What Is the Statute of Limitations for an Auto Accident Claim in Utah?
The statute of limitations is four years. That gives a lot of time for people to be able to fully treat and still get their case handled without any worry or concern about the statute running out. There are some other states where the statute of limitations is three years and others are even two, but Utah is four years.
Is the Statute of Limitations Different for a Minor or Someone Who Is Disabled?
For minors, their statute doesn’t even start to run until they reach the age of majority. So for a minor, if they’re injured at six, their statute of limitations wouldn’t even start to run until they turn 18, and then they would have four years.
What Steps Should Someone Take After Being Injured in an Auto Accident?
The first thing to do is call the police, whether you think you’re at fault or not. Call the police so that there’s some kind of public record that can be considered evidence. So call the police, make sure that they show up and then start finding witnesses. If there are people that saw it, ask them to stay to give a statement. Next, take pictures and video with your phone.
Be careful about answering questions regarding an injury. Oftentimes in a police report, initially it says no injuries were reported, and the client doesn’t feel them until later on. Of course, the insurance company will try to use that against them and say you didn’t tell the police you were injured. So our advice to clients or to anyone that has been in an accident would be to not answer questions about an injury and simply say, “I’m not ready to talk about injuries at this time” or that their medical providers can talk about injuries at a later time.
Beyond that, it’s important that once you are feeling pain, to get care immediately. A number of clients will initially think this will just go away and they can tough it out. Whether they think they were at fault or not in Utah, you need to go get care because your PIP insurance will cover that first $3,000. So go see a doctor and get an opinion from someone. The sooner you start treating, the sooner you can actually start feeling better.
Obviously, it’s important to call a car accident attorney in Ogden or a car accident attorney in Layton. Depending on the case, preservation of evidence may make or break the case. Attorneys can help coordinate care, and that would be the next step. So get as much evidence as you can, call the police, go seek medical care for any issues that come up and call an attorney for advice.
Should Someone Notify Their Own Insurance Carrier About an Accident?
Yes. It’s important to get all of the claims started. There’s a double edge to that. So it’s obviously preferable to be represented before you start talking separately to your insurance company, but it’s important for the insurance company to know right away that there was a collision, how it occurred, where it occurred and to talk to the other insurance company as well.
How Should Someone Deal with the Other Party’s Insurance?
The case would never progress if you didn’t talk to the other insurance company at some point, but the insurance companies will try to get those recorded statements done early on, and what they’re trying to do is find a way to either avoid or diminish the liability of their driver. To them it’s a numbers game. So as soon as you’re in an accident, they’ll want to protect their own insured, try to get as much fault placed on the other person involved as they can and they use recorded statements as a way to do that.
If you’ve got an interview scheduled, don’t do it unless you have an attorney involved because once an attorney’s involved, the insurance company can’t talk to you without us being present, and that protects you in a couple of ways. Number one, the insurance company naturally just doesn’t ask the same questions. So they won’t try to trip up a client on a certain type of question. The second thing is your attorney will prepare you for the recorded statement. So we look at the police report. We talk to you about the accident and have you go through it in your head so you can clearly state what happened. The third thing we do is avoid you having to talk to them about your injuries.
One of the worst things you can do for a personal injury case is get on the phone the day after the accident and tell the adjustor in a recorded statement with the other driver’s insurance company that you’re feeling a little sore but you’ll be okay. Those statements can be used against you down the road, and can hurt a case because sometimes people don’t start feeling the pain right away, or the pain continues to get worse after a couple days or weeks. If that happens and you’ve already told the insurance company I’m feeling okay, they will certainly use that evidence against you to say your injuries couldn’t be as severe as you’re claiming because you told us the day after the wreck that you weren’t feeling anything.
At some point you have to talk to the insurance company, and it’s preferable if it happens when an attorney is present so we can protect you in the ways that were previously explained.
For more information on statute of limitations, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 499-5060 today.