Frequently Asked Questions
Lose of Use of Vehicle After an Accident/Crash & What to do About it?
One of the most frustrating aspects of a car crash is the inconvenience of being without your car while it gets repaired. This is even more frustrating if you don’t have rental coverage on your auto insurance policy. If that is the case, you are entitled to make a claim against the other driver’s insurance for “loss of use” of your vehicle, which may cover the cost of a rental car, should you choose to get one.
Once liability has been accepted, Utah insurance regulations require an at-fault driver’s insurance company to provide payment for the “reasonably incurred cost of transportation” or the “reasonably incurred rental cost of a substitute vehicle” during the time your damaged vehicle is being repaired. If your vehicle is unable to be repaired, you’re entitled to “loss of use” payments from the date of the accident until the time when a reasonable settlement offer is made.
The typical rate paid by the at-fault insurance is usually between $20-$25 per day. This check can be issued directly to you once the amount of time the “loss of use” claim has been calculated. Contact the Utah Personal Injury Attorneys at Johnson Livingston after your crash to discuss the loss of use benefits available to you. 801-948-9670.
Can I get medical treatment even though I don’t have health insurance?
YES. There are many healthcare providers who will provide medical treatment and wait until the resolution of your case to be paid. Dealing with the hassle of the insurance companies should not be a bar to you getting the medical treatment you need. We at Johnson Livingston can provide solutions and referrals to medical providers who can help.
Should I talk to the insurance company?
NO. While working for the insurance company early in my career, I learned that the purpose of recorded statements and interviews was to find ways to either avoid responsibility or lower the value of your claim. You should never talk to an insurance company representative without first consulting with an attorney. This goes for both the other person’s insurance company as well as your own.
How to prove your wage loss in a personal injury case?
When you’ve been injured due to the negligence of someone else, it’s hard to not feel like your life has been upended, and that things are beyond your control. One issue that contributes to this is when your injuries are severe enough that you cannot work for some period of time. Your Utah Personal Injury Attorney, like those at Johnson Livingston, can help you recover your lost income while you are out of work, so long as you can work with them to provide the appropriate documentation to the insurance company to demonstrate your loss.
Here’s what you will need to maximize recovery from your lost income:
1. Medical Provider Documentation: When you are injured in a crash, it is important that you seek immediate medical attention. If as a result of your injuries you are unable to work for sometime, you must request documentation from your medical provider confirming they believe it is necessary for you to stay home from work while you recover. In addition to providing this note to your employer, you should provide it to your attorney who will use it in making your wage loss claim with the insurance company.
2. Proof of Wages: If you are employed by another individual or company, you should receive pay stubs as frequently as you are paid. This shows the hours you worked and the rate at which you were paid. This could also include the future work schedule, if your work sets that out ahead of time. Providing your attorney with your past 3-6 months of pay stubs and future work schedule helps establish what your average income is and shows how that translates into your current lost income.
3. Self- Employed? If you are self-employed, it can be much harder to demonstrate your wage loss, especially if you are not used to keeping detailed documentation of potential clients. If you are self-employed and you were required to turn down clients, or are unable to complete projects you previously took on, keeping precise notes about this is critical to getting appropriately compensated for your wage loss after an accident. Note who it was that contacted you about the job, their contact information, the scope of the job requested and the offered pay. It may be necessary for your Utah Personal Injury to contact those individuals and provide letters of support that they would have hired and paid you, had you not been injured.
What is the Burden of Proof for this case?
We’re all familiar with the phrase “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” and many may even be familiar with it as a legal standard in court; however, most people don’t know that this is not the legal standard for all court cases? Lately there has been a lot of public interest in a certain, high-profile celebrity lawsuit, and the court of public opinion certainly has decided a winner and loser. Several people have commented publicly that “Celebrity X is ‘not guilty,’ but guilt or innocence really has nothing to do with that particular case. Let me explain.
In Utah, and in courts throughout the country generally, there are three different types of cases by which the evidence must be presented to the fact-finder. In some cases, the fact-finder is a jury. In other cases, it’s simply the judge presiding over the case. Regardless of who is heaving the evidence, the type of case will determine what standard of evidence has to be set forth for the case to be proven.
Criminal Cases: Proof Beyond Reasonable Doubt = Guilty.
In criminal cases, the state must present evidence of someone’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In Utah, this means that the proof leaves the fact finder firmly convinced of the defendant’s guilt. That doesn’t mean that the jury has to be absolutely certain, or that there can’t be any doubt. There can be some. Although the courts do not permit attorneys to put a percentage on it, in law school we learn that “beyond reasonable doubt” should look something like 90-95% sure the Defendant committed the act they are accused of. Perhaps you have some small doubt that they didn’t, but if that doubt isn’t reasonable given the rest of the evidence, you can probably be firmly convinced of that person’s guilt. On the other hand, if there is a real possibility in the fact finder believes the accused didn’t commit the crime, or they haven’t been convinced to that high standard, the jury is instructed that they must give the Defendant the benefit of the doubt and find them “not guilty.” If the case is not a criminal one, there is no question of guilt or innocence.
