Sep 27 2022

Utah Truck Accident Lawyers Discuss Personal Injury Damages

Have you been seriously injured in a Utah truck accident? Lawyers know the ins and outs of personal injury cases, and turning to an experienced local attorney is the best way to get the information and advice you need.

That said, injuries like yours might have you worried about the costs of medical care and your inability to work – and learning about the damages you may be entitled to may help ease your mind. Here, the experienced legal team at William R. Rawlings & Associates explains the basics.

truck accident lawyer Utah

What are Damages in a Truck Accident?

Personal injury lawyers use the term “damages” to refer to the monetary compensation an accident victim can pursue for their injuries and financial losses.

Personal injury cases are meant to hold a party or parties accountable for their actions, and to recover damages, you must be able to prove that someone else’s negligence directly led to the trucking accident and the injuries you suffered.

What if Multiple Parties are to Blame for a Truck Accident?

When more than one motorist is involved in an accident in Utah, the percentage of fault for each party affects the outcome of a personal injury case.

Utah has a comparative negligence law, which basically means that an assessment of a trucking accident is required to determine how much blame should be placed on each motorist. The amount of compensation you may receive from each party will be equivalent to their percentage of fault. And if you’re found to be at least 50 percent responsible for the accident, you may be barred from collecting any damages.

What Damages Can You Recover After a Truck Accident?

In Utah, truck accident victims have the legal right to pursue both economic and non-economic damages. In rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded.

Economic damages, also known as special damages, are meant to provide compensation for actual, measurable financial losses related to the truck accident. A lawyer may recommend seeking these economic damages:

  • Past, ongoing and future medical care related to the accident
  • Lost wages due to your injuries forcing you to miss time at work
  • Lost earning capacity, if you’re unable to earn the same income
  • Costs to repair or replace your vehicle and other damaged property
  • Household services, if you need help because of your injuries

Non-economic or general damages in personal injury cases are meant to provide monetary compensation for intangible losses incurred in a truck accident. A lawyer can determine which of the following non-economic damages apply to your case:

  • Pain and suffering for the physical discomfort of the injuries you suffered
  • Emotional distress due to anxiety, guilt, depression or anguish over the accident
  • Loss of enjoyment for the inability to take part in regular leisure pursuits
  • Disfigurement, if a permanent impairment causes a loss in quality of life
  • Loss of consortium, if the accident has an impact on a spousal relationship

Experienced truck accident lawyers know that punitive or exemplary damages are rarely awarded in the state of Utah. This is because punitive damages are intended to be a punishment for the at-fault party for gross negligence and to deter others from acting in the same manner.

When Can You Recover Damages for Your Losses?

Sometimes, the injured victim in a Utah truck accident and the at-fault party or parties come to an agreement in a timely manner – but that’s not the norm.

More often than not, people with serious injuries need to fight for the compensation they deserve. Many end up waiting far too long, and for some, filing a lawsuit is the only way to recover damages. Delays in the process are to be expected, yet you don’t have all the time in the world to resolve the situation.

In Utah, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is four years – and in your case, the clock started ticking on the day of your truck accident. Any lawsuit filed after that time won’t be legally valid. Be aware, too, that property damage claims have a three-year deadline. So, you have even less time to make a claim for compensation for your damaged vehicle and any other items in poor condition as a result of the accident.

Schedule a Truck Accident Lawyer Consultation Today

To recover damages as quickly as possible – and to receive the maximum in compensation for your injuries and losses — you need an experienced Utah truck accident lawyer, one who knows how to win. That’s what you’ll get with William R. Rawlings & Associates.

Our legal team will fight to ensure that you receive every dollar you’re owed, and while we’re able to settle most personal injury cases, we’re not afraid to go to trial. Our truck accident lawyers have been representing injured victims like you for more than 35 years, and no other Utah law firm is as dedicated to reaching the best possible case outcome.

Working with William R. Rawlings & Associates is risk-free, as we don’t charge legal fees unless we obtain damages in a personal injury case – and the initial consultation is always free. To meet with one of the best truck accident lawyers in Utah, contact us today.

Apr 01 2022

Seriously Hurt in an Accident? Call a Utah Catastrophic Injury Lawyer

Any type of motor vehicle accident has the potential to cause life-changing injuries. When that happens, calling a Utah catastrophic injury lawyer is the right move.

Accident claims that involve catastrophic personal injuries present unique challenges. The stakes in these cases are high, and the majority of the damages victims seek – including future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment and emotional distress — are inherently difficult to calculate. With so much on the line, insurance companies put up a fight before handing over compensation.

