Jan 25 2022

Collecting Evidence for a Utah Motorcycle Accident Claim

If you’re involved in a Utah motorcycle accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. Immediately after the crash, your primary focus should be on recovering – but the reality is, you’ll need to gather evidence to support your claim in order to stand a chance of obtaining a fair amount of monetary damages.

What evidence do you need to collect? An experienced Utah personal injury attorney with expertise representing motorcycle accident victims can take the lead in gathering the necessary evidence, but if possible, you’ll want to provide the following.

Utah motorcycle accident claim, personal injury attorney

Evidence to Collect at the Motorcycle Accident Scene

After being involved in a Utah motorcycle accident, you should seek medical attention for any serious injuries. Then, if you’re physically able to do so, you can start the process of proving negligence, liability and damages by collecting evidence at the scene of the crash.

Photos of Every Vehicle Involved

Use your cell phone to take pictures of the other vehicles involved in the motorcycle accident. Be sure to capture their relative positions and any areas of damage – and snap photos from multiple angles, heights and distances to ensure you don’t miss anything important.

Photos of the Entire Accident Scene

Providing a complete view of the crash scene helps others understand what happened. To that end, take wide-angle photos of the entire area from a few different perspectives, then zoom in for close-up shots of traffic signs, skid marks, roadway hazards and vehicle parts on the road. And, don’t forget to document the weather conditions.

Photos of Any Visible Injuries

If you suffered any scratches, abrasions, road rash, puncture wounds, lacerations or other visible injuries as a result of the motorcycle crash, they’ll need to be documented. Take photos of each injured area, and make sure your pictures clearly show the size, severity and location of your accident-related injuries.

Witness & Motorist Contact Information

After a Utah motorcycle accident, talk to people at the scene. Get the names, phone numbers and vehicle information of the other drivers involved and any that of any passengers and witnesses to the crash – opinions as to what happened may vary, but a personal injury attorney may need that information to prepare your claim.

Evidence to Preserve for Your Motorcycle Accident Claim

In Utah motorcycle accident claims, victims bear the burden of proving that another party was at fault for the incident. As such, providing your motorcycle accident attorney with the following evidence can be instrumental to protecting your right to compensation.

Your Motorcycle

Personal injury attorneys and accident experts can look to your damaged bike to demonstrate how the crash happened. Store your motorcycle in a safe place for potential later use as evidence – or, if you must get immediate repairs, take detailed photos of the damage to show the intensity of the collision.

Your Protective Gear

In Utah, motorcyclists who are at least 21 years of age aren’t required to wear a helmet, boots, gloves or other protective gear – and if you weren’t, that can’t be used as evidence against you in a Utah motorcycle accident claim. But if you did wear any such gear, keep it, as damage to the items could help prove that the accident was severe.

Your Recovery Journal

You should start a daily journal to document your recovery, noting the pain you’re feeling as well as the mental struggles you’re facing – a day-by-day chronical could help your personal injury attorney establish a strong motorcycle accident claim.

Evidence of Damages Resulting from the Motorcycle Accident

An experienced Utah personal injury attorney can help you recover the maximum in compensation for your losses, but the amount you’ll be able to obtain is largely dependent upon the particular damages that apply to your motorcycle accident claim.

You’ll need evidence of the actual, measurable monetary losses you’ve incurred as a result of the motorcycle crash. Referred to as economic damages, these losses can be proved with:

  • Medical bills and receipts for medical treatment related to injuries sustained in the motorcycle crash
  • Pay stubs, benefit documentation or a letter from your employer that details your salary and dates of work missed
  • Estimates or receipts for the cost of repairing or replacing your bike and any protective gear or property damaged in the crash

You may also be able to include non-economic damages, or intangible losses resulting from the crash, in your motorcycle accident claim. This includes pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment and loss of consortium – none of which are easy to prove. Doing so may require the use of expert witnesses, like medical specialists, mental health professionals and vocational rehabilitation experts. Rest assured, an experienced Utah personal injury attorney will know how to evidence to support a claim for compensation.

