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Common Questions

Common Questions

Your Case

Do I have a case?
It’s hard to tell without talking to you first. To qualify your case, we’ll ask you a series of questions about your situation and your accident. All of our questions are looking for the three main factors of a personal injury case:
  1. Injury—Did your accident cause any type of physical injury? Did this injury interrupt your job or result in any medical bills? Then you’re a prime candidate for a personal injury case.
  2. Fault—The other person involved in your accident has to be at fault for a claim to exist. In Utah the law states that they must be at least 51% or more at fault than you.
  3. Insurance—The whole point of a personal injury case is convincing the insurance company to pay for your expenses. That means that either you or the other person involved in the accident has to be insured. Otherwise there’s no money to claim.
If your situation has all three of these factors, chances are good that you have a case.
How does the process work?
Getting a fair settlement requires work from both of us. Your job as the client is to provide as much detailed information about your accident as possible. Having all the facts is key to winning your case. Along with information, you’re also responsible for showing up to settlement meetings or to court if necessary.

Our job as your representative is to take care of everything else. Aside from communicating directly with the insurance companies, Siegfried & Jensen is also here to support you. We’ll fight for you in any way we can, file all the correct paperwork, take care of the details, and make the entire process as easy as possible. If there’s any way for us to win your case, we will find it.

If I wasn’t injured in my accident, can Siegfried & Jensen still take my case?
Probably not. Our firm handles only personal injury law. If your accident caused property damage but no injuries, we’re probably not the right attorneys for your case.
How much money is my case worth?
Honestly every case is different. There are a lot of factors that go into a case: medical bills, future accident-related medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The best way to find out what your case is worth is to talk to one of our experienced personal injury professionals. Just call (801) 845-9000.
When will my case be over? How soon will I get paid?
That depends on your case. Personal injury cases can last 3–4 months or 3–4 years depending on how complicated your situation is. If everyone involved in your case cooperates and agrees on what to do, your case will probably be resolved in less than a year.

But other cases are not so simple. If everyone can’t agree on something, this drags out the timetable. Sometimes there’s a disagreement on the settlement amount or who’s actually at fault in the accident. But no matter what’s happening in your case, our attorneys will actively fight to close your case as soon as possible. Having an experienced professional on your side always helps to speed up your case.

What is negligence?
Basically negligence describes an accident that was caused by a careless act, not an intentional one. If someone’s negligence causes an injury, this is the basis for a personal injury case. If you’ve been harmed by someone who was inattentive or did not take care of something common sense says they should have, chances are you’re a victim of negligence. Any personal injury case that involves obvious negligence is a strong one.

Insurance

Why is the insurance company not paying?
Bottom line: insurance companies are in the business of saying “no.” Like any other business, insurance companies are looking out for themselves. They’re not being mean by refusing to pay; they’re just actively protecting their own interests by paying for as few cases as possible.

Our job is to look out for you. Every client we work with needs help, and we’re here to make sure the insurance company upholds their end of your agreement and takes care of bills you shouldn’t be paying.

What happens if the other guy is uninsured?
In this situation, you can fall back on your own insurance policy to get a fair settlement. Most policies have UM coverage (uninsured motorist coverage) in case an uninsured driver gets in an accident with you. In this situation your own insurance company will pay for the damages and medical bills so you can focus on recovering. In any personal injury case, only one person involved in the accident needs to have insurance for Siegfried & Jensen to pursue your claim.
What happens if the other guy didn’t have enough insurance to pay my bills?
Sometimes recovering from an accident costs a lot more than the at-fault driver’s insurance will cover. In this situation, you can max out their coverage then fall back on your own policy to cover your bills. Most insurance plans have UIM coverage (underinsured motorist coverage) specifically for situations when another person’s insurance doesn’t cover your bills. Once the other driver’s insurance is maxed out, your own IUM policy will kick in. No matter what your situation is, Siegfried & Jensen will do everything we can to get you the largest settlement possible.
What is my Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical coverage?
This is the medical coverage under your own auto insurance policy. Most PIP policies also include a 12-month lost wage benefit and a $20 per day household services benefit in case you’re seriously injured and need help at home. The PIP minimum in Utah is $3,000 for each person in a vehicle, but you can increase the amount all the way up to $100,000. PIP policies aren’t always necessary if you already have health insurance, but it’s generally a good idea to have at least $10,000 in PIP just in case. Talk to your insurance provider to find out what policies they offer.