Experienced catastrophic injury lawyers know how to fight back and pursue a settlement or jury award that accounts for all past, current and future expenses. For accident victims with serious injuries, having legal counsel can be extremely beneficial.

catastrophic injury lawyer Utah

What is a Catastrophic Injury?

Generally speaking, catastrophic injuries are those which have a significant long-term impact on a person’s life. These types of injuries are often life-threatening, and they can result in a range of devastating consequences, including:

  • Severe functional deficits
  • Permanent mobility issues
  • Serious cognitive limitations

Accident victims with catastrophic injuries require intensive medical treatment, a lengthy rehabilitation program and, in some cases, specialized lifelong care. Many are unable to return to work or take part in activities they once enjoyed. A catastrophic injury can result in losses in just about every aspect of life.

Examples of Catastrophic Injuries

Any injury that can be described as serious and life-changing may be considered catastrophic. Specific examples of catastrophic injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Complex bone fractures
  • Accidental amputations
  • Neurological disorders
  • Internal organ damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Partial or total paralysis
  • Severe facial injuries
  • Loss of sight or hearing
  • Serious burn injuries
  • Permanent scarring
  • Disfigurement

Causes of Catastrophic Injuries

Any freak accident can result in catastrophic injuries, but statistically, certain types of incidents are more likely to bring on a personal injury of this nature. In Utah, the leading causes include:

Whatever the cause and whoever is to blame, experienced catastrophic injury lawyers can help victims pursue full compensation for all of their losses. And while no amount of money can make up for the pain, emotional suffering and dire life consequences, holding the at-fault party or parties accountable provides victims with some relief.

Compensation for Catastrophic Injuries

In Utah, anyone who is injured as a result of someone else’s actions has the right to seek out compensation for all of their losses. Catastrophic injury lawyers know how to determine which damages apply, and an accident claim may include the following:

Medical Expenses

For accident victims with catastrophic personal injuries, the cost of medical treatment can be significant. Injury lawyers fight to recover compensation for past, ongoing and future:

  • Emergency care
  • Hospitalization
  • Medical treatments
  • Prescription medications
  • In-home medical equipment
  • Assistive technology
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Caregiver costs

Economic Damages

Accident victims suffer a range of measurable monetary losses, known as economic or special damages. Experienced catastrophic injury lawyers pursue compensation for the following:

  • Lost income or wages missed as a direct result of the accident
  • Loss of earning capacity or the inability to earn the same income
  • Damage to the victim’s motor vehicle and other personal property
  • Child care, cooking, cleaning and other necessary household services

Non-Economic Damages

Catastrophic injuries come with intangible losses, referred to as general or non-economic damages. These aren’t easily quantified, but injury lawyers seek compensation for:

  • Ongoing pain and suffering attributable to the accident
  • Anxiety, depression and other forms of emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment due to the inability to take part in regular daily pursuits
  • Loss of consortium for difficulties with spousal relationships
  • The lasting effect of any disfigurement on quality of life

Working with a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer

Are you an accident victim with catastrophic injuries? At William R. Rawlings & Associates, we represent people whose lives have been turned upside down due to a motor vehicle accident. With a catastrophic injury lawyer from our Utah law firm in your corner, you’ll have the legal help you need to get the compensation you deserve.

Our legal team can handle all of the work your accident claim requires. The steps we’ll take to help ensure a positive case outcome include:

  • Identifying all of the losses you have suffered
  • Pinpointing who to hold financially accountable
  • Collecting evidence to build a solid claim
  • Completing all of the legal paperwork
  • Conducting all claim-related communications
  • Negotiating for compensation on your behalf

We’ll work hard to secure a fair financial settlement, but if the negotiations break down, our catastrophic injury lawyers are ready to go to trial. We know how to get results – and since our legal team won’t get paid unless we’re successful in securing compensation, you can count on William R. Rawlings & Associates to make every effort to make sure that happens.

A free consultation with an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer is only a phone call away. For expert help with your Utah accident claim, contact us today.

Feb 04 2022

Do You Need to Hire a Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer?

You have your driver’s license, so you learned the rules of the road in Utah – but no one taught you anything about how to get compensation for losses resulting from a trucking collision. Is hiring a semi-truck accident lawyer necessary?

Actually, no. Legal representation isn’t required to file an accident claim in Utah.

