Jun 18 2021

Will Not Wearing a Helmet Affect Your Motorcycle Accident Claim?

If you’re a Utah motorcyclist who has been injured in a crash, you can file a motorcycle accident claim to seek out financial compensation for your losses. Your decision to ride without a helmet doesn’t take away that right.

Given the circumstances, however, recovering the amount of money to which you are legally entitled may be a challenge on your own. To understand why, take a look at the following.

Motorcycle injury lawyer Utah

Utah’s Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Riding without a helmet is permitted for some motorcyclists in Utah. Helmet use is only mandated for those under the age of 21.

In addition, the Utah motorcycle helmet statute maintains that the choice to not wear protective headgear isn’t considered to be contributory or comparative negligence on the part of a motorcyclist seeking damages. The law also asserts that the failure to wear a helmet isn’t valid evidence in a civil case.

All of the above seems to suggest that helmet use won’t be a factor in a Utah motorcycle accident claim. However, the situation isn’t really that simple.

Why Injured Motorcyclists May Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Insurance adjusters know that only motorcyclists under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet in Utah. They are also well aware that they aren’t legally allowed to use failure to wear protective headgear against a rider in an accident claim. Despite this, injured motorcyclists typically receive low settlement offers.

Why is this? Motorcyclists are less likely to win large verdicts in court, as many people have the false impression that riders are less careful than drivers of passenger cars and other vehicles. Most motorcycle accident claims don’t end up going to court, but insurance adjusters know about the stigma against motorcyclists and are therefore comfortable in offering smaller settlements.

A skilled motorcycle accident attorney can negotiate a fair settlement or, if necessary, bring the case to court. And since most Utah lawyers who specialize in this area of the law work on a contingency fee basis – providing legal representation at no upfront cost – accident attorneys fight hard to get their clients the maximum in financial compensation.

Turn to the Legal Team at William R. Rawlings & Associates

At William R. Rawlings & Associates, we offer full-service legal counsel to injured motorcyclists in Utah, Idaho and California. Our clients benefit from our 35 years of experience, and we’re proud to have a long history of successful case results.

As former insurance adjusters and insurance lawyers, we understand the tactics they use in cases involving riders not wearing helmets – and we’re ready to make the most of your motorcycle accident claim. To learn more about our law firm, or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Utah, contact us today.

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Jun 11 2021

How to Choose a Wrongful Death Attorney

If you recently lost a loved one due to someone’s negligent or careless actions, turn to an experienced wrongful death attorney. While nothing will fill the void left in your life, holding the responsible party accountable may provide you with some relief.

When the cause of your grief is an accidental or wrongful death, getting legal representation can help ensure that you get justice for your loved one. Furthermore, a skilled lawyer can aggressively pursue financial compensation to provide you with the support you need to move forward.

The process of choosing a wrongful death attorney can be challenging, as countless law firms represent clients in accidental death claims. To narrow down your options and find the right lawyer for your case, try these strategies.

Personal injury attorney Utah

Find Local Lawyers

A simple internet search can provide you with names of local wrongful death lawyers, but keep in mind that a high ranking doesn’t mean an attorney is more qualified for the job. You can also find a legal professional with the skills to take on your case by:

  • Asking friends, family members and colleagues if they have a recommendation
  • Checking with an attorney who has helped you with another legal matter
  • Contacting your local bar association for a list of lawyers who specialize in accidental death claims.

Look for Relevant Experience

Legal expertise matters a great deal, and you’ll want to choose an attorney who has ample experience with the areas of law relevant to your case. To figure out if a lawyer might be qualified to handle your accidental death claim:

  • Browse their website to see which types of cases they routinely take on
  • Look at the bar association website to make sure the lawyer is in good standing
  • Read online reviews and search for news stories that feature the attorney

Schedule Consultations

Once you have taken the steps listed above, you should have a few wrongful death attorneys at the top of your list. Now, it’s time to schedule a meeting with each of those lawyers.

Most legal professionals offer free initial consultations, which allow you the opportunity to interview the lawyer. When you meet with a wrongful death attorney, ask questions about your case and how they would proceed. After you have consulted with all the law firms you’re considering, think about how the appointments went and trust your gut in making your choice on who to hire.

Trust William R. Rawlings & Associates

The legal team at William R. Rawlings & Associates has over 35 years of experience helping clients in Utah, Idaho and California with wrongful death claims. We have a history of proven results and a strong reputation within the legal community – and you can count on us to protect your rights and fight for the maximum in financial compensation.

For more information on our legal qualifications, or to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a highly skilled Utah personal injury attorney, contact William R. Rawlings & Associates today.

