St. George Personal Injury FAQs

How do I pick the right attorney?

This can be a confusing task because you see so many people on TV, in newspapers, and in advertisements for personal injury attorneys everywhere. You need to look at a couple basic things.

First, you need to look at the experience. Not just how long somebody’s been an attorney but how much they’re involved in the actual personal injury arena on a day-to-day basis. You don’t want somebody who’s doing criminal law one day, doing a bill of trust the next day, and then taking a personal injury case if they get a chance.

You also want to look for somebody who’s a trial lawyer. It’s important to prepare your case as if it’s going to trial because that helps in the settlement, and if you do have to go to trial, it helps there. Most importantly, insurance companies know who’s willing to go to trial, who’s willing to fight and spend that extra effort on a case, and who’s not.

Should I talk to the insurance company?

It’s not a good idea. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions in a specific way to get the information they need to help their case, which means hurting your case. Their entire goal is to reduce the amount of damages they pay out. Do not speak to an insurance company or give them a recorded statement until you’ve talked to an attorney.

Can I avoid trial?

Some people come in wanting to tell their story in court. Others want to avoid trial at all cost. In St. George, you always have the option of settling the case before trial. This is your case. We’re not going to file a lawsuit without asking you first and explaining to you what the process is. The ultimate decision is yours. What we offer is our opinion and our experience on whether or not we think filing a lawsuit and taking the case to trial will add value and give you the opportunity to settle your case for more and fair money.

Can I be compensated for emotional damages?

One of the areas that an injured party is able to recover is for the damages of emotional distress. People sometimes don’t understand the impact of emotional distress until they get a few weeks down the road and the reality of their injury sets in. They understand that when you’re in pain, any aspect of life is less enjoyable. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. If you’re hurting, it’s more difficult to enjoy and appreciate the life that you’re living.

In St. George, you can pursue compensation for this emotional stress caused by the injury.

What mistakes can I avoid?

One of the biggest mistakes is not seeking the medical care that you need right away. If you’re injured, you need to seek out the medical care of trained professionals who can help you get the treatment that you need.

Number two, people don’t follow the advice of their doctors. They don’t go to their follow-up appointments. They don’t follow their doctor’s recommendations, and they delay the healing process. Insurance companies look at whether or not you’re following the instructions of the doctor when trying to make a recovery.

Number three is not seeking out the help of an attorney. An attorney can come into a case early on, help organize the case, and help you avoid making a lot of these mistakes that people commonly make.

Number four is when seeking out an attorney, make sure you choose an attorney who is dedicated to personal injury work and is a trial attorney as well. An attorney can make one of the biggest impacts on your case, and the attorney you hire could determine the ultimate outcome and value of your case.

How much is my case worth?

This is a very difficult question to answer because there’s no formula that can be used. It’s based on the specifics of the case. It depends on how severe the injury is, how bad it impacts the individual who’s hurt, how long it’s going to impact them, and how severely it’s going to impact them. What are they going to lose for work? What kind of future medical bills are they going to incur? All of those things go into it.

One of the other things that you have to factor into it is the amount of insurance that’s available to cover that loss because you could have a significant injury but not enough insurance to cover it, and that affects the value of a case.

How long will my case take?

That depends on a number of factors. The main factor is how long it is going to take for you to recover from the injuries that you have sustained. Minor injuries heal quicker. Bigger injuries take a longer amount of time to heal.

What we want is for you to get to a stable point where your medical providers have a good understanding of what your injuries are and what it’s going to take for the ongoing care. At that point, we’ll gather up the bills and the records that have been produced by your medical providers and we’ll begin to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Many times, we’re able to resolve cases through settlements if the insurance company is able to come to the table with a fair offer. In the event they are unwilling to come to the table with a fair offer, we would then file litigation.

We are always pushing your case to settle and to resolve as quickly as we can, while understanding at the same time that you only get to settle the case one time. Once your case is over, we can’t come back at a later date and ask to reopen it.

What if I have preexisting conditions?

Preexisting conditions are interesting because insurance companies look at them and say, “You’ve already had the injury. We didn’t really cause an injury.” The problem is with the preexisting injury, you’re more susceptible to a new injury or a re-aggravation of that injury. So when an accident causes something new, oftentimes because of the preexisting injury, it makes it worse.

Should I take the first settlement offer?

When negotiating with an insurance provider in St. George, UT, we never recommend taking the first offer. In fact, unless the insurance adjuster is offering 100 percent of the insurance policy, we have never had a situation where an insurance adjuster is not willing to give more money above and beyond their first offer. We do not recommend taking the initial settlement offer. It’s our experience that there is typically more money to offer, more room to negotiate, and we can help you through that process.

Will my injury case go to trial?

The reality is most cases do not end up going to trial or being decided by a jury. Many cases can settle prior to filing litigation. You can negotiate a claim with an insurance adjuster and reach an agreeable resolution. We’re unable to do that with some cases, and so we file litigation and start the litigation process. During that process, there are a lot of things that happen that can help the case continue to negotiate and work toward a resolution. Even most of the cases that do end up in litigation still settle before trial.

In the event that a case does go to trial, rest assured that our attorneys have extensive experience taking cases to trial. We’re not afraid to take a case to a jury verdict, and we will make sure that you’re comfortable with the process, understand what to expect, and are well-prepared for a trial.