That said, you can’t expect insurance adjusters to offer good advice or advocate for your rights. Their goal is to save their employer money, which is contrary to your goal. The reality is, you may need to have an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer in your corner to obtain the maximum in financial compensation.

semi-truck accident lawyer Utah

Statute of Limitations for Utah Accident Claims

Some victims of trucking collisions receive fair settlement offers from insurance companies, but most face an uphill battle in terms of compensation. All too often, filing a semi-truck accident lawsuit is the only way to get an acceptable payout.

If you’re compelled to go that route, you won’t have all the time in the world to bring an accident claim. In Utah, the statute of limitations for truck accident lawsuits is four years – and the clock started ticking the date of your trucking collision. With very few exceptions, injured victims lose the right to make a claim for compensation after the four-year period expires.

Be aware, though, that you have an even shorter amount of time to pursue compensation for property damage – in Utah, this type of claim has a three-year deadline. And in the event of wrongful death, a victim’s surviving heirs have just two years from the date of death to take legal action.

Determining Liability in a Semi-Truck Accident

Depending upon the circumstances surrounding your trucking collision, you may need a semi-truck accident lawyer to help you figure out who can be held legally responsible for your injuries and losses.

That’s obviously the semi-truck driver, isn’t it? Perhaps – if the collision involved distracted driving, speeding or any other reckless actions. But if the driver wasn’t negligent and didn’t violate any Utah traffic laws or trucking regulations, you may need to make a claim against another party.

Who might be to blame for your trucking collision? A number of parties could be named in your accident claim. The trucking company, a parts manufacturer, a maintenance contractor, a cargo loader – those a just a few of the entities that can be held liable in Utah. A truck accident lawyer will have the expertise to work out how and why the collision occurred, identifying the at-fault party or parties and holding them accountable.

Why You Need a Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer

Aside from getting expert assistance determining liability, are there any other reasons to consider hiring a semi-truck accident lawyer? Sure – and the biggest reason is to level the playing field.

Insurance companies have catchy slogans designed to make you think they care about you, but their focus is on profit. Instead of protecting your rights, insurance adjusters aim to protect the bottom line of the insurance company. An experienced truck accident lawyer can advocate for your best interests, ensuring that you don’t settle for less money than you deserve.

In addition, to get fairly compensated, you’ll need to secure ample evidence. This includes proof of negligence on behalf of the at-fault party or parties, proof that the trucking collision caused your injuries and proof of the financial losses resulting from the accident. Getting all of the documentation you need can be a challenge on your own – and to obtain some forms of evidence, such as data from onboard electronic logs and in-cab cameras, you may need help from a semi-truck accident lawyer.

Contact Us to Schedule a Free Case Review

You have a narrow window of time to file a truck accident lawsuit, so it’s in your best interests to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Investigating the cause of your trucking collision, getting the necessary evidence to prove your claim and securing the compensation you deserve could take quite some time – and for the best case outcome, your lawyer will need to get to work right away.

For expert legal representation in Utah, accident victims trust the professional team at William R. Rawlings & Associates. Our highly skilled lawyers have decades of experience taking on truck accident claims, and as former insurance adjusters and insurance company attorneys, we know what it takes to negotiate a fair settlement. And if that isn’t in the cards, we’re willing to battle it out in court.

After a serious trucking collision, your attention should be on recovering from your injuries – not on recovering financial compensation. Let the legal team at William R. Rawlings & Associates focus on the latter, and we’ll do whatever we can to get you the maximum possible payout. To learn why our Utah law firm is the right one to handle your accident claim, or to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a friendly and knowledgeable semi-truck accident lawyer, contact our Draper, Utah, office today.

Sep 10 2021

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Semi-Truck Accident?

As personal injury lawyers, we should be able to tell you how long it typically takes to settle a semi-truck accident claim – but the truth is, every case is different.

Sometimes, the injured victim and the at-fault party or parties quickly come to an agreement. Much of the time, however, people with serious injuries have to fight for far too long to get the monetary compensation they deserve. And in some cases, filing a semi-truck accident lawsuit is the only option, which further delays the process.

