Nov 25 2018

Basic Stages of Personal Injury Cases

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we’re proud to offer the highest quality personal injury attorney services available in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas. We’ve helped hundreds of clients with their cases over nearly 40 years in the field, from walking them through the basics of the procedure to aggressively negotiation fair settlements when appropriate.

For those who luckily haven’t dealt with such a case in the past, the process of a personal injury procedure can be unfamiliar. Let’s go over the simple stages of the process, which will vary depending on whether the two sides are or aren’t able to arrive at a settlement.

stages personal injury cases

Pretrial

To begin with, attorneys from both sides of the case will convene with their clients to find out their versions of the facts and what evidence is available. After this is done, conferences and motions may be held in front of a judge or magistrate, which can be requested by either attorney or even the court itself.

These meetings may be held for several reasons, including expediting some part of the case, discouraging any meaningless pretrial activities, improving trial preparation, or often to help bring along a settlement in the case.

Negotiations

After pretrial motions and meetings have been completed, both attorneys will convene for an important negotiation stage. This is where they will attempt to reach an agreement that both clients are okay with, which will allow a trial to be avoided and a settlement to be completed. At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, over 98 percent of our cases are able to be settled before ever reaching a lengthy and often burdensome trial phase, getting our clients their due compensation without a drawn-out process.

Litigation/Trial

In cases where a settlement cannot be agreed upon, a trial will be needed. This will be held in front of just a judge in most cases, though certain localities allow either party to request a jury as well. The plaintiff presents their case first, followed by the defense. Witnesses can be called to help present evidence or facts, and can be cross-examined.

Settlement or Final Arguments

In cases where a settlement was reached during the negotiation stage, the litigation stage will be skipped and we’ll move directly toward finalizing the settlement. The proper documents will be signed, including the method and time period for fund disbursement.

For cases that go to trial, attorneys for both clients will give their final arguments. At this point, they will await the judgement from the judge or jury in the case.

Appeal or Post-Judgement Motions

Settled cases are done once the papers are signed, but trial cases may have a few post-judgement areas to consider. Attorneys for either side might appeal a non-favorable judgement, or may motion for a new trial based on a few different causes.

For more on the stages of a personal injury case, or to learn about any of our personal injury, car accident or wrongful death attorney services, speak to the pros at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

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Nov 05 2018

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

As some of the biggest vehicles on the road, accidents involving trucks and other big rigs can be some of the largest and most complex. This is particularly true if you’re injured in an accident involving a truck or commercial vehicle of any kind, which is generally defined as any vehicle with a gross weight of 26,000 pounds or greater.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC, we’re here to help if you’ve been in a truck accident and need an attorney to represent your interests. Our truck accident lawyers have been helping clients get their just compensation for over 35 years, whether the accident involved a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer or some other type of commercial vehicle. Let’s look at three of the most common causes of these accidents, and whether or not you’re likely to have a good claim if you’re involved in an accident with one of these causes.

causes truck accidents

Driver Errors

The most common cause of an accident involving a truck or larger commercial vehicle is a driver error of some kind, and there are several different possible areas here. Some of these relate to the truck’s far larger turning radius, which makes it a very different type of vehicle to drive than a passenger sedan or even an SUV. This is exacerbated if trucks have trailers attacked to them.

In addition, some trucking companies subject their drivers to long hours – there have been some cases where those injured by a truck in an accident have actually been able to recover damages from the parent trucking company, rather than the driver themselves, when it was found that unreasonable driving expectations led to driver fatigue that may have caused the accident. But in other cases, aggressive or distracted driving by the driver themselves will leave them liable for your damages.

Weather Issues

Just like other vehicle types, bad weather can impact driving safety and can even cause accidents in some cases. But once again, this can be exacerbated for larger trucks, which don’t handle as well and are more prone to slipping and sliding once they lose control.

