Nov 06 2020

Can You File a Lawsuit if You’re Hurt in a Bus Accident?

Countless people rely on public transportation, and most passengers don’t think about the possibility of a bus accident when they take a seat. But traveling by bus isn’t guaranteed to be safe – roughly 63,000 collisions involving buses occur every year.

If you’re hurt in a bus accident, you have the right to file a lawsuit in pursuit of compensation for your injuries. However, due to the procedural challenges, hiring a personal injury attorney is in your best interest.

Can I sue for bus accident injuries?

Determining Liability in a Bus Accident

In most types of vehicular accidents, injured victims can file a lawsuit against the driver responsible for the incident. With a collision involving a bus, the situation is more complicated.

Even if the bus driver is at fault for the crash that caused your injuries, liability may not rest on their shoulders. Instead, their employer – which may be the school district, public transportation bureau or another government entity – could be financially responsible for the bus accident.

Figuring out exactly who to hold accountable for your injuries can be difficult. Hire an experienced personal injury attorney, and you’ll have help identifying the defendant to name in your bus accident lawsuit.

Obtaining Compensation for Bus Accident Injuries

Any accident can result in seriously injured victims, but the chances are greater in bus crashes. Most buses don’t have seatbelts or airbags, and thanks to their higher center of gravity, buses are prone to rollover accidents. As a result, collisions can have devastating consequences.

Broken bones, head and spinal cord injuries, disfiguring lacerations and internal injuries are common – and treatment can be very expensive. But physical injuries aren’t the only consideration. You might also suffer from mental and emotional issues after the accident, both of which can have a major impact on your qualify of life.

With an experienced personal injury attorney at your side, you’ll be able to accurately estimate all of your damages, including lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering. And when you file a lawsuit, you’ll stand a better chance of obtaining compensation for all of your losses.

Get Help from an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

The process of filing a personal injury claim for damages sustained in a bus accident is complex. Strict deadlines may apply, and the required forms often ask for information that isn’t easy to procure. So while you can file a lawsuit to secure the compensation you deserve, working with an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to protect your rights.

If you’ve been hurt in a bus crash in Utah, Idaho or California, turn to the professional team at William R. Rawlings & Associates. We’ve been helping people just like you for more than 35 years, and you can count on us to fight for fair compensation. Contact us online or call our office and schedule a free personal injury attorney consultation to discuss filing a bus accident lawsuit now.

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Oct 16 2020

Personal Injury Lawyer Costs – How Contingency Fees Work

Many accident victims refrain from contacting a personal injury lawyer because they don’t have money to pay for legal services. However, a lack of financial resources doesn’t have to stop you from getting the assistance you need.

Hire an attorney who works on a contingency fee basis – like the team at William R. Rawlings & Associates — and you won’t need to worry about upfront fees. Below, we explain how this type of payment arrangement works.

How much does a personal injury lawyer cost

Contingency Fee Arrangements

When a personal injury lawyer takes on your case, you’ll be asked to sign a contingency fee agreement. Essentially, this document states that you’ll be provided with legal representation at no upfront cost. In the event your attorney wins your case, the arrangement establishes the amount they’ll receive – typically, this is a percentage of the damages awarded.

As a general rule, attorneys who offer contingency fee arrangements only accept cases in which they’re confident they can achieve a favorable outcome. And since they earn nothing unless they win, you can count on your lawyer making every effort to ensure that happens.

Costs Personal Injury Lawyers Cover

Personal injury attorneys who work on a contingency fee basis don’t require their clients to put down a deposit or retainer. Nor do they ask their clients for any money for costs incurred during the course of representation. Your lawyer will most likely cover any and all upfront expenses, including:

  • Court filing fees
  • Document fees
  • Deposition fees
  • Traveling costs
  • Expert witnesses
  • Accident investigators

When Contingency Fees are Paid

If your personal injury attorney wins your case, you won’t be hit with a hefty bill for the legal services rendered. Your lawyer’s fee, along with expenses and litigation costs, will be deducted from your settlement or, if your case goes to trial, the total jury award.

