UNDERSTANDING PERSONAL INJURY LAW IN UTAH

Personal injuries result from traffic accidents, work accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical negligence, defective products, etc. They can result in severe physical injuries and a challenging legal battle against the negligent party. Luckily personal injury law allows you to seek compensation for the damage suffered in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.

However, personal injury law differs from one state to another. This guide explores some of the things you should know when filing a personal injury claim with an insurance company or court in Utah.

There is a statute of limitations.

There is a time frame for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Utah referred to as the statute of limitations. You can file a personal injury lawsuit in court within four years from the accident date. Otherwise, you lose your right to hold the negligent party accountable no matter how sufficient your evidence is.

Note that some cases have a shorter statute of limitations, so consulting personal injury attorneys St. George Utah is advisable to understand the law surrounding your case. An attorney plays a critical role given the time sensitivity and can help you present your claim on time.

Utah’s comparative fault rule

You may file a personal injury claim in Utah only for the defendant to argue that you are partly to blame for your injuries. If that is the case, Utah’s comparative fault rule applies, reducing the compensation you can recover from the other party. 

If you are found to share 50% or more of the fault, you may not receive any compensation at all. Generally, the comparative fault rule reduces your compensation award by an amount equal to the percentage of the fault assigned to you. Insurance companies bring up the comparative fault rule during settlement negotiations as well.

Strict liability for dog bites

In most states, personal injury law protects dog owners from liability when their dog injures someone for the first time as long as they have no reason to believe that the dog was dangerous. But that is not the case in Utah. Utah’s personal injury law stipulates that a dog owner is strictly responsible for their dog’s behavior. Therefore they are liable for any dog bite or injury their dog causes regardless of its past behavior.

No fault system 

In accident injuries, Utah follows a no-fault car insurance system. The injured person’s insurance company provides coverage for medical costs and lost income regardless of who is at fault. But you may be able to step out of the no-fault system if you can prove that your case involves serious injuries and hold the fault party accountable. In such a situation, it is always advisable to consult an attorney.

Personal injury claims involving government agencies

A specific set of rules apply if a government agency or employee causes your injury in Utah. You are obligated to submit a notice of claim within one year from the date the accident occurred, and you also have one year to file a lawsuit if your initial claim is denied. 

The endnote

In any personal injury case, it is best to seek legal guidance from a personal injury attorney.