If you have been injured, you might find yourself needing an attorney. Before you pick up the phone and start calling around, you might want to take a look at these helpful tips to see if you have a personal injury case.
First and foremost, you must have an injury. This may seem obvious. Although the legal definition of the word “injury” is a harm or damage, Utah law requires more for a personal injury case. In order to have a case, your injury must have needed at least $3000 dollars worth of medical treatment, OR it has to be permanent (i.e. scarring, disfigurement, disabling).
You must have been injured by someone else. In order to have a case, someone else has to be responsible for your injuries. Examples of this include: if you were in a car accident where you were a passenger in the car; if you were in a car accident as a driver, but did not cause the accident; or if you were a pedestrian hit by a car. In those cases, you can usually bring a lawsuit against the person who caused your injury and recover your damages.
Your actions can’t have caused your injury. To win your case in Utah, you have to be less than 50% to blame for your injury. Often times juries will look at how responsible you were for your injury before deciding on a verdict or deciding on the amount to award the plaintiff. One example of this is if you were turning left at a green light and an oncoming car hit you. Even if the car was speeding up to get through the yellow – or red – light (we have all seen this guy), you have the responsibility to yield to oncoming traffic. In this case, you could be considered to have more than 50% of the blame for the accident.
Your actions did not cause your injury or further injure you. When you have a lawsuit, one of the things your attorney will need to do is prove that the accident that you were in actually caused your injury. This can be very hard to do, for example, if you claim you were injured in a car accident but then decided to go skiing the next day and fell. In a case like this, it would be difficult to separate what injuries came from which event.
If you are still not sure if you have a personal injury case, feel free to call us at 801-533-0222 for a free review of your case.