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Jun 04 2021

Should You Take an Ambulance After a Car Accident?

If a car accident leaves you with severe injuries, you likely won’t be given the choice of whether or not to take an ambulance to the hospital. But if you’re still conscious, the paramedics might ask you if you require emergency transportation.

Car Accident Injury Attorney Salt Lake City

How should you respond?

The decision isn’t one you should make lightly, as it could affect both your health and your personal injury claim. Don’t let concerns over the cost prevent you from taking an ambulance ride — here’s what experienced car accident attorneys recommend considering as you weigh your options.

When to Take an Ambulance to the Hospital

After a car accident, your injuries may not appear to be all that serious. That could change, however – some victims feel fairly good at first, then experience a seizure or become unconscious moments later.

Taking an ambulance ride from the crash scene may be in your best interests, as you’ll have medical professionals there to help if your situation worsens on the way to the hospital. And if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, car accident attorneys strongly suggest accepting emergency transportation:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness or blurred vision
  • Pounding headache
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Bleeding from any wounds
  • Suspected broken bones

Why You Shouldn’t Worry About the Cost

All too often, accident victims refuse to take an ambulance because of the cost – and yes, emergency transportation can be rather expensive.

This shouldn’t scare you into driving yourself to the hospital. If you didn’t cause the crash, you won’t be liable for the ambulance bill. That expense, like all of your other medical treatment, can be included in your personal injury claim.

What if you get billed for the ambulance ride anyway? Contact the company that issued the bill to let them know you’re working with a car accident attorney to settle a claim, and that should buy you enough time to avoid being sent to collections.

Have a Salt Lake City Car Accident Injury Attorney on Your Side

Insurance adjusters have been known to deny personal injury claims when they believe that emergency transportation wasn’t required. A highly skilled accident attorney can turn that around and use the fact that you took an ambulance ride as proof of the severity of your injuries.

While you can represent yourself in a personal injury claim, you may need expert assistance to hold the liable party responsible for your losses. Turn to William R. Rawlings & Associates, and our legal team will fight to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

Accident victims in Utah, California and Idaho have relied on William R. Rawlings & Associates for over 35 years, and you can, too. For more information about our law firm, or to discuss how our Salt Lake City car accident injury attorneys can help with your personal injury claim, contact us today.

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May 21 2021

Crucial Evidence for a Truck Accident Claim

If a collision involving a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler or other big rig has left you with serious injuries, you can file a truck accident claim. Doing so may provide you with compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, emotional distress and other losses resulting from the crash.

In a truck accident case, the likelihood of a successful outcome is directly related to the quality of the evidence. Working with an experienced truck accident lawyer in Salt Lake City can provide the advantage you need to maximize your award.

Read on to learn about the types of evidence that can be crucial to receiving the financial compensation you deserve.

Truck Accident Lawyer Salt Lake City

Accident Reports

The investigating police officer who responds to the scene of a collision will create an official report. A certified truck inspector may also come out to examine the big rig before it’s towed away. The information in both reports can be used as evidence in a truck accident claim.

At-the-Scene Evidence

If able, victims injured in a truck collision should take photos of the accident scene, including shots of the road and all of the vehicles involved from various angles. Getting the names and contact information for any eyewitnesses is also beneficial, as their testimony can lend credibility to the victim’s version of events.

Electronic Logs

Federal law requires commercial truck drivers to follow specific regulations, and big rigs are outfitted with Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to track their hours of service. If a truck collision occurs due to a violation, such as too much time driving without a break, this log can provide the necessary evidence for an acciden-t claim.

Recorded In-Cab Data

Some commercial trucks have in-cab cameras that face both the driver and the road. In the event of an accident, the footage captured can provide clear evidence of exactly what the driver was doing and how the vehicle’s mechanical systems were operating at the time of the collision.

Drug & Alcohol Testing

When someone is seriously injured in a truck accident, federal regulations often require that the driver of the big rig undergo a drug and alcohol test. Driving while impaired is known to reduce concentration and reaction time, and if the use of some sort of substance contributed to the collision, the test results can be valuable evidence.

Why You Need an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer

While you may be able to obtain some of the items we listed above on your own, getting your hands on other crucial evidence – namely the ELD data, in-cab videos and driver drug and alcohol testing — may require the assistance of an experienced truck accident lawyer.

In addition, an attorney can send out a document called a spoliation letter, requesting that all evidence related to the collision be preserved. If negligence or wrongful action on the part of the truck driver caused your accident, the trucking company won’t be able to legally destroy the evidence.