Finances

Who’s going to pay for my car?
If all goes well, the insurance company will. Many types of accidents cause property damage. Getting your car fixed or renting a car to get to work isn’t cheap, but that’s why winning a fair settlement is so important. Although you will be paying for urgent repairs out of your own pocket, we’ll make sure the insurance companies reimburse every dime you deserve.
Why did I get a bill?
The good news is that you shouldn’t have to pay for an accident that wasn’t your fault. That’s where we come in. Our mission is to get you the financial settlement you deserve so the insurance companies will pick up your bill. Then you can move forward in your life without financial burdens.
How much will my insurance pay for my car?
That depends on your policy and how badly your car was damaged. Every car has a “fair market value” of what the car is really worth. If your car was totaled and the repairs cost more than 75% of the fair market value, generally the insurance company will pay the full fair market value of your car—not the amount of any outstanding loans on the vehicle. If your car is fixable and the repairs cost less than 75% of the fair market value, generally the insurance company will reimburse you for those repairs. Just take your car to your local mechanic and keep all of your receipts.
How do I get a rental car?
If you’ve lost your car in an unfortunate accident, you still need to get to work every day. The good news is that if you weren’t at fault, the other driver’s insurance should cover a rental car. Most insurance companies won’t authorize a rental until they’re absolutely convinced that their driver is at fault. This investigation can cause a delay of days or weeks, but if things do get slowed down, there are a couple ways you can pay for the rental car until the money comes through:
  • Ask your insurance company if they have rental car coverage. If there is a dispute on your case, you can fall back on your own insurance policy in the meantime.
  • Put your bill on a credit card. Most credit companies won’t run your payment immediately. This often gives the other driver’s company enough time to accept responsibility and cover the cost.
What is a contingency fee?
Basically it’s the final bill for your personal injury case. Most attorneys charge by the hour, but Siegfried & Jensen doesn’t charge anything until we win your case. Once we’ve won, we will pay all of your bills first then take a fixed rate to pay our attorney. All the rest of the settlement is yours, which means you won’t have to pay us anything out of your own pocket.

Attorneys

How much do attorneys charge?
Like most personal injury attorneys, we don’t expect any payment until we win your case. Your first consultation and the process of filing your case are all completely free. Once we’ve settled or won your case our fee is taken off the gross settlement or award and then costs and medical bills are paid. All the rest of the settlement is yours, which means you won’t have to pay us anything out of your own pocket at any point in the process.
How do I hire an attorney?
Simple! Just call Siegfried & Jensen at (801) 845-9000 and we’ll get your case started today. Generally we’ll set up an appointment for you to meet with us in person. You can come to our office or we can come to you in the hospital or even in your own home. Once we’ve discussed the details of your case and we’ve decided to work together, we’ll have you sign a basic attorney agreement. We can fax or email these documents to you if it’s more convenient, but you will need to sign them yourself if you are over 18. If the person who was injured is a minor, a legal guardian can sign for them. You can also sign for a person in a coma if you have power of attorney.
Do I really need an attorney?
Yes. We highly recommend that anyone in an injury case hire an experienced attorney who practices personal injury law. There are many reasons why you should work with Siegfried & Jensen on your case:
  • All attorneys don’t have the same skills. You need to work with an attorney who knows the type of law you need, not just your second cousin who’s a lawyer.
  • A personal injury attorney will get you a higher settlement. We handle these types of cases every day, and we know how to present your case in the best way possible.
  • We have more pull with the insurance companies. They’ll be much more likely to listen to you if you’re working with an attorney who’s asking all the right questions.
  • You only have one chance here. Once you’ve filed a settlement, no matter what amount it is, you can’t appeal a second time. You want that one chance to count, so why do it alone?
  • We deal with all the red tape. Insurance is confusing, but you don’t have to navigate this foreign territory alone. We’ll take away all the headache and get you more money too.
  • This is a difficult time for you. The most important thing you could have right now is an experienced professional who will support you and look out for your interests. Let us do the hard work so you can focus on going to your doctor’s appointments and healing.
How soon should I hire an attorney?
Immediately! The sooner you hire us, the sooner we can protect you, start your case, and get your bills paid. Plus there are downsides to waiting on your case. The longer you wait to start, the higher the chances your insurance company will gather evidence that will make your case harder to resolve. It’s also very easy to forget the details of your accident if you wait months or years to file a claim. Since we don’t charge anything to start a case, there’s no reason at all for you to delay.

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