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There are a few different conditions or disorders that may arise from various traumatic events, and one that's somewhat well known is PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Can PTSD symptoms be considered part of personal injury cases when a claim is being made against another party for a given incident?

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we assist clients around Salt Lake City, Draper, Provo and nearby parts of Utah with all their personal injury attorney needs, covering cases ranging from car and truck accidents to dog bite injuries, child injuries, wrongful death and more. We're here to tell you that yes, PTSD symptoms can often be included as part of your claim against another party for negligence or other liability - our attorneys will be happy to walk you through this entire process if you believe PTSD to be part of your symptoms. Here are some basics to keep in mind if your case may include this sort of thing.

PTSD claims personal injury

Two Kinds of PTSD Claims

There are two broad types of PTSD claims that may be used in personal injury cases:

Properly Documenting PTSD

If you believe you may be suffering from PTSD related to a given incident, the first step is always seeking proper medical care from professionals who can properly diagnose and document your condition. This documentation will be key in any personal injury case where PTSD is involved - without it, proving that you're owed damages for this type of pain and suffering will be very difficult.

This documentation may include:

Proving PTSD

When it comes to actually proving that PTSD was caused by a given incident or series of incidents, the burden is on the plaintiff (you) to do so. This will generally come down to testimony and documentation from medical professionals, along with any other evidence you can provide.

There are a couple witness types you may utilize here, depending on the specifics of the case:

For instance, a therapist is a common example of an expert witness in PTSD cases, providing valuable insight into the origin and impact of your symptoms. A therapist may be called to testify that your PTSD symptoms are a direct result of the traumatic event in question, as well as to explain how these symptoms have impacted your daily life and ability to function. This testimony won't necessarily be the only or even the largest factor in proving your case, but it will play a significant role in convincing the court that you're owed damages for these symptoms.

In addition to expert witnesses, other evidence like medical records, personal journals or even testimony from friends and family can also help support your claim for PTSD in a personal injury case.

The key is building a strong case with all the necessary documentation and testimony, which is something our attorneys excel at here at William Rawlings & Associates. We're proud to help clients secure the compensation they deserve for all their personal injury needs, including those related to PTSD and other trauma-induced conditions. So if you believe that your PTSD symptoms are a result of someone else's negligence or wrongdoing, don't hesitate to reach out to us for assistance in building your case - we serve clients around SLC, Draper, Provo and nearby parts of Utah.

While it's somewhat common (and understandable) to hear people complain about the areas of their lives that insurance doesn't cover, there's actually a flip side to this as well. There are a number of injury types that you may not have ever thought would be covered by insurance, but actually are - including several common injury types that often result in personal injury claims. 

At William Rawlings & Associates, we have decades of experience dealing with insurance companies as we strive for just compensation for our personal injury clients around Salt Lake City, Draper, Provo and other parts of Utah. While many of our cases are in more well-known areas like car accidents or child injuries, we also help with lesser-known case types like passenger claims, malpractice suits and more. Whether it's your insurance or the insurance of a different liable party that's providing the compensation, here are several examples of surprising injury types you may not have realized are often covered by insurance.

injuries slip fall cases

Passenger Accident Claims

As we alluded to above, a great example here is passenger claims. What happens if you're not the driver in a car accident, but rather are just an innocent passenger – perhaps even with no control over the vehicle at all? 

In these cases, insurance companies will often provide coverage for personal injuries that occur to passengers, as long as they were not behaving negligently themselves. In cases where it's determined that a separate party in a different vehicle caused the accident, they may be responsible for your compensation via their insurance even if you were a passenger in a car that wasn't theirs. 

Dog Bites

Many people don't realize this, but dog bites are actually covered by homeowner's insurance in most cases. This includes both incidents that occur on the owner's property and those where the dog is taken off-site, such as to a park. Dog bite claims often include not just physical injuries, but also property damage or trauma compensation as well.

Once again, it's important to note that in some cases, the owner's insurance may not cover bites if they occur due to negligence or intentional harm. But more often than not, dog bite claims are eligible for compensation from insurance providers. 

Defective Product Injuries

There are a few parties that may be considered at fault for injuries that occur due to a defective product: The manufacturer, the distributor or the seller of the product. In many cases, these parties will have some form of insurance coverage that can provide compensation for any resulting personal injuries. 

This is especially important to note if you've been injured by a defective product and are considering filing a lawsuit – even if it's not clear at first who the liable party is, it's often possible to receive compensation from some form of insurance coverage. Make sure to discuss this with your personal injury attorney as you consider your options for seeking compensation. 