Get Expert Legal Help from William R. Rawlings & Associates

If you’re the victim of a motorcycle crash, you’ll need substantial evidence to secure monetary damages from the at-fault party’s insurance company or in a Utah court of law. Working with a seasoned personal injury attorney is in your best interests, as a lawyer who routinely handles motorcycle accident claims will have the resources to conduct a thorough investigation and to gather the proof you need to get every dollar you deserve.

For expert legal help with a Utah motorcycle accident claim, turn to William R. Rawlings & Associates. Our personal injury attorneys have decades of experience helping injured motorcyclists recover compensation – and when insurance adjusters fail to provide favorable settlement offers, we’re prepared to take the matter to court.

To discuss your Utah motorcycle accident claim with a highly skilled personal injury attorney, contact William R. Rawlings & Associates and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.

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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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Jun 14 2019

Getting Just Compensation After Motorcycle Accidents

For those who ride motorcycles as a primary form of transportation, safety is vital. Motorcycle riders are eight times more likely to be injured in an accident than passengers in a vehicle, and these injuries are often severe due to limited protection for those riding them.

At the Law Offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC, we’re here to help if you have a motorcycle accident injury and believe you may have a case for damages against a liable party. Unfortunately, there are a few strange misconceptions out there that may impact the way your case goes – let’s clear these up and look at some common statistics and case values for motorcycle accidents, plus how you can get your just compensation.

just compensation motorcycle accidents

Motorcycle Injury Statistics

There are a high number of motorcycle accidents in the United States each year, and while precise figures vary based on the source, there’s no question that over 5,000 drivers die each year due to motorcycle collisions. Nearly another 90,000 will be injured in such accidents.

As we noted above, these accidents often come with major injury risks. Even minor motorcycle collisions pose significant such risks to those riding them, especially if any safety equipment is lacking at the time.

Common Prejudice Against Motorcyclists

Unfortunately, there’s a common prejudice that may make its way into certain folks’ opinion of motorcycle-related accidents. Like it or not, some people view motorcycles as inherently dangerous or flashy, and thus will attempt to pin the blame for any accident involving them on the motorcycle driver – even if the incident clearly was not their fault in reality.

Speaking of reality, it doesn’t line up with this perception. A high percentage of motorcyclists are at least 40 years old, not the daredevil youths some are imagining, and well over half of all collisions involving motorcycles are actually caused by drivers of other vehicles. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to highlight these important realities to all necessary parties during your case.

Case Value Potential

Per information form Jury Verdict Research, motorcycle injury verdicts are often quite high, with a median approaching $75,000 per case for years in the early 2000s (amounts that have gone up since due to inflation and other factors). Know that if you’ve been injured in such a situation, you could potentially have a claim for a high dollar value.

Dealing With Insurance Companies

Unfortunately, like with other car accident formats, your insurance company is not actually always trying to help you here. Rather, they’re trying to find reasons not to pay out compensation for an accident, such as attempting to prove you were at fault when this isn’t the case. Luckily, our attorneys are here to represent your interests to these bodies and get you the compensation you deserve, whether through a fair settlement or even a trial process.

For more on motorcycle accidents and liability, or to learn about any of our personal injury lawyer services, speak to the staff at the Law Offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC today.

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May 17 2019

Types and Impact of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Known medically as an intra-cranial injury, a traumatic brain injury is a significant traumatic event that leads to damage in the human brain. Most often seen in car accidents, but also possible in several other situations, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have a wide range of symptoms.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, our personal injury attorneys are here to help if you fear you or a loved one sustained a TBI during a vehicle accident or any other situation where another party may be liable. Let’s go over some basic facts on these injuries, the symptoms you may notice, and the multiple areas where you may see the impact of these injuries in your daily life.

impact traumatic brain injuries

Basic Numbers on Traumatic Brain Injuries

Brain injuries can range from mild to extremely serious, and on the far end of this spectrum, they are responsible for about 200,000 American deaths each year. They’re also largely responsible for roughly another 500,000 non-death hospitalizations each year, including many that lead to future issues, often permanent ones.

Unfortunately, many TBI cases simply go undiagnosed, even some of the more severe ones. Many who suffer from them try to cover them off as nothing but headaches or similar symptoms, often because they don’t want to believe anything more serious is happening.

