Nov 05 2021

Types of Compensation in Utah Personal Injury Cases

Were you seriously injured in a car crash, dog attack or some other type of accident? Utah personal injury cases hinge on the concept of negligence – so if the incident wasn’t your fault, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for your losses.

An experienced Utah personal injury lawyer can help you fight for every dollar you deserve, but the amount you’ll be able to recover depends largely upon the specific damages that apply to your case. Here, we take a close look at the types of compensation available in Utah personal injury cases.

personal injury lawyer Utah

Economic Damages

Also referred to as special damages, economic damages are intended to compensate accident victims for actual, measurable monetary losses related to their injuries. Some of the most common types of economic damages are:

Medical Expenses

Personal injury cases almost always address the cost of medical treatment related to the accident. In Utah, injured victims can seek out reimbursement for past expenses as well as compensation for future medical care.

Lost Income

Injuries resulting from an accident often force people to take time off from work. When filing a personal injury claim, accident victims in Utah can ask to be compensate for any and all missed wages.

Lost Earning Capacity

Serious injuries can compel accident victims to take a different job – and sometimes, seeking any type of employment simply isn’t possible. In either case, a personal injury award can include the loss of future income.

Property Loss

Accidents that cause severe injuries often result in property damage as well. Under Utah law, victims have the right to pursue compensation for repair costs or the fair market value of any damaged item.

Household Services

While recuperating from their injuries, accident victims may be unable to take care of their regular duties. For those who need to hire someone to help with cooking, cleaning, child care or other tasks, compensation may be awarded.

Non-Economic Damages

In personal injury claims, non-economic damages compensate victims for the intangible losses they have incurred as a result of an accident. Also known as general damages, non-economic damages are not easy to quantify. Examples include:

Pain and Suffering

Severe injuries often involve a great deal of physical pain. Accident victims in Utah may be entitled to compensation for their discomfort and any ongoing pain and suffering attributable to the incident.

Emotional Distress

Involvement in a serious accident can have a major psychological impact. Damages may be awarded to Utah victims who are in mental anguish, suffering from anxiety, depression, guilt or another form of emotional distress.

Loss of Enjoyment

Many Utah accident victims are unable to take part in the hobbies and recreational activities they formerly enjoyed. When engaging in regular day-to-day pursuits is no longer possible, a personal injury award may offer compensation.

Loss of Consortium

Being seriously injured can have a definite impact on the relationship a person has with their spouse. For a loss of companionship, love or affection or difficulty with sexual relations, victims can bring a claim for damages.

Disfigurement

Considerable scarring, permanent injuries and mobility impairments can harm self-esteem and cause a loss in quality of life. Disfigurement can have a lasting effect, and for injured victims in Utah, compensation is available.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages, or exemplary damages, are awarded infrequently in the state of Utah. This type of compensation isn’t intended to compensate victims for losses – it’s meant to punish the at-fault party for their actions and deter others from acting in a similar manner.

In Utah personal injury cases, punitive damages are only applicable when the party responsible for an accident is guilty of gross negligence. In other words, their conduct must be extreme, egregious or intended to cause harm – engaging in careless or reckless behavior isn’t typically enough to meet the standard for punitive damages.

When punitive damages are included in a personal injury award, the amount is based on several objective and subjective factors. The wealth of the at-fault party, the reprehensibility of their misconduct and the nature of the victim’s injuries are a few of the considerations. In Utah, the courts may order that the first $50,000 in punitive damages goes to the victim, but any in excess of that amount is divided equally between the victim and the state.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you’re thinking about bringing a personal injury case, there are numerous advantages to having legal representation. Hiring an experienced lawyer is worth your while because:

  • Personal injury cases are complex, requiring a comprehensive understanding of federal and Utah state laws and a solid grasp of how the local court system works. With a lawyer on your side, you won’t have to worry about missing deadlines or making an error with your claim.
  • Knowing what damages you can pursue is an important part of your personal injury case – and if you have no legal expertise, you may miss out on a significant sum of money. An experienced lawyer will be aware of all of the damages that apply to your case, maximizing your compensation.
  • Handling a personal injury case on your own can be incredibly time-consuming. You’ll need to research the claims process and prepare everything – all while recovering from your injuries. Hire a lawyer, and you’ll save time, reduce your stress level and give yourself the opportunity to heal.