Medical Malpractice

Another common area where people may not realize insurance is often involved: Medical malpractice. In many states, doctors and medical professionals are required to carry malpractice insurance as a form of financial protection for those who may be injured in their care. 

This means that if you suffer an injury or illness due to negligence or error by your doctor, you may be eligible for compensation from their insurance company. This also includes professionals like dentists, therapists, and nurses. 

Slips and Falls

Depending on the circumstances, injuries that occur due to slip and fall accidents may also be covered by insurance. For example, if a business owner is found negligent in maintaining safe conditions on their property and you suffer an injury as a result, their liability insurance may cover your medical expenses or other damages. 

Injuries Usually Not Covered

While we've spent most of this blog going over injuries that are often covered by insurance in some way, here are some examples of those on the flip side - that will almost never be covered:

It's important to understand the extent of insurance coverage when it comes to personal injury claims. While there are many common injury types that are often covered, there are also several that typically are not. 

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we are dedicated to helping our clients receive the compensation they deserve for their personal injuries. Our experienced team is well-versed in dealing with insurance companies and will work tirelessly to fight for your rights and just compensation. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury around SLC, Draper, Provo or any other part of Utah, contact us today for a free consultation.

There are a number of situations where determining liability for an injury or accident is important, and one good example is any case where you or a loved one has been attacked or bitten by someone else's dog. While most would naturally assume that the owner of the other dog will usually be liable in such cases, it's important to know the actual law when proceeding in any such situation. 

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we're proud to offer quality attorney services for a variety of personal injury cases throughout Utah, including dog bite and animal attack attorney solutions. Luckily, Utah's liability laws in such cases are fairly straightforward -- and they're some of the most beneficial in the country to the victims of such attacks, ensuring they get the proper compensation for their injuries and hardship. Let's go over how these laws work and how liability is considered for any dog or animal attack, plus what you should be doing to ensure you get the right compensation if you're a victim in one of these.

liability dog bite cases

Utah's Liability Laws for Dog Bites

Unlike some other states, which have a "One Bite Rule" that only holds the dog's owner liable for an attack if the dog has previously attacked someone or shown aggression, Utah operates on a strict liability standard, which means that the owner of the dog is held liable for an attack regardless of what their pet has done in the past. This makes it easier to hold owners accountable and get compensation for your injuries if you or someone you care about gets bit by another person's dog or other animal.

It's important to note that several forms of protection dog owners may try to use in such cases are not actually viable. For instance, a "Beware of Dog" sign is not a guarantee of protection from liability, and an owner cannot claim that you were trespassing on their property (or even in their yard) if it comes to a legal case.

Furthermore, your burden of proof is generally fairly low in these cases. You do not have to prove any negligence on the part of the dog owner, and you do not have to show that they were aware their dog was a danger to others. You simply need to prove that you or your loved one has been bitten by the other person's dog.

Comparative Negligence

Now, it should be noted that there are some protections in place for dog owners here as well, especially in cases where attacks were specifically provoked. The key term here is "comparative negligence," which states that if the victim of the attack was more than 50% at fault for the attack and subsequent injuries, then they will not be eligible for any compensation.

Provocation here may include things like hitting, teasing or otherwise interfering with the dog. Petting a dog typically will not qualify, unless the dog's owner specifically warned the victim not to do so. Finally, in cases where the victim is a child, comparative negligence typically is not considered, as children often are not old enough to understand this concept.

Criminal Damages

They're somewhat rare, but Utah law does allow for criminal penalties (and fines) to be applied against a dog owner who is found liable for an attack or bite. The state also allows any victim of such an incident to file a civil lawsuit and seek damages from the other party in that situation as well.

In extreme cases, there may also be an order to put the dog down if it's shown extreme aggression in multiple situations. However, courts will typically only use this option as a last resort.

Statute of Limitations

Now, these cases do come with limitations on how long after the incident a case can be filed. In Utah, you have four years from the date of the attack to file a civil lawsuit, meaning the courts will not consider any case after that. There are also statutory caps on non-economic damages (pain and suffering) in these cases as well.

This is one area where working with a quality personal injury attorney will be key, as they will know exactly how to build a strong case for you and help you understand your rights.

Kinds of Compensation You May Be Eligible For

If you've been the victim of a dog bite attack and someone else is found liable, you may be eligible for several different kinds of compensation:

In any case involving a dog bite or an injury from one, getting the help of a personal injury attorney is a vital step in ensuring you get the right representation. For more on this, or to learn about any of our dog bite or other personal injury attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the specific statutes and laws that govern common personal injury cases in Utah. Every state has different rules and regulations for these areas, and these can vary pretty significantly even between states that share borders.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, our personal injury attorneys are here to help you manage any case within our purview, from auto accident cases to wrongful death, dog bite or attack situations and many others. In today’s part two, we’ll go over a few additional areas to be aware of that pertain specifically to the way Utah state law treats certain kinds of personal injury cases.

utah’s personal injury laws

Dog Bite Liability Laws

There are many states in the US that observe that’s known as a “one bite” rule. This rule allows protection for dog owners for only the very first time their dog bites someone, so long as there is no apparent reason the owner could have suspected the dog to be dangerous.

