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St. George Utah Injury Lawyer

St. George Utah Injury Lawyer

At McMullin Injury Law, we get it. Many people wonder why people seem to get so much money after a St. George Utah Car Accident. This video answers that question in a step-by-step process.

If you have further questions about Utah Injury Law or need to speak to an Injury Attorney in Southern Utah, call 435-673-9990 for a free consultation.

We do everything we can to ensure those injured by the carelessness of others receive all the compensation they deserve.

In Your Community. . . And On Your Side.

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Safety Town - 2021 Scholarships

At McMullin Legal Law, we recognize the value of education and in particular the value of educating our youth. For that reason, we are sponsoring 20 free entries for local kids to participate in the Safety Town program, which is held by the city of St. George each year.

- ALL 20 SCHOLARSHIPS HAVE BEEN AWARDED FOR 2021 -

What is Safety Town?

Safety Town was created to teach important, life-long lessons about safety. This safety program is held each summer for children entering kindergarten or first grade in the upcoming fall school year.

Throughout the years, the program’s curriculum has changed to reflect new safety concerns in our society. The program now includes pedestrian safety, internet safety, bike/scooter safety, stranger danger, drug awareness, fire safety, bullying and more. Each topic covered during the program is designed to provide an exciting and effective hands-on learning environment.

Throughout the week session, stories, games, songs, and videos reinforce the safety skills being taught. By using a "hands-on" approach, children absorb important information and have fun at the same time. The City of St. George Leisure Services, teen volunteers and other community groups help teach safety awareness and prevention to our campers.

If you would like more information on Safety Town and how to get your kids involved, please visit their website by clicking here.

Speaking in front of school
Children listening to speaker in front of truck
Utah Law and Loss of Consortium Damages

Utah Law: Loss of Consortium Damages

More than 3 million people are injured in the United States in car accidents each year. Victims of these accidents face both physical and emotional challenges. But there’s another group that is affected by these accidents that rarely gets mentioned; spouses. And those spouses have a unique option for seeking compensation after their husband or wife has been injured. It's called a loss of consortium claim.

Following a serious accident in which a victim faces debilitating or otherwise severe injuries, the spouse is often left to deal with a variety of unique challenges. They may find themselves suddenly caring for their partner and his or her needs. If their spouse needs full-time care, they may need to mix work in the weeks or months following the accident. Some may even choose to leave their jobs permanently in order to care for their loved ones full-time.

For couples with children, having a spouse who is suddenly unable to share their care can be difficult. From getting them to and from school and other activities to providing for their needs, these responsibilities may now fall on just one parent.

The victim of the car accident can file a lawsuit against the person responsible or seek compensation from their insurance company for lost wages. But because the spouse was not a direct victim, they cannot do the same.

However, there is another option for spouses to seek compensation for some of the losses that they are facing. 

Filing for loss of consortium is a way for spouses to get compensation for a variety of losses. This includes both emotional and financial losses caused by the injuries their spouse has sustained. Keep reading to learn what loss of consortium claims are, who may qualify, and how to file for them.

The Cost of Car Accidents on Victims

When an individual is injured in an accident, the effects can be far-reaching. Physical pain is far from the only cost. The victim is also left dealing with a variety of fallouts caused by the accident and their injuries.

They’ll need to get their vehicle replaced or repaired. In the case of more serious accidents, they may miss work. With that, they'll lose wages that they were expecting to earn. If their injuries are life-changing, the person may not be able to go back to the same job or position that they held prior to the accident.

If the person had children, they may no longer be able to care for them as they once did. Additional childcare may be necessary while the victim attends physical therapy. Long-term childcare may even be needed if he or she can no longer care for their children on their own.

Victims who are attending college or otherwise continuing their education may miss classes. They may even have to drop out for the semester or longer. This often means not only delaying their education but also losing out on the tuition that they’ve already paid for.

These costs, and the emotional toll of a car accident and injuries, add up quickly. But an additional effect of accidents isn’t talked about quite so often; the toll on the spouse.

The Cost of Car Accidents on Spouses

If an individual is killed in a car accident, his or her spouse can file a wrongful death lawsuit in their honor, claiming loss of companionship. This isn’t limited to spouses either; children, stepchildren, parents, and other immediate family members who were beneficiaries of the deceased may also seek a wrongful death settlement for damages caused by the death of their family member.

But just because their husband or wife has survived the accident doesn’t mean that the spouse of a victim doesn’t suffer losses.

After an accident, the spouse of a victim will also deal with their share of unexpected expenses and emotional challenges.

They may find themselves caring for their children more than they once did. In some cases, the spouse may need to miss work to care for their husband or wife, or for their children if their spouse is unable to. This can mean lost wages. In the case of severe injuries, a spouse may even find themselves in the difficult position of deciding to leave their own job behind in order to care for their spouse full-time.

A spouse also suffers emotional damages. If the victim suffered debilitating injuries, they may lose the companionship and support of their spouse, likely for the rest of their lives.

Because their spouse is still alive, the same types of claims cannot be filed as they can be by a spouse after their loved one has died. However, there is an alternative; filing a loss of consortium.

What is a Loss of Consortium?

A loss of consortium is a claim that can be brought by an individual after his or her spouse has suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. The claim, filed against the person responsible for the accident, carries a dollar amount meant to be compensation for some of the damages, including both physical and emotional damages, that the spouse has suffered as a result of their husband or wife’s injuries.

However, a loss of consortium isn’t something that can be filed after any kind of accident or incident. Instead, there are criteria that must be met before a claim can be brought up.

Defining an Injury

In order for a loss of consortium to be properly filed, the victim must have suffered a significant injury. Injuries cannot be minor. They also cannot be ones that the individual will easily recover from without them causing future effects on their happiness and well-being.

In most cases, injuries need to be those that are permanent and must change the injured victim’s life. This includes the following types of injuries:

  • Complete or partial paralysis of one or more of the victim’s extremities
  • Disfigurement that is significant
  • Injuries that will render the individual incapable of performing the jobs that they once did

All injuries must be the result of the accident.

It's important to prove that the victim suffered severe injuries. The claim for loss of consortium will also need to prove that the spouse has suffered some impairment. They may also prove that they've lost some benefit of their marriage and relationship because of their loved one’s injuries. In most cases, emotional pain is not enough. Instead, additional responsibilities, lost wages, the burden of caring for children on their own, or similar instances must be proven when filing a claim.

Who Can File a Loss of Consortium?

Unlike filing a wrongful death lawsuit, a loss of consortium claim cannot be filed by just any dependent of the injured victim.

In fact, even a fiancée or long-term girlfriend or boyfriend cannot file a loss of consortium claim. This is true even if the victim and their significant other share children, a home, or other property. Or if the spouse is now caring for their injured loved one full-time, or taking on additional emotional or financial responsibilities.

Only a married spouse can file a claim for a loss of consortium. The couple must be legally married such that their union is recognized by the laws of the state of Utah.

Do Statutes of Limitations Apply to Loss of Consortium Claims?

An injured individual is subject to a statute of limitations in order to file claims or pursue a lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident or their injuries.

In the same way, a spouse is subject to a statute of limitation when filing a loss of consortium claim. In fact, they are subject to the same statute of limitations as their spouse is.

The start date for a statute of limitations begins on the day that the victim was injured. Statutes of limitations vary by state, and also vary by the type of accident.

Once the time period outlined by the statute of limitations has passed, a victim and his or her spouse can no longer file for loss of consortium claims. If you plan to file a claim, it’s important to start the process as early as possible following an accident. This will help you to avoid missing that important deadline. This means avoiding losing out on your chance to get important compensation that you may need to continue in your new normal.

