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How Long Do Car Accident Settlements Take in Utah?

By ReshLawJuly 9, 2023
How long do car settlements take in Utah

Were you in a car accident? Our compassionate personal injury lawyers understand the significance of being involved in a crash that is not your fault. We understand that you may have serious injuries, ongoing pain and suffering, and other damages caused by the other driver's negligence.

Put your trust in ReshLaw Accident & Injury. Our experienced team has a reputation for fighting to get compensation for their clients. We understand that you have questions and want to know how an auto accident settlement works in the State of Utah and how long it will take to resolve your case if your case goes to court.

How a Car Accident Settlement Negotiation Works in Utah

How a car accident settlement negotiation works in Utah

Several steps are involved in car accident settlement negotiations. Many people believe that they simply talk to the person from the other party's insurance company and that the check will soon arrive in the mail. The process does not work that way. Relying on a personal injury attorney's expertise and personalized attention is important to settlement negotiations.

The process involved in negotiating a settlement after you are injured because of a car accident caused by someone else is complicated. It can result in the injured party getting far less than expected or getting nothing at all if they do not know how to effectively negotiate the terms of a settlement and navigate around Utah law. The complexities of making a claim are why many victims hire a Utah car accident lawyer. 

Gathering the evidence, understanding the true value of your claim, and letting the attorney handle the negotiations are all important steps toward getting the best possible settlement. 

Utah Car Insurance Laws

Utah Code Section 41-12a-402 and 41-12a-403 require that all Utah drivers, residents, and non-residents maintain proof of owner's or operator's security. The statute, referred to as the Financial Responsibility of Motor Vehicle Owners and Operators Act, indicates that the proof of owner's or operator's security for residents is a "written certificate of any insurer licensed in Utah certifying that there is in effect an insurance policy or combination of policies" that conform to the appropriate Utah sections.

Non-residents of Utah must furnish "the written certificate of an insurer licensed in the state in which the motor vehicle described in the certificate is registered." 

Factors Affecting Car Accident Settlement Duration

Factors affecting car accident settlement duration

The Utah Highway Safety Office revealed 61,406 crashes in the state in 2021. According to the Utah Department of Public Safety’s 2019 Crash Summary, there were an average of approximately 263 car crashes per day in Utah. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States, in 2019, about 79% of reported crashes resulted in no injuries or only minor injuries.

Notwithstanding, on average over 50 accidents a day in Utah result in injuries that could be classified as more than minor. Some accidents that appear minor at first end up being much more than that once the adrenaline wears off. 

No two car accidents are alike, which means that different factors affect car accident settlement duration. 

The Complexity of the Case

The complexity of a Utah car accident is a major factor when considering the duration of time that it takes for your Utah car accident attorney to negotiate a fair settlement. The lawyer may need to file a car accident lawsuit if the parties are unable to agree on fair compensation for an auto accident settlement.

The Severity of Injuries and Property Damage

The severity of injuries that you experienced is a major determining factor when considering car accident settlement amounts and duration. Do you have a few lacerations and bruises, or do you have painful soft tissue injuries, whiplash injuries, back injuries, or severe injuries that resulted in permanent disability? How long will it take for those injuries to heal? 

The amount of property damage is also a factor when considering the car accident settlement duration. Consider whether your vehicle has minor damage or is totaled, and now you need a new automobile. Did you lose personal property such as work equipment, recreational equipment, a car entertainment system, or other belongings in the accident?

Liability and Fault Determination

Report the car crash to the appropriate law enforcement agency as soon as possible. Police reports are important to car accident claims. Many other factors help to determine liability and fault in a motor vehicle accident. Statements made by you and the other parties involved in the accident, witness statements, and other evidence all help to determine the party at fault and liability.

Insurance Company Involvement

The primary job of insurance carriers is to pay as little as possible to car accident victims, even if the plaintiff suffered a life-altering injury. Contacting an experienced car accident attorney who provides skilled, personalized representation is an important step toward making sure that you get a fair auto accident settlement. 

Your lawyer knows the true value of your car accident claim and will go to battle to get the best possible settlement. 

Negotiation and Settlement Agreement

Insurance companies do not work in the best interest of the injured party. Your personal injury claim may be worth much more than they offer you as an initial settlement. Do you have the skills and experience required to negotiate a settlement and provide the settlement agreement? It is best to rely on the expertise of a personal injury lawyer for the negotiation and settlement agreement.

Experienced car accident attorneys know the rules of the courts and the procedures for litigating car accident cases. 

The Settlement Process in Utah

The settlement process in Utah

Making sure that you promptly follow the settlement process in Utah is important for holding the at-fault driver accountable and maximizing your compensation.

Reporting the Accident and Filing a Claim

Immediately report the accident to the nearest law enforcement agency. Describe how the accident occurred in detail but do not admit fault. Stay at the accident scene unless medics transport you to the hospital. 

Seek medical treatment promptly, even if you do not think that you have injuries. Many types of injuries occur that you may not realize you have right away. Get medical care at the closest hospital emergency room or see your own doctor the same day. 

Provide your attorney with documentation of the details of the police reports and your medical care immediately after the car crash. The lawyer will use the information in negotiating the settlement or filing a claim. 

The Investigation by Insurance Adjusters

Insurance adjusters perform their own investigations into motor vehicle accidents. The insurance company for the defendant may employ tactics to stall negotiating a settlement because they do not want to pay the claim. Hiring an attorney who has experience dealing with insurance adjusters and getting an auto accident settlement that compensates you for your damages is important for your case. 

