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5 Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Auto Accident Case

5 Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Auto Accident Case

Getting into a auto accident is scary. It can be dangerous, leaving you injured and altered physically so that even the simplest tasks are now impossible. Not only that, but after the initial accident you’ll have to deal with police, lawyers, and paperwork.

That’s right, even after your accident the pain can continue as you have to fill out policed reports, report the accident to your insurance company, try to work on getting the money you insurance company owes you, and if your accident involves another driver you may be struggling with a lawyer to get more money owed to you.

With so many factors going into the success or failure of an auto accident case, it’s important that you handle the situation carefully. In fact, there are five mistakes that can hurt your auto accident case — here’s what they are and how to avoid them.

 

  1. Not Letting a Professional Help
    One of the most important things you can do for your auto accident case is to let a professional help you by doing what they do best. At Cockayne Law, you’ll get a free consultation so that right off the bat you have a good idea of what you can expect and how successful your case may be. The Cockayne Attorneys proudly fight for injury and accident victims in Utah who can’t fight for themselves. When you’re represented by Cockayne Law you can rest assured that there is someone who will fight for your best interest, making sure you are taken care of, and that your auto case is a fair and honest one. Having a professional, like Cockayne Law, by your side throughout the auto accident process will make everything go much smoother.
  2. Not Getting a Police Report
    Right after your accident, you’ll probably be overwhelmed, confused, and maybe completely unable to function if you’ve been seriously injured. Getting a police report is much easier when you call in the accident and ask for it immediately. It’s more difficult to get one after the fact, and it’s next to impossible to get one if the police weren’t called to the scene at all. The best thing you can do for your auto case is to call the police if someone has been injured or the damage exceeds $1,000, and get a report. That report will come in handy later when you’re working with insurance companies.
  3. Not Seeing a Doctor
    Many serious injuries can go completely unnoticed for days before making their appearance. Sometimes symptoms don’t show up for weeks! If you suspect that you may be injured in any way, it’s important to go see a doctor. If you do have a medical issue, it’s important to be able to prove that it was from the auto accident. The longer you wait and avoid the doctor, the harder that is to do.
  4. Making Statements
    Unless your lawyer is present, don’t give any statements… especially to insurance companies. Unless you’ve worked out a game plan, you may be hurting your opportunity for a bigger payout by giving up too little or too much information Prescribed
  5. Auto Repairs
    If your car needs repairs and your insurance company has a preferred auto repair shop, make sure you use them only if you trust them and their work. Otherwise, be sure to do go the auto repair shop of your choice.

Tips To Drive Safely

Tips to Drive Safely

Driving is a necessity for many people, and your travels usually go smoothly and safely. But there are times far too often when the roads become dangerous, putting you and your fellow passengers at risk. Sometimes those dangers come from other drives, and sometimes they may be because of your own driving habits. You can’t control how others drive, but you can do all you can to improve the way you drive and keep yourself as safe as possible. To help, here are a few tips to drive safely.

Tip #1: Stay Focused

Before you can make your driving habits safer, you need to be paying attention to the road. This means that when you are behind the wheel you are focused on the road, other drivers, and your actions. Becoming distracted by billboards, the radio, or a cell phone may divert your attention for just a second, but it’s long enough to cause a serious accident. In fact, cell phones are a major distraction while driving and a large reason accidents occur. Make it a habit to put your cell phone down when you get in the car and don’t pick it up until you get out. Part of staying focused also allows you to properly know what the rules of the road are (seeing stop signs, knowing speed limits) so that you are better able to follow them. When you go the speed limit and obey traffic laws, you are setting yourself up for a safe journey.

Tip #2: Be Defensive

After you’ve made a few adjustments to your own driving habits to drive safely, you need to do what you can to avoid the unsafe decisions of others. Be aware of the drivers around you. Keep an eye out for them and their movements. You should always expect the unexpected when it comes to other drivers, and know your course of action should the unexpected happen. And of course, if you are driving behind another car, be sure you allow plenty of space between the vehicles. The rule is two seconds, which will give you a chance to make a snap decision if necessary.

