Feb 12 2021

What if Your Car Accident Police Report is Inaccurate?

If you’re involved in a car accident, a police report can provide you with the evidence you need to prove that your injuries were caused by another motorist’s negligence.

But as we all know, anyone can make a mistake – so you could find that the report generated by the investigating officer who responded to the scene of your car accident is inaccurate. To learn how to deal with errors and get your police report amended, take a look at the following.

Do I need a copy of my accident report

How to Correct a Factual Mistake

Let’s say that the officer who wrote your car accident police report got the color, model or year of your vehicle wrong. Or that when they took down your driver’s license number, two of the numbers were transposed. Factual errors like these are often simple to fix.

To correct the information on your report, contact the local law enforcement agency involved. There may be directions on how to proceed on their website, but if not, reach out to the investigating officer. Politely explain the discrepancy between the facts and what has been reported, and ask them to amend the document.

Tips for Correcting a Disputed Error

If your police report is inaccurate in terms of how the facts surrounding the accident are presented or what it says regarding which motorist was at fault, getting the information corrected may be quite the challenge. But, that doesn’t mean you have no options.

First of all, don’t wait to let law enforcement know about the error. If you contact the investigating officer right away, they might agree to fix the mistake before the report is finalized. If not – or if it’s too late for that – you can try providing evidence that supports your argument. But don’t argue, as you’ll get a better response if act in a polite, respectful manner.

Chances are, however, the officer who wrote your police report won’t agree to make the changes you’d like. If that’s the case, you can ask for permission to write a supplemental statement and have it attached to your report.

Consult with an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

Often, the easiest and most effective strategy for getting a police report corrected is to work with an experienced car accident lawyer.

The legal team at William R. Rawlings & Associates, serving clients in California, Idaho and Utah, can speak with law enforcement on your behalf and directly request that the officer involved address the mistakes in your police report. Our personal injury attorneys know how to achieve results, and you can count on us to fight to protect your legal rights. To discuss your case and discover how we can help, contact our office and schedule a free car accident lawyer consultation today.

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Feb 05 2021

Dealing with Financial Difficulties After an Auto Accident

An auto accident can affect you physically and emotionally, and the aftermath can have a huge impact on your financial future.

If you’ve been injured in a car crash caused by another driver’s negligence or wrongful action, you don’t have to accept the resulting financial harm. Instead, discuss your legal options with an experienced auto accident attorney. With a lawyer in your corner, you’ll have an easier time recovering every dollar you deserve – and if you work with the legal team at William R. Rawlings & Associates, your financial difficulties will soon be in the past.

Free car accident attorney consultation in Utah

Compensation for Your Losses

An experienced auto accident attorney can help you seek the maximum financial compensation available to you through a claim against the driver responsible for your injuries.

As the injured victim in a car crash, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:

  • All medical expenses, including the costs of any doctor visits, hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation therapy, in-home care, medication and other treatments your injuries require
  • Lost income due to having to take time off work and, if you’re unable to return to the same profession or your injuries prevent you from seeking employment at all, lost earning capacity
  • Property losses, which may include reimbursement for car repair or replacement costs in addition to the fair market value of any belongings that were damaged or lost during the crash
  • Pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment and loss of consortium directly resulting from the injuries sustained in the auto accident

Protect Your Personal Injury Claim

An experienced auto accident attorney will help you prepare a strong personal injury claim and guide you through the legal process. In the meantime, you can do your part to ensure a successful outcome. We suggest that you:

  • Stick to the facts when speaking with insurance adjusters and never sign anything without speaking to your accident attorney first
  • Refrain from posting any information about the car crash on social media, as anything you share online could be used to devalue your personal injury claim
  • Follow the treatment advice of your doctors and attend all scheduled follow-up medical appointments

You accident attorney will likely provide more tips and targeted advice. Listen to their recommendations, and you’ll stand a stronger chance of obtaining the financial compensation you deserve.

Get the Legal Help You Need

Hiring a reputable auto accident attorney is one of the best ways to ensure you’re adequately compensated for your financial losses. And if you’re in Utah, Idaho or California, you’ll be in good hands with the legal team at William R. Rawlings & Associates.

We’ve been helping injured victims for more than 35 years, and we make every effort to maximize the amount of compensation our clients obtain. Choose our law firm, and you won’t have to pay us a dime if we don’t win or settle your claim.

For a free, no-obligation auto accident attorney consultation and expert help resolving your financial difficulties through a personal injury claim, contact William R. Rawlings & Associates today.