Personal injury lawyers charge fees for their services, of course, but many – including the team at William R. Rawlings & Associates, work on a contingency fee basis. Legal representation costs you nothing upfront, so you can get the help you need without worrying about the expense.

William R. Rawlings & Associates, a highly respected Utah law firm, has decades of experience helping accident victims obtain the financial compensation they deserve. For a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your personal injury case, use our online contact form or call our office in Draper, Utah, today.

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Oct 08 2021

Finding the Right Utah Bus Accident Lawyer to Take Your Case

Are you looking for a bus accident lawyer? Experts recommend talking to several attorneys before selecting one to take your case, and since most offer free consultations, you have nothing to lose – and, potentially, much to gain – by following that advice.

Bus accident cases tend to be rather complex, and you need a lawyer who has what it takes to advocate on your behalf and pursue the compensation you deserve. For the best case outcome, consult with top local law firms and ask each attorney these questions.

Utah bus accident lawyer

How Long Have You Been Helping Bus Accident Victims?

Working with well-established law firm that has a solid history of success with personal injury claims is to your benefit, as determining liability and securing compensation for bus accident injuries can be challenging. During your consultations, ask each lawyer about their level of experience and track record of successful settlements and jury verdicts.

Have You Handled Similar Personal Injury Claims?

Some lawyers who specialize in personal injury claims focus their efforts on helping victims of car accidents or those injured in semi-truck collisions. Others have expertise in different areas – and the attorney you hire should have extensive experience resolving accident cases that are similar to yours. So, be sure to ask each legal professional how they spend the bulk of their time.

What Do You Think the Outcome of the Case Will Be?

Attorneys with expertise in personal injury law don’t make guarantees about case outcomes, but as a general rule, they only provide legal representation when the odds of winning are high. So if a bus accident lawyer agrees to take your case, you likely have a strong claim for compensation. As for the amount you can expect to receive, an experienced attorney should be able to tell you what to expect.

How Much Do You Charge for Your Legal Services?

You shouldn’t have to worry about upfront costs when you hire a bus accident lawyer, as most only collect a fee if they’re successful in securing compensation. You’ll want to confirm this, however, and find out what percentage the law firm charges. Ask how court costs and case expenses are handled, too, as you may be responsible for certain expenditures regardless of your case outcome.

Trust William R. Rawlings & Associates with Your Personal Injury Claim

If you were injured in a bus crash in Utah, Idaho or California, the legal professionals at William R. Rawlings & Associates would be happy to review your case and explain your options moving forward. We’ve been protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 35 years, and our team knows the ins and outs of filing a personal injury claim against a bus driver, public transportation company, third-party contractor or any other responsible party.

For a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced bus accident lawyer, contact William R. Rawlings & Associates today.

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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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Dec 20 2019

Taking Pictures to Document an Auto Accident Scene

If you’re involved in a vehicle accident, especially one where you believe there’s even a chance another party was at fault, the time period directly after the accident is very important. While we realize this is a stressful and potentially traumatic period, it’s also the very best time to collect evidence that may prove extremely valuable in your upcoming liability case.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we’ve been providing auto accident injury attorney services and other personal injury solutions for many years. We’re happy to provide you with tips or expertise on the value of evidence obtained from the scene of an auto accident, particularly one of the most important types out there: Photographs. In today’s day and age where virtually everyone has a smartphone that can take pictures, it’s vital to document the scene of the crash in visual detail. Here are some important areas and themes to ensure you take detailed pictures of at the site of a vehicle accident.

pictures document auto accident

Overall Scene

First and foremost, you should take broad pictures of the entire accident scene, showing the entire area in full. Look for wide-angle shots from a few different perspectives, allowing anyone who views the pictures to have a simple understanding of the scene plus the positioning of things like stop signs, traffic signals and road markings.

If the incident caused skid marks or other items on the road, take pictures of these as well. Look for any missing vehicle parts or other pieces of evidence that will help establish the pattern that led to the accident.

Any Visible Injuries

Another vital area to ensure you have visual documentation of is any injuries you’ve sustained as a result of the crash. We’re talking cuts, scrapes, bruises and any other injuries that can be easily seen. If you are incapacitated or must receive medical attention for injuries, ask either a friend or family member – or even medical staff, if necessary – to take pictures for you.