How Do You File a Claim for Loss of Consortium?

Filing a claim for a loss of consortium can be confusing, especially if you don’t have legal experience. Hiring an attorney can make the process easier. It will ensure that all claims are handled properly and within the necessary time limits. The same car accident attorney handling the injured victim’s claims can also file a claim loss of consortium for the spouse.

Whether you choose to file your claim with the help of an attorney or not, you'll face a deadline. Spouses need to file their claim for loss of consortium at the same time that their injured spouse files his or her own claims.

When filing a claim for loss of consortium, it’s important to keep in mind that all claims are subject to the same statutory limits that apply to the victims' claims. This includes limits on noneconomic damages.

If a government entity is involved and will be the one paying for the submitted claims, additional guidelines apply. The claims of the injured victim and of the spouse cannot exceed the liability limit for a single individual, even though both the spouse and victim are filing claims. In short, these claims are seen as a single claim for damages suffered by the victim.

Besides following those guidelines, the spouse will also need to prove a loss of consortium. This involves building a case that proves that the other spouse was severely injured in an accident or other incident. Planning to include details about lost wages or the burden of caring for your children on your own? You will also need to provide proof that your spouse is no longer able to work or help with your children's care.

Utah Law: Filing Loss of Consortium Damages

If your spouse has suffered serious injuries in a car accident, you may be able to file a claim for loss of consortium damages. While the victim may have been the one to suffer the injuries, the spouse is also affected.

Following a serious accident, the uninjured spouse is often left dealing with a variety of physical and emotional burdens. He or she may be left taking on additional responsibilities at home. They may find themselves the primary caretaker for their children, while they once shared caretaking responsibilities with their spouse. If their husband or wife’s injuries were severe, they may need to miss work or even leave their job in order to care for them. While this may be temporary, in some cases, it could be permanent. If they continue to work, the burden of providing for themselves, their spouse, and their family may suddenly fall on their shoulders alone.

Beyond those damages, the spouse will also suffer emotional pain and suffering. Their spouse may no longer be able to offer the same companionship and support that they once did. These changes may be permanent. This will change the course of the spouse’s life in some of the same ways that the victim’s life has been changed.

Making the Decision to File Loss of Consortium Claims

Nothing can make up for the life-changing aspects of having a spouse suffer permanent, debilitating injuries. But filing a claim for loss of consortium damages will allow the spouse to seek some compensation. This includes compensation for both the physical and emotional challenges that they are facing.

If you or your spouse has been the victim of a car accident or any negligent act by another individual, you need an attorney on your side. He or she will help you to navigate the complicated legal practice, understand your rights, and file claims properly.

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How Much is a Wrongful Death Settlement Worth in Utah?

For the most part, the wrongful death lawsuit that will make the evening news tends to be for a high-profile case. Accidents involving celebrities or widespread product defects that caused numerous deaths are more headline-catching than a single death of an average citizen. But that doesn’t make the cases that wrongful death attorneys handle every day any less serious.

Every year, thousands of wrongful death lawsuits are filed across the country. These lawsuits are filed following car accidents, workplace accidents, deaths caused by product defects, and more. While the details of the cases are each unique, they share one common factor; the death of someone’s loved one.

If you’ve lost a loved one in an accident, you might be wondering what kind of settlement you might be entitled to. Keep reading to learn more about wrongful death lawsuits, as well as what a wrongful death settlement is worth in Utah.

What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Cases that fall under the category of “wrongful death” are very similar to those that fall under the category of “personal injury.” The difference is that the victim of a personal injury case can bring their own case to court. The victim in a wrongful death case cannot.

The state of Utah, in Utah Code section 78B-3-106 classifies wrongful deaths as those that are the direct result of a “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another involved party. This party doesn’t necessarily have to be an individual. It can also be a group or an organization.

Because the victim of a wrongful death lawsuit is unable to file their own claims, someone else does it for them. This is typically the heir that inherits the deceased person’s estate, such as a spouse, child, or parent.

There are laws in place that prevent just anyone from filing a wrongful death claim. Only those relationships listed above, as well as stepchildren and adoptive parents, or other blood relatives if they stand to inherit something from the deceased, are able to file a claim. A wrongful death attorney can help the surviving family better understand who is eligible to file a lawsuit.

What Types of Cases Fall Under the Category of Wrongful Death?

Wrongful deaths are any that are the direct result of another person or party’s negligence or a wrongful act. But what types of cases does that definition describe?

Some of the most common causes behind wrongful death lawsuits include:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents (including delivery trucks and semi-trucks)
  • Product liability, in which a defective product causes an accidental death
  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace deaths
  • Liability cases, such as an individual falling on another person or business’ property
  • Dog attacks

If an individual dies as a result of the above accidents or other similar incidents, their surviving family members can file a case, with the help of a wrongful death attorney. This type of lawsuit aims to not only seek justice for the death but also to give the family financial compensation.

What Types of Damages are Included?

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is a way for the family of the deceased to seek justice, beyond any charges against the person responsible for the accident. However, it’s also a chance to get financial compensation for their loved one’s death.

There are a variety of types of damages that the surviving heirs can seek in a wrongful death claim. These include:

  • Medical expenses related to the victim’s injury or illness that lead to their death
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Lost wages that the deceased would have earned and that would have benefited the surviving heirs
  • Pain and suffering that the surviving family members have experienced
  • Loss of the companionship of the deceased (this can apply to surviving spouses or parents)
  • Loss of guidance and care (this applies to the care and guidance that the deceased would have provided to his or her children or stepchildren, or to their spouse)
  • Punitive damages

How Much is a Settlement Worth in Utah?

Just as with personal injury cases, each wrongful death case is unique. For that reason, each wrongful death lawsuit will be unique in the damages that it is seeking.

For instance, one case may include the cost of medical expenses that an individual incurred prior to their death. But another wrongful death lawsuit may not need to include these if there were no medical expenses incurred. The death of a young parent may command a higher dollar amount for loss of companionship and guidance than the death of an older adult with no children or no spouse.

Calculating how much a wrongful death settlement is worth in Utah comes down to the details of each individual case. It also depends on your choice of wrongful death attorney. An experienced lawyer will be better prepared to build a case that shows why the heir of the victim deserves more than what insurance companies are currently offering.

When to Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney

If someone that you love has died because of someone else’s negligence, or the negligence of a business, you deserve justice, as well as compensation. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help you get it. However, filing on your own, without legal help, is a big mistake.

Unless you have legal experience, filing your own wrongful death lawsuit is complicated, confusing, and incredibly difficult. You’ll be left to navigate the legal process and its many rules and regulations. You’ll also have to go face-to-face with the legal representation that the person or party responsible hires.

Instead, you need the help of a wrongful death attorney. Their experience, skills, and knowledge will be key to building a strong case and presenting it in court.

It’s often emotional and painful to face off against the person responsible for your loved one’s death. But with the help of a wrongful death attorney, you can not only get the compensation that you deserve but also get some measure of justice for your loved one.

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Does the Insurance Company Have to Cover my Rental Car in Utah?

Does the Insurance Company Have to Cover my Rental Car in Utah?

Rental cars are a convenient way to get around while on vacation. They can also help you to get to and from work while your own vehicle is in for repairs. Or even to bridge the gap between when you sell one vehicle and purchase the next. But they can also be a big financial risk if you don't have the right rental car insurance.

You don’t drive your own vehicle without insurance coverage. So you shouldn’t climb behind the wheel of a rental until you understand the laws surrounding coverage. One big thing you need to know is whether or not your own personal car insurance will apply if you get into an accident.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about rental car insurance, and whether or not the insurance company has to cover your rental car in Utah.