What happens if your case ends without a win? You get no financial compensation – but neither does your lawyer. You may still be responsible for court fees and certain expenses, which we’re sure is news you didn’t want to hear. However, your attorney won’t get paid at all if they lose your case, regardless of how long the legal process took. As such, they have a tremendous incentive to make sure you receive a fair settlement or favorable jury verdict.

The experienced professional team at William R. Rawlings & Associates is here to help you fight for the compensation you deserve – and we provide our services on a contingency fee basis to make quality legal representation easily accessible to residents of Utah, California and Idaho. For more information, or to schedule a free personal injury lawyer consultation, contact us today.

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Oct 09 2020

Personal Injury Claims & Catastrophic Injuries

Any type of accident can lead you to file a personal injury claim. After all, even minor injuries may be serious enough to require medical treatment, hospitalization, time off from work, and other costly repercussions.

However, certain types of injuries – generally those that result in severe physical, emotional and financial consequences — are categorized as catastrophic. Here’s what you need to know about catastrophic personal injury claims and how to fight for fair compensation.

Should you file a claim for your personal injuries

When is an Injury Considered Catastrophic?

Catastrophic injuries are those that cause functional disability, irreversible damage to the body or significant life-altering consequences. A personal injury may also be considered catastrophic if it permanently prevents the victim from returning to work or performing any other substantial gainful activity.

Examples of catastrophic injuries include:

  • Spinal cord trauma
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Amputation
  • Multiple bone fractures
  • Loss of sight
  • Disfiguring burns

A catastrophic injury can have an immense impact on quality of life, and many victims suffer from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental issues. In addition to all the pain and suffering, victims are often left with serious financial troubles.

Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries can occur as the result of an unusual event or “freak” accident. However, statistically speaking, some types of incidents are more likely to result in a catastrophic personal injury. These include:

Regardless of how a catastrophic injury is incurred, victims can file a lawsuit to pursue compensation for their losses.

Compensation in Catastrophic Personal Injury Claims

The value of a catastrophic injury claim depends upon the nature and severity of the injuries sustained. That said, the losses can be tremendous – and victims often face many, if not all, of the following consequences:

  • Steep medical bills and never-ending treatment costs
  • Continual pain, suffering and emotional anguish
  • Expenses related to the treatment of mental trauma
  • Lost income and lost earning capacity
  • An inability to enjoy once-loved hobbies and activities
  • Difficulty maintaining personal relationships

By filing a lawsuit, victims can seek compensation for all of these. And because catastrophic injuries tend to have a devastating, life-long impact, the amount of damages awarded can be quite high.

Do You Need to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

Getting legal help isn’t required, but hiring an attorney is the best way for injured victims to obtain the financial compensation they need and deserve.

As we mentioned, claims for catastrophic injuries can result in significant losses – and insurance companies do everything they can to minimize the amount of money they have to pay out. If you’re severely injured, an attorney can help ensure your case is defined as catastrophic, negotiate a fair settlement and, if necessary, serve as your legal representative in court.

The highly skilled attorneys at William R. Rawlings & Associates have been fighting on the behalf of injured victims in Utah, California and Idaho for more than 35 years. To discuss your catastrophic injury case with a personal injury lawyer in Utah, contact our office and schedule a free consultation today.

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Oct 02 2020

Calculating Lost Earning Capacity in a Car Accident Claim

If you were in a collision and suffered serious injuries that affect your ability to work, filing a car accident claim can enable you to get compensation for your financial losses. And, lost income due to needing time off work for treatment and recovery isn’t the only type of damages you can pursue – you may also be entitled to compensation for lost earning capacity. For an explanation of what that means for you and your case, read on.

Car Accident Claim

What is Lost Earning Capacity?

Loss of earning capacity is a reduction in the ability to earn an income. So, if your car accident injuries make returning to your current job position impossible – and if you’re unable to switch to a different line of work that pays just as well – you can seek compensation for the impairment of earning power and loss of future income.

