You recently suffered a serious injury in Salt Lake City, and now you’re dealing with expensive medical costs, lost income from missed days at work, physical pain, emotional suffering, and maybe property damage as well. You didn’t cause your accident, maybe a distracted driver did, and you don’t feel like you should have to pay for your damages out of pocket. Instead, you want the person or company responsible for causing your accident to pay. Luckily, the law is on your side.
Document Your Accident: Before you begin the official filing process, prepare by creating a folder with all of your accident-related documents. The more information and documentation you acquire, the stronger your case will be. The civil courts in Salt Lake City will want to see a description of your accident and your losses at the very least. Collect information such as the date and location of the accident, where you were, who was involved, whether there were any witnesses, who you’re naming as the defendant, how much you wish to recover, the police report number, medical records, and photographs of the scene.
Valuate Your Claim: There are different legal processes that correspond to how much your claim is worth. You may need to work with a personal injury attorney to get an accurate idea of the value of your claim. Your claim’s “value” is how much you wish to get from the defendant, or at-fault party. In other words, what you’re claiming. The claim can include the costs of past and future medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, on top of non-economic damages such as emotional distress and mental anguish, if applicable.
File Your Claim with the Correct Salt Lake City Court: If your claim is worth less than $11,000, you will file with the Small Claims section of the Salt Lake City Justice Court. Note that in Utah, the courts will not allow a claim for only non-economic damages unless there are also medical bills that amount to at least $3,000. Small claims court is more formal than larger claims, and does not always require attorney representation. Cases with values over $11,000 must go through the Justice Court. It’s a good idea to retain a lawyer for larger claims.
Don’t Miss Your Deadline: There are strict statutes of limitations, or deadlines for filing, that claimants must obey in Utah. Failure to adhere to these deadlines almost always means the courts refusing to hear the claim. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims is four years from the date of the accident. Medical malpractice claims allow just two years from the date of injury, as do product liability claims. Claims involving property damage permit three years from the date of the accident for filing.
Retain an Attorney: If at this point in the process you still have not retained a personal injury lawyer, do so now. An attorney is an invaluable asset and support system during these types of claims in SLC. A lawyer can take care of the legwork of your claim for you, filing the right documents with the proper courts within all applicable deadlines. A personal injury lawyer in Salt Lake City can help you navigate claims courts and present evidence to a judge or jury to maximize accident compensation.