If you have been injured by the intentional or negligent actions of another, the attorneys at Christensen Law can help. Our years of litigation experience include almost one hundred trials. While other personal injury firms will try to settle personal injury lawsuit cases quickly and move on to their next payday, we are committed to ensuring you receive fair compensation and won’t back down when a trial is necessary.
We understand that the purpose of bringing a lawsuit for personal injury damages is to make the injured person whole, or as nearly as can be accomplished, by an award of money, either from a personal injury protection policy or at the cost of the individual or group who caused the injury. Though understated in many cases, this can be a very difficult time for the individual injured, and for his or her family and friends. Through our years of experience handling personal injury cases, we understand that many times there is no amount of money that could possibly compensate for the injury and its consequences. But we also know that while inadequate, money damages do help.
When a plaintiff is awarded monetary damages for a personal injury lawsuit, statistics show that the most common elements are medical expenses, pain, and suffering, and lost earnings or earning capacity.
When you are injured as a result of someone’s intentional or negligent conduct, you are entitled to be compensated for all your medical costs as a consequence of the accident, including the doctor and hospital bills, prescription medications, medical devices, and physical therapy. These expenses may be covered by a personal injury protection policy, but it isn’t always easy to collect, which is where we come in. You may also be entitled to recover future expenses, whether from insurance or from another party, to the extent those can be proven with the evidence presented at trial.
Pain and Suffering:
This is the category of damages that is most subjective, and an effective presentation of the evidence at trial is necessary to give the judge or jury a proper sense of the severity of the consequences suffered by the plaintiff. This suffering includes the immediate physical pain caused by the accident, on-going pain from wounds or long-term consequences from a permanent condition. It also includes pain caused by any medical procedures necessary as a result of the accident, such as surgery or physical therapy. Finally, this element of damages can include mental suffering, such as depression or fear.
Lost Earnings and Earning Capacity:
The final element is lost earnings and earning capacity. An injured person will often be required to miss some time at the office or place of work as a result of an accident; sometimes the consequences may be so severe that they cannot return to the same type of work they performed prior to the accident. Lost earnings, like past medical costs, are simple to prove.
Earning capacity is much harder. Many factors need to be weighed and presented to the jury, such as the type of work performed, how long the plaintiff could be expected to work had he or she not been injured, potential advancements, other medical conditions, and family circumstances. Like pain and suffering, this part of the damage award can be very subjective, and plaintiffs need an experienced attorney to organize and present the evidence that helps the jury make the right judgment.
It is important to make sure you are being fairly compensated when you have been injured, and much of that comes down to finding the right personal injury attorney. Salt Lake City is the biggest city in Utah, which means you have plenty of options when it comes to selecting a personal injury attorney. But at Christensen Law, we’re confident that we can bring you and all of our clients the best results possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I know personal injury attorney in another state, can they represent me in a personal injury lawsuit in Utah?
In all but a few rare situations, no. In the vast majority of cases, you must use a local personal injury attorney. Utah, like all other states, has its own laws, and it is important that your attorneys are familiar with the local regulations.
What is the Utah statute of limitations for personal injury settlements?
There is no simple answer to this question. There are several classifications of personal injury, and each holds its own different timeline for when personal injury cases must be filed. For this reason, we recommend that you seek consultation with a team of personal injury attorneys (Utah qualified) as early as possible, to make sure you don’t miss the deadline.
Are personal injury settlements taxable?
According to the Internal Revenue Service, “If you receive a settlement for personal physical injuries or physical sickness and did not take an itemized deduction for medical expenses related to the injury or sickness in prior years, the full amount is non-taxable.” However, if you previously deducted any part of those medical expenses on a previous tax return, you must include that portion of the settlement as income. We recommend speaking with a tax specialist before making any decisions.
Have questions about your personal injury case? Schedule a free consultation today!