How are Damages Calculated?

While the amount of lost income awarded in a car accident claim is based upon the specific wages you weren’t able to earn as a result of the collision, loss of earning capacity is based on a projection. The damages haven’t yet been suffered, and calculating the overall impact of your injuries on your financial future isn’t an exact science.

We can tell you, though, that car accident lawyers consider several factors in determining appropriate compensation. Your past work history, skills and expected years of employment may be instrumental, and your lawyer may also investigate possible promotions and future raises you might have enjoyed if you hadn’t been seriously injured.

Proving Lost Earning Capacity

Compared to lost income, loss of earning capacity is much more difficult to prove. Working with an experienced car accident lawyer is to your benefit, as proving your claim may require all of the following:

  • An extensive review of your employment record, your educational background and your work-related skills
  • A thorough calculation of your past earnings history and exactly how much your income decreased after the collision
  • A detailed analysis of today’s labor market and wage rates as well as economic projections and what the forecasts mean in terms of your future earnings
  • Expert medical witnesses to provide testimony on the extent of your injuries and their impact on your ability to earn an income in the future

William R. Rawlings & Associates, a long-standing and top-ranked law firm based in northern Utah, can help you fight for the maximum compensation in your car accident claim. We’ve collected millions of dollars in damages for clients in Utah, Idaho and California, and our highly experienced lawyers are successful in obtaining compensation in 98 percent of the cases we handle.

Work with us, and we’ll fight to get you every dollar you deserve for lost income, lost earning capacity and all of your other losses. Contact our office and schedule a free consultation or to discuss your case with a Utah car accident lawyer today.

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Sep 18 2020

Why Should You Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?

After a car crash, you might think you don’t need help from an auto accident attorney. And if the collision wasn’t all that serious, that could be true – the insurance company of the other driver may offer a fair settlement.

With a major accident involving severe injuries and vehicular damage, this isn’t the norm. In these cases, insurance companies often fight tooth and nail to provide as little compensation as possible. For that reason, if you’re a victim, you may be better off working with an auto accident lawyer. Here’s why.

How to find the best Utah auto accident attorney for your case

Get Expert Help Investigating Your Auto Accident

If you’ve been seriously injured, you may not be able to take pictures at the accident scene or interview witnesses after the collision – and trying to collect proof to support your claim later on isn’t going to be easy on your own.

Experienced auto accident attorneys understand how to build a successful case. Hire a lawyer, and you’ll have an expert gathering evidence on your behalf. You can focus on your recovery, with the peace of mind in knowing that no stone will be left unturned.

Have a Legal Professional on Your Side

Many car accident victims don’t fully understand their legal rights. Insurance companies tend to take advantage of this, making lowball settlement offers on legitimate claims.

By hiring an attorney who specializes in accident claims, you’ll be protecting your rights and interests. You won’t have to worry about meeting the deadline for filing a lawsuit in Utah. Plus, your lawyer will act as your advocate in dealing with the insurance company, handling the negotiations and, if necessary, taking your case to court.

Collect the Maximum Compensation for Your Injuries

It’s easy to underestimate the effect an auto accident can have on your life. You might see the medical bills piling up and know that your vehicle needs to be repaired or replaced, but those aren’t the only concerns. Your injuries might cause you to lose the ability to earn an income, perhaps, or you may end up needing ongoing medical attention. And, the collision could have resulted in psychological damages.

All of these situations may or may not apply in your situation, but an experienced auto accident attorney will ask the right questions and be realistic in estimating your losses. As a result, a lawyer can develop a strategy to get you every dollar you deserve.

At William R. Rawlings & Associates, our legal team understands how traumatic it is to be injured in a car crash – and we’re here to provide the help you need to get back on your feet. For a free case evaluation, contact our Draper or West Valley City office today to schedule a free case evaluation or to speak to an experienced Utah auto accident attorney now.

