case review now when you call (801) 810-9999 or contact us online.
The big reason to hire an attorney after you have been hurt: money. Their only goal is to help you recover the money you lost at the hands of a careless party.
Compensation (called “damages” in personal injury cases) differs depending on the type of injury you sustained, its total treatment costs, and other variables. Speak to a personal injury attorney to learn the most-appropriate types of damages that could apply to your case.
Some of the most-common types of damages awarded in an injury settlement or court verdict include the following:
The cost of caring for your injuries is often the most-significant source of losses after you have been hurt because of someone else’s negligence. Not only will you have initial treatment costs — potentially including emergency transport, surgery, and hospitalization — but you may also have long-term costs throughout your recovery period.
Some injuries require extensive physical rehabilitation in order to fully heal and help you regain as much functionality as possible. You may also need long-term medications or special equipment to help you during your recovery, potentially including modifications made to your home to accommodate a wheelchair, hospital bed, or other medical needs.
A claim for “lost wages” seeks to help you recover all of the income you didn’t earn because you were injured. That can mean actual paid wages for hourly jobs, or it could mean compensation for reduced salary and days of leave used for salaried employees.
Importantly, lost wages are supposed to pay the difference in your earnings when compared to the time period before the accident occurs. That means if you can return to work but only at reduced hours or in a lower-paying position, you have effectively lost income that can be claimed.
In cases of long-term impairment or disability, the accident victim can also request benefits for vocational training and other activities that will allow them to shift towards a new career. Individuals who are completely unable to work should also qualify for long-term disability benefits, paid for by the insurer.
Save all receipts as well as discharge papers and other documents after you have been hurt in an accident. You may be able to claim some of your everyday costs in your list of damages.
Some common examples of out-of-pocket expenses include the costs of getting transported to appointments, parking of your own vehicle at appointments, any prescribed medications, medical equipment, and OTC medications recommended by the treating physician. Certain other expenses may apply, so always save documentation and refer to your attorney to determine what may be claimed.
The most-common type of property damage claim for a personal injury case is vehicle repairs, as car accidents are a common form of personal injury, and vehicle repairs are likely to be expensive. Victims may also be compensated for the destruction or loss of personal property during an incident, such as smart phones, clothing, watches, jewelry, etc. This category can include any types of damages inflicted in the accident in question, including home repairs, so discuss your losses with an attorney to learn what may be claimed.
In addition to the dollars-and-cents costs an injury victim has to pay, they will also experience non-monetary forms of loss: loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of ability to spend time with family or participate in typical activities. The victim will also be compensated for the physical pain and hardship they endured, in proportion to how severe the injury was and how uncomfortable the recovery process was. For example, injury victims placed in immobilizing hospital bed setups (traction) and who cannot move for days or weeks at a time are assumed to have more pain and suffering than someone who was able to walk again several hours after the accident.
Calculating pain and suffering can be difficult. Insurers prefer to use a set formula, often gauged in proportion to the other total costs of the claim. However, in cases where pain and suffering is significantly greater than may be assumed, an injury victim and their attorney can seek higher compensation for their non-monetary damages. In such cases, it can greatly benefit injured victims to maintain a “pain journal” documenting their daily discomfort, pain, and inability to participate in activities they would have normally been able to.
In the event of the death of the injury victim, their surviving beneficiaries will receive a settlement providing for medical treatment costs and other damages suffered by the victim because of the accident prior to their passing. In addition, family members (or other beneficiaries) will receive funds to pay for funerary services and handling of the remains through burial or cremation.
Only available in cases that proceed to a jury trial, punitive (or “exemplary”) damages serve as a punishment to the defendant and a warning to others who may engage in similar careless acts. These damages are typically only reserved for extreme cases, where the negligent party’s actions were intentional, extremely careless, or showed a clear disregard for human health and safety.
A personal injury lawyer can take on any case involving an injury or bodily harm to someone because of another party’s careless or wrongful actions.
Common types of personal injury cases include:
Because many personal injury cases are complex and rely on a full understanding of the law, you should never assume that you don’t have a case until you speak with an attorney. With that said, it can help to identify the common factors needed for an injury claim to be filed.
All personal injury cases start with, well, an injury! Usually, these injuries involve a trip to the hospital and some rather expensive treatments. They may also instead involve an injury or illness with unclear severity or treatment costs, especially when the injured victim can’t afford the doctor’s appointments needed to fully diagnose their condition and set up a treatment plan.
Never assume that you aren’t seriously hurt after an incident like a car accident or slip and fall. Always report to a nearby emergency department, urgent care center, or your primary care doctor to get your condition fully reviewed. Getting a diagnosis is the first step to establishing grounds for an injury claim.
Some personal injury cases are obvious, such as when a person is hurt by a driver running a red light or by a product that shattered to pieces unexpectedly, cutting them in the process. However, the primary cause of an injury is not always apparent. For example, someone who fell down some stairs may assume they simply lost their balance, when in reality they actually were hurt because the stairs weren’t built to code.
A good rule of thumb is to never assume that your are at-fault, fully or partially, for any significant injury you have suffered. You can refer to an experienced injury lawyer to review your case and help you identify any at-fault party (or parties) whose negligence may have contributed to your accident.
All personal injury cases involve “damages,” referring to the losses the victim has suffered because of their accident. Seeking repayment of these damages is the whole point of filing an injury claim.
Even when damages seem minor — such as a hospital bill of just a few hundred dollars after insurance — injury victims should never assume that their losses “aren’t a big deal.” In reality, there may be many costs currently unaccounted for, including the loss of income or the use of sick days. Your injury may also involve unexpected future costs, such as a future surgery if a back injury later leads to complications.
Again, referring to the expertise of a personal injury lawyer is always the best step. They can help you calculate all of the damages you have suffered and likely will suffer as a result of your accident. They can then help you file a claim and begin seeking to hold the at-fault party responsible for your damages.
There are lots of services a personal injury lawyer can provide. Collectively, these services take the stress and responsibility off your hands, so you can focus instead on getting better. By leveraging their experience along with knowledge gleaned from researching cases similar to yours, your attorney can help you build the optimal case strategy in order to maximize your chances of retrieving compensation from the responsible parties.
Examples of services an injury lawyer can provide you with include:
You never know if you have a personal injury case with a high chance of success, but you do know when you have bills you are struggling to pay. Any time you feel worried about the costs of your injury, that’s when you should reach out to a lawyer.
We at Valley Law Accident and Injury Lawyers fight aggressively to hold all at-fault parties accountable for the losses they have inflicted. You won’t have to ever feel intimidated or overwhelmed by big insurance companies, knowing that you have experienced counsel on your side.
When you are ready to talk about your case, we are ready to listen. Call (801) 810-9999 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation with an injury lawyer near you today.
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We have helped many clients recover from injuries resulting from car accidents in West Valley, Salt Lake City, and the greater Utah area. We are here to help you recover after an accident. If you've been injured, don't hesitate to call Valley Law Accident and Injury Attorneys for a free consultation. We have recovered millions for our clients and we are ready to fight for you.
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