One note here: Always seek medical attention for any serious injuries before you attempt to take pictures. Your health comes first.

All Vehicles Involved

To whatever degree possible, take pictures of the cars involved and the damage that occurred to them. Note the positions they’re in and try to take pictures from multiple angles so there is no doubt about the contents of the documentation. Be sure to take pictures of both the damage to your own car and that to any other vehicles involved in the accident, as both could be relevant for your case.

For more on taking the right kinds of pictures after an auto accident to use as evidence in a liability case, or to learn about any of our other personal injury attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

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May 17 2019

Types and Impact of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Known medically as an intra-cranial injury, a traumatic brain injury is a significant traumatic event that leads to damage in the human brain. Most often seen in car accidents, but also possible in several other situations, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have a wide range of symptoms.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, our personal injury attorneys are here to help if you fear you or a loved one sustained a TBI during a vehicle accident or any other situation where another party may be liable. Let’s go over some basic facts on these injuries, the symptoms you may notice, and the multiple areas where you may see the impact of these injuries in your daily life.

impact traumatic brain injuries

Basic Numbers on Traumatic Brain Injuries

Brain injuries can range from mild to extremely serious, and on the far end of this spectrum, they are responsible for about 200,000 American deaths each year. They’re also largely responsible for roughly another 500,000 non-death hospitalizations each year, including many that lead to future issues, often permanent ones.

Unfortunately, many TBI cases simply go undiagnosed, even some of the more severe ones. Many who suffer from them try to cover them off as nothing but headaches or similar symptoms, often because they don’t want to believe anything more serious is happening.

Types and Related Conditions

As you might expect, auto accidents are one of the top causes of traumatic brain injuries. Here are some specific types or related conditions to be aware of:

  • Closed head injuries: In most cases, TBIs are what are called closed head injuries. This refers to injuries where the trauma or impact causes the brain to go in motion inside the skull, slamming into areas of the skull due to the force being put on it. These collisions will form contusions and swelling in the brain.
  • Axon damage: As the brain is involved in this same movement, it may also twist and stretch outside its normal positioning. This, in turn, can damage axons, the parts of the brain that carry impulses from neuron to neuron, and this lowers brain function.
  • DAI: When axon damage becomes significant enough at the cellular level, a condition called diffuse axonal injury (DAI) may occur – it doesn’t damage blood vessels or main structures, so it won’t be detected by MRIs or CT scans, but it has a major impact on overall brain function.

Impact of TBIs

It’s important to note that with TBIs, there’s both a physical element to consider and a cognitive/emotional one. In addition, there are often delayed symptoms – people might feel completely normal after a traumatic injury has occurred, before showing symptoms hours, days or even weeks later. In cases like vehicle accidents where another party might be liable for the injury, it’s vital to retain the services of an auto accident attorney even if symptoms seem minor or nonexistent after a head impact (or many other injury types, of course).

For more on traumatic brain injuries and liability, or to learn about any of our other personal injury attorney services, speak to the pros at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

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May 10 2019

Causes and Liability Issues for Wrong-Way Vehicle Accidents

Certain kinds of car accidents are inherently more dangerous than others, and on the very riskiest end of this spectrum sits wrong-way accidents. As the name suggests, these are accidents where vehicles collide, usually head-on, after one driver begins driving the wrong way on a given road or highway.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC, we have experienced auto accident attorneys who will help you receive proper compensation if you or a loved one has been impacted by a wrong-way vehicle accident or any other type of car or truck accident. Let’s look at some simple statistics behind these accidents and what makes them so dangerous, plus how many jurisdictions will respond harshly and punitively to these kinds of incidents.

causes liability wrong-way vehicle accidents

Basic Statistics

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, abbreviated NTSB, nearly 400 highway deaths are caused per year by wrong-way driving accidents in the United States alone. As we noted above, nearly all such incidents are head-on collisions between the driver going the wrong way and other driver(s) going the correct direction.

Unfortunately, the numbers also showcase how much more dangerous these wrong-way collisions are than average. While only about 1 percent of standard vehicle accidents involve a fatality, over 20 percent of wrong-way collisions include a death, making them over 20 times more likely to result in a fatality.