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Sep 11 2020

The Basics of Wrongful Death Claims in Utah

If someone you love was killed due to the misconduct, negligence or carelessness of another party, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Bringing a lawsuit can provide you with the compensation you deserve for the loss you have suffered, while also holding the responsible person or entity accountable for their actions.

Here, the experienced legal team at William R. Rawlings & Associates share answers to some of the most common questions we receive about Utah wrongful death cases.

Who can file a wrongful death claim in Utah?

When Is a Wrongful Death Claim Appropriate?

Generally speaking, a lawsuit is appropriate in situations where the victim would have had a valid Utah personal injury case if they survived. Examples of circumstances that can give rise to a legal claim for compensation include:

  • Car accident fatalities
  • Medical malpractice
  • Defective products
  • Property negligence
  • Workplace accidents

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Utah?

Under Utah law, this type of claim can be filed by the surviving heirs of the deceased victim or a representative of the estate. People who have the legal right to seek compensation for the loss of a loved one include:

  • The victim’s surviving spouse
  • Biological and adopted children
  • Natural or adoptive parents
  • Financially dependent minor stepchildren
  • The decedent’s legal guardian

What Evidence is Needed to Prove a Claim?

Proving that someone is legally liable for a death requires a preponderance of evidence – or, in other words, most of the evidence provided must indicate that the defendant is responsible. In Utah, legal claims need to prove the following in order to be successful:

  • The victim died
  • The death was caused by the defendant’s wrongful act or negligence
  • The deceased victim has at least one surviving heir or dependent
  • The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the death

How is Compensation for Calculated?

Depending upon the specific circumstances of a claim, the plaintiff may be entitled to financial compensation. The damages that may be awarded in a Utah lawsuit include:

  • The victim’s medical expenses
  • Burial and funeral costs
  • The family’s pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of support and income
  • Loss of medical or pension benefits
  • Punitive damages

Should You File a Wrongful Death Claim?

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death case in Utah is typically two years, but special rules and exceptions may apply – which could mean you have less time to file a claim than you think. As such, if you’re thinking that you may have grounds to take legal action, consulting with an experienced attorney as soon as possible is in your best interests.

At William R. Rawlings & Associates, our legal team has more than 35 years of experience fighting for the rights of surviving victims – and we’re successful in obtaining compensation in 98 percent of the cases we take on. Contact our Draper or West Valley City office today to schedule a free consultation or to discuss your case with a Utah wrongful death lawyer.

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Sep 04 2020

How Long Do You Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Utah?

Have you been injured in a collision involving a semi-truck, tractor-trailer or other big rig? Filing a truck accident lawsuit can be the means to obtaining compensation – but to achieve that goal, you’ll need to meet the deadline. Here’s a look at how much time you have to take legal action.

What is the Utah statute of limitations for truck accidents?

Utah’s Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Lawsuits

The Utah legal code states that injured accident victims have four years to file a claim with the court – and the date of the collision is when the clock starts running. However, depending upon the circumstances, two other filing deadlines could come into play.

First of all, if the accident caused a fatality, the victim’s surviving heirs or their representative have only two years to file a wrongful death claim. In this case, the clock starts on the date of death – which may or may not be the date of the accident.

Secondly, if a collision results in vehicle or property damage, there’s a deadline to file a legal claim for financial compensation. In Utah, a case of this type must be filed within three years of the accident date.

When to Get in Touch With a Utah Truck Accident Attorney

While you technically have up to four years to file an accident lawsuit in Utah, building a solid case takes time – and preparation is crucial to winning a case. You should contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible so that they can:

  • Interview witnesses who know what happened
  • Compile evidence from the many different parties involved
  • Obtain information on the trucking company’s safety history
  • Calculate all of the damages that are legally defendable

What to Expect When You File a Utah Truck Accident Lawsuit

In an ideal world, truck accident attorneys would always be able to obtain fair financial compensation for their injured clients by simply asking the appropriate insurance company for a settlement. But as you might have guessed, that doesn’t happen in every case.