If you were injured in a collision with a semi or heavy-duty truck, consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer is in your best interests. The decision on whether or not to accept a settlement offer is yours, of course, but you don’t want to settle a semi-truck accident claim for a sum that doesn’t meet your needs.

truck accident attorney

The Timeline for Semi-Truck Accident Settlements

Several factors can prolong the process of reaching a settlement after a truck accident. A skilled personal injury lawyer will know how to get a payout as quickly as possible, but all of the following are required to pursue damages from the at-fault party or parties:

  • Evidence of negligence on behalf of the driver, the trucking company, a parts manufacturer or another party
  • Proof that the accident caused the claimant to suffer injures that require medical treatment
  • Documentation for all expenditures and losses related to the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish and future losses

Obtaining all of the necessary evidence can take time. Your personal injury lawyer may need to seek out estimates from medical, occupational and economic experts as to the value of your losses – which can extend the timeline for your settlement.

The Risk of Accepting a Settlement Offer

Chances are, you’ll start hearing from insurance adjusters during the recovery process – and you may even get a settlement offer just a few days or weeks after your truck accident. You might be tempted to accept the offer, particularly if you’re in need of financial relief, but doing so is risky.

How so? When you sign a settlement check, you basically agree not to pursue any additional compensation for losses resulting from the accident. Courts are strict about enforcing these agreements, so you should hold off on accepting an offer until you’ve been cleared by a medical professional or your personal injury attorney advises you to take the settlement.

Will You Need to File a Semi-Truck Accident Lawsuit?

In most cases, personal injury lawyers can negotiate with the insurance adjusters involved and settle truck accident claims without heading to court. However, in certain circumstances, attorneys recommend suing the at-fault party or parties. This may occur if any of the following are true for your accident claim:

  • The statute of limitations is about to expire
  • One of the parties contests liability for the accident
  • The amount of actual damages is in dispute
  • Essential evidence is being kept from the claimant

Other situations — such as a case involving fraudulent actions by an insurer or the need to pursue compensation above the limit of the insurance policy of the liable party or parties – can also lead to a truck accident lawsuit. That said, most accident claims settle out of court.

With an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side, you can receive the maximum in compensation for your losses. And at William R. Rawlings & Associates, you can count on us to do whatever we can to settle your semi-truck accident claim as quickly as possible. For a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney, contact our law office today.

Aug 20 2021

Injured in a Truck Accident? Here’s What to Do First

Being injured in a truck accident is a traumatic experience, and you may not know how to react or what to do – but the fact is, your actions can have a significant impact on your physical and financial recovery.

At William R. Rawlings & Associates, we want to help injured victims. To that end, our experienced Utah truck injury lawyers have prepared a list of important steps to take to protect your legal rights.

truck injury lawyer Utah

Steps to Take After a Truck Accident

If you’ve been hurt in a collision with an 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, semi-truck or big rig, we recommend that you:

  • Remain calm and immediately call 911 to summon the police and have an ambulance sent to the crash scene
  • Refrain from making any comments about the cause of the collision or who is to blame for your injuries
  • Seek out emergency treatment and follow-up medical attention, heeding the advice of your health care providers

While you’re still at the scene, try to get contact information for any witnesses to the truck collision. And, take photos of the accident scene, your vehicle and all other vehicles involved. If you’re not able, don’t worry – a truck accident attorney can get all of the necessary evidence.

Benefits of Hiring a Truck Accident Attorney

Legal representation isn’t required for an accident claim, but hiring a lawyer is a good idea for several reasons. One major advantage is that an attorney can determine who is liable for your losses – and that may be the at-fault driver, the company they work for, a parts manufacturer or more than one party.

When you work with the dedicated team at William R. Rawlings & Associates, our truck accident attorneys will:

  • Thoroughly investigate the truck collision
  • Preserve and obtain all evidence related to the accident
  • Handle settlement negotiations and litigate the claim
  • Keep you updated on every aspect of your case
  • Work hard to recover the damages you deserve

Contact William R. Rawlings & Associates Today

William R. Rawlings & Associates offers personalized legal representation to individuals who have been injured due to the negligence or careless actions of another party. Our law firm takes on many types of accident claims, including truck collisions – and we’re proud to have both decades of experience and a long history of successful case results.

You can expect our accident attorneys to do everything in their power to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve for your expenses and losses. Let us fight on your behalf while you focus on healing and recovering from your injuries. Contact us online or give our office a call and schedule a truck accident attorney consultation today.

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.

Sep 04 2020

How Long Do You Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Utah?

Have you been injured in a collision involving a semi-truck, tractor-trailer or other big rig? Filing a truck accident lawsuit can be the means to obtaining compensation – but to achieve that goal, you’ll need to meet the deadline. Here’s a look at how much time you have to take legal action.

What is the Utah statute of limitations for truck accidents?

