Law Office of Ralph C. Petty

What Are The Top Misconceptions About Auto Accidents?

Should The Police Be Called?

I suggest that you call the police and Ralph Petty auto accidents attorney to investigate every aspect of auto accident. In Utah, if the damages to the cars do not exceed $1,500, it is technically a non-reportable collision. However, it does not take much of a collision to cause $1,500 of damage. If you are unsure about whether the damages exceed $1,500, then call the police and they can tell you if it is a non-reportable crash.

Who Is At Fault In The Collision?

When an auto accident occurs, it may not be obvious who is at fault. In almost every accident, there is one driver who is the primary cause of the crash. Determining fault is something the insurance companies and lawyers determine. You should assume that the other driver is at fault and act accordingly. You should not make statements to others about who you think may be at fault or whether or not you made mistakes or errors.

How Do Fault And No Fault Laws State Laws Apply To Auto Accidents In Utah?

In Utah, there is no-fault auto insurance, which means that by your own auto insurance company provides a fund of at least $3,000 to pay for your medical expenses, regardless of which driver is at fault. If the medical expenses caused by the crash exceed $3,000, then you are entitled to pursue the other driver to recover your damages and medical expenses. If your medical costs do not exceed $3,000, then you are blocked from suing the at fault driver for your damages and medical expenses, unless you have permanent injuries or scarring.

What Is Pure Comparative Negligence? How Does It Impact My Auto Injury Claim?

In Utah, comparative negligence is based on the relative liability for a crash between the drivers. That means that if you are 50% liable for a crash or more, then you will receive no recovery. If you were less than 50% at fault, then you can receive a recovery, but it will be reduced by the percentage of fault for which you are liable. For example, if you were 40% at fault for causing a crash, then you could receive 60% of your medical expenses and damages. So, comparative negligence means comparing the amount of fault between the parties, deducting the percentage of the fault for which they are liable, and awarding that portion of the medical expenses and damages to the least at fault party and for that you need services of an expert Utah County auto accidents attorney

What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Bringing An Auto Accident Lawsuit In Utah?

In Utah, the statute of limitations for an auto accident is four years. Generally, those four years start to run at the time of the crash. If there is a minor involved, then the statute of limitations can be extended up until that child is of legal age, which is 18 years old in Utah, plus the four year statute of limitations. If any vehicle in the crash is owned by the State of Utah, then the statute of limitations changes to one year. So, if you are involved in a crash with a UTA bus or State of Utah vehicle, call my office immediately so you do not lose your opportunity to receive compensation for the crash.

Should I Notify My Own Insurance Company About The Auto Accident?

Yes, you should notify your insurance company about the crash. You have a duty to inform and notify your insurance company as soon as reasonably possible after an accident has occurred. The insurance company will make arrangements with you to assess the damage to your car and get a recorded statement from you concerning the events of the crash. You should cooperate with your insurance company, because it is working for you. Be wary of the other driver’s insurance company. You do not have a duty to cooperate with that insurance company, so you should not talk to them except through your attorney or your own insurance company. The other driver’s insurance company’s goal in speaking to you is to obtain information that they can use against you.

What Defenses Do Insurance Companies Use To Avoid Paying Out On Claims?

The first tactic of the insurance companies is to blame you for causing the collision. The insurance company of the other driver often tries to convince you and your insurance company that the collision was your fault, whether this is true or not.

Another tactic of insurance companies is to attack the medical treatment that you have received. They may accuse you of not seeking treatment immediately after the collision, and they argue that since you were not hurt, the injury you claim must have happened after the collision. Likewise, when there are large time gaps between receiving treatment, they may claim that you did not get treatment for a long period because you didn’t need it and you were not injured. This is why it is important to keep your appointments, do exactly what your doctor tells you to do and be honest with your medical providers.

The other thing that insurance companies try to do to minimize their liability is blame your current condition on pre-existing conditions. In other words, if you’ve already been injured in the same area where you claim to be injured in the latest collision, some insurance companies will claim that the collision did not cause the condition. They claim that the injury already existed and their driver is not responsible for your current condition.

For more information on Auto Accident Claims In Utah, a free initial consultation with the Utah County auto accidents attorney is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 783-1111 today.

Ralph C. Petty, ESQ.

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(801) 783-1111

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