Getting into a crash or getting injured due to someone else’s fault is never pleasant. Many people have no idea what to do next, and they definitely don’t want to be stuck paying for it. Here’s a brief explanation of the best, next steps to make sure you are able to, physically and financially, recover. The short answer, talk to an experienced Utah personal injury attorney.
At Johnson Livingston, we do our best to explain the process in easy to understand, common language, without all of the extra legal jargon. If you’re still deciding whether to get an attorney or not, here’s a brief explanation of why working an attorney is always best.
1. What claims are available to you?
Most people have no idea what type of claims or benefits are available to them after they are injured, through no fault of your own. If the person or company responsible for the incident can be identified, you can make several types of claims with their insurance, depending on what happened. This changes on a case by case basis.
Car or Damage to Your Property
If your car or personal property was damaged, you have a property damage claim. If your body was injured, and you need medical treatment, you have a bodily injury claim. In Utah, there are different types of bodily injury claims.
Injury to Your Body
If you were in a car, your medical expenses must meet or exceed $3,000.00 before you are entitled to be directly compensated for your bodily injury claim. If you were a pedestrian, bicyclists, or motorcyclist, your medical expenses do not have to meet that $3,000.00 threshold.
If the liable party’s insurance agrees that you have been injured in excess of their insured’s policy limits, and they offer to resolve your claim with them for that full amount, you may have additional claims available to you under your own insurance policies.
Injured on Someone’s Property
If you were injured by someone’s child at some other location, many people are surprised to learn that the child’s parents’ homeowners insurance may be available to compensate you.
It’s About Understanding Your Rights & the Laws Here in Utah
If some of these points seem surprising, this should be an indication that consulting with a Utah personal injury attorney, like those at Johnson Livingston, may be helpful. We are familiar with the laws in Utah, and have made claims on behalf of our clients with almost every insurance company you can think of including all the ones who say that saving money is more important than having the coverage you really need.
Sometimes we don’t know what we need until something horrible happens, so we hope that before you are injured and you need to make a claim you can learn what these coverages are so you can make educated decisions that come down to few extra dollars a month instead of having to pay thousands upon thousands of dollars out of your pocket.
When You Make a Claim You Are Using What You Pay For – Your Insurance
Some people have concerns about making a claim against someone else’s insurance, and have heartburn over “suing” someone. However, the benefit of having insurance is to protect your personal assets when something like this happens, and by making the insurance claim, you are allowing the policy holder to rely on the benefits of the policy that were already paid for when they make their monthly premium payment. This is why it’s required for all driers to have insurance, because it protects us all against these risks.
Making a Claim Benefits All Parties Involved
Both parties are benefitted by making the insurance claim. As the injured party, you are able to be compensated for your injuries or damage to your property. As the insured, they don’t have to pay directly out of pocket to resolve your claim.
Claims Can Include Wage Loss, Getting Assistance in Your Home & More
In addition to the bodily injury and property damage claims, you may not know that your insurance policy has additional benefits, like compensating you when you need assistance with chores around your home due to your injuries, lost wages resulting from missed work, or rental coverage when your vehicle is being repaired.
Experienced Utah personal injury attorneys know how to access every potential benefit available for you, either through your own insurance or the insurance of the responsible party. Without an attorney, you may be leaving money or benefits on the table.
2. Why would you want your own attorney to make the claim for you?
A common mistake injured people make is trusting that their insurance is on their side. (Nationwide Insurance jingle, we’re looking at you!) While to a certain degree, your insurance may be able to provide benefits for you, if you ultimately need to make a claim for additional compensation through your insurance later, everything you communicated to your insurance about originally, now becomes information they can use against you.
The insurance company records call with you, and if you made a statement about “feeling okay” that particular day, its possible the insurance company will argue that you were never truly injured. It’s important to remember, that at the end of the day, the insurance company, even your own, is in th business of making money, and they make more money the less they pay out to those who make claims or need to pursue a settlement or lawsuit.
Real People Who Really Care About You & Your Case
When you hire the attorneys at Johnson Livingston, our sole consideration is doing what is best for you. Because we take these cases on a contingency basis, our interests are focused on your real needs. We act to insulate you from conversations or statements which the insurance company may try to use out of context later. We can present the facts of the incident to the insurance without exposing you to potential issues down the road.
Having an attorney to communicate with the insurance company on your behalf from the beginning protects you and your claim, to make sure you receive the full benefits owed to you.
Our attorneys and staff are trained to handle your claim correctly and efficiently so that you can focus on getting and feeling better as recommended by your treating medical providers, and be fully compensated.
3. How does an attorney make the process easier for you?
Your attorney steps in to prevent the insurance company from bombarding you with calls and inquiries; however, that doesn’t mean you’ll be left in the dark about the process. The right attorney will keep you in the loop during this process. They will be transparent and active in their communication.
At Johnson Livingston, one of our core values is communication with our clients every step of the way. This means that you won’t go longer than a month, even when you are receiving medical treatment, so you can understand what is happening behind the scenes, and how we can best help you.
Once you are done with treatment, your attorney and our staff will request all of your medical records to be included in a “Demand Packet” that enables the insurance company to quickly consider your case, injuries, and the value of your claim.
Utah personal injury attorneys, including those at Johnson Livingston, perform this work on a “contingency fee basis,” meaning there is no money owed by you out of pocket for us to take on your case. Per our contract for services, we don’t get paid until a settlement is paid to you on behalf of the insurance company.This means that we work for you. While ultimately we can give you our best advice, given our experience, ultimately we try to empower you so you can decide how to resolve your claim.
Get Expert Advice to Help You Make the Best Decision for Your Case & Needs
Just as its best to get the opinion of a trained medical provider to diagnose and treat you, as opposed to WebMD or your friend’s sister who experienced something similar, it is in your best interest to get an attorney here in Utah that understands how insurance, claims, and the legal process works.
According to a national insurance industry study, insurance companies have acknowledged that they take claims more seriously, and pay 3x more on average when someone has an attorney, than when they don’t. This proves that without an attorney, you’remore likely to be treated as a number, taken less seriously, and ultimately miss out on the settlement you actually need for your claim.
Without an Attorney, the insurance company thinks they can get you to settle for less, because most people do not understand the laws and regulations as in-depth as an attorney at Johnson Livingston.
Make Sure Your Case is Taken Seriously By Everyone Involved
Having an attorney puts the insurance company on notice that they can’t take advantage of you, and ensures the best possible outcome for your case. It’s almost like the put your case file into the “we have to take it seriously” pile.
Here at Johnson Livingston we will take you and your case seriously. We offer free case consultations so you can see if we are the right fit for you and your case. You can count on us to walk with you every step of the way. We want you to be able to focus on getting better, and we will focus on your claim, and case. You can reach out to us via phone or text to schedule an appointment at 801-948-9670.