A large truck like a semi-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and be as long as 70 feet. If one is bearing down on you and unable to stop, one of two things will likely happen.
You’re going to suffer serious injuries, or you’re going to meet your maker. If you live through the crash, you’ll likely want to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party, including the truck driver and his employer. If you don’t live through it, that duty falls on your representative according to your last will. If you have a will, your estate’s distribution will follow it. Your estate will pass by intestate succession per Utah Code section 75-2-101(1) if you don’t have a will. The court will appoint an administrator of your estate for this purpose. The administrator would then distribute your estate by the laws of intestate succession.
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The general rule is that the statute of limitations for nearly all personal injury cases in Utah is four years. On that rule, any personal injury claim filed after that date is considered invalid.
Note, though, that if the truck caused a wrongful death, the statute of limitations is only two years from the date of death. If the claim is against a government entity, the limitation period is only one year from the date of death. There are exceptions to all of these rules. The best way to determine how much time after a truck accident or death would be to contact a Utah truck accident lawyer.
It is where unrepresented litigants often get into trouble. A claim is not a lawsuit. It’s a mere allegation that can be ignored. It’s of no legal effect. On the other hand, a case carries a sense of urgency. The defendant must answer it within 21 days of the date of service. If the truck driver and any other defendants fail to act on a lawsuit within 21 days, they can be held individually in default, and judgment can be against them. A lawsuit is a legal document filed with the court and served upon the defendants. If any defendant ignores a lawsuit, a default judgment can be taken against him for the relief sought.
A crash with a semi-trailer or any other type of large truck can be a life-changing or life-ending event. A quality, reliable, and experienced Utah truck accident attorney will know how to obtain the maximum fair settlement for their client. Find a knowledgeable and skilled Utah truck accident lawyer who will consult with you at no cost to answer your questions and advise you on how to approach this tragedy best.
When you’re seeking compensation for serious injuries or death due to a semi-truck accident, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll be communicating with a senior adjuster or attorney for the opposing insurer. Insurance adjusters work for the insurer on the other side of the case rather than for you. You’re under no obligation to cooperate with that individual. Your attorneys will handle all communications with the other party’s insurance company. Otherwise, you’re bound to make mistakes that will stick with the case. Those mistakes will cost you thousands of dollars. Allow them to handle all communications for you. They have a wealth of experience in doing so.
Your truck accident lawyer will complete a thorough investigation of all of the facts surrounding the crash, especially obtaining truckers’ logbooks and critical information from the truck’s “black box.” They’ll also interview pre-occurrence, occurrence, and post-occurrence witnesses while getting all police crash reports and medical or death records concerning the truck accident and the accident victims. Remember that they’re on your side, so fully cooperate with them.
The insurer that is on the opposite side of your claim or lawsuit isn’t going to roll over and play dead. When it offers some money on your case, it will start on the low side. It could be months before they broach reality and provide a maximum sum in settlement of the case. Your attorney is duty-bound to advise you of every offer on your case. Refrain from becoming distraught when insurers offer you a low offer. That’s how the insurer wants you to feel. Significantly higher settlement offers will likely follow.
Always cooperate with your Utah truck accident attorney during the pendency of a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Insurers can sense a lack of cooperation. If you continue to have medical or therapy appointments for your serious injuries, dutifully attend every one of them. Insurers will be looking for gaps in treatment. If your truck accident lawyer wants you to remain silent on your case, there’s a reason for it, especially on social media. Never mention your injuries or losses on social media.
Indeed, Utah is a no-fault insurance state. According to the Utah DMV, the minimum coverage in the state is $25,000 in bodily injury per person, $65,000 per occurrence, and property damage $15,000. Threshold personal injury protection (PIP) limits for no-fault purposes are a mere $3,000, but to get over the threshold, the plaintiff must show one of the following:
The damages you can seek in truck accident claims are economic and non-economic. Those consist of the following:
Economic damages are intended to compensate the accident victims for the injury itself. They will include fair compensation for medical expenses for treatment, including hospitals, doctors, therapy, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. Arriving at a sum awarded as economic damages can be as easy as simply adding them to the receipts.
Non-economic damages can’t be added up with receipts. They might consist of pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment, and loss of companionship. It is challenging to put a price tag on these.
Punitive damages are rare but are awarded in cases involving egregious, malicious, or intentional behavior. These damages are to punish the at-fault party and make an example out of him. Driving a truck with a blood alcohol concentration of .04 or over while on drugs or both might constitute a case for punitive damages. Proving this might be difficult, but with the help of your Utah truck accident attorney, they may be awarded.
Contact our offices for a free consultation and case review if you were seriously injured or lost a loved one caused by a semi-trailer or large truck accidents. We promise to listen to you carefully. We’ll have questions too, but you’ll get a thorough case evaluation from the best in the business. Be proactive and not reactive, and retain the Parker and McConkie Personal Injury Lawyers’ legal team to represent you immediately. We’ll maximize any settlement or verdict you seek and recover compensation.