In Utah, though, there is no such rule. In particular, part of the Utah state code makes dog owners strictly liable for their animal’s behavior, even if there is no past history of aggression or violence. If you are bitten by someone else’s dog, there is no burden of proof required that the dog was vicious or violent or that the owner knew about it – the owner of the dog is liable regardless.

Government-Involved Injury Cases

In cases where you are injured or harmed in some way due to negligence from a government employee or agency in Utah, it’s important to know that a different set of standards will be applied to your case. One major area to note here is the time period, which differs from traditional personal injury cases – you have a full year to file a claim in these cases, plus another year to file an appeal if your claim is denied originally.

Our attorneys can provide you with further information on government-related cases if needed.

Medical Malpractice Injury Damage Caps

Along with many other states, Utah places a cap or limit on certain kinds of damages in personal injury cases – namely non-economic or “pain and suffering” damages for medical malpractice. In such cases, the cap for damages is $450,000 so long as the issue occurred on or after May 15, 2010. If the issue occurred before then, there is a sliding scale used that our attorneys will explain to you. This cap, however, does not apply to economic or punitive damages, and only applies to medical malpractice, not all personal injury cases.

For more on specific Utah laws that govern certain personal injury areas, or to learn about any of our attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

Hopefully this never happens to you, but if you’re ever bitten or otherwise injured by someone else’s dog, it’s possible this party will be liable for your injuries. Dog owners are generally liable for these kinds of injuries with a few exceptions (trespassing, abuse or taunting of the dog, etc.), and this liability may extend all the way to future pain and suffering just like many other personal injury case types.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we our personal injury attorneys are here to help if you’ve been injured in a dog bite case. How should you respond if you’re bitten or otherwise injured by a dog that isn’t yours? Here are some important areas to make sure you cover.

proper action after dog bite

Seeking Medical Attention

The most important thing after any injury is your own health and safety, and you should see to this first. Seek medical attention right away if your injuries justify it – this includes any puncture wound, even if it doesn’t seem too serious. This is because you never know the cleanliness of that dog’s mouth (it’s likely not great), and you could be at risk for infection even for smaller wounds that aren’t bleeding much.

Wherever possible while seeking medical attention, look for ways to document the services you receive. If you have to attend a hospital or doctor’s office, ask for copies of your bills with detailed lists of the injuries treated. In cases where your face is injured by the dog, you might consider a plastic surgeon for cosmetic areas that standard doctors are not trained on.

Collecting Information

As quickly as possible once you’ve addressed any injuries and are sure you’re safe, begin to obtain information on the incident. The most important piece of information here is on the dog itself and its owner, which will enable you to find out whether there’s a rabies risk or the possibility of other disease.

You should also, however, collect information on the entire circumstance. If any witnesses were present, take their names and ensure they speak with any investigators on the scene – if none are present and witnesses are looking to leave, try to convince them to stay or take their statement yourself.

Reporting to Animal Control

While all dog bite incidents should be reported to animal control, this is of particular importance if you’re not able to identify the owner of the animal. In these cases, it’s imperative that the animal be located and tested for rabies or other conditions that could harm the public.

Legal Assistance

And finally, if you feel you may have a liability case against the dog’s owner, you should immediately contact our offices. We have several great dog bite lawyer options available for you, with significant experience in the field and proving fault to help you get the compensation you deserve.

For more on this, or to learn about any of our personal injury attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we’ve seen virtually every variety of personal injury case out there. While the most common in this category are car accidents and those involving other vehicle types, we also handle cases involving various other injuries, dog bite claims and even trampoline-related injuries.

The moral of the story here: You can be injured in many situations, and just because yours isn’t one of the most common for a personal injury case doesn’t mean you can’t receive compensation if another party was at fault for your injuries. One great example of this is with injuries sustained at a sporting event – let’s go over when you may or may not have liability claims in these relatively unique circumstances.
sporting events personal injury liability

Assumption of Risk

It’s important to note that when you attend a sporting event, particularly one put on by a professional-level team like the Utah Jazz or Real Salt Lake, there’s a legal element known as “assumption of risk” that you are taking. This assumption will generally be expressed in several areas: On your tickets themselves, plus at multiple locations within the arena or stadium. They will also generally be repeated by a public service announcer at some point before the event begins.
Generally speaking, these assumptions cover the reasonable, inherent risks presented by whatever sport you’re viewing. If you’re at a baseball game, then, it’s reasonable to expect that baseballs may fly into the crowd at some point, and you have to be watching for them – if you’re hit by one and weren’t paying attention, you won’t have a claim against the ballpark, for instance. This same level of reasonable assumption applies to any sport based on the basic rules, fields and materials used during play.