Does Your Insurance Cover a Rental Car in Utah?

You’re already paying for car insurance for your personal vehicle. So you might be wondering whether you need to purchase additional rental car insurance coverage for your trip or rental period.

The answer is that it largely depends on the type and level of car insurance you currently have. The following areas of coverage are important to have when renting a car. Some will be covered by your car insurance policy, while others may not be.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance provides protection against claims from injuries or damages caused to other drivers and passengers. Instead of paying your own bills for damages suffered, this coverage protects your bank account against covering the bills of anyone that you hurt or damage caused if you cause an accident. It also protects you against legal costs if you’re found liable for the crash.

If you have any personal car insurance at all, it’s likely that you have liability coverage. In fact, the state of Utah requires all drivers to have liability coverage. At a minimum, your Utah car insurance policy must cover at least:

  • $65,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $15,000 in property damage per accident

For those with proper liability insurance coverage on their personal vehicle policy, you’ll be covered when renting a car as well. While the rental car company will offer a supplemental policy, you can forgo this and rely on your own personal insurance instead.

Personal Accident Insurance

If you or someone else in the rental vehicle you’re driving is injured in a crash, personal accident insurance coverage kicks in. This coverage is designed to pay for medical bills resulting from the crash. This is another type of rental car insurance coverage you can pay for at the counter of the rental car agency. But you may have your own insurance coverage that will cover these costs instead.

A personal car insurance policy that offers personal injury protection with adequate coverage will take the place of additional rental car insurance in this instance. Additionally, your health insurance and disability income insurance may also cover these and other related costs.

Personal Effects Coverage

Not all “accidents” that can happen while you’re renting a car are actual accidents. Consider a thief breaking into your rental vehicle and stealing some of your personal effects. You likely won’t need additional rental car insurance to cover these losses. Instead, your personal effects coverage from the insurance you already have will kick in.

In most cases, your homeowners or renters insurance policy will cover thefts from a rental vehicle. If you travel with expensive items, you may want to consider purchasing an additional floater for your homeowner's policy. This includes laptops, camera gear, or jewelry. These are designed to provide additional coverage for high-price items. In some cases, you may be able to purchase a temporary waiver for additional coverage. This is a good idea if you plan to take a trip and bring along expensive items.

Collision Damage Waiver

The final type of insurance coverage you should consider when renting a car is a collision damage waiver. This is one type of coverage that you may want to consider purchasing from the rental agency.

If you have collision insurance on your personal vehicle, it will cover the cost of repairs of the rental car as well. If the vehicle is totaled, it will cover the cash value of the car. However, an additional collision damage waiver sometimes referred to as a Loss Damage Waiver, or LDW might also be necessary to offset costs

Some rental car agencies charge additional fees that are outlined in the fine print when you rent a vehicle. These fees apply if the rental is involved in an accident. They cover the agency’s administrative fees and loss of the use of the rental vehicle and are not covered by your personal car insurance policy. However, you may find that you already have coverage for these in a surprising place.

Many credit cards, and especially travel rewards credit cards, now offer collision damage waivers. Check the fine print on your card for coverage. Keep in mind that you will likely need to pay all fees associated with the rental on that card for coverage to apply.

If your credit card does not offer coverage, you have a choice to make. You can pay for the collision waiver from the insurance company. This will lower what you have to pay out of pocket following an accident. Or, you can choose to take the risk and pay these fees if you do happen to be in an accident. It’s a good idea to read the fine print and find out what you’ll be liable for first. This will allow you to make an informed decision.

Choosing the Right Rental Car Insurance Coverage

Not having the right rental car insurance can turn a fun vacation into a costly mistake. Understanding how your own car insurance in Utah applies to a rental can help you make a smart decision about additional coverage. It’s also a good idea to check with your insurance agent ahead of your trip to make sure that you’re properly understanding your current coverage.

What if you don’t currently have an auto insurance policy in your name? Or if you have only minimal coverage on your policy or have a high deductible? In that case, you may want to consider additional protection. Purchasing rental car insurance coverage from the rental agency will ensure that you aren’t hit with any massive bills or a heft deductible if you do get into an accident.

Making an informed decision about your rental car insurance starts with understanding your current coverage. Check with your insurance agent or read the fine print on your policy before your trip to make sure you’re covered in case the worst does happen.

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How Do I Get My Insurance Company to Pay Diminished Value of My Vehicle in Utah?

How Do I Get My Insurance Company to Pay Diminished Value of My Vehicle in Utah?

When most people talk about the effects of car accidents, they focus on injuries and deaths caused by them. But if you’ve ever been involved in an accident, you know that they cause a domino effect. The effect on your life goes beyond just your injuries.

You might be forced to miss work or have to arrange additional childcare. Did you have other belongings in your car like your laptop or even your cell phone? Those could be damaged as well and will need to be replaced. Even after the initial accident, you’ll need to take time for phone calls with your insurance company, doctor’s visits, and more.

One big effect you’ll need to deal with is the damage to your vehicle. Even minor damage means that you’ll be without your car while it’s being repaired. You’ll also face plenty of paperwork, and usually some back-and-forth with the insurance company about getting your repairs covered. Once repairs are done, your car might be fully functional again. But it will never regain the value that it held prior to the accident.

Thankfully, filing a diminished car value claim can help offset this. What is a diminished value claim, and how can you get your insurance company to pay it? Keep reading to find out.

How the Value of Your Car Changes After You Drive It Off the Lot

From the moment that you drive a new car off the lot, it begins to lose value. You've likely heard this before. In fact, even a used car may begin to lose value after you’ve bought it. That's because car dealerships will usually sell for more than the true Blue Book Value of a vehicle in order to get a profit themselves.

The value of a new car likely won’t go down that much on the day you buy it. Or even in the weeks after. Instead, as a general rule of thumb, a vehicle will lose between 15 and 20 percent of its value each year. This means that when your new car enters its second year, it will be worth between 80 and 85 percent of what it was worth when you purchased it. In the third year, it will again be worth between 80 and 85 percent of what it was worth when it entered its second year.

Of course, other things can also cause your vehicle's value to drop. Besides car accidents, this might include other damage to the inside or outside of your car. Hail damage, smoking inside, or dents on the exterior of the car all lower the value of your vehicle. This is true even if they occur immediately after you’ve purchased it.

In some cases, though, you could actually add value to your vehicle after driving it off the lot. This only applies to cases where owners add additional features to the vehicle and it is rare. Even if you feel that a modification is improving the vehicle, it can still lower the value of it, as it’s not a factory-installed feature.

How the Value of Your Car Changes After a Car Accident

Now, say that you get into an accident and your vehicle is damaged. Even if you’ve taken great care of your car, it will instantly lose value.

If the vehicle is totaled, insurance will pay the replacement value of your car. This isn’t the value that you originally paid. Instead, it is an adjusted value based on things like the prior mileage and how long you owned the car. Usually, the Kelly Blue Book Value is used to determine what your car would have been worth if you sold it immediately before the accident, and you’ll receive that amount.

If the insurance company determines that your car is worth more than what it would cost for repairs, they’ll instead opt to pay for those repairs rather than pay the value.

The age of your car will affect this decision; an older car or one with high mileage has a lower replacement value. So it may save the insurance company money to pay the replacement value rather than paying for costly repairs. But with a new vehicle, it’s likely that repairs will be less expensive for the insurance company than paying the replacement value. This may even be true of more extensive repairs. The insurance provider will always opt for the more affordable option.

