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Fireworks and Injuries. What Legal Recourse do I Have?

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July is one of the best months in the year. Not only is it summer and we get to enjoy the amazing Utah outdoors, but we also get to celebrate the birth of our country. The 4th of July has some of the best traditions; barbeques, reunions, parades, and most importantly. . . fireworks. Fireworks have long been a standard 4th of July traditions. They are representative of the “bombs bursting in air” in our national anthem and they are also just awesome. However, every year there are thousands of firework related injuries. Last year alone saw an estimated 11,000 firework related injuries according to the Insurance Journal and 4 deaths. (Facts About Fireworks: 11,000 Injuries, 4 Deaths in 2016 By Andrew G. Simpson | June 30, 2017)

Most firework related injuries happen to young boys goofing off, but all too often it is innocent bystanders that are the unfortunate victims. Now regardless of the situation if someone is injured by no fault of their own, they want to know what they can do to get compensated for their injury. This may be irritating to hear but it really depends on the situation.

No two injuries are the same and so no two answers or cases can be the same either. However, one thing will always be the same and that is the need for strong evidence. With firework injuries, this is especially true and goes beyond just showing proof of an injury. Obviously, the strongest evidence is video footage of the incident. Now that everyone has smart phones, it is much easier to get video footage of incidents than in the past. Even if you aren’t able to get video footage, photo evidence can be just as helpful. If you have video of the incident actually happening then it speaks for itself. If not, then you can take pictures of the aftermath. For example, if the situation is a faulty firework you’ll want to keep the firework and get pictures of the area and try to have the pictures tell the story of what happened.

If you were wrongfully harmed or injured by fireworks and you are wondering if you can receive compensation, you can always ask us and we will do our best to help you.

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Comparative Negligence: What Utah Citizens Need To Know

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An All To-Often Wreck

One morning, you find yourself again on I-15 North headed from your home in American Fork to your office in West Jordan. This morning, though, you’re running a bit late and your boss has already complained twice to you about tardiness. So, you find yourself driving a bit faster than the speed limit because you’re worried you’re going to be late again. You finally see your exit. You have 2 minutes to go before the start of that meeting. You start to slow down for the exit and veer slightly right preparing to stop for the light at the base of the exit ramp. But because you were speeding a little already, you suddenly realize that you’ve got to break hard to be able to stop in time for the red light. You slam on brakes. Your tires squeal. Thankfully, you’re able to bring your car to a full stop at the light. But a split second before you can breathe that sigh of relief, the person driving the car behind—who always drives the speed limit as she takes her kids to Seminary—is completely surprised by your sudden and unexpected stop. Though she tries her best to break in time, she manages to ram into the rear of your car—pushing you out into traffic. Surprisingly, no other cars are involved in the wreck and you and the other driver are able to move your cars off the road.

Everyone gets out and exchanges insurance information just as the police officer arrives. You are honest about the fact that you were speeding into the ramp, but equally honest that you were able to come to a complete stop before getting hit from behind. You get cited for speeding.

The lady behind you tells the truth as well. She was going the speed limit and if it hadn’t been for you having to stop suddenly to compensate for your illegal entry speed, she would have certainly been able to stop in time without hitting your car and pushing you into the car in front. She gets cited for “following too closely” to your car.

Who’s at fault? Is it you, for having to stop so suddenly to compensate for your excessive speed? Is it the person behind you for following too closely? Is it a little bit of both?

To make matters worse, your neck is killing you now and you’re starting to get medical bills that are quickly piling up. That MRI alone cost close to $2,000! Though you hate to have to do it, you go see a lawyer about making a claim against the other driver’s insurance. I mean, after all, you might have been speeding, but she was following too closely. She was the one that couldn’t stop in time, right?

Contributory Negligence

Wrecks like this happen all over the country on any given road on any given day. Depending on where in the country you live also determines whether you can make a claim against someone for causing your injuries when you might also bear some responsibility for causing that wreck.

The idea of contributory negligence is that an injured party should not be able to fully recover from the other party if they were also negligent. Even if your own negligence only contributed to a mere 1% out of 100 in causing the wreck, the law there says you may not recover against that little old lady. This type of law is called “pure contributory negligence” and was the general rule in almost all jurisdictions in early to mid last century. A handful of jurisdictions, including North Carolina, still rely on this rule.