Determining Liability and Fault

The Utah Insurance Department explains that under the state's comparative negligence law, more than one person can be accountable in a motor vehicle accident. Your liability is determined by the amount of fault, which must be less than 50%. 

One example of how the comparative negligence law works is that if you are 25% at fault, your compensation amount may be reduced by 25% liability for the crash.

The insurance company may not admit fault, so your attorney will attempt to negotiate a settlement. Unsuccessful negotiations sometimes occur, so your case may require going to court to recover your compensation. A judge or jury will then decide who is at fault and the degree of liability that each party has in the claim.

Medical Treatment and Documentation

Obtaining medical treatment immediately after a car crash is important for your claim and for your health and recovery. Make sure that you follow up with ALL recommended medical care. The emergency room physician or your own doctor may refer you for physical therapy, another type of necessary therapy, or to a specialist for further diagnosis and treatment. 

Keep records of all your medical expenses. Let your car crash attorney know when you see any medical professional so that the lawyer can contact the provider for your medical records. Your future medical expenses can be made a part of your case, not just the emergency department expenses. Documentation of the treatment for your injuries and the medical bills are important for an auto accident settlement or court case.  

Going to your medical appointments is important to your accident claim. Insurance adjusters live by the motto “treatment or it didn't’ happen.” You do not want your claim denied because of a lack of compliance with medical care. Now is not the time to be a hero. 

Calculating Damages and Evaluating Losses

Calculating damages and evaluating losses is best left to skilled car crash lawyers who have the knowledge and experience to perform these complicated tasks. Your lawyer knows how to evaluate your economic, actual, and non-economic damages — damages that do not have a specific dollar amount.

Some instances of economic damages include your medical bills, lost wages, future medical bills, and property damages. Examples of non-economic damages include the inability to work or reduced hours because of your injuries. It also includes compensation for loss of consortium or loss of enjoyment of hobbies or other things you no longer enjoy because of your injuries. 

A judge or jury will calculate the damages based on an evaluation of your losses if the other party refuses to settle after receiving a demand letter to pay the damages or if there is no successful settlement. 

Negotiation and Settlement Offers

Insurance companies often try to “lowball” a car crash victim by offering a settlement amount during negotiations far less than the value of the car accident claim. Do not allow anyone from the other party's insurance company to bully you.

Reach out to an attorney who goes head-to-head with insurance companies and attorneys for defendants to get fair compensation for clients. 

Mediation or Arbitration

A mediator sometimes assists with trying to settle car crash claim disputes. The effort of a mediator is to advise, but their recommendations are not legally binding. Arbitration is a legally binding action. It may provide the settlement you want without the case going to court. 

Lawsuit Filing and Litigation (If Necessary)

Do not become discouraged if your attorney cannot successfully negotiate a settlement. The attorney representing you will be a skilled litigator with no problems filing a lawsuit, if necessary, to compensate you for your damages.

Your lawyer gathers the evidence, develops a strategy, and builds the case to bring before the court. 

The Average Car Accident Settlement in Utah

The average car accident settlement in Utah

A car accident settlement amount cannot be determined right away. The seriousness of your injuries, pain and suffering, and mental and emotional stress may all affect your car accident settlement compensation. Some other factors include current and future medical expenses, lost wages or diminished earning capacity, and property damages. 

Stating an average car accident settlement amount can be misleading because of the many contributing factors. A Utah car crash that results in minor injuries will more likely result in a smaller settlement than a Utah auto accident that resulted in life-altering injuries to a victim. 

Average Timeframe for Car Accident Settlements in Utah

The timeframe for a car accident settlement depends on whether the claim is a typical or more complex case.

A. General Timeline Based on Typical Cases 

Minor car crash claims often settle within a few months after treatment is completed. Remember that the statute of limitations for filing a claim begins when the accident occurs, not when you file the claim.

B. Variations in Time Depending on Case Specifics 

Complex car accident claims often take longer to settle compared to minor accidents. Attorneys and insurance companies wait until plaintiffs complete their medical treatment before negotiating a settlement. Other delays specific to a case can affect the settlement timeframe. 

Tips for Expediting the Settlement Process

Follow these tips for expediting the settlement process. 

A. Hiring an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney 

Do not attempt to negotiate a settlement with the other party's insurance company or attorney. Trying to handle the claim on your own will likely result in not receiving the amount of compensation that you deserve or not receiving any compensation. Hire an experienced personal injury attorney to get a fair and just settlement as soon as possible after the accident. An attorney’s fees usually do not change based on the length of the representation, therefore, it makes sense to hire your attorney early in the process.  

B. Maintaining Accurate Records and Documentation 

Document and maintain accurate records to help provide evidence that can maximize your compensation. Provide your attorney with police reports, photographs, medical records, witness statements, and other documentation. 

C. Cooperating with the Insurance Company 

Cooperate with your own insurance company regarding the property damage. Do not speak to anyone from the other insurance company. Refer them to your attorney. 

D. Responding Promptly to Requests and Inquiries 

Avoid delays in the settlement process. Responding promptly to your attorney's requests and inquiries helps expedite your case.

Talk to Our Utah Car Accident Attorney at ReshLaw Accident & Injury for Your Settlement Process

Talk to our Utah car accident attorney

Our car accident attorney has a record of winning settlements and verdicts. We work to settle your case and work hard while you concentrate on recovering from your car crash injuries.

Contact us today for a free consultation to start your settlement process. 


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