Car Accident Laws in Utah

Car accidents are a common sight, especially in cities like Salt Lake City. Whether it’s a fender bender in rush-hour traffic, or if it’s a crash on the highway, an accident can be devastating and leave you with serious injuries.

Your accident may have been the fault of another driver, but that doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the compensation you deserve. You’ll instead need to also focus on the laws that affect your claim. While the following doesn’t cover every law that will affect your claim, you can expect these laws to affect your claim.

When you’re looking for car accident lawyers in SLC, be sure that you speak to them about laws affecting your claim. You’ll need to stay aware of these laws and be ready to fight back when they affect your claim.

Filing on Time

First, keep in mind that you have a limited amount of time to file your claim. Also known as the “statute of limitations,” this time limit will bar you from recovery if you don’t act within that limit. For Utah accidents, that means acting within four years.

This will be one of the first major laws to affect your claim, since you’ll need to consider it before you ever file your claim. This limit, however, does protect your evidence. Some pieces of evidence could be lost or decay over time, which means less for you to use to prove your claim. As such, the time limit pushes you to act now, while your evidence is still fresh.

Negligence Laws for Your Claim

Once you reach the courtroom, you’ll need help defending your claim from accusations of negligence on your part. While the other person may be at fault for the serious injuries they caused, your own part in the accident could be used against you.

Let’s say you were driving distracted and were hit by another driver. While you didn’t cause the accident, you weren’t paying enough attention to avoid the accident. So, the defense might use that against you. They’ll claim you were responsible in part for the accident, and so the judge might decide that you were 20 percent at fault.

While this doesn’t sound like much, that means that you’ll receive just 80 percent of the full compensation you deserve. This makes recovering much more difficult, so speak to your lawyer about fighting back against accusations of fault.

Get Help from an Attorney

Dealing with the pain and expenses of a car accident can be difficult. Even if you’re certain that the other person is at fault for your crash, you’ll need to protect your claim against the laws affecting your claim.

However, a lawyer can help you do that. You’ll need someone who can help you get your claim started in time, so you don’t miss your chance for compensation. Once you’ve done that, you’ll also need to fight back against claims that you were responsible, so you’ll need an attorney that can fight for your compensation.

So, if you’re struggling with your claim, speak to a lawyer about the lawyers that will affect your Utah car crash claim. You’ll need as much help as possible for a successful claim, so fight back with the help of an attorney.

Structure of the Texas Court System

Like most states, the judicial system in Texas is an intricate structure. If you find yourself involved in a civil or criminal case, it’s to your advantage to become familiar with how this system operates. Your attorney can provide you with valuable information about the structure of the Texas Court System so you have a better idea of how it’s organized and what to expect from the judiciary process. In short, here’s a brief outline of this structure.

Structure of the Court System in Texas

Supreme Courts: The Texas court system is unique from other states in that it contains two supreme courts, instead of one. The Supreme Court of Texas is responsible for civil cases while the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals deals with cases involving criminal law. Each of these supreme courts has nine justices which are elected by the people to serve six year terms.

Both the Supreme Court of Texas and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals have appellate jurisdiction, meaning they can review decisions made by lower courts and change the outcome of those decisions if they feel the circumstances warrant it.

14 Courts of Appeal: Under the supreme court is what’s known as the 14 Courts of Appeal. These courts also have the right of appellate jurisdiction.

District Courts: District courts handle the majority of civil and criminal trials in Texas. Some of these courts specialize in specific areas such as family law or cases dealing with juveniles.

Other: Texas also maintains county courts, municipal courts, statutory probate courts and justice of the peace courts in its court system.

Legal Process

Within the Texas court system, cases can be tried under civil law or criminal law.

Civil law cases often deal with disputes between individuals over such matters as relationships, responsibilities, obligations, etc. These matters may involve the breach of contracts, personal injury due to accidents or damage to or loss of property. In civil cases, the individual bringing the case to court (plaintiff) must have evidence that he has been wronged and is deserving of compensation for damages.

Criminal law cases involve the breaking of criminal statutes or laws.  These cases are brought to court by the state when individuals are accused of a crime. In criminal cases, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused has committed a crime.    

Many court cases are settled before reaching trial by either plea bargaining in the case of criminal offenses or reaching a settlement in civil suits.

The Texas court system plays an important role in upholding the law in Texas by addressing such important issues as the death penalty, criminal sentencing for crimes that don’t mandate the death penalty (i.e. drugs, theft, fraud, etc.), tort reform, tobacco litigation, civil lawsuits and more.  

When obtaining legal representation in Texas, make sure your attorney has a license from the Supreme Court of Texas and is a member of the Texas State Bar. Working with top attorneys in Texas will enable you to get the quality representation you need to launch a successful defense.

Moving Past an Auto Wreck

The aftermath of a motor vehicle accident is often a traumatizing time in the survivor’s life. Not only are you apt to suffer debilitating injuries, you’ll also have to take time off work, so you can focus on recovery. The inability to earn a living, however temporary, often puts your family in a terrible financial bind.

However, when the negligent actions of another person caused your crash, you can file a civil claim against them. It allows you to recover compensation for the suffering you endured. Holding the liable party accountable for his or her negligence is one of the best ways to move forward following your collision.

Bring the At-Fault Party to Justice

When you first make the decision to proceed with a car crash claim, you should hire an attorney. Working with the lawyer is often the best way to ensure that you get the most out of your lawsuit. Your attorney will conduct a complete investigation into the cause of the accident, so he or she can name the person or people responsible for your injuries as the defendant(s) in your case.

Often, an investigation reveals that the driver of the other involved vehicle drove in an aggressive manner, drunk, drowsy or distracted at the time of the accident. These irresponsible driving practices comprise some of the top causes of car accidents across the nation.

Other at-fault parties could include the Department of Transportation, if the roads themselves caused your crash, or automakers or technicians if a malfunctioning part on either involved car caused the collision. Your lawyer can gather the evidence necessary to support your case, whether it be through witness statements, video footage, or medical records.

Secure Full Compensation for Your Damages

The entire purpose of filing a civil lawsuit is to obtain compensation for your damages. The suit compels the culpable entity to cover all expenses or losses you suffered. In most cases, your damages compensation includes the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of consortium
  • The effects of disfigurement
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Emotional distress

The Judge presiding over your case could even issue an award of punitive damages if the defendant acted with malice or neglect to cause harm on purpose. Punitive damages make an example of the defendant and deter similar incidents from occurring in the future.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

If you’re interested in filing a personal injury claim so you can get compensated for your car crash damages, get in touch with a highly trained attorney as soon as possible. Many firms offer their potential clients a free consultation, so you can get the legal advice you need after your auto wreck.