Hopefully, after those repairs are made, your car will look and run like new again. Or at least as it did prior to the crash.

Selling Your Vehicle After an Accident

Unfortunately, if you ever go to sell that vehicle, its history will instantly reveal to a buyer or dealership that it has been in an accident. Even if the damage has been properly repaired and no signs of the accident remain, it will still hold a lower value for buyers.

For individual buyers, they may worry that there is lasting damage from the accident. Or worry that it will have a shorter lifespan because of that damage. Dealerships may be hesitant to buy used cars that have been in accidents because they know that their buyers will be able to find out the vehicle’s history.

In short, while you may get your car repaired to the state that it was in prior to the accident, it won’t have the same value that it once did.

Luckily, you may have an option for getting compensated for some or all of that lost value. This is where a diminished car value claim comes in.

What is Diminished Value?

After a couple of years of normal wear and tear, it makes sense that the value of your vehicle will decrease. It also makes sense that when you get into an accident, your vehicle instantly loses a lot of value.

That’s where insurance steps in. You pay for health insurance month after month to off-set the cost of emergency medical care if a big bill happens to come your way. In the same way, car insurance is designed to offset the costs of an accident. You pay your car insurance each month, and, hopefully, never have to use it. But if you do in fact find yourself in an accident, those car insurance premiums that you dutifully paid cover the cost of repairs so that you don’t have to pay for them out of pocket.

If your car insurance only pays for repairs, though, they aren’t truly paying to replace the value that your car has lost. For this reason, victims of car accidents may opt to request the diminished value of their vehicle from the insurance provider.

Diminished value refers to the difference between the market value of your car before the accident and after it. This covers the lost value that you would experience if you tried to sell your car after the accident, with repairs done but with the accident still on your car’s history.

There are actually three separate types of diminished value that a car insurance provider may pay.

Inherent Diminished Value

Inherent diminished value is the most common type of diminished value paid following an accident. It's also the most widely accepted type by insurance companies. This term refers to the value that is lost because a car now has a history of damage. This history is something that future buyers could easily access, which means that it will lower the resale value of the car, regardless of any repairs that are made following the wreck.

With inherent diminished value, it is assumed that proper repairs were made to the vehicle. These repairs should be done by an experienced body shop or mechanic. And that the repairs should restore the rest of the value of the car. This means that the only value lost is that that is directly related to having an accident in its history. In most cases, this also means that the damage was not extensive and that it was possible for the car to be fully repaired and restored.

This isn’t always the case. Certain damage may be able to be repaired. But not the full quality and condition that it was prior to the accident. Another type of diminished value covers those repairs that do not bring the vehicle back to its condition prior to the car accident.

Immediate Diminished Value

This next type of diminished car value claim is rarely used. Immediate diminished value refers to the value of your car immediately after an accident, and before any repairs are made. In most cases, the insurance company pays for repairs to fix any damage caused by the accident. So this type of diminished value is rarely used.

Repair-Related Diminished Value

The final type of diminished value is repair-related diminished value. As we mentioned above, sometimes repairs are not enough to restore a car to the same condition it was in prior to being involved in a car accident.

This is where repair-related diminished value comes in. If the repair is of poor quality, your car might not be the same after an accident. This could apply to how it runs or how it looks. For instance, patches of paint may not match the original color or finish. This would greatly affect the look of the vehicle. Perhaps aftermarket parts were used in the repair. Over time, these parts may not hold up and perform the same as the original, higher-quality parts would have if not for the accident.

There are two main ways that this type of diminished value may come into play. Many car insurance companies will require repairs from a mechanic or repair shop that they approve of. If this is the case, they are also responsible for making sure that those outlets that they choose are carefully vetted and capable of performing quality repairs. What happens if quality repairs are not performed by a mechanic that your insurance provider chose? You likely have a case for receiving repair-related diminished value.

Another instance when repair-related diminished car value claim is justified is if it is not possible to restore a vehicle to its prior condition. This may apply to older cars, such as vintage vehicles or collectible vehicles. If original parts can’t be sourced, the repairs will never bring the car back to the condition that it was in prior to the accident.

How Do I Get My Insurance Company to Pay a Diminished Car Value Claim for My Vehicle in Utah? 

Car insurance companies may be there to pay for your vehicle repairs or cover medical bills following an accident. But they are a business. And they do not want to pay more than what they have to after an accident.

For this reason, your insurance company is unlikely to be forthcoming in offering diminished value following a car accident. That doesn’t mean that you don’t qualify for it.

You can request an additional payment for the diminished value of your vehicle from the insurance company. However, they are unlikely to accept it. So how do you get it? Call your lawyer.

A car accident attorney understands the system, as well as how insurance companies operate. They will compile necessary evidence about the value of your car and the effect the accident had on it. They’ll also take over communications with the insurance company in their efforts to get you the compensation that you deserve.

Getting a Check for the Diminished Value of Your Vehicle

If you are the victim of an accident and your vehicle needs repairs, you deserve compensation for the value that your car lost as a result. Unfortunately, most car insurance providers will not be eager to pay for that lost value in addition to the repairs they’ve already paid for.

A car accident attorney can help. He or she will take over all dealings with the car insurance companies. They'll fight for additional compensation to make up for the value that your car has lost. If you’ve been involved in an accident and your car is set to be repaired rather than replaced, it’s time to get a lawyer. Contact a Utah car accident lawyer today to file a diminished car value claim. They'll help begin your fight for the compensation you deserve to help offset some of the lasting effects that being the victim of a car accident can have.

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Concussions - Diagnosis, Treatments Available, and Causes

Concussions: Diagnosis, Treatments Available, and Causes

Any time you bump, bang, or jolt your head, you risk suffering a concussion. Concussions are actually a form of brain injury and can vary from mild injuries to severe medical emergencies.

Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, cause more than 2.87 million ER visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the U.S. each year. Of those, more than 800,000 of these incidents involve children under the age of 18. Many TBIs are minor and do not require hospitalization. But understanding the difference between a mild TBI and a serious one is very important.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about concussions, what causes them, how they are diagnosed, and your treatment options.

What is a Concussion?

Concussions are sometimes downplayed as being less dangerous than they actually are. While it may seem like just a “bump on the head,” in reality, a concussion is actually a mild traumatic brain injury, also known as a TBI.

Concussions are sometimes confused with a brain contusion. However, the two terms refer to two different types of injuries.

Contusions can occur on your head, but they can also occur elsewhere and are a type of bruising. Concussions only occur on your head and specifically affect your brain. However, a contusion and a concussion may go hand in hand if your head strikes a surface or object with a great deal of force.

Are Concussions Life Threatening?

In most cases, concussions are not life-threatening. The most common types of concussions are mild and resolve on their own within days or even hours of occurring. When this is the case, and if the individual does not have a history of concussions, there will likely be no lasting impact from a single concussion.

However, severe concussions or repeated concussions, especially in a short time period, can have more serious consequences.

Some warning signs that may indicate that a concussion is severe and that the victim is in danger and needs medical attention right away, include:

  • If one pupil is noticeably larger than the other
  • When you cannot wake the victim from their unconscious state
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Slurred speech
  • A persistent headache that will not go away

If you experience any of these symptoms or notice someone else experiencing them, it’s important to seek medical attention right away.

What Causes a Concussion?

Concussions occur when the head and brain shake quickly back and forth or your head collides with something with force or at a high speed.

There is an endless number of ways that a concussion can occur. Any time that your head comes into contact with a surface or object, or your experience a whiplash injury, there is a risk of a concussion.

