No one should be forced to shoulder medical bills and struggle to make ends meet after an accident caused by someone else. If you’ve been hurt due to someone else’s negligence, it’s time to learn about your legal rights. At Swenson & Shelley, our St. George personal injury lawyers help people like you fight for fair compensation after serious accidents. Accident victims deserve the relentless pursuit of justice that Swenson & Shelley can provide.
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For a free consultation, connect with our experienced personal injury attorneys in St. George today. We do not charge any fees upfront to start work on your case. You only pay us if we recover payment for you.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Personal Injury Case?
Not every accident will result in a personal injury case. One of the most crucial aspects of proving a personal injury case is establishing that someone else’s negligence directly caused your injury. Examples of negligence include a distracted driver who slams into another vehicle or a busy store owner that allows an ignored spill to cause a dangerous fall. You will need an experienced attorney to investigate your accident and determine who can be held responsible.
In addition to determining who was at fault, your attorney will need to demonstrate what losses you have suffered as a result. This can include physical, financial, and intangible losses such as pain and suffering. It can also include losses you expect to incur in the future as a result of your injury.
Our St. George Injury Attorneys Handle a Wide Range of Claims
Many types of accidents can lead to a personal injury lawsuit. At Swenson & Shelley, our experienced attorneys have a long track record of success in cases involving:
Truck Accidents – Injuries from truck accidents can be even more significant than those that occur in car crashes. There may be multiple parties who are responsible for an 18-wheeler crash, and an experienced St. George truck accident attorney is your best bet for pursuing the full compensation you deserve from those who injured you.
Car Accidents– No matter how defensively you drive, you could be involved in a car crash due to someone else’s careless behavior. Filing a personal injury claim and holding the at-fault driver accountable is much easier when you have a skilled car accident attorney in your corner.
Bicycle Accidents– Bicyclists are exposed to danger each time they take to the road. Without the airbags, metal structure surrounding them, or the other safety features of an enclosed auto, bicyclists can suffer severe injuries from the most minor accident.
Boat Accidents– Even a fun day on the water can turn tragic when boaters are careless. If you’ve been injured in a boat accident that was someone else’s fault, you could be owed compensation.
Bus Accidents– Whether you’re a passenger on the bus or were in another vehicle that collided with a bus, if someone else was at fault, your injuries and losses may be compensable.
Motorcycle Accidents– No matter how careful motorcyclists are, they are at serious risk when other drivers fail to look for them. Because there’s nothing between the biker and the pavement but their clothing, significant injuries are a common result of motorcycle wrecks.
Pedestrian Accidents– Whether the accident takes place in a parking lot or at a crosswalk, car-on-pedestrian accidents can leave a person with debilitating injuries.
Brain Injuries– Brain injuries can leave you with life-altering complications. And those complications will cost money. If your brain injury was the result of an accident that wasn’t your fault, you should pursue the compensation you will need to achieve the best recovery possible.
Construction Accidents– Whether you’re a construction worker injured on the job or a visitor to a construction site who was injured by hazardous conditions on the property, you deserve compensation for your injuries and other accident-related losses.
Dog Bites– Whether the dog belongs to a friend or family member or a complete stranger, you should not feel guilty for pursuing payment for your injuries. A lawyer can help you understand your options for filing a claim with the homeowner’s insurance policy to avoid interpersonal issues.
Sex Abuse– If you or your child were the victim of sexual abuse, you deserve to be able to hold the wrongdoer accountable. We want to help you pursue compensation for the horrendous injuries you suffered.
Slip and Fall Injuries– Slip and fall injuries can happen anywhere ─ at a friend’s home, at the mall, at a movie theatre, or in a parking lot, to name a few. If you slipped because of an unsafe condition or debris left on the surface where you were walking, you may have a personal injury claim.
Spinal Cord and Neck Injuries– This kind of injury can be among the most life-changing. If you suffered a spinal cord or neck injury in an accident caused by someone else and the result is that you are paralyzed or otherwise disabled, the at-fault party should pay for your treatment and other accident-related expenses.
Wrongful Death– Sometimes, the unthinkable happens, and a loved one dies in an accident that wasn’t their fault. We can help you fight to hold the wrongdoer accountable for their actions and pursue compensation to help cover the expenses of this dreadful loss.
Please reach out to our St. George personal injury law firm today for a free review of your case. We will answer all your questions and let you know if we can help.
Types of Damages You Could Recover in a Personal Injury Claim
In Utah, you can potentially recover both economic and non-economic compensation, or “damages.” Utah defines economic damages as money that will fairly compensate a victim for their measurable losses. Measurable losses may include:
Loss of earning capacity
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate, and there is no formula for arriving at an exact amount. Instead, to come up with a fair estimate of non-economic damages, a judge will generally consider the nature of a victim’s injuries, the extent of their suffering, and the long-term implications of the victim’s injuries. Examples of non-economic damages include:
Pain and suffering
Loss of consortium
The total amount of compensation that a victim could be owed depends on the unique circumstances of their case.
Utah Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims
A statute of limitations is a time limit. Utah gives victims involved in accidents four years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If a victim files a lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires, generally, a Utah court will refuse to hear the case.
Getting an attorney on your side early is crucial, even if you are filing an insurance claim. In some cases, insurance adjusters can drag out settlement negotiations or fail to negotiate in good faith. The process can waste time and limit your ability to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve.
How Our St. George Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help with Your Case
At Swenson & Shelley, we take a proactive approach to helping accident victims manage their cases. From our initial consultation, we will help you take stock of all your legal options. We will advise you about the path that offers the best chance at a favorable outcome. We then begin the process of protecting your legal rights and managing communications with insurers or opposing attorneys. We also take an active role in:
Investigating the cause of the accident
Gathering crucial evidence to support your case
Managing legal deadlines
Negotiating a fair settlement
Preparing a case for court if parties are unwilling to negotiate in good faith
During every step of the legal process, we will keep you updated on the progress of your case. We believe in transparent communication, so you’ll never feel like you are being left in the dark.
Steps to Take to Protect Your Rights After an Accident in St. George
Most people think they know what to do after a significant accident. Call the authorities, see a doctor, take photographs of the accident scene. Unfortunately, even the smallest misstep can make a difference in the amount of compensation you may be able to recover. Consider these additional tips to help you protect your rights and strengthen your claim:
Follow through with medical treatment. It’s often not enough to see a doctor immediately after an accident. You need to follow through with medical treatment and keep all subsequent medical and rehabilitation appointments. Medical documentation is crucial to personal injury claims. Extensive documentation showing the severity and extent of your injuries can help strengthen your case.
Do not post on social media. Avoid posting about the accident on social media. In fact, it is better to avoid posting anything on social media until your case is fully resolved. Your words, no matter how innocent, can potentially be used against you by insurers or opposing attorneys.
Keep all receipts. Do not throw out medical bills, property damage estimates, or out-of-pocket receipts that pertain to the accident. These documents can help an attorney estimate the fair value of your claim.
Start a journal. A journal can be therapeutic, but it can also be a good source of insight into how your injuries impact your everyday life. Use a journal to track your recovery progress and document how your injuries impact your ability to function.
St. George Personal Injury FAQs
If you’ve been injured in an accident in St. George that wasn’t your fault, you no doubt have questions. Over the years, we’ve complied some of the questions we hear most often from new clients, and we’ve answered them for you here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Get Help from an Experienced St. George Personal Injury Lawyer Now
Ready to talk to a skilled St. George personal injury attorney about your case? Get in touch with the experienced legal team at Swenson & Shelley. We want to offer you support and guidance through this challenging time.