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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.