Sports are one of the most common ways that concussions occur. However, they are far from the only way. Car accidents, falling off a ladder or down the stairs, or any other type of fall, slip, accident, or collision can lead to a concussion.

Sports and Concussions

When most people think about concussions, they think of high-impact sports. In fact, sports are one of the leading causes of concussions. Every year, experts estimate that 3.8 million concussions occur as a result of recreational activities and competitive sports.

Despite these estimates, most experts believe that as many as half of all concussions go unreported. This is likely particularly true in children, and of concussions that happen during a sports game,

Of all reported concussions, children have the highest rate of ER visits related to TBIs of any age group.

Football, basketball, soccer, hockey, and rugby players are particularly prone to concussions. These high-impact sports increase the likelihood of collisions between players, walls, balls, or other surfaces that can cause a concussion to occur.

In recent years, new research on concussions and their prevention has led to the improvement of helmets and other protective equipment. It has also led to changes in the rules

What are the Signs of a Concussion?

Much like other types of injuries, the signs of a concussion can vary widely from one person to the next, or even from one concussion to the next in the same individual.

In some cases, an individual may be knocked out by the impact, and also experience a concussion. However, not all concussion victims lose consciousness.

Because serious concussions require medical attention, it’s important to learn the signs of a concussion. This will allow you to watch for them in others, as well as in yourself.

Spotting Concussion Signs in Your Own Health and Behaviors

Following a minor injury, you might not think much of some pain in your head from where you hit the floor or wall. But if that pain continues, or if you exhibit other symptoms, it’s likely that you have a concussion.

Common symptoms of a concussion that you might notice in yourself include:

  • Sudden, unusual problems with memory
  • Confusion
  • Feeling sluggish or drowsy
  • Experiencing double or blurred vision
  • Problems with balance
  • Slowed reactions to what’s happening around you
  • Light sensitivity
  • Headaches, including severe headaches
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Dizziness

Spotting the signs of a concussion in yourself can sometimes be a challenge. You hit your head, and now you have a headache; odds are that all you are thinking about is the pain. However, it’s very important to push through the pain and take note of other symptoms that you may be experiencing.

Spotting Concussion Signs in Another Person’s Health and Behaviors

Spotting the signs of a concussion in others can sometimes be difficult. However, there are some obvious signs that you’ll likely notice in those close to you, or those that you spend a lot of time around.

Common symptoms of a concussion that you might notice in someone else include:

  • Unusual irritability
  • Issues with balance
  • Not waking up
  • Loss of consciousness following an injury or collision
  • Vomiting or nausea, especially if repeated or persistent
  • Slurred speech
  • Unusual mental confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Issues with walking
  • Seizures
  • Blood or clear fluid draining from the ears or nose
  • Pupils of unequal size

If a friend or loved one has suffered a head injury, start by asking them questions about what happened and how they are feeling. Don’t just listen to their answers. Instead, you should also note how they are responding, what their voices sound like, and any indicators that they are acting differently than they normally do. Watching for these subtle indicators can be key to spotting a dangerous concussion.

Children and Concussions

Adults aren’t the only ones who can suffer concussions. Children can also suffer concussions, and experience similar symptoms.

One big danger involving kids and concussions is the effect of multiple concussions in a short time period. Children who experience a second concussion while still healing from the first may suffer permanent brain damage. Even in more minor cases, they’ll likely experience harsher symptoms.

Should You Seek Medical Attention for a Concussion?

Minor concussions often do not require medical attention or treatment.

Instead, the symptoms of the concussion will likely clear up on their own within hours or a few days of the injury occurring. In most cases, the victim will have no lasting effects caused by the concussion.

However, there are some circumstances when a concussion may require medical care or treatment.

Some instances when an individual should see a doctor include:

  • If a spine injury may have occurred
  • When an individual has had multiple concussions in a short time period
  • If the symptoms of the concussion do not clear up on their own
  • When symptoms are extreme and persistent, such as a debilitating headache, continuing mental confusion, or excessive vomiting
  • If the individual has previously suffered any type of brain injury that required medical care and treatment

If you or someone else experiences the symptoms of a severe concussion, as listed above, it’s also important to seek medical attention. The symptoms experienced will vary from one individual to the next, and even from one concussion to the next. If you’re on the fence about whether or not your symptoms or the symptoms someone else is experiencing are dangerous, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Contact your doctor or visit your nearest emergency room for an evaluation.

How are Concussions Treated?

The general rule for concussions used to be to prevent the victim from sleeping, or from sleeping for extended periods, for at least a day after receiving their concussion.

However, in most cases, this is no longer recommended. Instead, a doctor may place a patient under observation.

Observation may occur in a hospital or at home. For severe concussions, observation at the hospital may be recommended. This gives doctors a chance to watch for other symptoms, like seizures or vomiting. In this case, a nurse may wake the victim periodically while they are asleep or resting.

If the patient is able to go home, their doctor may still recommend that a caregiver observe them, and wake them frequently during the night.

In either case, this frequent waking is used to check for other symptoms and to make sure that the patient is able to awake easily, just as they normally would without a concussion. If they are unable to do so, it could indicate that their concussion is more severe. Or it may show that the symptoms that they are experiencing are worsening. This might mean that they need additional medical care, especially if they were initially sent home by their doctor.

Treating Severe Concussions

If the symptoms of your concussion were severe, and you sought medical attention, your treatment may vary. Your doctor will provide recommendations on rest and other treatments. These will be based on the severity of your injury, your own health, and any history of prior concussions you might have.

How is a Concussion Diagnosed?

If the symptoms you suffer after a minor head injury aren’t severe, you might opt to self-diagnose. This is far from an exact science, and not recommended if your injury is severe. However, when symptoms are mild and resolve on their own quickly, you might decide for yourself whether you believe that you had a concussion, based on your symptoms.

If you opt to seek medical attention, your diagnosis will be a lot more accurate. For minor concussions, a doctor might diagnose based on a quick external examination and a series of questions about your injury and symptoms that you’re experiencing.

But with more severe concussions, your doctor might instead opt to perform a neurological examination, cognitive tests, and/or imaging tests.

For a neurological test, your doctor will evaluate your:

  • Hearing
  • Strength
  • Sensation
  • Reflexes
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Vision

For cognitive testing, your doctor will evaluate your:

  • Memory
  • Ability to recall information on command
  • Ability to concentrate

Imaging tests are most common for those who experience severe and lasting headaches, seizures, or vomiting. Doctors may run a cranial computerized tomography, or CT, scan. This is the standard test used to evaluate head and brain injuries.

In some cases, an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, scan may be used instead. This scan detects changes in your brain. It may be used to show how your brain function has changed since getting a concussion.

Car Accidents and Concussions

While concussions and sports tend to go hand-in-hand, head injuries and car accidents do as well. If you’ve suffered a head injury in an accident, you may also have a concussion.

This may mean hospital or doctor's visits, missed work, and, of course, the physical pain of your concussion. If you caused the accident, your insurance will pay for your medical bills. However, if someone else’s negligence left you saddled with a painful, debilitating concussion, you deserve compensation for your medical bills, as well as for your pain and suffering.

If you’ve suffered a concussion in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, we can help. An experienced car accident attorney can help you gather information, obtain medical records, file insurance claims, and build a case, so you don’t have to. This means you can focus your efforts on healing from your injuries.

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Utah Car Accident Statistics and Information

The Beehive State is home to five of the nation’s most popular--and beautiful--national parks. It’s been touted as home to “The Greatest Snow on Earth,” thanks to its dry and fluffy snowfall, making it a world-class destination for skiing and snowboarding. Besides its natural draws, the state is also home to several vibrant major cities that draw tourists and new transplants as well. Unfortunately, Utah car accident statistics show that the state’s popularity also leads to plenty of accidents.

