If you were recently injured in a car wreck, you’re likely feeling pretty stressed. With all that’s on your plate at the moment, calling a Utah car accident lawyer may be last thing on your mind – but you should consider doing so soon.
Right now, getting better should be your number one priority. However, medical treatment costs money, and eventually, it will be time to pay the bills. If you didn’t cause the car wreck, those bills shouldn’t be your concern. Yet you don’t have the freedom to wait until you’re ready to deal with the situation.
The Utah car accident claims process takes a while to navigate, and while many cases settle out of court, filing a lawsuit is sometimes the only way to get a fair payout. And if you don’t file within the time limit – known as the statute of limitations – you may lose your right to compensation. Here’s what you need to know to meet the legal deadline.
Utah’s Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Claims
Statutes of limitations are laws that establish a cutoff point for taking legal action, and they exist in both criminal and civil law. In the context of car accident claims, the purpose of the deadline is twofold: to ensure that lawsuits are handled promptly and to ensure a sense of fairness, as building a solid case becomes more difficult as time goes on.
In Utah, the statute of limitations on car accident injury claims is four years, and the clock started ticking the day your car wreck occurred. The time limit for property damage claims is shorter, and you’ll have just three years to pursue compensation for your vehicle. If you don’t file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, you may not be able to hold the at-fault party financially accountable for your losses.
Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
If your car wreck just happened, it may seem as if you have plenty of time to take legal action. Why call a Utah car accident lawyer now, when you need to be focused on recovering?
In a way, that’s the point – by turning your case over to an experienced attorney now, you can put your mind to healing and getting your life back to normal. With legal burden off of your shoulders, you’ll have an easier time on the road to recovery. However, waiting until the last minute to contact a Utah car accident lawyer could seriously undermine your claim.
To build a sound case for compensation, an accident lawyer will need time to conduct legal research, investigate the car wreck, prepare any necessary court filings and engage in settlement negotiations with the insurance company. Negotiations may go back and forth many times – and if an agreement cannot be reached, the claim must be taken to court.
The sooner you start working with a Utah car accident lawyer, the better chance you have at recovering the maximum in compensation. Wait too long, and you may weaken the persuasiveness of your legal claim.
What a Utah Car Accident Lawyer Can Do to Help
Having an experienced attorney on your side can dramatically decrease your stress, as you won’t have to worry about the steep costs of recovery. You can count on legal professional to protect your interests, and that may be reason enough to hire a Utah car accident lawyer.
If you want to know how an attorney can help with your claim, you can always ask — many personal injury law firms in Utah, including William R. Rawlings & Associates, offer free legal consultations. Generally speaking, however, an accident lawyer will help you by doing the following:
- Answering your questions about the Utah car accident claims process
- Explaining your legal rights and how to pursue compensation for your losses
- Investigating the car wreck and gathering proof to support your legal claim
- Acting as your advocate in negotiating a settlement with the insurance company
- Filing a lawsuit if a favorable financial settlement cannot be reached
In addition, a seasoned Utah car accident lawyer will know how to maximize the amount of money you receive. An attorney can pursue every possible avenue of compensation that applies to your case. You may have the legal right to recover both economic and non-economic damages, including compensation for:
- Past, ongoing and future medical bills and treatment expenses
- Lost income resulting from missing work after the car accident
- Lost earning capacity if your injuries affect your employment opportunities
- Repair costs or the fair market value of your vehicle and other damaged property
- Household services that become necessary as a result of the car wreck
- Pain and suffering, mental anguish and other forms of emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment in life if engaging in your regular pursuits is no longer possible
- Loss of consortium for the impact your injuries have on family relationships
- Disfigurement if the car wreck caused permanent injuries or impairments
At William R. Rawlings & Associates, we always fight for every dollar our clients deserve. We have decades of experience in personal injury law, and we never charge a fee unless we recover damages. Our legal team is ready to go to work for you – contact us online or call our office in Draper, Utah, for a free car accident lawyer consultation today.