Types and Related Conditions

As you might expect, auto accidents are one of the top causes of traumatic brain injuries. Here are some specific types or related conditions to be aware of:

  • Closed head injuries: In most cases, TBIs are what are called closed head injuries. This refers to injuries where the trauma or impact causes the brain to go in motion inside the skull, slamming into areas of the skull due to the force being put on it. These collisions will form contusions and swelling in the brain.
  • Axon damage: As the brain is involved in this same movement, it may also twist and stretch outside its normal positioning. This, in turn, can damage axons, the parts of the brain that carry impulses from neuron to neuron, and this lowers brain function.
  • DAI: When axon damage becomes significant enough at the cellular level, a condition called diffuse axonal injury (DAI) may occur – it doesn’t damage blood vessels or main structures, so it won’t be detected by MRIs or CT scans, but it has a major impact on overall brain function.

Impact of TBIs

It’s important to note that with TBIs, there’s both a physical element to consider and a cognitive/emotional one. In addition, there are often delayed symptoms – people might feel completely normal after a traumatic injury has occurred, before showing symptoms hours, days or even weeks later. In cases like vehicle accidents where another party might be liable for the injury, it’s vital to retain the services of an auto accident attorney even if symptoms seem minor or nonexistent after a head impact (or many other injury types, of course).

For more on traumatic brain injuries and liability, or to learn about any of our other personal injury attorney services, speak to the pros at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

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May 03 2019

Understanding Common Forms of Distracted Driving

There are several potential causes to vehicle accidents on the road, and one of the most common and dangerous is distracted driving. Distracted driving is a broad category that can refer to several specific types of distraction, from visual ones to manual or even cognitive issues.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC, we’re here to tell you that regardless of which type of distraction was the cause, you could be owed damages if you were injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver. Here are some basics on defining this term, how an auto accident injury attorney can help, plus an investigation into a few specific examples of distracted driving – including a couple that some people mistakenly think don’t put them at risk for liability if they cause an accident.

common forms distracted driving

Defining Distracted Driving

Simply put, the law defines distracted driving as any behavior or activity that turns the driver’s attention away from the task of driving. Many of the basics here come back to simple science: Even a single second spent looking away from the road in front of you will cause you to be unaware for a huge amount of ground covered, particularly if your vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed.
For this reason, anything that causes this sort of diversion of attention could be considered a distraction. While we’re about to lay out a few specific examples of the most common forms of distracted driving, know that a far greater number of potential actions or distractions could also fit the bill, and you should be aware of them at all times when operating a vehicle.

Cell Phones and Texting

In today’s modern day, texting on cell phones is considered the single most dangerous type of distracted driving facing US drivers. It is responsible for literally thousands of deaths on the road every year, plus untold additional thousands of injuries. This is extremely straightforward: Not only does texting require a driver to move their eyes from the road to a phone, it takes at least one hand off the wheel and uses it for another purpose.
In addition, several other phone behaviors outside texting may cause distraction. Talking on the phone can apply if you aren’t using fully hands-free devices, and even voice commands may distract the brain. Those looking to fully avoid distractions will not use their phones at all while driving.

Daydreaming or Preoccupation

This is a bit more of a nebulous category, but distraction can also be easily caused by our own mental picture. Daydreaming or distraction are particularly common for tired drivers, part of the reason you often see reminders to pull over and rest if you feel tired while driving.

Rubbernecking

It’s often used as the butt of jokes due to it’s silly-sounding name, but rubbernecking – or slowing down and losing focus on driving so as to view accidents or other things happening on the side of the road – is extremely dangerous. It’s the cause of numerous additional accidents, in fact, and is a form of distracted driving that is not viewed favorably by courts.

For more on the common types of distracted driving, or to learn about any of our car accident or personal injury attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

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Aug 01 2018

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC, we’re proud to offer top motorcycle accident injury attorney services to those in need. Motorcycle riders are eight times more likely to be injured in an accident than a rider in a car, and we’re here to protect your interests if this happens due to a fault outside your own.

That said, our preference would obviously be that all motorcycle drivers be able to use the road in safety. With that in mind, here are a few of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, plus how to avoid them while you’re on the road.

