A car accident is traumatizing both mentally and physically. According to the Utah Department of Health, the state witnesses a car crash every eight minutes.
Despite a drastically lower number of cars on the roads because of the pandemic-induced lockdown, more people died of car accidents in 2020 than in 2019, according to a report by Fox 13 Salt Lake City.
Utah is a no-fault state. If you’ve been a victim of a car accident in Utah, you’re eligible to file a legal claim and seek compensation from your insurance company for the medical bills, lost wages, and the pain and agony you are experiencing.
The procedure for filing a claim in Utah is burdensome, especially if you are not aware of the processes involved. A car accident lawyer can help you seamlessly navigate them and work towards getting you fair compensation.
This post sheds light on the need to hire a car accident lawyer in Utah and six qualities you must look for before deciding on one.
A. Why Should You Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
Car accident claims in Utah involve several legal complexities. Here are five reasons why you should hire a competent car accident lawyer:
1. They Are Adept at Dealing with Insurers
Dealing with your insurance company all by yourself can be tricky. Insurers actively work with their own team of lawyers to minimize the amount of compensation they are liable to pay victims. They even try to blame the victim for the accident to diminish the overall value of the claim.
An experienced car accident attorney knows how to expertly conduct insurance-related communications and will always focus on upholding your best interests. They will also protect your rights by countering the tactics that the insurance company may implement to reduce the compensation value.
2. They Know How to Value a Claim Accurately
Determining the correct value of your legal claim is integral to receiving the compensation you truly deserve. A seasoned car accident lawyer in Utah assesses all the aspects of the crash that may contribute to the final claim amount.
Some of the factors taken into consideration when determining the claim amount include:
- Medical bills issued by the hospital
- Expected future medical costs, such as therapy and surgery
- The wages that were lost when you were unable to work
- Loss of future income if the injury is permanent and prevents you from performing your job going forward
- The cost of repairing your vehicle
- Current and future impact that the injury will have on your lifestyle and earning potential
3. They Are Aware of the Legal Procedures
It is highly possible that, like most car accident victims, you are unfamiliar with the legal procedures involved in litigating or mediating your legal claim. It may be difficult for you to procure and fill the right forms as well as file your documents within the applicable statute of limitations.
Insurers can exploit the gap in your knowledge and try to entangle you in legal technicalities. There’s no worse feeling than knowing that you received much less compensation simply because you didn’t know about certain legal procedures.
A Utah car accident lawyer knows all the legal formalities involved in a car accident claim and can help you through every step of the proceedings.
4. They Support Your Claim with Evidence
A car accident injury lawyer performs a thorough investigation and gathers relevant evidence related to the accident. The attorney uses this evidence to prove your claim to the insurers and in the court, if necessary. Some critical evidence that they furnish include:
- Accident reports
- Statements from witnesses
- Photos of the accident scenes from intersection cameras or witnesses
- Video footage from cameras at nearby businesses or witnesses
- Medical records from the hospital
- Reports of medical tests and scans issued by the hospital
5. They Can Take the Case to Trial
Though most car accident cases are settled out of court, insurance companies in some cases deny the entire claim. Your car accident attorney will take the case to trial and provide strong representation in court if such a situation arises in your case. The likelihood of you winning the case increases dramatically when a car accident lawyer represents your cause, due to their skill and experience.
What Should You Look for in a Utah Car Accident Lawyer?
You’ll have several choices when it comes to choosing car accident and injury lawyers in Utah. However, not all are good car accident lawyers. Here are six qualities that you must look for when hiring a car accident attorney to represent your case:
1. Utmost Professional Behavior
Unless your lawyer has a professional attitude towards handling your car accident case, you’ll have a tough time obtaining the desired result. Your attorney must carry out their duties with utmost professionalism so that you are able to deal with the trying times and focus on your treatment/recovery.
Further, your attorney should be easily accessible and provide you with a detailed roadmap for obtaining the best possible outcome, depending on your case facts.
2. Excellent Communication
Your car accident lawyer should have excellent communication skills. The attorney must efficiently communicate their ideas and update you about the status of your case throughout the legal process. If you feel that they don’t communicate enough, it is a definite red flag. You may want to look for other options.
Moreover, it’s the responsibility of your car accident attorney to convince the courtroom of juries about your situation. A lawyer with inadequate communication skills will confuse the jury instead of convincing them to issue a verdict in your favor.
3. Track Record of Success
The key to triumph over the insurance company is to seek help from a car injury law firm that has a proven track record of handling a wide array of car accident cases.
The attorney must have successfully represented clients and countered the opposition in the courtroom by furnishing relatable evidence. They should also have a long track record of successfully obtaining the rightful compensation from the insurance company. So, it’s important that you analyze your prospective car accident attorney’s success rate before hiring.
You can ask them for references of their current and previous clients. Reach out to a few of them to ask about how the lawyer fought for their cause to verify if their claims are true.
4. Readily Available
A car accident attorney who’s truly willing to support you in your times of distress will be readily available on phone, email, text, and video calls to answer your questions.
They should be willing to walk the extra mile to educate you about your current scenario and the strategy that needs to be adopted for countering the opposition.
It’s also essential that the lawyer has experienced support staff who are always available to update you on the status of your case.
5. Honesty and Transparency
No attorney can guarantee a specific outcome for your case. The best lawyers maintain transparency with the clients by explaining to them the most likely outcomes.
You should, therefore, steer clear of any attorney who makes unrealistic claims and guarantees you a successful result. Instead, seek help from a lawyer who keeps things real and maintains honesty by enlightening you about the probable verdict based on the merits of your case.
6. Fee Structure
A car accident attorney needs to do a lot of research, compile evidence, fill out paperwork, and communicate/negotiate with the insurance company. If your case does go to court, your lawyer will also represent your cause in front of the jury.
In exchange for the services, they may charge a contingency fee, which refers to a certain percentage of the settlement amount you receive from the insurer. This means you don’t need to pay the attorney unless the insurance company compensates you for your losses. Depending on the lawyer, it may range from 25 to 40 percent.
A Utah car accident lawyer ensures efficient representation of your cause and helps you obtain rightful compensation. However, not all attorneys are equally skilled. The above guide will help you scrutinize the best attorney for your car accident claim in Utah. Best of luck!
Consult Our Team of Experienced Car Accident Lawyers in Utah
The team of veteran lawyers at Carlson Injury Law will ensure that you obtain the compensation that covers all your losses. We are veterans in the trade and have extensive experience in dealing with a myriad of car accident cases in Utah. Schedule a free consultation by giving us a call at (801) 845-4577 or fill our online form.