Your attorney may need to file a lawsuit to fight for a judgment in your favor. In that event, the case will proceed through these stages:

  • Discovery, during which lawyers for both sides request driver logs, background checks, maintenance records and other documents pertaining to the accident
  • Negotiation, when the parties involved and their attorneys try to come to a mutual agreement on a settlement amount
  • Trial, where both attorneys will present evidence and a jury will decide if compensation is deserved and, if so, how much should be awarded

At William R. Rawlings & Associates, we routinely handle accident claims – and as former defense lawyers and insurance adjusters, our legal team knows how to sidestep the shady tactics and get injured victims every dollar they deserve. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or give our office a call today to speak with a Utah truck accident attorney now.

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Aug 21 2020

What to Ask During a Personal Injury Attorney Consultation

Finding the right personal injury attorney to take your case can be a challenge, as a vast number of law firms serve clients in Utah, California and Idaho. Fortunately, most – including William Rawlings & Associates – offer free consultations.

The primary purpose of a lawyer consultation is to get an expert evaluation of your case and whether it’s worth pursuing. However, you can and should ask questions of your own to help you determine if the attorney is a good fit. Here are a few important questions to include on your list.

Can I get a free consultation for a personal injury case

How Much Do You Charge?

Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning that they don’t collect a fee unless they’re successful in recovering damages. Confirm this arrangement during the lawyer consultation, and ask about the percentage the firm charges. Find out, too, if you will have any out-of-pocket case costs.

How Much Experience Do You Have?

Ask the attorney about their level of expertise in personal injury law, keeping in mind that you’ll likely benefit most by working with a well-established law firm. Check to see how long they’ve been in business and ask about the significant accomplishments of the legal team.

What is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

No lawyer will guarantee a successful case outcome, but attorneys in the practice of personal injury law typically only take cases they believe they can win. As for the worth of your claim, an experienced lawyer should be able to give you an idea of the amount of financial compensation you can expect.

Have You Handled Similar Injury Claims?

Some attorneys in this field of law spend the bulk of their time on vehicular accident cases, while others have expertise in dog bite injuries, wrongful death claims or other specialized areas. The lawyer you choose should have experience handling injury claims similar to yours, as they’ll be more familiar with the legal issues you may face.

How Many Cases Do Typically Handle?

Lawyers frequently work on several cases simultaneously. Good personal injury attorneys know their limits and only take on new clients when the schedule allows. During the consultation, ask about the lawyer’s workload to ensure they have the time to give your claim the dedicated attention it needs.

What’s the Next Step?

Before you hire a personal injury attorney, make sure you feel confident in their ability to protect your rights and interests. With William Rawlings & Associates, you’ll have a highly committed advocate fighting on your behalf – and we’ll do whatever we can to help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve.

The lawyers at William Rawlings & Associates are licensed in Utah, California and Idaho. We offer free consultations, and we work with a limited number of clients to allow our legal team to give each one ample time and attention. For more information on our qualifications, or to meet with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys, contact our Draper or West Valley City, Utah, office today.

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Aug 14 2020

Types of Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Claims

Are you think about filing a personal injury claim?

Whether you were seriously injured in a car accident, an animal attack or any other type of incident, you have the legal right to bring a case to court. As for the worth of your claim, that comes mainly down to the types of damages you’re able to recover.

Most damages are considered compensatory, as they’re meant to provide monetary compensation for losses incurred. A personal injury attorney can help you pursue all of the damages that apply to your case – here’s a look at what that may include.

What damages can I get in a car accident claim?

Medical Expenses

A successful personal injury claim should compensate you for medical expenses you’ve already incurred. And, beyond paying your medical bills or providing reimbursement, you may be entitled to compensation for future medical care.

Lost Wages

If your injuries have caused you to miss work, you can ask for compensation as part of your claim. Submit sufficient proof, and you may be awarded the wages you would have earned for doing your job.

