Jun 18 2021

Will Not Wearing a Helmet Affect Your Motorcycle Accident Claim?

If you’re a Utah motorcyclist who has been injured in a crash, you can file a motorcycle accident claim to seek out financial compensation for your losses. Your decision to ride without a helmet doesn’t take away that right.

Given the circumstances, however, recovering the amount of money to which you are legally entitled may be a challenge on your own. To understand why, take a look at the following.

Motorcycle injury lawyer Utah

Utah’s Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Riding without a helmet is permitted for some motorcyclists in Utah. Helmet use is only mandated for those under the age of 21.

In addition, the Utah motorcycle helmet statute maintains that the choice to not wear protective headgear isn’t considered to be contributory or comparative negligence on the part of a motorcyclist seeking damages. The law also asserts that the failure to wear a helmet isn’t valid evidence in a civil case.

All of the above seems to suggest that helmet use won’t be a factor in a Utah motorcycle accident claim. However, the situation isn’t really that simple.

Why Injured Motorcyclists May Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Insurance adjusters know that only motorcyclists under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet in Utah. They are also well aware that they aren’t legally allowed to use failure to wear protective headgear against a rider in an accident claim. Despite this, injured motorcyclists typically receive low settlement offers.

Why is this? Motorcyclists are less likely to win large verdicts in court, as many people have the false impression that riders are less careful than drivers of passenger cars and other vehicles. Most motorcycle accident claims don’t end up going to court, but insurance adjusters know about the stigma against motorcyclists and are therefore comfortable in offering smaller settlements.

A skilled motorcycle accident attorney can negotiate a fair settlement or, if necessary, bring the case to court. And since most Utah lawyers who specialize in this area of the law work on a contingency fee basis – providing legal representation at no upfront cost – accident attorneys fight hard to get their clients the maximum in financial compensation.

Turn to the Legal Team at William R. Rawlings & Associates

At William R. Rawlings & Associates, we offer full-service legal counsel to injured motorcyclists in Utah, Idaho and California. Our clients benefit from our 35 years of experience, and we’re proud to have a long history of successful case results.

As former insurance adjusters and insurance lawyers, we understand the tactics they use in cases involving riders not wearing helmets – and we’re ready to make the most of your motorcycle accident claim. To learn more about our law firm, or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Utah, contact us today.

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May 21 2021

Crucial Evidence for a Truck Accident Claim

If a collision involving a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler or other big rig has left you with serious injuries, you can file a truck accident claim. Doing so may provide you with compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, emotional distress and other losses resulting from the crash.

In a truck accident case, the likelihood of a successful outcome is directly related to the quality of the evidence. Working with an experienced truck accident lawyer in Salt Lake City can provide the advantage you need to maximize your award.

Read on to learn about the types of evidence that can be crucial to receiving the financial compensation you deserve.

Truck Accident Lawyer Salt Lake City

Accident Reports

The investigating police officer who responds to the scene of a collision will create an official report. A certified truck inspector may also come out to examine the big rig before it’s towed away. The information in both reports can be used as evidence in a truck accident claim.

At-the-Scene Evidence

If able, victims injured in a truck collision should take photos of the accident scene, including shots of the road and all of the vehicles involved from various angles. Getting the names and contact information for any eyewitnesses is also beneficial, as their testimony can lend credibility to the victim’s version of events.

Electronic Logs

Federal law requires commercial truck drivers to follow specific regulations, and big rigs are outfitted with Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to track their hours of service. If a truck collision occurs due to a violation, such as too much time driving without a break, this log can provide the necessary evidence for an acciden-t claim.

Recorded In-Cab Data

Some commercial trucks have in-cab cameras that face both the driver and the road. In the event of an accident, the footage captured can provide clear evidence of exactly what the driver was doing and how the vehicle’s mechanical systems were operating at the time of the collision.

Drug & Alcohol Testing

When someone is seriously injured in a truck accident, federal regulations often require that the driver of the big rig undergo a drug and alcohol test. Driving while impaired is known to reduce concentration and reaction time, and if the use of some sort of substance contributed to the collision, the test results can be valuable evidence.