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Jan 15 2021

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney for an Out-of-State Car Accident

You’ve been injured in an out-of-state car accident and want to hire a personal injury attorney to protect your rights. Where should you turn? Is it wiser to choose a local lawyer from your home state, or should you look for a law firm located in the state where the accident occurred?

To answer that question, you’ll need to consider the specific location of the car accident. If that’s relatively close to your home state, a local lawyer could provide the assistance you need. For help dealing with the aftermath of a crash further away, you may be better served by a personal injury attorney from another state. Read on for more details.

How to find the best car accident lawyer for you

When Hiring a Local Lawyer Makes Sense

Many personal injury law firms have attorneys who are licensed to practice not just in the state where they’re located, but also in the other nearby states. For example, William R. Rawlings & Associates is based in Utah, but our lawyers are also licensed in California and Idaho.

If the crash that caused your injuries occurred in a state that is close to your own, you may want to hire a local lawyer. By doing so, you’ll have an attorney who is close by, but also able to handle your out-of-state car accident claim.

When to Hire an Attorney from Another State

For legal assistance with a car accident that occurred in a far-away state, you may want to hire a personal injury lawyer from that state – especially if you believe you might be filing a lawsuit.

During the course of the lawsuit, your attorney will need to visit the courthouse multiple times. This would be easier if they didn’t have to take a flight out to every hearing. And while most personal injury law firms provide services on a contingency fee basis, any travel costs will likely come from your share of the settlement or court judgement. By hiring a lawyer from the state where the accident took place, you can keep these expenses down.

Protecting Your Rights After an Out-of-State Car Accident

Regardless of where your car accident occurred, consulting with a local personal injury attorney can be a smart first step to take. They’ll either be able to provide the legal assistance you need, or they can refer you to a reputable law firm that can.

The highly experienced lawyers at William R. Rawlings & Associates, serving injured victims in Utah, California and Idaho, have the knowledge and skill to guide you through the claims process. We’re ready to discuss your out-of-state car accident and how to obtain fair compensation for your injuries – and we offer free, no-obligation consultations. To speak with a trusted personal injury attorney with a long history of successful case results, contact us today.

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Jan 08 2021

Tricks Insurance Adjusters Use to Devalue Personal Injury Claims

Insurance adjusters have one goal – to minimize the amount of compensation paid out in personal injury claims. Serving the interests of the insurance company is their job, and the company exists to earn a profit. So, the reality is, an adjuster isn’t going to help you. Instead, they’ll be looking for ways to tip the sale in favor of their employer.

As former adjusters and attorneys for insurance companies, the legal team at William R. Rawlings & Associates understands the tricks commonly used to keep personal injury claim compensation at a minimum. Here, we share some of the everyday tactics adjusters try to limit company payouts.

How to maximize a personal injury claim

Quickly Make a Low Settlement Offer

Insurance companies often contact personal injury victims right away to offer a settlement. Getting money quickly after an accident can be tempting, and adjusters know that once a settlement is accepted, victims can’t negotiate for more money.

Request a Recorded Statement

Sometimes, injuries and pain don’t manifest until days after an accident. Knowing this, insurance adjusters ask for a recorded statement early on, using the information to devalue a claim or damage the victim’s credibility.

Misrepresent the Available Coverage

The amount of compensation available in a personal injury claim is, in part, dictated by the limits of the insurance policy. However, adjusters aren’t always straightforward about the coverage and may try to trick injured victims into settling for a lesser amount.

Encourage Settlement without a Lawyer

Many insurance adjusters lead victims to believe that they have no need of an attorney or say that hiring a lawyer reduces the amount of money a victim will receive. In reality, neither is true – they’re just trying to save the company from a big payout.

Discuss Settlements for Similar Claims

Adjusters frequently declare that similar personal injury cases settled for a certain amount of money. More often than not, the amount is insignificant and certainly not a reflection of a claim’s true value.

Announce a Final Settlement Offer

Another trick insurance adjusters commonly use is to say that they have no more room to negotiate. Injured victims often don’t realize that the company can’t make an offer final and that by working with a lawyer they can explore other options.

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to protect your rights and maximize your compensation. In Utah, Idaho and California, injured victims in need of legal guidance trust the professional team at William R. Rawlings & Associates.

Don’t let yourself get tricked by an insurance adjuster – contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your personal injury claim today.

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Jan 01 2021

The Importance of Monitoring Car Accident Injuries

Some common car accident injuries – like broken bones and lacerations – are immediately obvious. Others can go unnoticed at first, and in some cases, injury symptoms don’t develop until much later on.