Leave the cities behind, and you’ll find that Utah is home to thousands of miles of wide-open roads that rarely see traffic jams. Of course, traffic jams and accidents don’t always go hand-in-hand. Both traffic-packed highways and winding desert roads see their share of accidents.

Whether you’re moving to the state or here for a visit, understanding Utah car accident statistics can help you understand how the state stacks up against others in terms of roadway safety. Let’s take a look at some statistics and information about the state’s roadways.

Utah Car Accident Statistics Explained

The Utah Department of Public Safety Highway Safety Office tracks Utah car accident statistics and other information each year. This information serves a variety of purposes. Perhaps most importantly, accident stats are used to measure the success of new safety measures.

Having several years' worth of data about accidents allows the Highway Safety Office to determine whether changes they are implementing have been effective.

What metrics and statistics does the Utah Department of Public Safety Highway Safety Office track? One important statistic that they track and analyze each year is the number of motor vehicle accidents. These accidents are also separated into different categories. This includes the number of fatal crashes, as well as the number of people injured in car accidents.

It can be difficult to read statistics about car accidents in Utah and imagine those statistics as real accidents and lives lost.

To help the public better understand the impact of these Utah car accident statistics, officials also break them down further into easy comparisons. For instance, in their annual reports, they usually include a statistic that describes how many accidents occur in Utah in a certain time frame. For instance, they might say that an accident occurs every 10 minutes. Or that a person is hurt in a crash every 15 minutes.

Another important statistic that is tracked is any contributing circumstances that may have been a factor in an accident. These statistics help to better inform the public of dangerous habits while driving. This includes things like using a cellphone while driving or following too closely behind the car in front of you.

Recent Statistics on Crashes and Casualties on Utah’s Roadways

Because of the amount of data that needs to be gathered, studied, and analyzed, it takes several years for the Utah Department of Public Safety Highway Safety Office to release its compiled data. For that reason, the most recent Utah car accident statistics available today are those from the year 2018.

Let's take a look at car accident statistics from that year in Utah.

Utah Car Accident Statistics

  • In 2018, 62,074 car accidents took place on roadways across the state of Utah. This includes car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and any other type of motor vehicle accident.
  • Of the more than 62,000 motor vehicle accidents, 237 of those crashes involved at least one fatality in the vehicle.
  • The 237 fatal crashes resulted in 260 deaths in total.
  • In the 62,074 motor vehicle accidents, 25,645 people were injured non-fatally. This number includes both individuals who suffered minor accidents like scrapes and bruises. It also includes all serious, but non-fatal accidents.

Breaking Down Utah Car Accident Statistics

To make it easier to grasp the sheer volume of crashes, injuries, and fatalities that took place in Utah in 2018, experts broke down the data into several comparisons.

  • Every 8.5 minutes in Utah in 2018, a motor vehicle crash occurred
  • On average, an individual was injured in a car accident every 20.5 minutes
  • A fatality occurred as a result of a car accident once every 33.7 hours in the state

Contributing Circumstances in Utah Crashes

Understanding the most common contributing circumstances to crashes in Utah is important. Educating the public on this information may help to reduce the number of accidents, as drivers become more aware of dangerous habits behind the wheel.

The top 5 most common contributing circumstances in all motor vehicle accidents in 2018 were:

  1. Following too close behind the next car was a contributing cause in 21 percent of all accidents
  2. Failing to yield to the right-of-way was a contributing cause in 17 percent of all accidents
  3. Speeding was a contributing cause in 11 percent of all accidents
  4. Drifting out of the proper lane was a contributing cause in 9 percent of all accidents
  5. Changing lanes improperly was a contributing cause in 4 percent of all car accidents

To better understand the impact of these and other contributing factors, experts also ranked them to see which were the most common in accidents that led to a fatality.

The most common driver contributing circumstances in fatal accidents in Utah in 2018 included:

  1. Failing to stay in the correct lane was a contributing circumstance in 21 percent of all fatal accidents
  2. Speeding contributed to 20 percent of all fatal crashes
  3. Failure to yield to the right-of-way was a contributing circumstance in 9 percent of all fatal accidents
  4. Running off the road was a contributing cause in 6 percent of all fatal crashes
  5. Ignoring or missing traffic signals like stop signs or stop lights was a contributing cause in 4 percent of all fatal accidents

Experts also found that distracted driving, including talking on a cell phone, texting, or distraction from passengers in the vehicle, was a factor in just under 9 percent of all car accidents.

When and Where Crashes Were More Common

Every time an accident occurs in the state, information is logged. This includes details about who is involved, whether or not their were injuries or fatalities, and smaller details, like the time and location of the crash.

  • In 2018, crash rates in Utah were the most common between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
  • Four counties had the highest crash rates per miles traveled. These counties included Salt Lake, Weber, Cache, and Utah counties.
  • Unsurprisingly, urban areas had a higher rate of car accidents per miles traveled than rural areas. More vehicles on roadways often go hand-in-hand with more accidents, as the impact of driver error is often far worse than on open, empty roads.
  • However, rural areas had a higher rate of fatal accidents. In fact, car accidents occurring in rural areas were 8 percent more likely to lead to a fatality than those occurring in urban areas.

How Did Car Accidents in 2018 Stack Up to Previous Years?

Having Utah car accident statistics for each year makes it easy to see how safety on the roadways may have changed from one year to the next.

However, comparing car crash statistics in Utah in 2018 to the three years prior, crash rates and statistics stayed nearly the same since 2016.

Seat Belt Stats

It’s no secret that wearing your seat belt could save your life in an accident. Yet, only about 90 percent of the populationregularly wears their constraint while driving or riding in a vehicle.

Were drivers and passengers in Utah buckling up? Here’s what statistics have to say:

  • 2018 saw the lowest total number of unrestrained deaths in Utah in the past 10 years.
  • Of those passengers and drivers who survived a car accident, 99 percent were wearing a seatbelt. Only 65 percentof those who were killed in a car crash were wearing a constraint.
  • Passengers and drivers in heavy trucks, like semi-trucks or delivery vehicles, were the most likely to be killed while unrestrained by a seatbelt in their vehicle.
  • More drivers were likely to be involved in accidents while unrestrained in rural areas than in urban ones.
  • Passengers and drivers involved in rural accidents were over 3 times more likely to not be wearing a seatbelt than those in urban areas.
  • Children were more likely to not be properly restrained the older they were when the crash occurred. For instance, 92 percent of 1-year-olds were properly restrained, compared to just 33 percent of 7-year-olds.

Other Utah Car Accident Statistics and Information

Other statistics and information that officials gathered in Utah in 2018 include:

Speeding Statistics

  • Speed was a factor in 8,865 crashes that occurred in 2018. In these crashes, 4,203 injuries occurred, as well as 69 fatalities.
  • Of the total number of fatal accidents that occurred in Utah, 27 percent were speed-related.
  • Crashes in which speed was a factor were more common during the early morning hours, and especially common between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

Alcohol and Drug-Related Accidents

  • Of the accidents that occurred in Utah in 2018, 1,915 involved a driver under the influence of alcohol. These crashes resulted in 1,224 injuries and 67 deaths.
  • Drivers who were between the ages of 21 and 29 were the largest age group involved in alcohol-related accidents.
  • While the annual number of alcohol-related accidents had been on the decline since 2015, they spiked in 2018.
  • Compared to all other causes of accidents, drug-related crashes were 33 times more likely to cause at least one fatality.
  • 1,049 accidents in which drugs were a factor occurred in 2018. In those accidents, 782 injuries and 94 deaths
  • Those drivers who were between the ages of 16 and 29 were the most likely to be involved in drug-related accidents.