Why You Need an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer

While you may be able to obtain some of the items we listed above on your own, getting your hands on other crucial evidence – namely the ELD data, in-cab videos and driver drug and alcohol testing — may require the assistance of an experienced truck accident lawyer.

In addition, an attorney can send out a document called a spoliation letter, requesting that all evidence related to the collision be preserved. If negligence or wrongful action on the part of the truck driver caused your accident, the trucking company won’t be able to legally destroy the evidence.

At William R. Rawlings & Associates, we know what it takes to achieve a successful outcome in a truck accident claim. If you’ve been injured in a big rig collision in Salt Lake City or anywhere in Utah, contact us and schedule a free consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer today.

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May 07 2021

Should You Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney?

Personal injury attorneys help accident victims obtain financial compensation for their losses. Despite knowing this – and despite the fact that lawyers typically offer free consultations — many injured individuals have doubts about whether or not to schedule an appointment.

In our opinion, no accident victim should pass on the opportunity to meet with a lawyer. If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a car, truck, motorcycle, bus or bicycle – whether as a driver, passenger or pedestrian – contacting an experienced local law firm like William R. Rawlings & Associates is to your benefit.

Personal injury lawyer Salt Lake City

Why Meeting with a Personal Injury Attorney is a Good Idea

You might hesitate to reach out to an attorney because you don’t think that the injuries you suffered are severe enough. Or, your reluctance may stem from worries about paying for legal help.

To address the first point, attorneys who specialize in personal injury law are good judges of whether or not a case warrants legal representation. When you meet with a lawyer, they’ll let you know if they can help with your claim – and you’ll get that expert opinion at no cost.

As for the second reason for not reaching out to an attorney, understanding the payment arrangement may ease your mind. Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, covering the costs of any upfront expenses and getting paid out of the settlement or jury award.

Determining if You Have a Valid Personal Injury Claim

When you meet with an attorney, they’ll review your situation to determine if you have a valid claim for compensation. Regardless of the severity of the injuries you sustained, your case needs certain elements. Your lawyer will be looking to see if they may be able to prove all of the following:

  • That you were owed a duty of care
  • That duty of care was breached
  • The breach was the cause of your injuries
  • Your injuries resulted in verifiable damages

If your attorney determines that you have a valid injury claim, they’ll offer to provide the legal help you need. But no matter what, they’ll explain what to do next.

Schedule a Free Personal Injury Attorney Consultation Today

Since you can meet with a lawyer for free – and without being obligated to their law firm – there’s really no reason not to schedule a consultation. If you’ve been injured due to another party’s negligence or wrongful action, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced local injury lawyer.

In Utah, Idaho and California, William R. Rawlings is the law firm you want on your side. We’ve been helping accident victims for over 35 years, and we fight hard to ensure that our clients receive every dollar they deserve for their damages. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a highly skilled personal injury attorney, contact us today.

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Apr 16 2021

What to Do When a Personal Injury Settlement Offer is Too Low

You’re ready to negotiate a personal injury settlement, and you’ve already sent the insurance company a formal demand letter that explains your side of the case and how much in compensation you expect to receive. You’re waiting on a response – and when it comes, you see an absurdly low settlement offer.

What should you do?

Personal injury settlements

Don’t Accept a Low Settlement Offer

Insurance adjusters often propose personal injury settlement amounts that are quite unreasonable. This is to be expected, as their job is to preserve the company’s bottom line.

If you believe the initial amount offered is too low, don’t worry – you’re under no obligation to accept this or any other settlement offer from the insurance company. Instead, consider the offer to be the starting point for negotiations.

How to Handle the Situation

You deserve to receive fair compensation for your injuries. When faced with a low settlement offer, take the following steps:

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

You may have been handling your own claim up until this point, but now’s the time to get an experienced personal injury attorney involved. A legal professional who specializes in this area of the law can provide you with the personalized advice and guidance you need to negotiate a good settlement.