Utah’s Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Lawsuits

The Utah legal code states that injured accident victims have four years to file a claim with the court – and the date of the collision is when the clock starts running. However, depending upon the circumstances, two other filing deadlines could come into play.

First of all, if the accident caused a fatality, the victim’s surviving heirs or their representative have only two years to file a wrongful death claim. In this case, the clock starts on the date of death – which may or may not be the date of the accident.

Secondly, if a collision results in vehicle or property damage, there’s a deadline to file a legal claim for financial compensation. In Utah, a case of this type must be filed within three years of the accident date.

When to Get in Touch With a Utah Truck Accident Attorney

While you technically have up to four years to file an accident lawsuit in Utah, building a solid case takes time – and preparation is crucial to winning a case. You should contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible so that they can:

  • Interview witnesses who know what happened
  • Compile evidence from the many different parties involved
  • Obtain information on the trucking company’s safety history
  • Calculate all of the damages that are legally defendable

What to Expect When You File a Utah Truck Accident Lawsuit

In an ideal world, truck accident attorneys would always be able to obtain fair financial compensation for their injured clients by simply asking the appropriate insurance company for a settlement. But as you might have guessed, that doesn’t happen in every case.

Your attorney may need to file a lawsuit to fight for a judgment in your favor. In that event, the case will proceed through these stages:

  • Discovery, during which lawyers for both sides request driver logs, background checks, maintenance records and other documents pertaining to the accident
  • Negotiation, when the parties involved and their attorneys try to come to a mutual agreement on a settlement amount
  • Trial, where both attorneys will present evidence and a jury will decide if compensation is deserved and, if so, how much should be awarded

At William R. Rawlings & Associates, we routinely handle accident claims – and as former defense lawyers and insurance adjusters, our legal team knows how to sidestep the shady tactics and get injured victims every dollar they deserve. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or give our office a call today to speak with a Utah truck accident attorney now.

Feb 07 2020

Answering Common Questions on Truck Accidents and Liability

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, one area we’re proud to assist clients with is any kind of truck accident injury. As former insurance defense lawyers and adjusters, we know all the ins and outs of such cases and precisely how to get you your just compensation if you’ve been injured in such an accident through the fault of another party.

While truck accidents are rarer than normal car accidents, their results can be significantly more significant and damaging – and as such, we regularly get questions from truck drivers or others in the field about important legal areas, both for general driving and for instances where accidents have taken place. For today’s blog, we’ll lay out some of these most common questions, plus some of their basic answers for your information.

common questions truck accidents liability

What Makes Truck Accidents Serious?

We mentioned that truck accidents are often more serious than corresponding car accidents, and the primary reason behind this is the simple reality of the weight and loads involved. A roughly average passenger vehicle on today’s market tends to weigh in the neighborhood of 3,000 pounds – larger truck rigs weigh in excess of 70,000 pounds, and this difference simply makes major damage or injuries more likely in accidents.

This theme is even more significant if you’re dealing with a semi-truck, which is over 50 feet long and will often be carrying all sorts of potentially heavy, movable materials. These vehicles often do not drive or stop in the same ways as others, making potential collisions riskier.

Are There Special Laws or Regulations for Truck Drivers?

Truck drivers for bigger rigs are required to hold commercial driver’s licenses, for one. These must be updated regularly, including through tests.

In addition, truck drivers must abide by specific regulations such as rest periods, load capacity and even often designated speed limits while on the road. Failure to do so could leave truck drivers liable if an accident takes place.

How is Fault Determined in Truck Accidents?

While some of the details for truck accidents may be different than other car accidents, determining fault is generally done in the same ways. Witness statements and other documentation formats of the scene are taken, and a police report is made. In some cases, attorneys for potential victims will investigate both the driver and the company they work for.

In some cases, companies may try to avoid liability by claiming a driver does not work for them or is only an independent contractor. Our attorneys will help you sift through these kinds of claims if you’re involved in such a case.

How Do I Respond After a Truck Accident?

Your first step in any vehicle accident is to ensure you and others in your vehicle are safe and healthy. If you or anyone else has any injuries, immediate medical assistance should be sought.

If you are physically capable, you should also spend this immediate aftermath collecting as much evidence and information as you can. Take pictures, ask for witness names and contact information, and be sure to take down all available info for the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Finally, call our personal injury attorneys right away to get us on the case and assisting you.