Exceptions to Risk Assumption

Now, assumption of risk is not a cover-all rule for arenas or the groups putting on these events. There’s also a reasonable expectation that the venue provide the adequate protections that should be in place.
Take a hockey rink, for example, which in recent decades have all installed protective nettings behind each goal to stop speeding pucks from flying up into the crowd and hitting spectators. If this netting is faulty in a rink you attend and results in a puck injuring you, you very well might have a liability claim against the venue.

Unforeseeable Events

There are other cases where events no one could have predicted lead to injury cases. Often these are incidents between fans, such as fights or similar events. If you’re unsure whether such an event qualifies, ask one of our personal injury lawyers, who can clarify for you.

Safe, Secure Facility

Finally, as we touched on above, it’s the venue’s responsibility to provide a safe and secure facility. This means well-maintained premises, including proper lighting and a maintenance staff that keeps walkways and other public areas clear. It also means hiring and maintaining proper security – certain personal injury cases involving sporting events related to issues where non-adequate security was present to prevent an incident.

For more on whether or not an injury sustained at a sporting event might leave you with a personal injury claim, or for information on any of our personal injury attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

If you’re bitten by a dog that isn’t yours, you could be entitled to significant damages and compensation for your injuries and hardship. At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC, we have years of experience providing dog bite attorney services to clients in need.

We can walk you through every step of a process you need to navigate carefully to ensure you receive what you deserve. Let’s go over some of the important steps of the insurance claims adjustment process some of our clients tend to struggle with, plus how to handle them properly.

Call from Adjuster

In most dog bite situations, claims will be filed against the homeowner’s insurance policy of the owner of the dog. From here, this insurance company will likely call you – the person making this call is called a claims adjuster.

During this phone call, you will not be asked to negotiate a settlement – that should never be an option without your dog bite lawyer also present. Rather, this call is to gather basic facts about the incident and prepare the claim for the next steps.

Recorded Statement

During this call, you’ll be given the option to record a statement about the incident where the adjuster asks you questions. Firstly, know this: If you don’t feel you’re ready to do this for whatever reason, you’re within your rights to delay this statement. Your attorney or significant other can pass on the message that you need more time before giving an official statement if you aren’t able to do so. Remember that this statement is binding in court, so you should be fully prepared when you give it.

Staying Professional

Questions during this adjuster call may become relatively personal, and it’s even possible the process could be contentious to some small degree. No matter what, you have to stay professional and smart – we’ve seen cases where frustration or simple misunderstanding has led to a victim misunderstanding and actually proposing illegal or unethical solutions to the adjuster, thereby damaging their case. Your dog bite attorney can explain areas you should avoid or be careful in before your call.

Don’t Exaggerate

Never embellish even tiny details of your case during the adjustment process. If anyone finds out, not only could your claim be in trouble, but you could face legal action for filing a false claim. If you truly were harmed outside your own fault in a dog bite case, the real facts will be enough to get you the proper compensation.

For more on the claims adjuster period within dog bite cases, or to learn about any of our personal injury services, speak to the pros at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC.

dog bites

Some dogs are attracted to moving bikes, shiny spokes, spinning wheels, tires and chains. The question is this: If a dog runs after you while you are riding your bike, what is the best way to handle it? Having a dog or several dogs charging at you can be a very frightening experience.  I know from experience how this feels, as it has happened to me on a few occasions.  It is never a good idea to attempt to get away from a running dog.  Dogs are hunters by nature and have an amazing ability to pick the right angle to catch you as you are riding.  You are more likely to crash and then be confronted with an angry dog, not a good combination.  You should safely come to a stop and put your bike between the dog and you.  If you happen to carry around dog treats for occasions such as this, it would be a good time to throw one far away from you.


If you or someone you know has been involved in a dog bite or animal attack in Utah, we can assist you with your claim. Our Salt Lake City dog bite lawyers will use our decades of experience to get your claim resolved.   We never ask for money up front. We advance all fees and hire expert witnesses to help strengthen your dog bite case. At the conclusion of the case, our firm will be reimbursed through your recovery.  You do not owe us anything until your case is settled.


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