How Much of a Settlement Amount Can You Expect After a Minor Car Accident in Utah?
If you were injured in a car accident, you may deserve compensation. Even if there is no damage to the cars, a car accident can still cause injuries. The human body is not designed to face quick starts and stops. In accidents where the cars only receive minor damage, the drivers and passengers can still face pretty severe injuries. Understanding what your case is worth and what you might be entitled to is important when you’ve been hurt.
Salt Lake City car accident attorney Darwin Overson of Overson Law, PLLC may be able to help you with your minor car accident case. If you were injured, do not accept any settlement offers until you talk to an attorney and understand what your case is worth. You may be able to take your case to court if you have serious injuries – and you may be entitled to much more compensation than the other driver or the insurance company leads you to believe.
Compensation for Minor Car Accidents with No Damage
In a car accident case, there are two things to consider: the property damage and the personal injury. Some lawyers handle property damage in car accidents, but much of that is more easily handled through insurance. Personal injury attorneys throughout Utah understand that the injury aspects of car accidents are much more complicated, and often require an attorney. Strict insurance rules in Utah may prevent lawsuits without serious injuries, but in no way require damage to the vehicles. If your car is okay, but you suffered severe injuries, our attorneys focus on getting your injuries compensated.
Utah is a no-fault car insurance state. This means that after a car accident, you first file with your own car insurance company. Your own car insurance must cover at least $3,000 worth of injuries under its “Personal Injury Protection” (PIP) policy. If your injuries are worth more than $3,000 or are severe enough, you can sue the at-fault driver directly. The following all count as sufficiently “severe” injuries that allow you to take your case to court:
- Loss of limb
- Permanent disability or impairment
- Permanent disfigurement
- Medical expenses over $3,000.
Even relatively minor accidents can still cause severe injuries. If you were already injured or vulnerable to injury before the accident, you might suffer worse injuries in a car crash. The human body is also vulnerable to many injuries, even in minor car accidents. These could include spinal cord and back injuries, or brain injuries. If your injuries were made worse because of defective auto parts, like exploding airbags or faulty seat belts, you may even be able to sue other parties in addition to the at-fault driver.
Whiplash injuries can be quite serious and require intense treatment. These injuries may even cause permanent discomfort and pain. Whiplash injuries are common, even in low-speed crashes. Especially in rear-end collisions, drivers can suffer whiplash injuries without much damage to their car.
With the current cost of healthcare and medical treatment, the $3,000 limit is quite low. After ambulance rides, X-Rays, MRIs, hospital stays, surgery, rehabilitation, and physical therapy, you may exceed the $3,000 limit. As long as your treatment costs go over $3,000, you can take the at-fault driver to court rather than relying upon your own insurance.
Should I Take an Insurance Settlement?
Always talk to an attorney when you are injured in an accident. Automatically accepting a settlement from your car insurance company could limit your ability to sue. Depending on what your insurance company or the other driver offers, you may be tempted to take their settlement. However, if your injuries are severe, you could be missing out on substantial damages if you take a settlement.
Knowing what your case is worth is one of the most difficult parts of a car accident case. One way of evaluating the cost of your case is by looking at your medical expenses. However, this value is only helpful for deciding whether you meet the $3,000 threshold to sue in court. Your case may be worth significantly more if you take it to court.
While car insurance may pay for medical expenses, it may not cover all of your needs. If you take your case to court, you may be able to capture additional types of compensation for your injuries. First, you might be entitled to compensation for wages you missed while you were recovering from your injuries. If you are too injured to return to work, this could continue to supply you with income into the future. Second, you could be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, on top of medical expenses. This compensation depends heavily on your personal experience and what a jury thinks your case is worth. However, insurance typically will not pay for pain and suffering damages; these are usually only available in court.
Salt Lake City Car Accident Attorneys
Salt Lake City personal injury lawyer Darwin Overson fights for injured car accident victims in Salt Lake City and the surrounding area. Our Utah personal injury attorneys have handled thousands of injury cases and may be able to help you get compensation for your case. Even if neither car suffered damage, you could still face serious injuries. Call (801) 895-3143 today for a free consultation on your car accident case.