Personal Injury Attorney Assisting Clients with Car Accident Claims in West Jordan, Utah
Did you know that West Jordan is gradually becoming one of the larger suburbs of Salt Lake City? According to data from the U.S. Census, the population is growing steadily in West Jordan, which means that more people are on the road, too. Whether you are commuting to and from Salt Lake City on I-15 or simply driving around West Jordan, traffic collisions can happen. Many motor vehicle crashes occur because another driver has behaved in a manner that is careless or reckless. When this happens, the accident victims deserve to seek compensation for their losses.
At Christensen & Hymas, we are dedicated to providing experienced counsel for car accident victims throughout West Jordan and the Salt Lake City suburbs. An aggressive West Jordan car accident lawyer at our firm can discuss your case with you today.
Negligence and Car Accident Claims in West Jordan
When you file a car accident claim for a crash that occurred in West Jordan, accident victims typically argue that the other driver was negligent. When another driver’s negligence results in a crash, that negligent driver can be held liable for losses. What does negligence mean under Utah law? According to the Model Utah Jury Instructions, negligence “means that a person did not use reasonable care.”
To clarify, the Model Utah Jury Instructions explain: “We all have a duty to use reasonable care to avoid injuring others. Reasonable care is simply what a reasonably careful person would do in a similar situation. A person may be negligent in acting or in failing to act.” In situations where there is an elevated level of danger that a reasonable person would recognize, the law might require additional care. In other words, “the amount of care that is reasonable depends upon the situation.”
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Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in West Jordan
If you decide to file a car accident lawsuit, how much time do you have after the crash to initiate your claim? The answer to this question depends entirely on what is known as the “statute of limitations.” Under Utah Code 78B-2-305, anyone who gets hurt in a traffic collision in West Jordan has three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you do not file your claim within this three-year window—in other words, if the clock runs out—you may have lost your right to file a claim at all.
Although the law gives you three years to file a claim, there are many reasons to get started on your case as soon as possible. For instance, gathering evidence to support a plaintiff’s case can be significantly easier in the weeks and months just after the accident happens. To be sure, memories of the accident will be fresher in witnesses’ minds, and it may be less complicated for an accident reconstruction expert to obtain photos and other materials in helping to prove a plaintiff’s version of events. As such, it is important to reach out to a Utah car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Understanding Comparative Negligence in West Jordan Car Accident Cases
What happens if you file a car accident lawsuit, and the defendant argues that you are partially to blame for the accident? In other words, if a jury decides that you do bear some responsibility for the accident, can you still obtain financial compensation?
Under Utah Code 78B-5-818, this is known as “comparative negligence.” The law makes clear that, even if the plaintiff is partially responsible for her injuries, she can still recover as long as the fault of the defendant or defendants exceeds the plaintiff’s fault. In practical terms, this means that as long as the plaintiff is less than 50 percent responsible, then she can recover. However, her damages award will be reduced by her proportion of fault.
To explain, if a plaintiff is 40 percent at fault, her recovery will be reduced by 40 percent. Thus, if a jury awards the plaintiff $100,000, that award will be reduced by $40,000, or 40 percent, because of the plaintiff’s comparative negligence.
Learn More from a West Jordan Car Accident Attorney
Were you recently injured in a car accident in West Jordan, Utah? You may be eligible to receive financial compensation to help pay for your medical bills and lost wages. An experienced West Jordan car accident attorney can discuss your options with you today. Contact Christensen & Hymas to speak with an advocate about your case.