Certain Civil Cases: Clear and Convincing Evidence.
Some civil cases require that the evidence be proven by “clear and convincing evidence.” Again, attorneys aren’t allowed to put a percentage on it in court, but think 70-75%. This is when a party must persuade you, by the evidence, to the point that there remains no serious or substantial doubt as to the truth of the fact. This is commonly the standard in cases involving the termination of someone’s parental rights. That is a pretty serious right, to parent your child, and the State or someone else through private petition should not be allowed to terminate that right without having some pretty convincing evidence that the parent is unfit.
Most Civil Case: Preponderance of the Evidence.
In the majority of civil case, the level of evidence the prevailing party must present is that of preponderance of the evidence. Think, car accident case, breach of contract, this is the standard for those kinds of case. This is the same standard applied in the popular celebrity trial. This means that the party must persuade you, by the evidence, that the fact is more likely to be true than not true. Another way of saying this is that the proof of the evidence presented by one side is more persuasive than the other. If we refer back to the percentages referenced above, you should think 51% or more likely that this event occurred the way the party is presenting it. If you find that a fact presented is more likely true than not, the party presenting that evidence has met the preponderance of the evidence standard. Only when you find that the evidence regarding a particular fact is not evenly balanced, should you find that the party hasn’t meet their burden of proof. In the same case, each party may have a burden of proving certain things. The “plaintiff” or the party bringing the case, has the burden to prove that the crash was caused by the “defendant” (opposing party), and that the crash was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries/damages. The defendant may have their own burden with respect to proving certain defenses, like if they allege you did something to make your injuries worse than what was actually caused by the accident.
So, next time you’re called to court for jury duty, or listening to the courtroom analyst regarding a certain case, the first thing you should consider is, “what kind of case is this?” Then you can recognize what burden or proof the parties must present, and whether or not you think the evidence meets that standard.
How long will it take for my case to resolve?
DEPENDS. While there are things that Johnson Livingston can do to expedite the process, each case is different and each insurance company approaches cases differently. At Johnson Livingston we diligently prepare the claim to avoid unnecessary delays to get you fair compensation as soon as possible.
What kind of compensation am I entitled to?
The purpose of personal injury law is to place you in as close to the same place you would have been in, had the at fault person followed the safety rules. This can include lost wages, past medical expenses, future medical expenses, and compensation for the interruption in your life.
Hiring an Attorney
Am I obligated to hire Johnson Livingston if I call you?
ABSOLUTELY NOT. Our ultimate goal at Johnson Livingston is to obtain the best outcome for you. Our advice and consultation is free with no obligation.
Do I need an attorney?
IT DEPENDS. Not every claim or injury needs an attorney. There are many different factors in a case to consider to determine whether or not you need an attorney. Occasionally those factors make it a better choice to not get an attorney. Johnson Livingston has numerous times advised potential clients to file the claim without an attorney so that the best possible outcome is achieved for the client. These questions can be answered during our Free Consultation.
Does hiring an attorney mean that I’ve filed a lawsuit?
NO. A common misconception is that if you hire an attorney that you have filed a lawsuit and “sued” someone. This is not the case. The first step in the process is to make a claim with the insurance. This process is not a lawsuit and is the first step to get you reasonable compensation for your injuries.
How soon should I contact an attorney?
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Most injury or plaintiff lawyers will offer a free consultation as well as have free materials available to help you understand the process. Whether you contact Johnson Livingston or another attorney, it is important to get experienced advice as soon as possible. Johnson Livingston moves quickly to document and obtain important evidence that will facilitate a quick and fair resolution to your case. The sooner a competent attorney is involved to gather the necessary evidence, the better.
What types of cases does Johnson Livingston take?
MANY TYPES OF CASES. Johnson Livingston specializes in most types of personal injury cases. Semi-truck, Dog Bites, Car Crashes, Slip & Falls (Premise Liability), Injuries caused by defective products (Product Liability), Wrongful Death, and other specialized cases including haunted houses, zip-lines, and essential oils.
Why should I hire Johnson Livingston?
CLIENT COMMITMENT. Our job at Johnson Livingston is to make this process as easy as possible and get the best outcome for your individual case. Using our experience and expertise, our job is to put you in the most advantageous position and guide you through the process.
Johnson | Livingston, LLC
Personal Injury & Trial Attorneys
195 South Orem Blvd, Suite 1
Orem, UT 84058
Text: (801) 683-5359
Give Us a Call or Text Us to Schedule a Free Appointment Today.
We're looking forward to discussing your case.
Disclaimer: This website and its contents are intended for informational purposes only and do not intend to provide or replace medical or legal advice.