Tip #3: Have a Plan

No matter how focused you are, or how defensive you drive, accidents can still happen. The best thing you can do is to have a plan in place if you are involved in an accident. Having a personal injury attorney that you trust on hand if you’re injured physically or emotionally in an accident can help you get back on your feet quickly and painlessly. The attorneys at Cockayne Law fight for those who need it most. And with a free consultation, you have nothing to lose!

Tip #4: Plan Ahead
Another way to help you stay focused is by planning ahead so you have nothing to steal your attention away from the road. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination so you don’t feel the need to speed or feel stressed. If you know you’re going to need a break or make a pitstop, add extra time to your trip. If you’re hungry, pull over to eat rather than trying to eat in the car. It’ll only take a few minutes and it could make the difference between a life-or-death accident!

What You Need to Know About Utah Texting and Driving Laws

What You Need to Know About Utah Texting and Driving Laws

You know texting and driving is dangerous, but taking a peek every now and then on your phone isn’t that bad, right? It’s not like it’s against the law or anything. Actually, guess again. Before you even think about reaching for your phone while driving you should know about Utah’s texting and driving laws because they will affect you. Here’s what you need to know.

In Utah, texting while driving is illegal. You cannot write, send, or read a text message while driving a car. If you do, you’re breaking the law.

In fact, using a handheld device while operating a vehicle in Utah is also illegal. Besides text messages, you cannot legally write, send, or read an instant message or an email. You cannot dial a phone number, access the internet, view or record video, or put data into your cell phone (like dialing a number).

If you are doing any of these things while driving you are running the risk of getting pulled over and getting a ticket. Just how big of a ticket? A class C misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $100. If someone else is injured, that class C misdemeanor is bumped to a class B misdemeanor.

Under Utah’s laws there are a few ways you can legally use your cell phone while driving. For example, you are free to talk on the phone while driving, you just cannot dial your phone while driving. You can also use your phone for GPS services while driving, and you are allowed to use your cell phone during a medical emergency, when you’re reporting a crime, or reporting a safety hazard.

You can also legally use your cell phone if you have a hands-free device or a phone that can connect to your car’s audio system, for example.  

These laws, which went into effect in Utah in 2014, may seem strict. But the overall goal is to keep Utah drivers and those near roadways safe. Distracted driving is dangerous and can lead to serious injuries or death in the blink of an eye. Driving distracted not only puts you at risk, but everyone around you. Don’t risk hurting someone, and don’t risk getting a class C or B misdemeanor.

Remember, not all states have the same texting and driving laws, or even the same laws when it comes to using cell phones and driving. If you’re going to be out of state and tempted to use your phone while driving, make sure to look check out the laws so you know the consequences.

If you’ve been involved in an accident because another driver was distracted, make sure you have someone to fight for you. Cockayne Law can get you the support you need following an accident and will work hard to make things right. With a free consultation, you can discuss your options with the Cockayne team so you know whether you have a case and what to do next. Call Cockayne Law today.

Top 5 Common Causes of Auto Accidents

Top 5 Common Causes of Auto Accidents

Auto accidents happen every single day for many number of reasons. Some are very minor, but others are much more serious and even deadly. In order to help avoid accidents, it’s important to understand how they happen. Here are the top five common causes of auto accidents. Study them, and learn how to avoid making these common mistakes.

#1. Distracted Driving
The number one culprit for auto accidents is distracted driving. If a driver isn’t focused they may not be aware of what’s going on around them. They may not notice break lights, which means they won’t be able to stop in time. But simply not focusing isn’t the only form of distracted driving. Cell phones are a major culprit of distracted driving, whether it is talking on a cell phone, texting, taking pictures, or using social media. In most places using a cell phone while driving is illegal because it is so dangerous. If you need to use the phone, pull over or be sure to use a hands-free device.