Whether or not you’ll be due damages if you’re injured in a truck accident caused by weather can be a bit more complex than other accident causes. If you can prove that the driver should have known the risks of extreme weather and should never have been driving to begin with, you might have a good case. But this isn’t always possible – contact our experts to find out what your options are here.

Mechanical Problems

In other situations, mechanical failures of some kind – such as a flat tire or worn brakes – may contribute to a truck-related accident. Liability here will generally come down to whether you can prove that the driver or trucking company should reasonably have known about these issues beforehand and taken steps to correct them; once again, our attorneys can inform you of whether you have a good case based on your specifics.

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

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Sep 12 2018

Basics of Slip and Fall Accidents

As those who have experience in the legal field will know, personal injury is a wide category that contains a number of different possible circumstances. There are a number of different ways one can be injured or experience harm due to negligence or liability on the part of another person or entity, and we’re lucky to live in a system that allows people to be justly compensated when this happens.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we have a personal injury lawyer available to you regardless of your specific injury or issue. Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident or through some other cause, we’ll represent you aggressively and help you get the compensation you’re owed – almost always without the hassle of a trial, too.

One type of personal injury that’s more common than you might think? Slip and fall injuries, which cause over 1 million hospital visits every year that often come with significant resulting costs. There might be times where a fall you sustained was simply your own fault and there’s nothing that can be done, but in other situations, your fall and resulting injuries may have been caused by negligence. Let’s look at some steps to take and important information if you think your slip and fall was caused by negligence of an outside party.

Immediate Steps to Take

Some of the most important moments for your potential personal injury case will come directly following the injury itself. Make sure to immediately seek medical attention for any injuries, and to also notify the manager or entity in charge of the property so they can fill out an accident report. Make sure you get records of each of these things.

One important note: Even if you don’t feel major pain at the time of the accident, you should still take the steps we just listed. Some medical symptoms may not show up until later, and even if they don’t, documenting the fact that you sought this attention could be important for your case.

Proving Property Liability

To receive compensation for a slip and fall injury, you have to be able to prove that the property owner failed to create a safe environment. This might mean a restaurant with wet floors, for instance, or a hardware store with blocked aisles or falling products. You have to not only prove that these conditions existed, but that management either knew or should have known about them.

For this reason, a few different evidence types may be used:

  • Incident reports from the scene
  • Statements from witnesses
  • Photo or video evidence available
  • Documentation such as bills, reports, emails or others that help prove management was or should have been aware of possible dangers on the property

Statements and Information

One important note here: Like in many other kinds of personal injury cases, you have to be careful about who you talk to in the immediate aftermath of the accident. You should speak to medical professionals and any law enforcement, of course, but be cautious beyond this. Any statements you make can be used against you, and some insurance companies will preemptively try to contact you to get you to make statements that they’ll then attempt to use to limit their own liability.

Our best advice: Once you’ve spoken to the proper first responders, immediately contact the offices of William Rawlings & Associates for a personal injury attorney. To learn more about slip and fall accidents or any of our other personal injury services, contact our offices today.

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Aug 10 2018

Spotting Signs of Drunk Driving

A staggering and unfortunate number of auto accident cases and deaths every year are caused by impaired or drunk drivers. Despite major efforts from major organizations to curb this issue, it still remains a large one on roads across the country.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC, we’re here to help if you’re ever part of a car accident caused by a drunk driver, and particularly if you’ve sustained injury. The best way to avoid this kind of emotional and physical pain, though, is to avoid the drunk driver altogether. With that in mind, here are some common signs to look out for that might signal an impaired driver on the road with you, plus how to react if you notice these signs.

Signs of Impaired Driving

We can’t always physically see someone consuming alcohol and then getting in the car to drive, so we often have to base this on driving and behavior. Here are some signs that a person might be intoxicated behind the wheel (these are the kinds of signals police and other law enforcement agents look out for):

  • Quick accelerations or decelerations
  • Weaving or swerving across lanes of traffic or into the shoulder
  • Erratic braking
  • Tailgating
  • Failing to signal
  • Driving in more than one lane at a time
  • Near-miss collisions with other vehicles or other objects
  • Driving more than 10 mph below the speed limit
  • Not turning on headlights at night
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Making illegal or abrupt turns

How to React

Even if you aren’t 100 percent sure that the above signs signal a drunk driver on the road with you, they clearly signal an unsafe driver. So how should you respond if you see them?

