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What Are My Rights After a Car Accident?

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If you’ve been involved in a Salt Lake City Car Accident, then you know first hand how difficult and confusing it can be to deal with the car insurance companies. One of the most common frustrations is simply understanding what your rights are as the victim. Utah (along with 11 other states) is a no fault state. This means that your own car insurance automatically has at least $3,000 available for medical bills; no matter who was at fault for the accident. This no fault coverage also covers some lost wages and helps with ordinary household services. If the accident was not your fault, then the at-fault driver’s insurance company will reimburse your car insurance company for these expenses.

Do I have to speak with the adjuster and give a recorded statement?

It is ok to speak with the insurance adjuster, but it is never wise to give a recorded statement. Some adjusters will say you are obligated to give a recorded statement, but this is false. You may have a duty to cooperate and answer questions about the accident, but you do not have a duty to allow the conversation to be recorded. If your statement is recorded, they may use it against you later; even your own insurance company!

Do I have to accept the low amount the insurance company is offering for my car that was totaled in the accident?

No. If the insurance company has made an offer to replace your totaled car and you are unhappy with the amount, you do not have to accept it. Instead, you should check car websites (autotrader, carsoup, etc.) and find as many cars similar to yours (same year, make, model, mileage and features) that cost more than the insurance company’s offer. Give this new information to the adjuster and demand a higher settlement amount.

Will I recover less if I hire an attorney?

The insurance adjuster may say so, but this too is false. A study performed by the insurance industry found that car accident victims who hire an attorney recover three and a half times more than people that try and handle a claim on their own. They recover more and have less stress! If you’re looking for a car accident lawyer in Salt Lake City, be sure to do your home work. Find an attorney that deals exclusively with accident and injury claims and see if they provide valuable information, like a free consultation or free accident books.

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