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On January 9, 2018

CAN I HANDLE MY OWN UTAH PERSONAL INJURY CASE?

I occasionally see people trying to handle their Utah car accident personal injury cases. Usually, they receive sub-par results. Insurance companies know when you are not represented and they act accordingly. Simply put—insurance companies know that unrepresented people will not be able to file a lawsuit and will, therefore, take what is offered to them.

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Utah personal injury attorneys

Wrongful Death Lawyer Jake Gunter

 

HERE ARE THE TOP 3 REASONS TO HIRE A UTAH PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY FOR YOUR CAR ACCIDENT CASE:

(1). Better Results. At my law firm, we have around ten attorneys, each with varying years in the practice of law, all on my client’s side. I have 14 years of trying lawsuits and representing people in their legal challenges, and the vast majority are those injured in Utah car accidents.

Our experienced Salt Lake/Orem/Provo car accident personal injury lawyers have the combined knowledge to help you understand the legal process and where the value of your case stands.

When you go Pro Se (without an attorney) you will be going up against a large insurance company with hundreds of lawyers and insurance adjusters doing this very business every day. Having our attorneys on your side balances the power inequalities between the insurance carrier and the injured party. When you couple this with a jury demand, you will have a better chance at fair and adequate compensation for your physical injuries.

I can’t remember how many times I was hired by a client trying to do it alone. The client showed me the insurance carrier’s initial offers, or often denial letters. I came on board, filed a lawsuit and thereafter, the insurance company changed its mind and the case settled.

EXAMPLES OF CASES WHERE I WAS HIRED AFTER TRYING TO DO IT WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY.

Here are a few examples of recent memory where I was hired and the at-fault liability insurance carrier immediately settled or offered policy limits:

(A). Rear End Collision. A high speed rear-ender. While the client was acting without an attorney, the offer was around $3,500. I was hired and immediately sued. The insurance carrier settled for $50,000 (policy limits). During the underinsured portion of the same car accident, my client was denied completely. Meaning, his own insurance company completely denied his claim that the at-fault insurance carrier did not fully compensate him for his injuries, thus, making an underinsured claim.

After the underinsured denial, I sued and fully litigated the car accident injury case and received a substantial settlement.

(B). GEICO. GEICO denied liability completely, so I filed suit and GEICO immediately paid their $25,000 policy limits. The fact that the unrepresented person hired an attorney willing to sue GEICO for an unreasonable denial made the difference.

(C). GIECO AGAIN. GEICO denied liability completely again on another rear-ender collision. The client was dropped by the first attorney because GEICO denied liability. Denied liability car accident cases can be more difficult. I immediately sued and took the matter all the way to arbitration where my client did receive some compensation for her injuries.

(D). Hit-and-Run. My client was hit by an SUV on his skateboard in Provo. The insurance company denied liability, apparently not believing my client was even injured, or if he was injured, he was making it up. After consultation with my minor child client and his mother, they sued. The case settled thereafter.

(E). High Speed Provo Canyon Collision. My client was seriously injured as a passenger in Provo Canyon, in the State of Utah. Although the insurance company would have eventually settled the case, they were acting unreasonably slow in the face of disastrous injuries. I advised the insurance company that we were going to sue if it did not start paying compensation. Rather than wait for the insurance company to make up it’s mind, I made up it’s mind for them by filing a lawsuit immediately. After putting a little fire to the insurance company, they immediately paid the policy limits. In this case, they were being unreasonable slow when my client was unreasonably hurting and needing monetary compensation. Being represented by an attorney made the difference.

Low-Ball Initial Offers to Unrepresented People.

I also see the letters and checks that are sent to people shortly after their accident. These letters will include a check for $750 or $1,500 and state that the insurance company would like to compensate them for their injuries and they send a check to make it happen.
The problem is these initial letters offering nominal compensation amounts generally do not even come close to the real settlement value of their personal injury cases. When you are acting without an attorney, you will often not know what the real value of your injury case is. You may also not know what the future medical expenses will hold, or the physical limitations on your ability to earn money.

Utah Car Accident Expert Witnesses.

When you are not using an attorney, you will often not be able to afford the right type of expert witnesses to prove your damages. Nor will you know and understand what type of expert is needed in your Utah car accident claim. Personal injury damages come in many forms. Often, proving future medical expenses requires a medical doctor.

Proving lost future earning capacity will also require an expert versed in employment and how this injury has effected your ability to work and earn in the future.

Future medical expenses and future lost earning capacity can impact your life significantly and you will often not know about using these experts when handling your case alone. Even if you know about these types of experts, they will be cost prohibitive. When you hire a good, weathered Utah personal injury attorney, the injury attorney’s law firm will front these expert witness costs, enabling your recovery of fair and adequate compensation.

(2). Pit Falls. Insurance law is complicated and most Utah attorneys do not practice it. The everyday intricacies such as excess judgments, bad faith, statutes of limitations, underinsured coverage, personal injury protection benefits, stacking, uninsured coverages, lost wages, expert witnesses, and trial work, to name a few, have serious deadlines and pitfalls for the unrepresented client.
When you try to settle your Utah car accident case without an attorney, you will be up against a claims department staffed with trained medical adjusters, supervisors and lawyers. Doing your own Utah personal injury claim is like being 2 steps behind at all times—simply not knowing the process.

(3). Medical Documentation. Every Utah personal injury case is medical documentation heavy. Without proper medical documentation from appropriate medical providers, the at-fault insurance company will not pay adequate and fair compensation.

An insurance adjuster must justify to their first line supervisors that the injury claim file has adequate documentation to merit a particular money valuation. You may have a head injury, but without a report from a neuropsychologist, your serious head injury will receive little consideration by the insurance adjuster. Even if your head injury was evaluated and diagnosed at the emergency room and by your chiropractor, without proof of the need for treatment, your car accident brain injury will receive little compensation.

CONCLUSION—Hire a Utah Personal Injury Lawyer.

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Every time I meet with a potential new Utah personal injury client, I tell them to hire a personal injury attorney, but preferably me. Having a lawyer on your side will help immensely. Please hire someone. Going it alone will be ripe with pitfalls that will impair your ability to obtain fair and adequate compensation for your Utah personal injuries.

Call me (Jake Gunter) for a free, no-obligation, personal injury consultation at (801) 373-6345.

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