How Long Does a Car Accident Claim Take in Utah?
Car accidents are often complex. Especially when multiple cars are involved, injuries are very serious, or the fault is hard co place, the claims can take some time. Whether you are going through insurance or the court system, any option may mean a lengthy process before you are paid the compensation you need. If you were injured in a car accident, do not let the length of the claims process deter you from seeking the compensation you need; call a personal injury attorney. For a free consultation with an experienced Salt Lake City car accident injury lawyer, call Darwin Overson at Overson Law, PLLC today.
Filing a Car Accident Claim
The first part of your car accident claim is the filing itself. This is often something you do quite quickly. If you are severely injured, such as in cases of traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury you may need additional time to file, especially if your injuries have kept you hospitalized or unable to do things like fill out paperwork and make phone calls.
Under Utah law, you have four years to file a car accident injury claim with the courts. Most car accident claims are filed much quicker than this, especially if they are filed through insurance. Insurance is also incredibly important under Utah’s “no-fault” car accident insurance rules. These laws require many car accident claims to be filed with your own insurance company first, before you make a claim from the at-fault driver’s insurance. This allows your company to pay for minor injuries. However, if your injuries are worth over $3,000 or are sufficiently severe, you may be entitled to file a claim directly against the at-fault driver’s insurance or directly with the courts.
The initial filing process can take some time – but usually will not take more than a couple weeks. The main time factor here is your recovery time. If you are unable to deal with the filing process because of your injuries, you may not be expected to file. Initiating a claim with an insurance company is merely a phone call away. Similarly, attorneys experienced with filing car accident claims do not need too much time to file the initial paperwork with the courts. This does, however, require some period for investigation and clarifying your claims before the process is finalized, and should never wait until the last minute on your four-year filing period.
Length of a Car Accident Claim
After the initial firing, the time it takes to complete the claim varies. If you are going through insurance, and your injuries are relatively minor, it may take a few weeks before you get the check for your medical bills. However, if your injuries are relatively severe, it can be challenging to get the insurance companies or the other driver to accept the claims.
In some cases, the fault is so clearly on the other driver that there is no argument to be made against it. In many of these situations, the driver and the insurance company will admit fault, especially with the threat of a lawsuit on their hands. After some investigation and evidence of your injuries is turned-over during the legal proceedings, you may be offered a settlement for your injuries.
If there are questions of causation, if you are accused of being partly responsible, or if your injuries are very severe, insurance companies and other drivers may be especially likely to fight the case in court. It can take an estimated 1-3 months to clarify your car accident claims, and engage in the back-and-forth of filing the complaint, receiving answers, and amending the original complaint to sharpen your claims. After this, there may be a period of time where the defendant asks for the case to be dismissed, but if your case proceeds beyond this, it should soon be scheduled for trial. Many times, defendants realize they cannot win at this point, and may be pressured into settlement.
If your case does go to trial, the end is in sight. The pretrial process of turning over evidence to the other side, assembling witnesses and experts, and gathering other evidence can take some time. Many car accident trials do not start until nearly a year after the initial filing. However, it is usually worth it in the end. Most trials take less than a week in front of a jury, and are decided quite quickly. Winning your case may entitle you to all of the medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages you need.
Salt Lake City Car Accident Injury Claims Process
If you were severely injured in a car accident in Utah, talk to a Salt Lake City personal injury attorney. Darwin Overson of Overson Law, PLLC has decades of experience helping car accident victims seek compensation for their injuries and missed work. If you were injured, call Darwin Overson today at (801) 895-3143 to start your car accident injury claim.