Analyze the Settlement Offer

Before drafting a formal response to the insurance company, your attorney will help you thoroughly examine the initial offer. Doing so could shed light on the basis for the low settlement amount, which may stem from insufficient information regarding your injuries or losses. And by analyzing the offer, you’ll be better able to develop a solid response.

Formulate a Counteroffer

Your attorney will calculate all of your economic and non-economic damages. Using this information and considering other factors – such as the insurance policy limits and, if necessary, the personal assets of the at-fault party – they’ll help you decide on a fair counteroffer. Your attorney will also respond to the insurer on your behalf.

What if Settlement Negotiations Fail?

Negotiations are a standard part of the personal injury settlement process, and you may end up receiving and rejecting multiple offers as your case progresses. Your attorney will offer advice on whether or not to accept a settlement, but at the end of the day, the decision is yours.

If the insurance company ultimately refuses to put a reasonable offer on the table, your attorney may recommend that you file a lawsuit. And while there’s no guarantee that you’ll win in court, you can expect your attorney to fight to get you every dollar you deserve.

Dealing with an insurance company and negotiating a settlement is never easy on your own. Turn to William R. Rawlings & Associates, and you’ll have the expert legal representation you need to get fair financial compensation for your injuries and losses.

In Utah, Idaho and California, our personal injury attorneys have been helping injured victims for over 35 years, and we’d love to put our experience to work for you. For a free consultation to discuss personal injury settlement negotiations, contact us today.

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Apr 02 2021

A Look at Loss of Consortium Damages in Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims seek to reimburse victims for their losses – and in many cases, the person injured in an accident isn’t the only one able to pursue financial compensation.

Serious injuries can have a permanent impact on personal relationships. As such, most jurisdictions allow spouses of accident victims to recover loss of consortium damages. In some states, parents or other close family members can also receive compensation. Below, you’ll find the basics on consortium damages in personal injury claims.

Do I have a loss of consortium claim

What are Consortium Damages?

The purpose of consortium damages in a personal injury case is to provide compensation for losses suffered on the part of the accident victim’s spouse or family. Loss of consortium claims can include any or all of the following:

  • Loss of services, or the reasonable value of household chores and childcare formerly handled by the injured victim
  • Loss of support, which refers to the deprivation of companionship, comfort, guidance and care as a result of the accident
  • Loss of quality in the relationship, involving the victim’s inability to provide the same level of love and affection or their sexual constraints

Proving Loss of Consortium

First of all, a claim for loss of consortium can only be made if the accident victim wins their personal injury case. But that isn’t the only hurdle that comes with these types of claims.

As with other non-economic damages – such as pain and suffering and emotional distress – loss of consortium can be difficult to prove. Making a successful claim requires demonstrating the following:

  • The validity of the relationship
  • The party bringing the claim has suffered losses
  • The victim’s injuries are the cause of damaged relationship

In determining whether or not to award consortium damages, the court will take a great deal of information into consideration. The factors that are likely to play a major role in the decision include:

  • The length and stability of the personal relationship
  • The victim’s household responsibilities prior to the accident
  • The life expectancies of the victim and the party bringing the claim
  • The type of care and companionship between the two individuals

Get the Legal Help You Need

If one of your loved ones was seriously injured in an accident, you may be eligible for loss of consortium damages. Obtaining the compensation you both deserve isn’t going to be easy, but an experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to build a strong case.

To get expert legal help in California, Idaho or Utah, turn to the professional team at William R. Rawlings & Associates. We’ve been helping accident victims with personal injury claims for over 35 years, and we have considerable experience working with cases involving loss of consortium damages. Browse our impressive list of past case results and see for yourself how hard we work to get results for our clients.

For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today.

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Feb 19 2021

Tips for Building a Strong Personal Injury Case

When you’ve been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may want an experienced lawyer to represent you in your personal injury case. With a skilled legal professional handling your claim, you’ll increase the likelihood of obtaining fair financial compensation for your losses.

However, there are steps you can take to strengthen your case. Below are several ways to help your personal injury lawyer make the most of your legal claim.

Tips for Building a Strong Personal Injury Case

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Getting medical treatment directly after being injured in an accident is imperative. The more time that passes, the more difficult it may be for your personal injury lawyer to link the injuries you’ve suffered to the incident.