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

Dec 13 2019

Coverage for Vehicle Repairs During Accident Liability Cases

If you’ve been involved in a vehicle accident where you believe another party was at fault, there are multiple types of damages you could be seeking. These could be to pay for medical bills and other results of your pain and suffering, they could relate to emotional distress, or they might speak to paying for repairs to damage to your vehicle.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, our auto accident injury attorneys are here to help you get your just compensation if this has happened to you. We’ll help you understand all the ins and outs of a car accident case, including vital information on how repairs will be covered and handled depending on the fault in the case. Here are some basics you might need to know about this area moving forward.

vehicle repairs accident liability cases

No-Fault Insurance and Collision Coverage

For starters, it’s important to know that Utah is a no-fault state when it comes to auto accidents and resulting damages. This means that your own vehicle insurance covers your economic damages all the way up to its policy limits – in cases where you believe someone else is at fault, however, you file a lawsuit against that driver.

Because there is not necessarily a guarantee of winning such a lawsuit, however, we highly recommend purchasing collision coverage in addition to your own basic car insurance policy. In situations where your claim is not successful, your basic no-fault insurance does not apply to vehicle damages, rather only to economic ones.

If you do not have collision insurance in this case, you could be on the hook for the entire cost of the repairs. And on the flip side, if you happen to be at fault in an accident at any point, collision coverage will also pay for your repairs in this case.

At-Fault Drivers and Liability

In cases where fault can be proven in another party, the at-fault driver will be responsible for paying for the repairs of any innocent party’s vehicle. This is generally done using the insurance of the at-fault driver, which can range up the policy limits. If this policy comes up short, a claim will be filed against the driver’s insurance company to help cover the difference.

Total Loss Situations

If the estimate for repairs needed on your damaged vehicle exceeds the Blue Book value of the vehicle itself, it’s likely the vehicle will be declared a total loss. In these cases, rather than insurance covering repairs, it will pay you out the Blue Book value on your vehicle from the time of the accident.

For more on how to handle vehicle repairs in auto accident liability cases, or to learn about any of our personal injury attorney services, speak to the staff at William Rawlings & Associates today.

Oct 18 2019

Assessing Liability in Ride-Sharing Vehicle Accidents

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates LLC, one of the most common needs for our attorney services is in the realm of car and truck accidents. Sadly, there are tens of thousands of vehicle accidents, injuries and even deaths per year, many of which are caused by negligence or other factors that necessitate a personal injury claim.

One area here that’s on a major rise over the last several years is incidents that take place involving a ride-sharing company such as Uber or Lyft. More and more Americans are utilizing these services every year, but the legal field is still catching up in terms of liability when accidents take place involving ride-sharing drivers. Let’s go over some basic numbers here, the role insurance plays and the limited likelihood of successfully bringing suit against these companies directly.

liability ride-sharing vehicle accidents

Ride-Sharing Usage and Increasing Accident Deaths

While there is not necessarily direct proof to link these two trends, traffic incidents and fatalities have gone up over the last few years – at a similar rate to the increase in ride-sharing services, per several area of research. This has led some to speculate that more ride-sharing drivers are clogging the roads and helping contribute to a greater number of traffic incidents. And whether or not this is the case, the fact remains that many people utilize these services and need to be prepared in case an incident takes place during such a ride.

Which Insurance Applies?

In cases where you’re injured as the passenger of a ride-sharing service and your driver is at fault, the insurance coverage of the individual driver is the first place to check. If this person has a commercial insurance policy or a personal policy that includes a ride-sharing provision, you’ll be covered. The problem: Most Uber and Lyft drivers do not have this kind of insurance.

Luckily, Uber and Lyft carry third-party liability insurance coverage up to $1 million for personal and property injuries. These kick in after the driver’s own policy is used up, if applicable, so you’re covered in these cases regardless.

What about situations where your driver is not at fault and the incident was caused by another motorist? In these circumstances, you’d seek coverage from the at-fault driver’s insurance via an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. In rare cases where this third party does not have car insurance that will cover your injuries, ride-sharing companies also offer a $1 million policy for uninsured or underinsured cases.

Suits Against Ride-Sharing Companies

Uber and Lyft list their drivers as independent contractors, not employees, in large part so they don’t have to be legally responsible for driver negligence. For this reason, it’s generally very difficult to bring and win a personal injury suit directly against these companies. While you’ll generally be able to take advantage of their $1 million policies for negligence issues, suing them directly usually isn’t a viable option.

For more on who is responsible for damages in a ride-sharing vehicle accident, or to learn about any of our auto accident attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates LLC today.