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Personal Injury: Common Questions

Summit Injury Law clients often ask certain questions that can be answered on a general basis. With that said, every personal injury case should be fully evaluated by a Utah personal injury lawyer from Summit Injury Law.

Ski And Snowboard Accident Questions

Will a ski resort pay for injuries I suffered while skiing?

Maybe. Ski resorts can often be held liable when the negligence of their employees results in an injury. However, the Utah Inherent Risks of Skiing Act protects ski resorts from liability in some instances. Consequently, every potential skiing or snowboarding accident case should be evaluated by an experienced ski injury lawyer.

Can I still recover if I signed a waiver?

Yes. The fact that you signed a waiver (or that a waiver appears on the back of your ski pass) will not usually bar recovery against the ski resort. In the case of Rothstein v. Snowbird, the Utah Supreme Court decided that waivers which attempt to absolve ski resorts of liability for negligence are against the public policy of the State of Utah and cannot be enforced.

Is there a time limit for pursuing a claim for a ski injury?

Yes. The statute of limitations for most types of personal injury actions in the State of Utah is four years from the date of the injury. However, in some cases (such as wrongful death), the statute of limitations is only two years. There are exceptions, and the time limit might be shorter in certain circumstances. Additionally, many cases become more difficult to pursue as time goes by, even if the limitations period has not expired. To avoid these problems, we recommend contacting an attorney as soon as you can after an accident.

Whose responsibility is it to investigate the cause of a ski accident?

Ski patrol will often begin the investigation and complete an accident report, similar to the police in a traffic accident. Some jurisdictions impose a legal responsibility upon those involved in ski collisions to stop and render aid to an injured party, as well as to exchange personal information such as name and address. At Summit Injury Law, our investigators go well beyond the ski patrol report and follow every available lead, often visiting the scene of the injury, in order to fully investigate our clients’ claims.

How can an attorney help if ski patrol does not complete an accident report?

Although an accident report is often helpful in identifying witnesses and providing photographic evidence, we also utilize investigators, expert witnesses, and other evidence-gathering tools to help build your case. Sometimes, we can help you recover even if you don’t know the identity of the person who caused your injury.

General Personal Injury Questions

How much will I be paid in compensation?

When compensation for damage is needed after a serious injury, it is evaluated based on the degree of the injury, the economic and non-economic damages, and our client’s future prognosis. Economic damages include medical and hospital bills, rehabilitation, nursing care, and all other costs associated with treatment, as well as loss of income from employment, both now and predicted for the future. Non-economic damages are commonly referred to as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. Your case should be evaluated as early as possible after the accident so that all of the evidence to support your claim is carefully preserved. A well-documented claim is more likely to be paid fast and at the level you deserve.

How long will it take to get a settlement?

Some cases are settled fairly quickly while others may take a longer period of time. Summit Injury Law will make every effort to get claims paid as quickly as possible. A carefully documented claim is more likely to be paid quickly, but in some cases, it is necessary to litigate and the firm is well qualified to do so.

I was injured in an accident and I want to hire David S. Kottler. How much will it cost me?

At Summit Injury Law, all our cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means that you won’t pay any legal fees until we recover for you. In most cases, we will also advance the costs of pursuing your case until it is resolved. We also offer a free initial consultation, so there is absolutely no risk to you if you want to contact us to discuss your case.

Do I need to hire an injury lawyer?

No, you can always try to represent yourself. However, personal injury and insurance law is complex and injuries frequently end up being more severe than they appear at first. If you contact Summit Injury for a free case evaluation, we’re happy to give you a few free pointers if you decide to try handling your case yourself.

What is my case worth?

It depends. Generally, the more serious your injury, the more an insurance company will pay to compensate you. Other factors that will affect the value of your case include the extent to which the injury impacts your lifestyle and whether or not the injury is likely to be chronic or permanent. Our job is to make sure that you are compensated fully for all expenses, lost income, and your pain and suffering caused by someone else’s negligence.

Is there a time limit for pursuing a personal injury claim?

Yes. The statute of limitations for most types of personal injury actions in the State of Utah is four years from the date of the injury. However, in some cases (such as wrongful death), the statute of limitations is only two years. There are exceptions, and the time limit might be shorter in certain circumstances. Additionally, many cases become more difficult to pursue as time goes by, even if the limitations period has not expired. To avoid these problems, we recommend contacting an attorney as soon as you can after an accident.

If I make a claim for my injuries, will I have to go to court?

I can usually obtain a full and fair settlement for my clients without the necessity of a full-blown trial. However, from the moment you walk through my door, my mindset is to get ready for trial. This means that my investigators and I will begin gathering evidence right away and I will talk to you about how to prepare for trial as well. This type of preparation is the only way to assure that the insurance company will be willing to settle your claim for all you are entitled to receive.

What happens if I have a severe injury and the person at fault does not have sufficient insurance coverage?

In many cases, there is more than one avenue for recovery. If the person at fault was working at the time of the accident, his or her employer (or the employer’s insurance company) might also be responsible to pay. Sometimes, the responsible party has additional insurance coverage such as an umbrella policy. There may also be more than one person at fault or other theories of recovery.

Can I still recover against someone else if I was partly responsible for the accident?

Yes. Under Utah’s Comparative Negligence Statute, an injured party can recover against someone else who was “more” at fault in the accident. For example, if you were 25% at fault and the other person was 75% at fault, you can still recover 75% of your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

I was injured in an accident and filed a claim with the other person’s insurance company. Now the insurance adjuster wants to record my statement and have me examined by their doctor. Should I do it?

NO! The insurance adjuster’s job is to settle claims for as little as possible. They want to record your statement and have you examined by their doctor because they think it will help them, not you. They are professionals and you deserve to have a professional on your side too.

What if the injuries make it impossible to work and earn a living?

In cases of serious injury in which a victim is unable to earn a living, the claim will demand compensation for all current and future predicted income losses. The final settlement must reflect these losses. It can vary depending upon the length of time it is expected that the victim will be unable to work, whether a few weeks, months, years or for their lifetime.

Contact A Firm That Has The Unique Knowledge You Require

Contact a Utah ski accident lawyer from our firm for immediate legal representation. For those who live outside of Utah, we can usually handle most of the details of your claim on your behalf, maintaining constant communication with you by email or telephone.

Contact Summit Injury Law For A Free Case Evaluation

We encourage all prospective clients to speak with our experienced Utah personal injury lawyer. Whether you hire us or not, we are able to provide you with a free case evaluation, so you can make an informed decision.

435-649-6735  •  888-8-SKI-LAW (888-875-4529)

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