The first and most important response is staying clear – behind the erratic vehicle. Don’t try to pass them or interfere in any way. If you’re able to obtain their car info, such as make and model or license plate, take this information and then alert police from a safe and stopped location (unless you have a passenger with you in the car who can call while you drive).

What to Do If You’re Injured

In the rare case that you’re part of an accident or injured in any way by a suspected drunk driver, do whatever is in your power to collect all possible documentation. You likely have the right to sue the negligent driver. Once you’ve contacted the proper authorities and received attention for any injuries, contact our offices right away to learn about how our personal injury attorney can help.

For more on spotting a drunk driver, or for any of our personal injury, wrongful death or auto accident attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

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Mar 20 2017

Drive Defensively Around Semi-Trucks

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Trucking accidents are usually much more severe than any other auto accidents. This could be due to the fact that semi-trucks weigh about 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. Since other cars usually weigh significantly less, their damage is much more severe. William Rawlings & Associates has handled hundreds of injury cases involving semi-trucks.  We know the laws that govern these truck drivers and their responsibility while on the road.  Put our experienced Semi-truck accident lawyers on your side.

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Feb 13 2017

We Are The Right Semi Truck Accident Attorneys For You

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William R Rawlings and Associates are your best choice for experienced Utah semi-truck accident attorneys. When you team up with us you can expect the best.  We’ll answer your questions and address your concerns throughout the entire process.

We’ll pull together the information needed to build your case, including examining the accident scene and vehicles involved, gathering and evaluating physical evidence and eyewitness testimony, etc. Our experts will stand up to the trucking company’s experts.  We’ll make sure the trucking and insurance companies play by the rules and treat you fairly.  We’ll help you get what you need to recover your old life or adapt to a new one.

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Feb 06 2017

Back Injury Lawyers:  Spinal Cord and Paralysis Injuries

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A spinal cord injury means living with a permanent, debilitating condition that impacts every part of your life for the rest of your life. Contact our experienced, award winning  injury lawyers and let us help you figure out your options and how to move forward.  Our experienced Utah based spinal cord and paralysis lawyers are here to help.

Spinal cord injuries are usually caused by auto accidents, falls, physical assault, and other accidents.  Whatever the cause, a spinal cord injury leaves the victim either partly paralyzed (paraplegia) or completely paralyzed (quadriplegia or tetraplegia). Both conditions require life-long care and destroy your ability to lead an independent life.

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Jan 23 2017

Commercial Truck Lawyers

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Commercial vehicle accidents involve vehicles that are owned and/or operated by a business, frequently semi-trucks, delivery trucks, dump trucks, or similar large vehicles. Let our award winning, experienced lawyers help you protect your rights and get what you deserve so you can rebuild your life and move forward.

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Dec 22 2016

Making the Record:  Car, Truck and Motorcycle Accidents.

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In a previous post we began the discussion of how to ensure your medical record helps you following a catastrophic injury.  When presented to a judge or jury, your medical record should “tell the story” of how your injury was inflicted and what steps you undertook to obtain restoration and healing.

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Dec 15 2016

Catastrophic Injuries : Auto, Truck or Motorcycle Accident

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Following a catastrophic personal injury, it is so important that your medical record tells the story of your injury accident.  Your catastrophic injury medical record begins to be created the moment you first seek treatment following an accident. (If you have a preexisting condition that is exacerbated by the injury accident, then your medical record should encompass all treatment you received for this preexisting condition, as well.) One of the tasks of the injury victim is to build as thorough of a record as possible. The more complete the medical record, the greater the likelihood is that the victim will be able to recover compensation.

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