When it comes to personal injury law, the definition and guidelines differ from state to state. A personal injury is a violation of an individual’s right. This is not limited to only physical injuries but can include mental and emotional health as well.
When a person or entity causes an injury to an individual, the injured person may have the right to sue them to cover the damages that happened because of the accident. There are many aspects to a personal injury claim, including medical care, lost income and property replacement. Before you set out to sue someone after an injury, it is important to determine if you have a successful case.
An attorney files a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of an injured person who has been mentally or physically harmed. Negligence or carelessness causes some injuries, while others are the direct result of an accident or a poor choice.
Car accidents are often at the root of personal injury cases. The Utah Department of Public Safety reports there were over 18,000 crash injuries in 2021. During the same year, car accidents led to almost 300 deaths. The people affected by these accidents may be entitled to compensation to help pay for costs associated with it.
Car crashes are most often caused by one of the following five things:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Reckless driving
If you have been in an accident caused by another person, you may have a personal injury case. The amount of compensation you receive depends on the severity of the accident, the type of injury and its effect on your life.
Semi-truck accidents are also a common cause of personal injuries. There are times when these accidents are the result of drivers and companies not complying with safety regulations and rules set for trucks. Filing a claim against a trucking company can be difficult because the process is usually handled by the insurance company. This can be more intimidating than facing an individual and their attorney, so it is imperative to have a good attorney behind you when filing a truck accident personal injury case.
Every year, thousands of motorcyclists get hurt or injured on Utah roads. While the driver and any passengers have their own safety requirements to meet, there are times when the driver of a car or truck causes the accident. Insurance companies can be difficult to work with when it comes to motorcycle accidents because riders are often treated as if they are irresponsible.
In Utah, there is no helmet law. This means that motorcyclists are not required to wear a helmet, and insurance companies cannot discriminate against you if you were not wearing one. Some motorcyclists are also unaware that you must have special insurance to drive a motorcycle. If you do not have the right insurance when an accident occurs, you may need help covering medical expenses and other unexpected costs, and one way to get it is to sue the person who caused the accident.
Many Utahans like construction jobs because the work is consistent, and the pay is high. Unfortunately, construction jobs also have a high rate of injury as the industry is inherently dangerous. Some common construction accidents include the following:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Workers struck by an object
- Workers caught between or caught in an object, such as a conveyor belt
Construction accidents can lead to catastrophic medical bills and loss of income, not to mention pain and suffering and even death. If someone dies in a construction accident, the family may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
When you visit a doctor or any type of medical health professional, you expect the best of care. When you are at your most vulnerable, you trust your physician to make the right decisions related to your health. Unfortunately, medical professionals may make choices that result in harm or death to their patients and their loved ones.
Common medical malpractice cases involve medication errors, surgical procedure mistakes, misdiagnosis, anesthesia errors and childbirth injuries. Medical malpractice cases can be some of the most complex types of personal injuries because it is often difficult to determine where fault lies.
A pharmaceutical company may be responsible for medication errors while a hospital may be liable if an employee is negligent. Because the burden of proof falls entirely on the shoulders of the injured, having an advocate on your side can greatly increase your chances of success. These cases are aggressively contested because they can be extremely expensive for the person or entity at fault.
What Is Negligence?
Very few people set out to injure another, but that does not mean they are blameless. Negligence is when someone was careless and could have prevented the accident or injury by changing a simple behavior, although they did not intend to hurt anyone.
An example of this is a car accident caused by someone texting and driving. Although the person did not want to hurt anyone else, they may be negligent and required to pay damages to anyone they injured.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured?
If you are injured in any way, the most important thing to do is to seek medical care and attention. A medical professional should evaluate your injuries and determine the best way to treat them. Delaying medical care can lead to problems with the insurance company and may exacerbate your condition.
After you have received treatment for your injury and determined that you want to pursue a personal injury claim, you should begin searching for an attorney. The civil court system can be complex and intimidating, and you need evidence to prove that someone else caused your injury. A good personal injury attorney knows how to access the evidence, reports and witness accounts necessary to prove your case.
Avoid speaking to the insurance company of the at-fault party, unless it is through your attorney. Details about your accident should be private unless your attorney determines it is necessary for you to share. An insurance company may offer you a settlement that is far less than what you deserve, and once you have accepted it, you could lose the ability to get additional compensation for your injuries.
There may be a statue of limitations on how long you can wait to file a personal injury claim. These laws are designed to stop people from suing someone decades after an accident occurs. Because of this, it is important that you start the process as soon as possible. Seek medical care, gather as much information as you can, document your injuries, and reach out to a personal injury attorney for help.
Get Legal Advice
At Siegfried & Jensen, we provide a free initial consultation to anyone who has been injured by the carelessness or negligence of another entity. We can help you determine if you have a case and then begin the process of getting you the compensation you deserve. We offer hospital, home and office visits and do not require any payments up front. Contact us today to get help if you feel you have a case for personal injury.