At William R. Rawlings & Associates, we know what it takes to achieve a successful outcome in a truck accident claim. If you’ve been injured in a big rig collision in Salt Lake City or anywhere in Utah, contact us and schedule a free consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer today.

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May 14 2021

Answers to Common Questions About Auto Accident Claims

Were you recently injured in a car crash? The auto accident claims process can be confusing, and virtually every victim has questions.

While consulting with a personal injury attorney is the best way to get answers, you may want to know certain information right away. Below, the legal team at William R. Rawlings & Associates addresses several of the most pressing questions you may have regarding auto accident claims.

Car accident lawyer Utah

Do You Need to Hire an Attorney?

Having legal representation isn’t a requirement, but working with an experienced personal injury attorney may be to your benefit. Many car crash victims have difficulty obtaining the compensation they deserve on their own, and you can count on a lawyer to fight hard on your behalf.

How Much Will Your Claim Be Worth?

The value of an auto accident claim depends upon multiple elements – the severity of your injuries and damages, the available sources of compensation and insurance policy limitations are just a few of the factors that must be considered. For an estimate of how much your case may be worth, you’ll need to speak with an experienced attorney.

Will Your Car Be Totaled?

If you were involved in a serious auto accident, an insurance adjuster will determine if your car is a total loss. Generally speaking, if the cost to repair your car exceeds its worth, you can expect it to be totaled. In that case, you’ll be reimbursed for the actual cash value of the vehicle, up to the insurance policy limits.

Do You Have to Get Your Car Repaired?

Let’s say your car isn’t totaled, that the damage caused during the auto accident can be safely repaired. If you own the vehicle outright, the decision on whether or not to put the cash you receive toward repair is yours. If, however, you have a loan on the vehicle or want to maintain full coverage, you’ll need to get the car repaired.

Will the Accident Affect Your Insurance Rates?

If the car crash wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to worry about it affecting your premiums. With that being said, some insurance carriers view any auto accident as a reason to consider a rate increase. To find out if your premium is going to rise and, if so, by how much, you’ll need to contact your insurer.

How Long Will it Take to Resolve Your Claim?

When it comes to auto accident claims, the more complicated the case, the longer it typically takes to reach a resolution. Some victims are able to obtain a fair settlement in a matter of weeks, but if your injuries are severe or the insurance company refuses to make a reasonable offer, resolving your claim could take a few months or even a few years.

We know you likely have more questions, and we’d be more than happy to provide expert answers. Contact William R. Rawlings & Associates and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your auto accident claim with an experienced Utah car accident lawyer today.

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May 07 2021

Should You Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney?

Personal injury attorneys help accident victims obtain financial compensation for their losses. Despite knowing this – and despite the fact that lawyers typically offer free consultations — many injured individuals have doubts about whether or not to schedule an appointment.

In our opinion, no accident victim should pass on the opportunity to meet with a lawyer. If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a car, truck, motorcycle, bus or bicycle – whether as a driver, passenger or pedestrian – contacting an experienced local law firm like William R. Rawlings & Associates is to your benefit.

Personal injury lawyer Salt Lake City

Why Meeting with a Personal Injury Attorney is a Good Idea

You might hesitate to reach out to an attorney because you don’t think that the injuries you suffered are severe enough. Or, your reluctance may stem from worries about paying for legal help.

To address the first point, attorneys who specialize in personal injury law are good judges of whether or not a case warrants legal representation. When you meet with a lawyer, they’ll let you know if they can help with your claim – and you’ll get that expert opinion at no cost.

As for the second reason for not reaching out to an attorney, understanding the payment arrangement may ease your mind. Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, covering the costs of any upfront expenses and getting paid out of the settlement or jury award.

Determining if You Have a Valid Personal Injury Claim

When you meet with an attorney, they’ll review your situation to determine if you have a valid claim for compensation. Regardless of the severity of the injuries you sustained, your case needs certain elements. Your lawyer will be looking to see if they may be able to prove all of the following:

  • That you were owed a duty of care
  • That duty of care was breached
  • The breach was the cause of your injuries
  • Your injuries resulted in verifiable damages

If your attorney determines that you have a valid injury claim, they’ll offer to provide the legal help you need. But no matter what, they’ll explain what to do next.

Schedule a Free Personal Injury Attorney Consultation Today

Since you can meet with a lawyer for free – and without being obligated to their law firm – there’s really no reason not to schedule a consultation. If you’ve been injured due to another party’s negligence or wrongful action, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced local injury lawyer.

In Utah, Idaho and California, William R. Rawlings is the law firm you want on your side. We’ve been helping accident victims for over 35 years, and we fight hard to ensure that our clients receive every dollar they deserve for their damages. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a highly skilled personal injury attorney, contact us today.

