No one leaves the comfort of his or her home in Utah expecting to suffer an injury. Yet, every day, many residents statewide are injured either by accident or intentionally far too often.

Could every such incident be considered a personal injury? Indeed, what constitutes a personal injury in Utah? And is hiring a personal injury lawyer worth it?

What Is Considered Personal Injury In Utah?

Defining Personal Injury in Utah

When a person is physically, mentally, or emotionally injured by the negligent or willful act of another, it is considered a personal injury in Utah. As such, the victim or his or her family members have a legal right to initiate a lawsuit against the at-fault party.

The intent of personal injury law is to provide compensation to the injured party for losses while discouraging others from committing the same offense. A wide range of claims falls under personal injury law.

Case types

Some practice areas that our attorneys cover in Utah include, but are not limited to, the following:


Personal injury claims fall into three categories. These are:

  1. Negligence – such as in car accidents and slip-and-falls
  2. Strict liability – such as defective products, and;
  3. Intentional wrongs – such as assault and battery

The Differences Between Civil and Criminal Law for Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases are governed by civil law. However, a person who causes an injury case may be tried under both civil and criminal law – depending on the circumstances. The following highlights the differences between the two types of cases.

Personal injury civil cases

Civil lawsuits are initiated by the injured person or his or her family in an effort to obtain monetary compensation for damages suffered by the victim. The damages awarded should be maximized as much as possible to make the victim feel a sense of being whole again. The victim may hire a personal injury lawyer to begin the civil lawsuit.

The injured person’s lawyer would gather evidence of the accident and subsequent damages from multiple sources. Such evidence would be used to prove that the at-fault party’s negligence caused the injury, thus holding him or her liable for compensation.

Once a fair monetary amount for compensation has been calculated, the lawyer would attempt to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Most civil personal injury cases are settled out of court and are resolved quicker. Therefore, this is likely the path your personal injury attorney would start with.

However, what if the insurance company is not cooperating with settling the case or the monetary amount for fair compensation exceeds the insurance company’s limits? Your lawyer may advise you to file the case in court. It may eventually go to trial to be decided by a judge or jury.

The rule of comparative negligence

Utah is one of several states that has established a rule called modified comparative negligence for civil personal injury claims. This means the law recognizes that both the negligent party and the injured party may share a measure of fault.

The rule of comparative negligence has a direct effect on the amount of compensation that the injured person would receive.

For example, if the court determines that the victim shared 20 percent of fault in the accident, then the compensation amount would be reduced by 20 percent. However, if it is determined that he or she is 50 percent or more liable, then no damages could be awarded – according to Utah’s 50-percent rule.

This highlights why it is essential to choose an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to build a strong case on your behalf.

Personal injury criminal cases

When the actions of the offender constitute an offense against society or the government, it is considered a crime, even if the perpetrator’s actions were directed at an individual.

Civil cases are initiated by the injured party, while criminal cases are initiated by the state or federal government. Therefore, it is possible that the same act that caused the injury can result in the offender being sued in a civil case while also being prosecuted by the government in a criminal case.

Several types of personal injury cases can involve both civil and criminal claims. Some examples include:

Although a civil personal injury case and a criminal case for the same offense can run simultaneously, there are some differences between the two.

Simply put, the plaintiff of a civil case is seeking monetary compensation for damages suffered, whereas the defendant in a criminal case may be found guilty may be punished by:

  • Paying a fine
  • Community service
  • Probation, or;
  • Jail time

What’s more, the criminal case would typically be resolved before the civil case. This is because the criminal case will be given priority as it may have repercussions in the corresponding civil case.

Why You Need the Assistance of a Personal Injury Lawyer

When someone else’s negligent or deliberate acts cause you or your loved one to be injured in Utah, you have a legal right to pursue compensation for damages suffered – whether or not the state initiates a criminal case against the offender. The outcome of the state’s criminal case will not give you the monetary compensation you deserve for your losses.

Understandably, you could be suffering much distress from having to deal with physical pain and discomfort coupled with mounting medical bills and perhaps the inability to return to work. If so, don’t suffer alone.

It is only right that the person who recklessly caused your injury pays for your recovery. And that recovery can be maximized if you choose the right lawyer to fight for your best interests. Remember that Utah uses a comparative negligence rule, which means that the amount of your final settlement can be affected by the degree of negligence established.

You need a highly experienced law firm – like Siegfried & Jensen – to represent you. Our lawyers have been successfully winning personal injury cases for our clients over the past 30+ years. Across Utah, we’re stationed in Salt Lake City where we have two offices, OgdenOremSt. GeorgeLayton, and Logan. Don’t forget to check out our upcoming offices in Saratoga SpringsPayson, and West Valley. In Washington, you can find us in Spokane and in Spokane Valley soon. In Idaho, catch us in Boise and soon expanding to Meridian.

Call us today at (801) 845-9000 to schedule a free case evaluation.

Zoom Screenshot_16.png

Content checked by personal injury attorney Todd Bradford. I worked for a small law firm in Utah County, where I handled various types of cases. My main focus was personal injury and I decided that is what I enjoyed doing the most. I rejoined Siegfried and Jensen in 2012 where my focus is solely on helping personal injury clients. I take pride in helping personal injury clients and enjoy serving them. If you need an attorney for auto accidents or injuries of any kind in Salt Lake City, UT, Ogden, UT, Spokane, WA, or Boise, ID, contact us.