Utah Personal Injury Overview
Our Salt Lake City attorneys at Handy and Handy have experience protecting the rights of individuals injured because of someone else’s negligence. As skilled litigation lawyers, we know what legal options are available to help you receive compensation to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Advocates On Your Side Providing Guidance And Aggressive Representation
We are strong advocates who will work hard to find the best outcome for you and your family. Filing a personal injury claim after an injury is a complex process. We will guide you through the claims process, answer your questions, and make sure you are properly evaluated by medical professionals to help us understand the nature and extent of your injuries.
We have experience helping victims of a variety of accidents, including:
- Slips-and-falls and trips-and-falls
- Skiing accidents, including ski lift failures, collisions and machinery failure
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Unsafe or dangerous premises in residential or commercial places
- Defective products, including defective medical devices, toys, food or machinery
We believe in providing personal attention to your case. You will always know where your case is at and what action we are taking to protect your future.
Evaluating Your Injuries
Your injuries may result in long-term issues that are costly and may impact your entire way of life. We have successfully represented individuals with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage and other catastrophic injuries who were victims of an accident or negligence. We will make sure all physical, emotional and psychological factors are evaluated and considered when pursuing your claim for injury compensation.
Schedule A Free Consultation With Our Attorneys
Our firm is in Salt Lake City, and we represent clients throughout Utah in personal injury cases. Let us guide you through the process, delivering the care and personal attention you deserve. Call (801) 264-6677, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Personal Injury Overview
An accident can be a life-changing event. One moment you feel healthy and in control, and the next moment you are lying in a hospital bed. Soon, you find yourself dealing with mounting medical bills, missed work, and you no longer have transportation.
If you believe someone should be held responsible for your suffering, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Personal injury law allows an injured person to recover compensation for the harm that was caused to them.
What is a Personal Injury?
A personal injury can be defined as a loss, not only as it relates to property, but as it relates to the body, mind, or emotions as well. For example, if you were in an accident caused by someone else, and injured your back and damaged your sunglasses, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your broken sunglasses as well as losses stemming from your back injury.
Sometimes, an accident will cause only psychological or post-traumatic stress disorder, which, even without the presence of a physical injury, may be enough for a personal injury claim. Personal injuries are most often the result of negligence or intentional acts of wrongdoing, and may include injury to the back, legs, or other areas of the body.
Common causes of personal injury claims include:
- Motor vehicle accidents – including car, truck, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents;
- Medical malpractice;
- Premises liability – including slip and fall accidents, animal bites, elevator injuries, food poisoning, and falling trees;
- Product liability; and
- Wrongful death
- Intentional acts of wrongdoing
Personal injury claims are different from criminal charges that are aimed at punishing those who break the law and deterring others from the same behavior. While, actions that lead to personal injury cases may be intentional, such as with an assault or theft, the purpose is to allow injury victims to recover compensation for damages caused by the negligence, carelessness, or wrongdoing of others.
Who Can Be Held Liable For a Personal Injury in Utah?
As a society, we all have both a moral and legal duty to avoid injuring others or putting others at risk of injury. For example, when someone drives drunk, they are neglecting their duty to other citizens because they are putting other drivers and pedestrians at risk.
Likewise, when someone has a dog who tends to act aggressively towards other strangers, and they let their dog run around without a leash, they are being negligent. If the dog bites someone, the dog’s owner can be held liable to compensate the bite victim, because of that negligence.
Businesses can also be held liable for personal injuries. For example, if a product is hazardous and is not labeled correctly, the manufacturer may be held liable to compensate anyone harmed by the dangerous product.
However, for an injured person (the plaintiff) to recover compensation in a personal injury case, they need to provide enough evidence to prove that the accused (the defendant) acted negligently and caused them to be injured. If the plaintiff is successful, the defendant must compensate the plaintiff for their injuries and losses.
What Elements are Required to Prove Negligence in a Utah Personal Injury Case?
In general, four essential elements are required to prove negligence on the part of a defendant in a personal injury case in Utah. Those elements are:
- Duty – the defendant owed you a duty of care;
- Breach – the defendant breached the duty of care they owed to you by violating your rights or failing to do everything they could to avoid injuring you;
- Causation – the defendant’s breach caused you to suffer injuries and was the proximate (most immediate) cause of those injuries; and
- Damages – evidence to prove actual physical, emotional, or financial injury as a result of the defendant’s breach
Sometimes, a personal injury case will lead to a lawsuit, while other times it may be settled by negotiation and without the time and expense associated with pursuing a lawsuit. Often, this will depend on how well negligence (and therefore liability) can be established.
What To Do After Suffering a Personal Injury in Utah
After sustaining an injury, it is important to take action right away to avoid the risk of violating the statute of limitations for bringing a personal injury claim against the liable defendant. The law allows an injury victim a limited amount of time to seek compensation for their injuries. Once this statute of limitations has passed, a personal injury claim can be denied.
Furthermore, in order to recover all the compensation you deserve, it is vital that you collect evidence immediately after the accident to help your case. If you are not physically well enough to do so yourself, you should hire someone else to collect the necessary evidence for you.
Take the following steps after sustaining a personal injury in Utah:
- Seek medical help immediately – get checked out even if you feel fine;
- Collect evidence and pictures – collect as much evidence as possible, and take pictures of the scene of the accident and other items that can help strengthen your case against the other driver;
- Identify all the other parties involved – collect their names, driver’s licenses, and insurance information;
- Identify any witnesses – collect their contact information as soon as possible; and
- Contact an experienced Utah personal injury lawyer
The next step is for you and your personal injury lawyer to determine whether you will accept a settlement, or proceed to file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable defendant. An experienced Utah personal injury lawyer will ensure your lawsuit is filed correctly and will assist you with pursuing the case until you reach a settlement or verdict at trial.
Call Handy & Handy | Attorneys At Law
If you or someone you care about has suffered a personal injury in Utah, you may be entitled to recover substantial compensation. When working through the complicated subject of personal injury law, a qualified Utah personal injury lawyer can assist you with understanding your rights as a victim, the insurance claim settlement process, and the various laws applicable to your individual situation.
For guidance and to protect your right to compensation, call Handy & Handy at (801) 264-6677, or complete our intake form to schedule a meeting with an experienced Utah personal injury attorney in Salt Lake City.