What if that happens to you? Can you still file an accident claim against the negligent driver and obtain compensation for your losses? Here’s what you need to know to protect your legal rights.

Utah car accident lawyer

Why Car Accident Injuries May Not Appear Immediately

Being in a car accident is a traumatic experience, and the stress of the situation can cause the body to produce adrenaline and endorphins. The release of these two chemicals creates a heightened level of energy that, for many people, temporarily masks the sensation of pain.

In addition, some injuries may seem minor at first, but as time goes on, the condition worsens. This can be the case not only for physical injuries, but also for emotional issues, as victims often don’t realize how much mental strain they’re under until long after an accident.

Always Get a Medical Evaluation After a Car Accident

Even if you feel just fine right after a car crash, go see a doctor anyway. A medical professional can determine if you have any unnoticed car accident injuries and provide you with advice on warning signs to watch for in the upcoming days and weeks.

In the event you end up filing a car accident claim, documenting the fact that you pursued medical treatment within a reasonable amount of time can be crucial. Go to the doctor as soon as possible, or the insurance adjuster may argue that your injuries aren’t all that serious.

Leave Yourself Plenty of Time to File an Accident Claim

After a car crash, the negligent driver’s insurance company may offer you a settlement, but don’t sign anything right away. You’ll need to give your car accident injuries a chance to fully manifest, as once you sign a release, you won’t be able to pursue compensation for additional medical treatment.

From a strategic standpoint, holding off on accepting a settlement makes sense. By doing so, all of your legal options are still on the table – and the fact that you could file an accident claim can give you more leverage with the insurance company. But, you don’t want to wait until the last possible minute to bring a lawsuit. If you fail to meet all of the legal requirements in your accident claim and the statute of limitations expires, so does your ability to obtain compensation.

35 years of experience, we know how to maximize the value of your auto accident claim.

For a free, no-obligation consultation and expert advice on obtaining fair compensation for your car accident injuries, contact us today.

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Dec 18 2020

How Does the Car Accident Settlement Process Work?

While some car accident cases end up going to trial, most are resolved through the settlement process.

If you were involved in a serious collision and want to seek financial compensation for your losses, you should discuss your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer. A local attorney can explain the steps to settling a claim and why you may not want to negotiate your own settlement. But, you may find the following information helpful.

How to file a car accident claim

Reporting a Car Accident

Most states have laws requiring drivers to report car collisions to a local law enforcement agency. The police or state highway patrol must be notified when accidents result in serious injuries, death or significant property damage.

Your insurance company also likely requires you to report auto accidents soon after they occur. You don’t, however, have to go into detail about the incident – you can simply provide the date, time and location of the crash and the contact information of the other drivers involved.

No-Fault Car Accident States

In states that follow the no-fault auto accident liability system, like Utah, injured victims can recover medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who is responsible for causing a collision.

Under this system, you only deal with another driver’s insurer if you meet the threshold of financial losses. In Utah, that typically means exceeding $3,000 in economic damages.

At-Fault Car Accident States

In states that follow the at-fault system, such as California and Idaho, the driver who causes an auto accident can be held financially responsible for the resulting damages.

Under this system, injured victims have the option of filing a claim with their own insurance company, filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider or filing a lawsuit. An experienced local personal injury lawyer can offer advice on the best route to take.

Settling a Car Accident Claim

As we mentioned, most car accident claims are settled out of court. Getting through the settlement process involves a great deal of work, as you’ll need to gather evidence to support your claim, draft a demand letter, explain the extent of your injuries and make clear the amount of damages you’d like to recover.

You can count on the insurance company investigating the case, and if they don’t deny your claim, they’ll likely make a lowball offer. At this point, you’ll need to negotiate – and if the insurer refuses to offer a reasonable settlement amount, you can file a lawsuit.

Settling a claim and getting the compensation you deserve is no easy task on your own. Car collisions are subject to state-specific laws, and many injured victims underestimate their losses. If you’ve been in an auto accident, letting an experienced local personal injury lawyer help with the settlement process is a smart move. For expert legal assistance in Utah, California or Idaho, contact William R. Rawlings & Associates and schedule a car accident settlement consultation today.

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Dec 11 2020

What to Do After a Bicycle Accident

The steps you take after a bicycle accident involving a motorist can make a major difference in the amount of compensation you’re able obtain for your injuries and the damage to your bike. Your actions can also have an impact on the outcome of a lawsuit against the negligent driver, should you decide to file one.

If you enjoy cycling, knowing what to do in the immediate aftermath of an injury accident is clearly important. Here, the experienced bicycle accident attorneys at William R. Rawlings & Associates explain how to protect your rights.