However, once states began recognizing the harshness of the “pure contributory negligence rule”, they began modifying the rule to allow for a more “fair” result. Consequently, most of the country—including Utah has adopted what’s called “comparative negligence” or “modified comparative negligence”.

Comparative Negligence in Utah

The modified comparative negligence rule in Utah states that an injured party cannot bring a claim against another party if their level of negligence is 50% or higher. So if their negligence is 49% or lower then you can still recover something. If, however, your percentage of negligence is 50% or above, you recover nothing. This rule kind of mixes previous rules and strives for more justice. The difficulty comes in the juries’ determination of the percentage of negligence.

In our case, though your speeding and sudden stopping might have been negligent and contributed to the wreck, you can still recover some portion of your overall damages so long as your own negligence doesn’t rise to the level of 50% or more.

So lets say you take the other driver to court and you’re able to prove that you suffered $50,000 in total damages and the jury decides that you were 25% responsible, the award would be discounted by your percentage and you would recover $37,500. But if that same jury decided you were 50% or more at fault, you would recover nothing!

The Importance of Hiring a Good Utah Lawyer

Although most personal injury cases never make to trial because they are settled, this rule can still have an effect on the outcome. Depending on whether or not the insurance companies think there was some level of negligence on the part of the plaintiff they could lower the settlement offer. This is where an attorney could step in and help. If you have been involved in an accident and need help paying your medical bills then call an experienced Utah Personal Injury Lawyer. The lawyers at Young & Young Law Firm are experienced in the intricacies of tort law and will not allow the insurance companies to avoid paying what is owed. We have years of experience in dealing with the comparative negligence aspect of these types of cases and have a proven track record of getting the best possible results for our clients.

 

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Who Can Make a Personal Injury Claim?

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When you have suffered an accident or injury, you may wonder what legal rights you have. And while there are many factors to consider, like timelines for filing cases, what information you must have in order to file, and the like, the initial question is: are you entitled to make a personal injury claim?

law

The simple answer to this question is, if you have contracted an illness or suffered an injury because of the negligence of another person or entity, you should be entitled to make a personal injury claim.

From the outset, there is no way to guarantee or even necessarily estimate the damages you may receive at the conclusion of your personal injury case, but there are steps you can take to put yourself and your case in the best position possible to win your claim. Make sure to document your case and your injuries extensively. Take note of details surrounding the accident, get contact information for any possible witnesses, and keep all medical records surrounding your injury. Don’t sign any papers presented to you by the insurance company without consulting an attorney.

Consult with an attorney as soon as you feel up to it, because there are deadlines and timelines that must be met in order to protect you and your case. Your attorney will be able to review any potential negligence of the other party in order to help you analyze your case.

Our attorneys at Young and Young have years and years of personal injury experience. Contact our offices for a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

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What Qualities Should You Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney?

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If you are in the terrible situation of needing a personal injury attorney on your side, there are a few key characteristics you should be looking for in the attorneys you consult with. While it is vital that you feel comfortable with your attorney, there are several other things you should look for.

Professionalism

Your attorney should conduct him or herself with the utmost professionalism. He or she should be considered well-respected and in good standing with the bar association of Utah. Your attorney should have the time in his or her schedule to take on your case and give it the attention it deserves.

Availability

Your attorney needs to be available to you, as his or her client, and opposing counsel. Your attorney should have a competent and helpful staff who can assist you with any questions or concerns you may have about your case.

Sincerity

You must be able to trust your attorney. Even if your attorney has news that may be unpleasant for you to hear, your attorney must be frank and honest with you.

Experience and History of Success

When you are in the unfortunate position of needing a personal injury attorney, having an attorney with the experience to properly handle your case is vital. An attorney who has years of experience and a winning record handling cases like yours will likely have a better knowledge regarding and ability to read the insurance company to help you obtain the best possible results for your case.

If you are in need of a personal injury attorney, contact our attorneys at Young and Young. We have decades of experience handling personal injury cases and are happy to offer a free consultation.