Distracted Driving Accidents

  • Distracted driving was a factor in 5,772 accidents that occurred in Utah in 2018. These accidents resulted in 3,123 injuries and 18 deaths.
  • Of the distracted driving-related chase, over half were read-end accidents.
  • There are a variety of types of distracted driving. The most common distractions behind Utah accidents in 2018, in order, were cell phone use, distractions in the car like the radio or eating, external distractions, and passengers.
  • Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In 2018, 1,330 accidents occurred as a result of a drowsy driver. Of the total number of fatalities caused by accidents in Utah in the past 19 years, over 5 percent were related to drowsy driving.
  • Young drivers, under the age of 24, were more likely to be in a drowsy-driving-related accident than any other age group.
  • Drowsy driving car crashes were most likely between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m. During this time, 7 percent of all drowsy driving accidents occurred.
  • Accidents caused by driving drowsy spiked in May, July, and August.

Teenage Drivers and Car Accidents

  • Of the more than 60,000 accidents in Utah in 2018, 13,205 involved teenage drivers. That’s more than 20 percentof the total number of accidents. By comparison, teenage drivers make up just 9 percent of all licensed drivers in the state.
  • Teenage drivers ages 17 and 18 have the highest rate of accidents.
  • Following too closely and failing to yield to the right of way are causes behind nearly 50 percent of all accidentsinvolving teenagers.

What Can Drivers Learn From Utah Car Accident Statistics

Whether you live in the state or are planning a visit, knowing these Utah car accident statistics is important. They highlight the dangers of distracted driving or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These stats showcase the importance of wearing a seatbelt, and of following all road signs and laws. Understanding common causes behind accidents might just help you stay a little safer on your next road trip.

If you do find yourself the victim of a car accident, a Utah car accident lawyer can help. They’ll help you navigate Utah’s no-fault law and to better understand your options for seeking compensation for your injuries and damages.

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St. George Utah is Growing Fast

In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau compiled its latest report. Once every decade, the Bureau compiles data directly from U.S. citizens and residents in every corner of the country. In addition to determining things like federal funding, this count also gives us a better picture of where people are moving to, or away from. According to the 2020 U.S. census, St. George Utah is growing fast.

St. George Utah was rated the fifth fastest-growing metro area in the country. Between 2010 and 2019, the metro area grew a whopping 29 percent. It went from having 138,115 reported residents to 177,556.

This isn’t the first time the city has been noted for its quick growth in popularity. Between 2016 and 2017, St. George Utah was the fastest-growing metro area in the entire country. In just a year, its population increased by 4 percent.

This information will likely come as no surprise to those who have lived in St. George for at least a few years. A once quiet town, the city has not only grown in population, but also draws more visitors from across Utah, the U.S., and around the world each year than ever before.

So why is St. George Utah growing fast? Let’s take a look at what is drawing so many people to move to the area.

St. George Utah is an Outdoor Lover’s Paradise

For those looking to move to an area with plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, St. George Utah is just the place. The city is home to dozens of city parks and has two national parks and several state parks within short drives.

Zion National Park is perhaps the best-known natural attraction in the area. In 2020, visitation to Zion National Park increased, making it the fourth most-visited national park in the nation. But it isn’t the only national park in the area.

Another of Utah’s famous Might 5 parks is just over two hours away. Bryce Canyon National Park may not see the same number of visitors as Zion, but its stunning natural amphitheater and towering rock formations make it just beautiful, and well worth the day trip.

Closer to home, Sand Hollow State Park, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, and several other Utah state parks offer their own great views. In these parks, visitors can enjoy hiking, off-road areas for UTVs and ATVs, boating, fishing, and more.

It Enjoys a Mild Climate

If you’re someone who hates rainy days, St. George may offer you the perfect solution. The area sees just 10 inches of annual rainfall. Compared to the national average of 38 inches, that’s incredibly low. St. George Utah also beats the national average for the annual number of sunny days. Compared to the U.S. average of 205 days of sun, St. George enjoys 255 sunny days.

Summers in St. George can be hot, with highs in July and August regularly topping 100 degrees Fahrenheit. But the spring and fall are mild and comfortable, and much of the winter season is mild as well. On average, St. George sees just two inches of snowfall a year.

The City Offers Housing Options for Every Price Point

If you’re looking to buy a home and are on a tight budget, the median home price in St. George might be a concern. The average price rose from $360,00 to more than $480,000 thousand in recent years. But that number has been driven higher by new housing developments with luxury homes. This doesn’t mean that families on a tight budget won’t be able to find a housing option that they can afford in the area.

From gated communities to affordable apartments and everything in between, St. George has it all. This means that families, couples, and individuals with various budgets will be able to find a housing option that works for them somewhere in the metro area.

While the cost of living may be higher than in some other parts of Utah, the benefits of living in St. George is well worth the increase. You’ll find that homes and apartment or condo complexes offer a variety of features and upgrades that make living in the area even more enjoyable.

St. George Utah Has a Low Crime Rate

Compared to the rest of the country, and even most of Utah’s other cities, St. George Utah has a very low crime rate.

In 2018, St. George had a crime rate of 227.37 violent crimes per 100,000 citizens. The crime rate across the U.S. for the same year was 380.56 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Even the state of Utah’s crime rate was higher than that of St. George. In 2018, there were 233.08 violent crimes for every 100,000 people.

It’s a Family-Friendly Destination

One big reason why St. George Utah is growing fast is that it's very family-friendly. From the low crime rate to the variety of housing options, the city is the perfect place for growing families or couples thinking about taking the next step.

In the city's many neighborhoods, there are 12 elementary schools, 5 local junior high or middle schools, and 5 local high schools. Each of these schools has received good or great ratings and offers high graduation rates and competitive student-to-teacher ratios.

There are also 3 accredited colleges in the St. George metro area, making it ideal for families who will soon have high school graduates or for adults looking to continue their education.

St. George Utah is Growing Fast

Whether you’re looking for a new home with plenty of outdoor attractions to offer or you have a family in search of great schools and safe neighborhoods, this city is a great choice. These are just a few of the many reasons that St. George Utah is growing fast, and will likely continue to grow for years to come.

If you want to buy a family home or even an investment property in the area, now is a great time to jump in.

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Personal Property Claims: How to Be Compensated By Insurance When Personal Items are Damaged in a Car Accident

Every year, more than 6 million car accidents occur in the United States. Of these accidents, the greatest costs are those that you can’t assign a dollar amount to; the loss of human life, or pain and suffering that injuries can cause. But there are also plenty of costs that you can calculate, including damage to your vehicle, lost wages, medical bills, personal property claims, and more.

Maybe you’ve been in a car accident and are wondering how and where to submit claims to get compensation. Or you’re trying to figure out just how much you could be liable for if you were in an accident. This can help you make a smart decision about the amount of insurance coverage you need to purchase.

Either way, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about personal property claims and how to seek compensation from your insurance provider.

The Cost of Car Accidents

What do car accidents cost those involved? Across the U.S., accidents cost an average of $1 trillion in loss of life and loss of productivity alone. Damage to vehicles, medical bills, personal property claims, and other expenses greatly increases this total.

The average auto liability claim submitted for property damage is $3,231. This includes the cost of repairs to vehicles in any kind of accident. This is simply the average of all auto liability claims. Minor accidents and fender benders keep this average relatively low.

Major accidents may lead to auto liability claims that are several times higher than that total.