Bike accident attorney

Wait for the Police to Arrive

You may not think you’re injured or that your bike has been damaged, but don’t leave the accident scene until after the police have taken a report. Injuries can manifest later on, and you might find that your bike does have issues — and you need to make sure that your version of events is documented in the police report.

Obtain Driver and Witness Information

If possible, get the motorist’s name, address, phone number, insurance information, driver’s license number and license plate number. Take down the names and contact information of any witnesses to the bicycle accident as well. All of this may be in the police report, but there’s always a chance that something could be left out.

Thoroughly Document the Accident

Take mental notes on when, where and how the bicycle accident occurred and on the road, traffic and weather conditions at the time of the crash. Jot the details down as soon as you can, and while you’re at the accident scene, snap photos to show the area, your bicycle and the position of everyone involved.

Immediately Seek Medical Attention

Regardless of how you feel right after a bicycle accident, get medical attention right away. The fact that you saw a doctor is proof that you were injured, and your medical records will illustrate the extent of your injuries. This documentation can be crucial to obtaining fair compensation.

Get Advice from an Experienced Attorney

Don’t negotiate with the driver or their insurance company, as anything you say could be used against you later on. Instead, consult with a personal injury attorney with experience handling bicycle accident cases. A lawyer can provide you with advice on how to proceed, help you deal with the insurance adjuster and, if necessary, represent you in a lawsuit against the negligent motorist.

For expert legal guidance in Utah, California or Idaho, turn to the professional team at William R. Rawlings & Associates. Our personal injury attorneys have decades of experience helping accident victims, and many are avid cyclists – so we understand both the law and the dangers associated with cycling.

We routinely handle accident claims for injured cyclists, and you can count on our highly skilled personal injury attorneys to fight hard for every dollar you deserve. If you’ve been in a bicycle accident, contact our office and schedule a free consultation today.

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Dec 04 2020

Common Causes of Auto Accidents

Millions of auto accidents occur every year, and many victims suffer debilitating injuries. Preventing these incidents starts with understanding why they take place, and we’re sharing the most common causes of motor vehicle collisions below.

Knowledge is power, as they say, and by reading on you may be able to avoid becoming a statistic. However, if you’re ever injured in an auto accident, hiring an experienced lawyer may be the best way to fight for your right to compensation.

How can a car accident attorney help you recover compensation

Speeding

Drivers often ignore the speed limit, and by doing so, greatly increase the chance of causing an auto accident. While speeding, motorists have less time to react to road hazards. And, vehicles that are moving too fast are more likely to spin out of control as a result of weather-related road conditions.

Impaired Driving

Many motorists believe that if they’ve only had a drink or two, they’ll be fine behind the wheel. This isn’t the case, as any amount of alcohol can affect a person’s sight, judgment and coordination, leading to a serious auto accident. And, the same impairments can occur after taking prescription medication and after using illegal drugs.

Fatigue

Operating on a few hours of sleep can spell disaster out on the road. According to the CDC, driving while drowsy can be equated to driving drunk – it’s that dangerous. Motorists who are fatigued frequently develop the same types of visual, cognitive and motor impairments as drivers who have alcohol in their system.

Distracted Driving

Everyone multitasks, but paying attention to anything but the road ahead increases the risk of being in motor vehicle collision. Driver distractions – such as using a smartphone, eating a snack, reaching for an item on the floor or turning to look at something outside the car – often cause car accidents.

How Auto Accident Lawyers Help Victims

Victims of motor vehicle collisions caused by speeding, impaired driving, fatigue or distracted driving – as well as those caused by other factors – have a legal right to compensation for their injuries and losses. However, obtaining every dollar deserved can be difficult without an experienced auto accident lawyer.

Attorneys perform a range of tasks to help car accident victims recover the amount of money to which they are legally entitled. Every case is unique, but a lawyer typically:

  • Investigates the cause of a motor vehicle collision to identify the at-fault party and determine who is responsible for paying damages to the victim
  • Evaluates the injuries and losses suffered by the victim to pursue the maximum amount in compensation allowable under the law
  • Negotiates with the insurance company of the at-fault party to secure a fair settlement offer for the victim’s injuries and financial losses
  • When necessary, takes the car accident case to trial in order to achieve the best possible outcome for the injured victim

If you need an experienced auto accident lawyer in California, Idaho or Utah, call on the legal team at William R. Rawlings & Associates. We’ve been helping victims of motor vehicle collisions for over 35 years, and we’re here to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.