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Apr 16 2021

What to Do When a Personal Injury Settlement Offer is Too Low

You’re ready to negotiate a personal injury settlement, and you’ve already sent the insurance company a formal demand letter that explains your side of the case and how much in compensation you expect to receive. You’re waiting on a response – and when it comes, you see an absurdly low settlement offer.

What should you do?

Personal injury settlements

Don’t Accept a Low Settlement Offer

Insurance adjusters often propose personal injury settlement amounts that are quite unreasonable. This is to be expected, as their job is to preserve the company’s bottom line.

If you believe the initial amount offered is too low, don’t worry – you’re under no obligation to accept this or any other settlement offer from the insurance company. Instead, consider the offer to be the starting point for negotiations.

How to Handle the Situation

You deserve to receive fair compensation for your injuries. When faced with a low settlement offer, take the following steps:

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

You may have been handling your own claim up until this point, but now’s the time to get an experienced personal injury attorney involved. A legal professional who specializes in this area of the law can provide you with the personalized advice and guidance you need to negotiate a good settlement.

Analyze the Settlement Offer

Before drafting a formal response to the insurance company, your attorney will help you thoroughly examine the initial offer. Doing so could shed light on the basis for the low settlement amount, which may stem from insufficient information regarding your injuries or losses. And by analyzing the offer, you’ll be better able to develop a solid response.

Formulate a Counteroffer

Your attorney will calculate all of your economic and non-economic damages. Using this information and considering other factors – such as the insurance policy limits and, if necessary, the personal assets of the at-fault party – they’ll help you decide on a fair counteroffer. Your attorney will also respond to the insurer on your behalf.

What if Settlement Negotiations Fail?

Negotiations are a standard part of the personal injury settlement process, and you may end up receiving and rejecting multiple offers as your case progresses. Your attorney will offer advice on whether or not to accept a settlement, but at the end of the day, the decision is yours.

If the insurance company ultimately refuses to put a reasonable offer on the table, your attorney may recommend that you file a lawsuit. And while there’s no guarantee that you’ll win in court, you can expect your attorney to fight to get you every dollar you deserve.

Dealing with an insurance company and negotiating a settlement is never easy on your own. Turn to William R. Rawlings & Associates, and you’ll have the expert legal representation you need to get fair financial compensation for your injuries and losses.

In Utah, Idaho and California, our personal injury attorneys have been helping injured victims for over 35 years, and we’d love to put our experience to work for you. For a free consultation to discuss personal injury settlement negotiations, contact us today.

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Apr 09 2021

Car Accident Attorney Tips on How to Talk to an Insurance Adjuster

Hiring a car accident attorney after suffering injuries in a crash can be a smart move, but with everything going on, you might not get a chance to contact a law firm right away. Insurance adjusters tend to act quickly, however, so you may get a phone call quite soon.

If that happens, how should you handle the conversation?

First off, remember that the adjuster works for the insurance company – which means they don’t have your best interests in mind. Anything you say could affect the value of your personal injury claim, so you’ll need to be careful. Here, the experienced car accident attorneys at William R. Rawlings & Associates share their top tips for dealing with insurance adjusters.

Do you need a lawyer for a car accident claim

Be Polite and Professional

You may upset about the car accident and the injuries you’ve suffered, but lashing out at the insurance company’s representative won’t benefit your personal injury claim in any way. Better to remain calm and courteous, as keeping your cool can help you maintain control of the conversation.

Provide Limited Information

The insurance adjuster you speak with will likely try to get you to give a statement about the accident. Politely refuse to discuss anything about the car crash, other than basic facts regarding where and when it occurred and the identities of any witnesses. If the representative pushes you to answer, simply say that your investigation is ongoing and that you’ll share more details at the appropriate time.

Don’t Discuss Your Injuries

You can expect the insurance adjuster to inquire about the nature and severity of the injuries you sustained in the accident, but refrain from revealing any information about your medical condition. It may be days or even weeks before you know the full extent of your injuries, and a premature statement that isn’t accurate could reduce the value of your personal injury claim.

Take Notes While You Talk

Your car accident attorney will want to know about your phone call from the insurance adjuster. Jot down the information you provide and any you receive during the course of the conversation, and take note of any requests made. Before the call ends, make sure to get the name and telephone number of the person you’re speaking with and the insurance company they represent.

At William R. Rawlings & Associates, we provide legal representation to car accident victims in Utah, Idaho and California. And since we’re former insurance adjusters and insurance company attorneys, we know their tactics – and how to gain the advantage in negotiations.

