West Valley City Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal Injury Overview
Personal injury law is the branch of law governing legal remedies sought by those who have suffered harm as a result of someone else’s wrongful conduct. Unlike criminal law, where the government prosecutes a wrongdoer (the defendant) for breaking the law, a personal injury claim is brought against the defendant by a private individual or entity (the plaintiff) who is seeking to recover compensation (usually money) for the harm they suffered as a result of the defendant’s conduct.
Most personal injury cases are based on the concept of negligence, which requires everyone to act responsibly to avoid causing harm to others. When this duty of care is breached, and someone is injured as a result, the wrongdoer is deemed to have acted negligently and can be held financially liable for any harm they caused to others.
This does not mean that negligence is present anytime someone is injured. Some injuries are the result of avoidable circumstances.
To prove negligence, and thereby the defendant’s liability, the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit must show that the defendant’s conduct deviated from the way a reasonably prudent person under the same circumstances would have (and should have) acted. For example, a car accident victim must prove that the other driver failed to drive responsibly or disobeyed the rules of the road.
Common Causes of Personal Injury Lawsuits in West Valley City
Any situation where one party’s negligence or wrongdoing results in another party experiencing harm, can give rise to a personal injury lawsuit. The most common causes of personal injury lawsuits are:
- Car accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Workplace accidents, and
- Criminal acts
As mentioned earlier, most circumstances that give rise to a personal injury lawsuit involve some form of negligence on the part of the defendant.
Types of Personal Injury Compensation in Utah
If you can prove that the defendant acted negligently and that this negligence caused you to suffer harm, you may be awarded monetary compensation for your damages. The amount of compensation you will be awarded will vary, depending on the nature and severity of your injuries and other losses (damages). If you suffered serious injuries, such as broken bones, a brain injury, spinal cord injury, serious physical pain and discomfort, or permanent scarring and disfigurement, you will be awarded much more compensation.
The most common types of compensation sought through a personal injury lawsuit include compensation for economic damages, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and income
- Loss of earning capacity, and
- Property damage
Compensation can also be recovered for psychological damages, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Loss of companionship
Furthermore, in cases involving particularly reckless or egregious behavior, a court might award punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter others from engaging in similar conduct.
Proving Injuries in a Utah Personal Injury Case
After being injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, it is important that you seek immediate medical attention from a licensed healthcare professional. It is also important to follow up with any treatment recommendations until you are fully healed, or as healed as you are going to get. Any delay or gaps in medical treatment can jeopardize the success of your personal injury lawsuit.
Personal injury law takes into account the fact that some injuries may not manifest immediately after an accident, or may appear to be only minor. So, in some cases, the perceived severity of an injury must bе reevaluated as the true nature and extent of the injury manifests itself over time.
An experienced personal injury lawyer knows what it takes to prove the severity of your injuries, and can ensure that your symptoms, pain, and discomfort receive the right medical treatment and that the treatment you receive is properly documented. This treatment and documentation will then form the basis of your personal injury lawsuit.
Negotiating a Personal Injury Settlement in West Valley City
If there is no dispute about your injuries or the defendant’s liability for those injuries, the defendant and/or their insurance carrier may offer to settle your personal injury claim outside of court, rather than risk going to trial and having a judge or jury award you even more compensation.
Most personal injury claims are settled outside of court by a negotiated settlement. However, if you do not believe the defendant’s settlement offer is sufficient, you and your personal injury attorney can choose to file a lawsuit against the defendant and take the case to court, where compensation for your injuries and losses will be decided by a judge or jury.
Even after filing a lawsuit against the defendant, you can continue to try to negotiate a settlement until a verdict or judgment has been rendered in court. In Utah, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, with some exceptions, is generally four years from the date of your injuries. In other words, you must reach a settlement or file a lawsuit in your case within four years, or lose your right to do so.
How an Experienced West Valley City Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
When thinking about pursuing a personal injury claim against someone who has caused you harm, you must consider that the other party and their insurance carrier will have experienced defense attorneys fighting to protect their interest. Therefore, you will also need an experienced legal professional fighting on your side to level the playing field.
According to a study conducted by The Insurance Research Council, personal injury plaintiffs who are represented by an experienced personal injury lawyer recover 3.5 times as much compensation than those without representation. This is why it is so important that if you have been seriously injured as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing, you enlist the help of a qualified personal injury attorney who can help you maximize your financial recovery.
The personal injury process can be too complicated for those who are not trained in the law. By working with an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can ensure that 1) your rights are protected, 2) you understand your legal options, 3) every aspect of your claim is thoroughly evaluated, and 4) you have the best chance to recover every bit of compensation that you are entitled to receive for your injuries and losses.
Contact Handy & Handy | West Valley City Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have suffered harm as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, regardless of the circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer will give you the best chance to achieve the most favorable outcome for your case.
To consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in West Valley City, call Handy & Handy at (801) 264-6677, or visit our contact page to schedule a free no-obligation consultation. We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no fee unless we recover compensation on your behalf.