For more information, or to schedule a free auto accident lawyer consultation, contact us online or give our office a call today.

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Nov 20 2020

How Personal Injury Lawyers Use Expert Witnesses

As any experienced personal injury lawyer knows, the right expert witness can be the key to a favorable case outcome. Claims often hinge on the testimony of an expert, as these witnesses can explain technical issues and offer an informed opinion as to the particulars of the case.

When it comes to finding experts to support your injury claim, you can rely on your lawyer. However, you may need to work with these witnesses to build a solid case.

Utah personal injury attorney

The Role of an Expert Witness

Regular witnesses – or people who were present when the accident occurred – can provide testimony about what they saw or heard.

Expert witnesses have the education, experience and proficiency to qualify as specialists in a particular field. Depending upon their area of expertise, these witnesses can testify about how the accident happened, the extent of medical treatment required, the prognosis for injury recovery, the resulting emotional trauma and the impact the accident has had on your earning potential.

Types of Expert Witnesses

Personal injury lawyers bring in many different types of specialists to help strengthen a claim and maximize the amount of compensation awarded. The witnesses used in your case may include:

  • Medical experts to testify about your injuries, medical treatment plan and options for recovery
  • Mental health experts to support a claim for emotional distress or pain and suffering
  • Vocational rehabilitation experts to offer opinions regarding your future work prospects
  • Accident reconstruction experts to look at the sequence of events and pinpoint the cause of the incident
  • Financial experts to provide testimony on matters concerning damages sustained

This list is by no means exhaustive. Personal injury lawyers often use specialized experts – such as engineering specialists, phone record specialists and forensic specialists – to build a stronger case.

Working with Expert Witnesses

As we mentioned, your lawyer will take on the task of locating any specialists who can help with your personal injury claim. You may, however, need to work together to increase the chance of a favorable case outcome.

Your lawyer may ask you to provide a witness with more information, for example, or you might be referred to a medical expert. Taking care of matters on your end – by answering questions and following up with any necessary records requests and diagnostic tests — ensures that the specialists can do their job.

Do you need expert help with a personal injury claim? The legal team at William R. Rawlings & Associates, aggressively fights for the maximum in compensation for each of our clients. We’ll protect your rights and work to get every dollar you deserve – and we won’t charge you a fee unless we achieve a favorable outcome in your case.

For more details about the key role expert witnesses play in accident claims, or to speak with an experienced Utah personal injury lawyer, contact William R. Rawlings & Associates and schedule a free consultation today.

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Nov 13 2020

Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

If you’re filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit, any misstep you make could have serious consequences on the outcome. Even a small mistake could damage your credibility, reducing the amount of compensation awarded or causing your case to be dismissed.

Fortunately, by working with an experienced personal injury attorney, you can avoid blunders during the legal process. To help, we’re sharing some of the ways you could inadvertently derail your case.

Motorcycle accident attorney in Utah

Discussing Your Injuries or the Lawsuit

You should provide your personal injury attorney with all of the details relevant to your case. They need that information to boost your chances of obtaining the maximum amount of compensation in your motorcycle accident lawsuit.

To be on the safe side, however, don’t talk about your case with anyone other than your lawyer. Speaking with others about your injuries or discussing the lawsuit with someone else could end up costing you.

Posting on Social Media Networks

Investigators and attorneys working for the insurance company will use whatever strategies they can to make you seem less credible and to limit the amount of compensation you receive. This includes searching your social media accounts for information.

Posting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other network after your motorcycle accident can be a mistake. Even pictures and posts that have nothing to do with your case could be used against you, so you may want to stay away from social media until your lawsuit is resolved.

Not Complying with Medical Advice

Personal injury attorneys recommend that anyone injured in a motorcycle accident seek medical treatment immediately. Seeing a doctor right away is important, but following their advice is just as crucial.

If you fail to attend your follow-up appointments or don’t comply with your doctor’s recommendations on treatment, others may question whether or not your injuries really warrant compensation. As such, not getting the necessary medical care could seriously impact the outcome of your motorcycle accident lawsuit.

Have You Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

Finding a personal injury attorney you can trust is one of the first steps to ensuring you’re fairly compensated for the injuries you sustained. In Utah, California and Idaho, the legal team at William R. Rawlings & Associates has over 35 years of experience helping injured victims – and you can count on us to fight for every dollar you deserve.

We’ll put all of our efforts into maximizing your compensation, and we won’t charge you a dime if we don’t win your motorcycle accident lawsuit. For a free personal injury attorney consultation, contact William R. Rawlings & Associates online or give us a call today.

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