Lost Earning Capacity

Severe injuries can force you into a different line of work or, worse, prevent you from seeking employment at all. If you’re unable to earn as much as you did previously, you may qualify for compensation for the future economic loss.

Property Loss

If the incident that caused your injuries also caused damage to any of your property, you have the right to be compensated. You can ask for reimbursement for your repair costs or the fair market value of items that were lost.

Pain and Suffering

Compensation for pain and discomfort resulting from your injuries can also be a part of your personal injury claim. Damages for emotional distress may also be awarded if the incident had a serious psychological impact.

Loss of Enjoyment

Injuries can keep you from enjoying your regular hobbies and recreational activities. If that’s been your experience, you may be able to seek out damages as compensation for your inability to enjoy life’s pleasures.

Loss of Consortium

If being seriously injured has affected the relationship you have with your spouse, you can bring a claim for damages. Many consequences of getting hurt – including a loss of affection and difficulty with sexual relations – can qualify you for compensation.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help with Your Claim

A lawyer with experience working on personal injury claims can protect your legal rights by building a strong case. Hire an attorney, and you’ll have expert help determining which of the above categories of compensatory damages can be proven – and you can count on your lawyer to fight for the financial compensation you need and deserve.

William Rawlings & Associates, a highly respected law firm based in northern Utah, has been helping clients in Utah, California and Idaho for decades. For a free consultation to discuss your personal injury claim, contact our office in Draper or West Valley City today.

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Aug 07 2020

Personal Injury Lawsuits & Structured Settlements

If you prevail in a personal injury lawsuit, you may receive compensation in one of two ways. The entire amount may come to you in one lump sum payment, or it may be divided into a series of payments, an arrangement known as a structured settlement.

Many people with injuries that require long-term care choose structured settlements, but there are merits and drawbacks to both payment options. Here’s what you need to know to figure out which type of personal injury settlement you prefer.

How do personal injury claim settlements pay out?

How Structured Settlements Work

With a structured injury settlement, you’ll receive periodic payments rather than one lump sum.

Your personal injury attorney can negotiate the terms to meet your needs. You might, for example, want the first payment to be substantial enough to cover all of your bills and expenses. Or, if you have growing children, you may prefer to have the payment amount increase over time. Your settlement may also be structured to provide you with lifelong income. With your attorney’s help, you can receive your funds exactly as you’d like.

Reasons to Consider a Structured Settlement

Structured injury settlements have several advantages. The benefits to this payment arrangement include:

  • An assurance of having income in the future
  • Ongoing source of funds to support long-term needs
  • The likelihood of paying quite a bit less in taxes
  • No risk of spending the settlement money too quickly
  • Less pressure to loan or give cash to family and friends

Arguments Against Structured Settlements

Structured injury settlements aren’t right for everyone who wins a personal injury lawsuit. Some people prefer receiving a lump sum payment because:

  • Fluctuations in the economy could result in settlement payments that are insufficient to meet financial needs
  • Once set, the terms of a structured settlement can’t typically be changed or accelerated
  • Receiving structured payments can result in a loss of public benefits, which can be problematic for those who don’t have private health insurance

Is a Structured Settlement Your Best Option?

The ideal payment arrangement for you depends upon your personal circumstances.

If the amount of your injury settlement is on the smaller side, you may want to take a lump sum payment. Putting in the time and effort required to set up a structured injury settlement is generally only worthwhile when larger amounts are involved.

However, your needs and preferences matter. You need to receive compensation in a way that works for you, and an experienced personal injury attorney – like the award-winning team at William Rawlings & Associates — can help make sure that happens.

Our highly skilled lawyers have more than 35 years of experience working on personal injury lawsuits, and we’ve collected millions for clients in Utah, California and Idaho. We’ll fight to ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses, and we’ll negotiate a payment solution that protects your interests.

For more details on structured settlements, or to schedule a free personal injury lawsuit consultation, contact William Rawlings & Associates today.

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