Turn your personal injury claim over to our law firm, and we’ll make every effort to help you get the maximum in financial compensation. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced car accident attorney, contact William R. Rawlings & Associates today.

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Apr 02 2021

A Look at Loss of Consortium Damages in Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims seek to reimburse victims for their losses – and in many cases, the person injured in an accident isn’t the only one able to pursue financial compensation.

Serious injuries can have a permanent impact on personal relationships. As such, most jurisdictions allow spouses of accident victims to recover loss of consortium damages. In some states, parents or other close family members can also receive compensation. Below, you’ll find the basics on consortium damages in personal injury claims.

Do I have a loss of consortium claim

What are Consortium Damages?

The purpose of consortium damages in a personal injury case is to provide compensation for losses suffered on the part of the accident victim’s spouse or family. Loss of consortium claims can include any or all of the following:

  • Loss of services, or the reasonable value of household chores and childcare formerly handled by the injured victim
  • Loss of support, which refers to the deprivation of companionship, comfort, guidance and care as a result of the accident
  • Loss of quality in the relationship, involving the victim’s inability to provide the same level of love and affection or their sexual constraints

Proving Loss of Consortium

First of all, a claim for loss of consortium can only be made if the accident victim wins their personal injury case. But that isn’t the only hurdle that comes with these types of claims.

As with other non-economic damages – such as pain and suffering and emotional distress – loss of consortium can be difficult to prove. Making a successful claim requires demonstrating the following:

  • The validity of the relationship
  • The party bringing the claim has suffered losses
  • The victim’s injuries are the cause of damaged relationship

In determining whether or not to award consortium damages, the court will take a great deal of information into consideration. The factors that are likely to play a major role in the decision include:

  • The length and stability of the personal relationship
  • The victim’s household responsibilities prior to the accident
  • The life expectancies of the victim and the party bringing the claim
  • The type of care and companionship between the two individuals

Get the Legal Help You Need

If one of your loved ones was seriously injured in an accident, you may be eligible for loss of consortium damages. Obtaining the compensation you both deserve isn’t going to be easy, but an experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to build a strong case.

To get expert legal help in California, Idaho or Utah, turn to the professional team at William R. Rawlings & Associates. We’ve been helping accident victims with personal injury claims for over 35 years, and we have considerable experience working with cases involving loss of consortium damages. Browse our impressive list of past case results and see for yourself how hard we work to get results for our clients.

For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today.

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Feb 19 2021

Tips for Building a Strong Personal Injury Case

When you’ve been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may want an experienced lawyer to represent you in your personal injury case. With a skilled legal professional handling your claim, you’ll increase the likelihood of obtaining fair financial compensation for your losses.

However, there are steps you can take to strengthen your case. Below are several ways to help your personal injury lawyer make the most of your legal claim.

Tips for Building a Strong Personal Injury Case

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Getting medical treatment directly after being injured in an accident is imperative. The more time that passes, the more difficult it may be for your personal injury lawyer to link the injuries you’ve suffered to the incident.

Be Completely Honest

When consulting with medical professionals, explain your injuries and symptoms in a clear, straightforward manner. Don’t withhold any information, but make sure not to exaggerate, either. You’ll need your doctor’s corroboration, so honesty is the best policy.

Follow All Medical Advice

If your doctor advises you to stay out of work for a certain amount of time or recommends physical therapy, that’s what you should do. Comply with all of their orders, keeping every appointment, and you’ll be helping to build a solid legal claim.

Get Written Excuses for Work

In the event your injuries force you to miss work, lost wages may be a major factor in your personal injury case. Having proof of the time you were out of work can be beneficial, so even if your employer doesn’t require a written excuse, ask your doctor to provide one.

Take Photos of Your Injuries

Any experienced personal injury lawyer will tell you that photos can strengthen a legal claim. Cases can take a long time to resolve, and by the time you reach a settlement or head to court, you may be nearly healed. So, it’s a good idea to snap pictures of your injuries right after your accident, and to continue taking photos as they heal or worsen.

Put the Details in Writing

Memories can get fuzzy as time goes on. To make sure you don’t forget anything about the accident, put the details down in writing. While you’re at it, you may want to start a daily journal to explain the pain and suffering you’re experiencing. Expressing exactly how you’re feeling could help your personal injury lawyer establish a strong case.

Do you need expert legal assistance? If you’ve been injured in an accident in California, Idaho or Utah, William R. Rawlings & Associates is here to meet your needs.

We aggressively fight for the maximum financial compensation, working hard to get every dollar our clients deserve – and we don’t charge a fee unless we’re able to achieve a successful case outcome. For more information about our personal injury law firm, or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney, contact us today.

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