Road Hazards

One of the first things to think about as a motorcyclist is various hazards on the road, including loose gravel, oil slicks, potholes and other obstacles you often have no control over. For starters, having good tires with a strong grip will be important for these looser areas. You should also watch your speeds and even consider avoiding major hazards if they look like a bit too much for your machine. Be sure you can see ahead of you and slow down in time if needed.

Blocked Vehicle Vision

Encompassing about 25 percent of all motorcycle accidents is the following scenario: You’re on your bike driving straight, while a motorist in a car making a left turn onto your road (in the opposite direction you’re moving, usually) doesn’t see you and attempts to make the turn in your way.

This is an unfortunate situation that might leave you with a claim for damages from this driver. But to help avoid these issues altogether, consider more careful monitoring at intersections or areas where such turns are possible and vision might be imperfect for vehicles.

DUI

Over a third of all motorcycle accidents involve alcohol, which impairs the reflexes and vision alike. Reaction time is huge when riding a motorcycle or driving a car. Simply put, never drink and drive any machine.

Rain and Visibility

Slicker roads can be tough for both car and motorcycle drivers, particularly in terms of how these vehicles handle. Heavy rain or fog can also come with major vision effects, so make sure you keep lights on and slow down during storms to ensure a bit more safety for everyone.

For more on the common causes of motorcycle accidents, or to speak to a motorcycle accident injury lawyer about whether you have a case from a motorcycle incident, contact the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC today.

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Jul 01 2018

Car Accident Mistakes to Look Out For

If you’re in a car or motorcycle accident, you could be entitled to compensation for injuries and other damages depending on the fault of the accident. If you think you might be entitled to such compensation, how you react in the hours, days and weeks after the accident can play a big role in whether you receive what you’re owed.

At the offices of William Rawlings& Associates, LLC, we can help. With an experienced car accident injury attorney at your side, you can navigate all the areas of this process. Here are some common mistakes we see people make after an accident, plus how to avoid these.

Immediately Following the Accident

The period directly following the accident are some of the most important for your case, and if you’re physically and mentally capable, you need to be as alert as possible. For starters, never leave the scene too quickly – you need time to get all the proper documentation, pictures, witness statements and police documents. On top of this, even if you weren’t at fault in the accident, it’s possible to be charged with a hit-and-run if you leave too quickly.

Another important area here: Seeking immediate medical attention, no matter how major or minor your injuries might be. Some car accident injuries don’t show symptoms for a while, and seeing a doctor also provides documentation.

Proper Documentation

Down these lines, it’s important to keep track of everything you can in written form. Police reports, medical invoices, lost wage records, drug receipts and any communication with insurance companies should be kept, as should pictures of the scene. If you deal with significant pain in the days and weeks following the accident, document this as well.

Taking the First Offer

Oftentimes, you’ll be presented an initial offer from the defendant or their insurance company where they press you to simply get things over with and accept immediately. Except in rare cases, you shouldn’t accept this – first offers are usually far too low, designed to get you to go away. Our attorneys can usually get you far more.

Not Using a Personal Injury Attorney

Maybe the biggest mistake of all? Not hiring a personal injury attorney to attend to your case. Our lawyers have years of experience and have seen every possible trick insurance companies might try to throw at you – we can get you your just compensation no matter what.

For more on the common mistakes in a car accident situation, or to learn about any of our personal injury services, speak to the attorneys at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC today.

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Jun 29 2016

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers:  Startling Number of Crashes

 

 

pic mc crash

Every year, millions of motorcycle drivers ride every day without being involved in an accident. While you can ride your whole life and never be in a motorcycle crash, the reality is that operating a motorcycle is much more dangerous when compared to driving a car.  Despite some claims by motorcycle enthusiasts that a skilled and properly trained motorcycle operator is less likely to be injured than the average car driver, driving or riding on a motorcycle is an inherently dangerous activity.

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May 02 2016

Motorcycles:  LANE SPLITTING A SAFETY CONCERN

Pic lane split

In a move usually reserved for stuntmen and action movies, more and more Utah motorcycles riders are engaging in an activity known as lane splitting. Lane splitting is activity where motorcycle riders use the space in between normal traffic lanes when traffic is slowed or stopped.

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