Be Completely Honest

When consulting with medical professionals, explain your injuries and symptoms in a clear, straightforward manner. Don’t withhold any information, but make sure not to exaggerate, either. You’ll need your doctor’s corroboration, so honesty is the best policy.

Follow All Medical Advice

If your doctor advises you to stay out of work for a certain amount of time or recommends physical therapy, that’s what you should do. Comply with all of their orders, keeping every appointment, and you’ll be helping to build a solid legal claim.

Get Written Excuses for Work

In the event your injuries force you to miss work, lost wages may be a major factor in your personal injury case. Having proof of the time you were out of work can be beneficial, so even if your employer doesn’t require a written excuse, ask your doctor to provide one.

Take Photos of Your Injuries

Any experienced personal injury lawyer will tell you that photos can strengthen a legal claim. Cases can take a long time to resolve, and by the time you reach a settlement or head to court, you may be nearly healed. So, it’s a good idea to snap pictures of your injuries right after your accident, and to continue taking photos as they heal or worsen.

Put the Details in Writing

Memories can get fuzzy as time goes on. To make sure you don’t forget anything about the accident, put the details down in writing. While you’re at it, you may want to start a daily journal to explain the pain and suffering you’re experiencing. Expressing exactly how you’re feeling could help your personal injury lawyer establish a strong case.

Do you need expert legal assistance? If you’ve been injured in an accident in California, Idaho or Utah, William R. Rawlings & Associates is here to meet your needs.

We aggressively fight for the maximum financial compensation, working hard to get every dollar our clients deserve – and we don’t charge a fee unless we’re able to achieve a successful case outcome. For more information about our personal injury law firm, or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney, contact us 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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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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Oct 16 2020

Personal Injury Lawyer Costs – How Contingency Fees Work

Many accident victims refrain from contacting a personal injury lawyer because they don’t have money to pay for legal services. However, a lack of financial resources doesn’t have to stop you from getting the assistance you need.

Hire an attorney who works on a contingency fee basis – like the team at William R. Rawlings & Associates — and you won’t need to worry about upfront fees. Below, we explain how this type of payment arrangement works.

How much does a personal injury lawyer cost

Contingency Fee Arrangements

When a personal injury lawyer takes on your case, you’ll be asked to sign a contingency fee agreement. Essentially, this document states that you’ll be provided with legal representation at no upfront cost. In the event your attorney wins your case, the arrangement establishes the amount they’ll receive – typically, this is a percentage of the damages awarded.

As a general rule, attorneys who offer contingency fee arrangements only accept cases in which they’re confident they can achieve a favorable outcome. And since they earn nothing unless they win, you can count on your lawyer making every effort to ensure that happens.

Costs Personal Injury Lawyers Cover

Personal injury attorneys who work on a contingency fee basis don’t require their clients to put down a deposit or retainer. Nor do they ask their clients for any money for costs incurred during the course of representation. Your lawyer will most likely cover any and all upfront expenses, including:

  • Court filing fees
  • Document fees
  • Deposition fees
  • Traveling costs
  • Expert witnesses
  • Accident investigators

When Contingency Fees are Paid

If your personal injury attorney wins your case, you won’t be hit with a hefty bill for the legal services rendered. Your lawyer’s fee, along with expenses and litigation costs, will be deducted from your settlement or, if your case goes to trial, the total jury award.

What happens if your case ends without a win? You get no financial compensation – but neither does your lawyer. You may still be responsible for court fees and certain expenses, which we’re sure is news you didn’t want to hear. However, your attorney won’t get paid at all if they lose your case, regardless of how long the legal process took. As such, they have a tremendous incentive to make sure you receive a fair settlement or favorable jury verdict.

The experienced professional team at William R. Rawlings & Associates is here to help you fight for the compensation you deserve – and we provide our services on a contingency fee basis to make quality legal representation easily accessible to residents of Utah, California and Idaho. For more information, or to schedule a free personal injury lawyer consultation, contact us today.

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