Utah Lawyers Get You the Compensation You Deserve
Utah injury accident legal claims for monetary compensation must be based on a specific theory, of compensation. These theories are known as "torts". Most personal injury cases are based on one of the following torts: "intentional" "negligence" "strict liability".
Intentional torts include "battery" and "assault". Battery is an action which is intended to, and does, cause harmful or offensive contact to another.
Years ago I represented a young woman who was beat up in Utah county by another girl. The girl who did the beating suspected my client of going after the beater's boyfriend.
Still, it is against the law to beat people up. And this was a classic case of battery. The beater intended a harmful contact on my client, carried out that intent and my client had injuries and medical bills to show for it.
We sued and tried this Utah injury accident legal claim in front of a prominent Utah county judge. He found in favor of my client and awarded money.
The problem with intentional torts is that most insurance policies carefully exclude them. So, although my client was awarded money by the court, she never saw a dime.
Moral: if insurance is involved you are better off alleging Utah injury accident legal principles of "recklessness" or "negligence". Who knows, maybe the beater only intended to scare my client and her fists "accidentally" struck my client's body, (numerous times).
Negligence is the more common legal theory on which valid Utah injury accident legal claims are based. One reason, of course, is that insurance companies will pay for injuries caused by negligence. And, let's face it, personal Utah lawyers like myself, are doing this to earn our daily bread.
Negligence is made up of four elements: 1) duty 2) breach of duty 3) causation 4) damages (injury).
The "duty" is to act with reasonable care or ordinary care. Duty can be established by statute: for example, Utah traffic laws require a driver to stop at red lights. Running a red light violates the law and therefore is considered to be a "breach of duty".
Causation, of course, under Utah injury accident legal principles means that the breach of duty caused your injuries. If you already had a stiff neck, well then the accident didn't cause the injuries.
Insurance companies hire lawyers known as "insurance defense attorneys". These lawyers are experts at making juries believe injured people are faking it. They will expend numerous hours and great effort to locate past medical records of claimants.
Then these records are reviewed by medical doctors who make a lot of money working for insurance companies. These doctors often offer an opinion that 1) the claimant is not injured or 2) if he is injured, the injuries did not come from the accident in question.
"Strict liability" shows up most often in product liability cases--dangerous products. Strict liability, under Utah injury accident legal principles, means damages can be awarded without negligence (duty and breach of duty.) Utah laws say a manufacturer of a product can be liable if its product has defects in workmanship, parts or other problems which cause the product to be defective when it leaves the manufacturer's hands.
If the product is defective, then all others in the distribution chain (wholesaler, retailer) are also liable.