Wrong-Way Collision Causes

There are a few possible causes of wrong-way driving accidents, including some that may overlap with others. A few of the most common include:

  • Alcohol or impairment: According to a 2012 report from the NTSB, over 50 percent of all wrong-way driving accidents and deaths involve alcohol or impairment on the part of the driver going the wrong way. An even higher percentage, over 60 percent in fact, had a blood alcohol rating of at least 0.15, or nearly double the legal limit in most states.
  • Age: About 15 percent of wrong-way accidents are caused by drivers over 70, who may have cognitive or vision issues that contribute.
  • Road configuration and mistakes: Many of these accidents take place when a driver enters the wrong road or highway, mistaking it for their exit- or on-ramp. Cities will take steps to help resolve any confusing signage or side-by-side ramp issues, but it should be noted that these kinds of obstacles are not generally viewed as a viable justification in court to prevent a wrong-way driver from being liable for an accident.
  • Darkness: Almost 80 percent of wrong-way accidents take place between 6 PM and 6 AM, or generally at night when there’s less light.

Punitive Penalties

For many years, the NTSB has recommended that judges and juries assign strict, punitive penalties to those who contribute to wrong-way crashes, particularly those who do so while impaired. If you’ve been injured by such a driver, consult with one of our car accident attorneys, who can prepare you for the kinds of damages you’ll be able to seek.

For more on wrong-way driving accidents, or to learn about any of our personal injury attorney services, speak to the pros at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

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May 03 2019

Understanding Common Forms of Distracted Driving

There are several potential causes to vehicle accidents on the road, and one of the most common and dangerous is distracted driving. Distracted driving is a broad category that can refer to several specific types of distraction, from visual ones to manual or even cognitive issues.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC, we’re here to tell you that regardless of which type of distraction was the cause, you could be owed damages if you were injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver. Here are some basics on defining this term, how an auto accident injury attorney can help, plus an investigation into a few specific examples of distracted driving – including a couple that some people mistakenly think don’t put them at risk for liability if they cause an accident.

common forms distracted driving

Defining Distracted Driving

Simply put, the law defines distracted driving as any behavior or activity that turns the driver’s attention away from the task of driving. Many of the basics here come back to simple science: Even a single second spent looking away from the road in front of you will cause you to be unaware for a huge amount of ground covered, particularly if your vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed.
For this reason, anything that causes this sort of diversion of attention could be considered a distraction. While we’re about to lay out a few specific examples of the most common forms of distracted driving, know that a far greater number of potential actions or distractions could also fit the bill, and you should be aware of them at all times when operating a vehicle.

Cell Phones and Texting

In today’s modern day, texting on cell phones is considered the single most dangerous type of distracted driving facing US drivers. It is responsible for literally thousands of deaths on the road every year, plus untold additional thousands of injuries. This is extremely straightforward: Not only does texting require a driver to move their eyes from the road to a phone, it takes at least one hand off the wheel and uses it for another purpose.
In addition, several other phone behaviors outside texting may cause distraction. Talking on the phone can apply if you aren’t using fully hands-free devices, and even voice commands may distract the brain. Those looking to fully avoid distractions will not use their phones at all while driving.

Daydreaming or Preoccupation

This is a bit more of a nebulous category, but distraction can also be easily caused by our own mental picture. Daydreaming or distraction are particularly common for tired drivers, part of the reason you often see reminders to pull over and rest if you feel tired while driving.

Rubbernecking

It’s often used as the butt of jokes due to it’s silly-sounding name, but rubbernecking – or slowing down and losing focus on driving so as to view accidents or other things happening on the side of the road – is extremely dangerous. It’s the cause of numerous additional accidents, in fact, and is a form of distracted driving that is not viewed favorably by courts.

For more on the common types of distracted driving, or to learn about any of our car accident or personal injury attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

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Mar 14 2014

Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round


Passengers extend their trust to owners, operators and drivers each time they board a bus. They expect that the bus will be correctly designed, manufactured and operated. Passenger faith extends, as well, to those who have the task of seeing that our roadways are kept safe for travel. When these beliefs are betrayed and serious injury occurs, you may want to call William Rawlings & Associates.  We have over 35 years of success in helping people who have been harmed by the negligence of others.  We are proven Utah bus accident lawyers who take pride in handling the difficult cases all the way, to trial when needed, in order to produce a favorable outcome for you.