Medical bills directly related to injuries sustained in car accidents cost even more than the property damage. The average auto liability claim filed for bodily injury is $15,443.

Even these are far from the only costs that a car accident can cause.

It’s easy to overlook other items damaged or lost in a crash. Think about the items you have in your trunk or backseat right now. This could be an expensive car seat or booster seat. Maybe the laptop you use for work or your tablet is in your passenger seat right now. If you’re traveling, you might have fancy jewelry or clothes in your trunk. These might even be riding in that expensive suitcase you purchased.

These items are just as likely to be damaged in a crash as your car is. But can you seek compensation for these items? The answer is yes.

In order to seek compensation for damage to items that aren’t attached to your vehicle, you’ll need to submit a personal property claim.

What are Personal Property Claims?

In order to understand who pays personal property claims following a car accident, it’s first important to understand what counts as personal property.

What is Personal Property?

The definition is actually quite simple; personal property is anything that you own. When used in reference to your home or your apartment, this includes anything inside, such as:

  • Furniture
  • Televisions
  • Jewelry
  • Computers and laptops
  • Cell Phones
  • Collectables
  • Books
  • Heirlooms
  • Clothing and shoes

But personal property is not limited to items that you might keep inside your home. It also includes personal property that you take with you for your home. Whether your bag is packed for work or vacation, if it’s an item that belongs to you, it’s considered your personal property.

Some examples of personal property that frequently leave your home includes:

  • Laptops
  • Work bags
  • Purse
  • Bicycles
  • Cell phones
  • Tablets
  • Suitcases
  • Clothing

What are Personal Property Claims?

Now that you know what is considered personal property, it’s time to learn what personal property claims are, and when you might need them.

A personal property claim is a claim that is submitted to an insurance company. The claim seeks reimbursement for damage to a piece of your personal property, or several pieces, or the replacement value of those pieces of personal property.

For instance, say that your kitchen appliances are damaged in a small kitchen fire. Or your laptop is destroyed in a car accident. In either case, items that are considered your personal property were damaged.

Much like health insurance helps offset the cost of unexpected medical bills, other types of insurance can be purchased to protect your personal property. From expensive items like jewelry and laptops to inexpensive items that can add up when you consider all that you own, like your clothes or furniture, personal property insurance can save you big when things go wrong.

Personal property insurance isn’t a separate type of insurance. Instead, it falls under the umbrella of other types of insurance. This includes your homeowners or renters insurance and your car insurance. In some cases, travel insurance policies may also kick in to replace or repair damage to your personal property that you had with you while traveling away from home.

Who Pays Personal Property Claims?

Your personal property is likely covered under more than one of the types of insurance coverage that you carry. So when something goes wrong and your belongings are damaged or destroyed, you might question which insurance company will cover your claims.

Who you need to file your personal property claims with depends on the circumstances. The most important thing to consider is where your property was located when it was damaged.

For instance, if your computer was damaged after storm damage caused a leak in your roof, you can’t submit a claim to your car insurance company. However, you might be able to submit a claim to your homeowner’s insurance if your laptop is stolen out of your vehicle. But if your laptop was damaged after you were t-boned in an auto accident, this personal property claim would instead need to be filed with your auto insurance provider.

What are Insurance Riders?

Not all belongings are automatically covered by your homeowner’s insurance. In most cases, your homeowners or renters insurance policy will have a limit on the amount of personal property that it covers. This means that high-dollar items, like wedding rings, expensive computers, or heirloom items may not be covered if they are damaged during a fire or storm.

If you have these types of items and want to protect them, you have a few options. One is to speak to your insurance agent about increasing your coverage. You can also purchase an additional insurance rider that will cover these items specifically.

Insurance riders are sometimes referred to as endorsements or amendments. When you cover things like laptops or wedding rings with an insurance rider, this often covers these items no matter where they are.

This means that if your rings or your pricey laptop are stolen while traveling or while eating lunch around the corner from your office, this rider will cover them.

How to Be Compensated By Insurance When Personal Items are Damaged in a Car Accident

In the moments after a car accident, you’ll have a lot on your mind. You might be dealing with your own injuries or injuries that your passengers suffered. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may need to spend time in the hospital, visit your doctor frequently, or attend physical therapy sessions.

You’ll also need to deal with the damage to your vehicle. If your car isn’t driveable, you might need to get a rental car in order to get to work. You’ll need to schedule repairs, or even start shopping for a new vehicle if your old car was totaled.

There’s also lost work, additional childcare, and other disruptions to your daily life that you’ll need to consider.

The belongings that you had with you in your car at the time of the accident are likely the last thing on your mind. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be replaced. Before you spend your own out-of-pocket money to replace these items, think twice. Instead, submit a claim to your car insurance provider. This is the process you’ll need in order to do just that.

Start By Making a List of Damaged Personal Property

Before you file your claim, it’s important to take a close look at all of the damages that you incurred during the accident.

Your personal property claim will actually be filed alongside your property damage claim. This means you’ll need to calculate your damages to both your vehicle and your personal property.

Damage to your vehicle and related costs you’ll need to put in your claim include:

  • Cost of repairs to your vehicle
  • If your vehicle was a total loss, the fair market value of your car prior to the crash
  • Replacement costs of any upgrades you made to your car, like aftermarket stereos or bike racks
  • The cost of a rental car while your vehicle was receiving repairs

In addition to damages to your vehicle, you’ll also need to compile the cost of your personal property damage. Items you can include in your claim if they were damaged or destroyed include:

  • Laptops
  • Cell phones
  • Smart Watches and traditional watches
  • Jewelry
  • Sunglasses
  • Prescription eyeglasses

This list of items that you can include in your claims is not exhaustive. Any items that you owned that were damaged in your car can be included. For example, parents can include car seats or booster seats, or even diaper bags if these items were destroyed. If you were transporting a new washer and dryer to your home in the back of your car, this is considered personal property and can be included as well.

Proving Damage to Your Personal Property

In addition to listing your damages, you’ll also need to provide proof of the damage that they have suffered. There are a number of ways that you can do this.

Take photos of the damage, and of the items before they are removed from your car, if possible. If you had photos of your items before the crash, you can include these in your claim as well for comparison.

Receipts from your purchases can help you prove the value of items like laptops or jewelry. For heirloom items, appraisals can also be included. In some cases, eyewitness testimony may also be included when filing your personal property claim.

Proving the value of your personal property can be a challenge. It’s up to you to do so, and up to you to convince insurance providers that you deserve compensation. If you lost a lot of personal property or any high-dollar items in a crash, it’s even more important to get help from an attorney. A car accident lawyer can help you prove your losses and get compensation.

Submit Your Claims

After making a list of personal property that was damaged or destroyed in a crash, and compiled proof of the damage, it’s time to submit your claims.

If your accident took place in a state that does not have no-fault laws in place and someone else caused your accident, you’ll submit your claim to their insurance company. However, if the accident occurred in Utah, this isn’t the case. Utah has a no-fault law. This means that you’ll submit your personal property claims and other insurance claims to your own provider, even if you weren’t at fault for the crash.

Dealing with insurance companies can be yet another pain to deal with after a car accident. Most insurance providers will look for any way possible to pay the minimum necessary. This may mean that your personal property claims will be rejected, or that they will ask for more proof of damage or proof of the value of your items.

Do not expect to submit a claim for a $2,000 laptop without providing some form of proof that it is was really worth that, and that it was destroyed in the crash.

Having an attorney on your side will help relieve some of this burden. It can also help you increase the chances of having your personal property claims paid, and in a timely manner. That way you can replace your damaged or destroyed belongings right away.

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