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What Qualities Should You Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney?

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If you are in the terrible situation of needing a personal injury attorney on your side, there are a few key characteristics you should be looking for in the attorneys you consult with. While it is vital that you feel comfortable with your attorney, there are several other things you should look for.

 

Professionalism

Your attorney should conduct him or herself with the utmost professionalism. He or she should be considered well-respected and in good standing with the bar association of Utah. Your attorney should have the time in his or her schedule to take on your case and give it the attention it deserves.

Availability

Your attorney needs to be available to you, as his or her client, and opposing counsel. Your attorney should have a competent and helpful staff who can assist you with any questions or concerns you may have about your case.

Sincerity

You must be able to trust your attorney. Even if your attorney has news that may be unpleasant for you to hear, your attorney must be frank and honest with you.

Experience and History of Success

When you are in the unfortunate position of needing a personal injury attorney, having an attorney with the experience to properly handle your case is vital. An attorney who has years of experience and a winning record handling cases like yours will likely have a better knowledge regarding and ability to read the insurance company to help you obtain the best possible results for your case.

If you are in need of a personal injury attorney, contact our attorneys at Young and Young. We have decades of experience handling personal injury cases and are happy to offer a free consultation.

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When Should I Involve a Personal Injury Lawyer?

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If you suffer the unfortunate circumstance of suffering a personal injury, you might receive advice that you should or should not involve an attorney in your case. Whether you should involve an attorney is dependent on your circumstances, but there are several things to consider.

personal-injury-22

If your injury is a small one, it may not be worth your time to involve an attorney. Do not hire an attorney in the hopes that the attorney will be able to help you recover more damages by encouraging you to seek additional medical care from a “plaintiff-friendly” doctor.  By all means, seek medical care when you suffer a personal injury, but do not expect that hiring an attorney will automatically increase the amount of money you will receive because of your injury.

If you are involved in an automobile accident that is clearly the fault of the other driver, you may not need an attorney. If you feel that the other driver’s insurance company is handling your case fairly and is offering a reasonable settlement payment, then an attorney’s assistance may not be necessary.

However, if you are dealing directly with the other driver’s insurance company, be careful what you say. The insurance adjuster may be trying to limit their insured’s liability and may be interested in getting a statement from you regarding liability surrounding the accident.

If you suffer a personal injury and are in any way uncomfortable with the way the insurance company is handling your case, be sure to consult with an attorney. Our personal injury attorneys at Young and Young offer free consultations and look forward to speaking with you should you feel you need an attorney’s help.

 

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Who Can Make a Personal Injury Claim?

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When you have suffered an accident or injury, you may wonder what legal rights you have. And while there are many factors to consider, like timelines for filing cases, what information you must have in order to file, and the like, the initial question is: are you entitled to make a personal injury claim?

The simple answer to this question is, if you have contracted an illness or suffered an injury because of the negligence of another person or entity, you should be entitled to make a personal injury claim.

From the outset, there is no way to guarantee or even necessarily estimate the damages you may receive at the conclusion of your personal injury case, but there are steps you can take to put yourself and your case in the best position possible to win your claim. Make sure to document your case and your injuries extensively. Take note of details surrounding the accident, get contact information for any possible witnesses, and keep all medical records surrounding your injury. Don’t sign any papers presented to you by the insurance company without consulting an attorney.

Consult with an attorney as soon as you feel up to it, because there are deadlines and timelines that must be met in order to protect you and your case. Your attorney will be able to review any potential negligence of the other party in order to help you analyze your case.

Our attorneys at Young and Young have years and years of personal injury experience. Contact our offices for a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

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What Are the Common Types of Bicycle Accidents?

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Of the more common circumstances under which a cyclist may be involved in an accident, most vehicle-versus-bicycle accidents occur at intersections. This might be surprising, but the majority of cycling accidents occur when a cyclist simply loses control of his or her bicycle and crashes.

There are several different types of vehicle-versus-bicycle accidents that may occur at an intersection.

