Car Accident Lawyers Serving Ogden, UT
Car accidents in Ogden often occur because of another driver’s negligence. Whether someone makes the decision to text while driving or gets behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, a serious accident can result. Crashes also happen with some frequency due to aggressive driving behaviors, such as speeding or disobeying a traffic signal.
If another party’s careless or reckless behavior caused a severe car accident in which your or someone you love got hurt, you may be able to file a claim in order to seek financial compensation for your losses. An experienced Ogden car accident lawyer can speak with you today about your options.
Get the Facts About Motor Vehicle Collisions in Ogden, Utah
What are some of the major causes of serious and fatal car accidents in Ogden, Utah? According to a fact sheet from the Utah Department of Public Safety, the following represent the leading causes of motor vehicle traffic deaths recorded in the state of Utah from 2012-2016:
- Speeding (40 percent of all traffic fatalities);
- Failure to wear a seatbelt (30 percent of all car accident deaths);
- Drunk driving (13 percent of report auto accident deaths);
- Failure to yield (12 percent of all traffic fatalities); and
- Distracted driving (9 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities).
In 2015 alone, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that there were 256 fatal crashes and 276 motor vehicle deaths in Utah. With a population of just under three million, that puts the state of Utah’s car accident fatality rate at 9.2 deaths per 100,000 population and .93 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. Those numbers place Utah just below the national average, yet it is important to remember that many of these collisions are avoidable.
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Common Types of Injuries in Ogden Auto Accident Cases
When Ogden residents sustain injuries in car accidents, what are some of the most common injuries that require medical care? According to WebMD, whiplash is a particularly common car accident injury that “occurs when the head is suddenly forced backward or forward and is then snapped in the other direction.” Why is this a frequent type of injury in traffic collisions? As WebMD clarifies, “this kind of motion most often happens to people in a car that is hit from behind.” Other common car accident injuries can include but are not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs);
- Other head and neck traumas;
- Back injuries;
- Broken bones or fractures;
- Organ damage;
- Facial injuries, including disfiguring lacerations;
- Amputations; and
- Other debilitating injuries.
Damages in an Ogden, Utah Traffic Collision
If you file an Ogden car accident lawsuit, what types of damages can you expect to receive? Most auto accident victims can be eligible for compensatory damages. As the name suggests, these damages compensate a person for his or her losses. There are two different kinds of compensatory damages, which compensate a plaintiff for distinct losses:
- Economic damages, which provide compensation for specific financial losses, like an individual’s lost wages or the cost of medical bills; and
- Non-economic damages, which provide compensation for more subjective losses that do not have an objective dollar figure, such as pain and suffering.
In addition, under Utah law, a plaintiff who has sustained injuries in a traffic collision also may be eligible to receive punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are not intended to compensate a plaintiff for her losses. Rather, punitive damages were created to punish a wrongdoer for his behavior and to deter similar actions in the future.
As the statute clarifies, punitive damages can only be awarded when “compensatory or general damages are awarded and it is established by clear and convincing evidence that the acts or omission of the [defendant] are the result of willful and malicious or intentionally fraudulent conduct, or conduct that manifests a knowing and reckless indifference toward, and a disregard of, the rights of others.”
What are some types of cases in Ogden, Utah that might qualify for punitive damages? While there are numerous scenarios in which a plaintiff might be eligible for punitive damages, when these damages are awarded in auto accident claims, the case often involves a defendant who was driving under the influence of alcohol.
Contact an Ogden Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love recently sustained injuries in an Ogden traffic accident, you should learn more about your options for filing a claim for compensation. The sooner you begin working with an experienced Ogden car accident attorney, the sooner you may be eligible to receive compensation for your losses. Contact Christensen & Hymas for more information.