Accidents at Stop Signs

stop

The two types of accidents at stop signs occur when a cyclist has a stop sign and the car does not, or, the opposite, when a car has a stop sign and a cyclist does not. In the first circumstance, if the cyclist stops at his or her stop sign, but then continues on, pulling out in front of the vehicle, the cyclist will likely be at fault. In the alternative, if a car has a stop sign, stops properly, but then pulls out in front of the cyclist who has the right-of-way, the vehicle’s driver will likely be at fault.

Cyclist’s Failure to Yield

If a cyclist approaches an intersection and fails to yield to a car, often simply because the cyclist didn’t see the car, or misjudged the speed at which the car was traveling, the cyclist will be at fault for an accident that occurs.

Car Turning Left

If a driver doesn’t see a cyclist or misjudges the cyclist’s speed and turns left, thereby cutting the cyclist off, the driver will be at fault.

 

Car Turning Right

There are several different scenarios under which an accident might occur when a car turns right into a cyclist. A cyclist might pass a slower car on the right, and the car makes a right turn into the cyclist. If a car and bike are side-by-side at a light and the light changes, the car might turn right and hit the cyclist. In both of these scenarios, the car will likely be at fault.

 

Take all necessary precautions when riding a bike, however, if you are in an accident, contact the lawyers at Young and Young for a free consultation.

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When Should I Involve a Personal Injury Lawyer?

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If you suffer the unfortunate circumstance of suffering a personal injury, you might receive advice that you should or should not involve an attorney in your case. Whether you should involve an attorney is dependent on your circumstances, but there are several things to consider.

If your injury is a small one, it may not be worth your time to involve an attorney. Do not hire an attorney in the hopes that the attorney will be able to help you recover more damages by encouraging you to seek additional medical care from a “plaintiff-friendly” doctor.  By all means, seek medical care when you suffer a personal injury, but do not expect that hiring an attorney will automatically increase the amount of money you will receive because of your injury.

If you are involved in an automobile accident that is clearly the fault of the other driver, you may not need an attorney. If you feel that the other driver’s insurance company is handling your case fairly and is offering a reasonable settlement payment, then an attorney’s assistance may not be necessary.

However, if you are dealing directly with the other driver’s insurance company, be careful what you say. The insurance adjuster may be trying to limit their insured’s liability and may be interested in getting a statement from you regarding liability surrounding the accident.

If you suffer a personal injury and are in any way uncomfortable with the way the insurance company is handling your case, be sure to consult with an attorney. Our personal injury attorneys at Young and Young offer free consultations and look forward to speaking with you should you feel you need an attorney’s help.

 

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What Are the Common Types of Bicycle Accidents?

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Of the more common circumstances under which a cyclist may be involved in an accident, most vehicle-versus-bicycle accidents occur at intersections. This might be surprising, but the majority of cycling accidents occur when a cyclist simply loses control of his or her bicycle and crashes.

There are several different types of vehicle-versus-bicycle accidents that may occur at an intersection.

Accidents at Stop Signs

The two types of accidents at stop signs occur when a cyclist has a stop sign and the car does not, or, the opposite, when a car has a stop sign and a cyclist does not. In the first circumstance, if the cyclist stops at his or her stop sign, but then continues on, pulling out in front of the vehicle, the cyclist will likely be at fault. In the alternative, if a car has a stop sign, stops properly, but then pulls out in front of the cyclist who has the right-of-way, the vehicle’s driver will likely be at fault.

Cyclist’s Failure to Yield

If a cyclist approaches an intersection and fails to yield to a car, often simply because the cyclist didn’t see the car, or misjudged the speed at which the car was traveling, the cyclist will be at fault for an accident that occurs.

Car Turning Left

If a driver doesn’t see a cyclist or misjudges the cyclist’s speed and turns left, thereby cutting the cyclist off, the driver will be at fault.

 

Car Turning Right

There are several different scenarios under which an accident might occur when a car turns right into a cyclist. A cyclist might pass a slower car on the right, and the car makes a right turn into the cyclist. If a car and bike are side-by-side at a light and the light changes, the car might turn right and hit the cyclist. In both of these scenarios, the car will likely be at fault.
Take all necessary precautions when riding a bike, however, if you are in an accident, contact the lawyers at Young and Young for a free consultation.

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