#2. Speeding
Speeding is another cause of many auto accidents. When you are going too fast, it makes it very hard to stop in time to avoid a collision. It can also make it hard to react properly to various situations; it may not seem like much but even an extra second of time to process a situation can make a huge difference in your well-being and the well-being of those around you on the road.

#3. Trying to Beat a Red Light
Auto accidents in intersections can be very serious, especially when cross traffic is involved. T-bone accidents are very dangerous and one easy way to avoid them is to obey traffic laws and slow down for a yellow light instead of speeding up. You never know what someone in the cross traffic is going to do, so play it safe and don’t try to beat red lights.

#4. Following Too Closely
Rear-end collisions are very common because they combine several of the most common auto accidents. Speeding, distracted driving, and underestimating your ability or the car ahead of you can all cause a rear-end collision. But one way to avoid them is to stay back; don’t follow too closely. By following this rule, you will be able to slow down in time to avoid a rear-end collision.

#5. Underestimating Ability
Underestimating one’s ability while driving can cause an accident in many different situations. One specific example is when it comes to “shooting a gap” or trying to get across a lane or several lanes of traffic and underestimating the speed of the cars approaching and your ability to get across. Like a game of Frogger, you may think you can totally shoot that gap. However, unlike the video game the consequences can be deadly.

If, unfortunately, you find yourself in an auto accident you may be looking for an accident attorney especially, if the accident was caused by someone else who was not careful enough to avoid these five common causes of auto accidents. The attorneys at Cockayne Law are ready to help get you the money you deserve while letting you get on with your life. No matter what type of accident you’ve been involved in, auto or other, contact Cockayne Law today.

Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Will Not Take Your Case

Reason Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Will Not Take Your Case

If you’ve been in an accident and have decided to hire a personal injury lawyer, you will probably feel some relief knowing help is just around the corner. But what if your attorney is less enthusiastic to jump head-first into your case? What if your personal injury lawyer will not take your case at all? You may feel confused and even a little upset. There are many factors for an attorney when it comes to accepting a case that are important to understand. Here’s a few reasons why you may find yourself in this situation.

  1. Financial Issues
    Your lawyer is there to help you, but their work is also their livelihood. One reason an attorney may not take your case is if there are financial issues that would prevent them from getting paid.  Typically, a defense attorney gets paid hourly and whether or not they win the case.
    But a personal injury lawyers takes on cases based on contingency fees. That means they only make money if they win the case. When they decide which cases to take, they decide which ones are worth their time and have the best prospect of winning – for your sake and theirs!
  2. Minor or Extreme Injuries
    If you’re not seriously hurt in an accident, there won’t be much money won in your case, perhaps there may be nothing to win! This again leaves a personal injury lawyer very little motivation to take on your case.
    Another reason an attorney may shy away from a case is if you have extreme injuries. Not just extreme injuries, but extreme hospital bills too. If there is an insurance issue and those hospital bills aren’t covered, when your case is won the hospital is paid first. This may leave the attorney with less of a paycheck than would make the case worthwhile for them.
  3. Fault
    If it is obvious that you were at fault, whether completely or partially, an attorney may not want to take your case. If you have been involved in many similar situations, your lawyer may not feel comfortable representing you because you may not seem credible.
    In the end, it comes down to whether or not an attorney has a good shot at winning your case by proving you were innocent and collecting the money to pay your damages. If you’re guilty, your lawyer won’t collect their paycheck and neither will you.
  4. Other Factors
    If you were involved in a car accident, a personal injury is probably the best person to handle your case. But if there are other issues to be dealt with, like worker’s comp., medical malpractice, etc., you may need to look for someone with experience in those areas. If your attorney doesn’t feel like they don’t have the expertise necessary to give you the best shot at winning, they may not take your case.

Before you get discouraged, make sure you talk to a few different attorneys to find the right one for you. Cockayne Laws specializes in many different types of accident cases. Make sure to get a free consultation with Cockayne Law before giving up your case!

Delayed Injury Symptoms After an Auto Accident

Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Car accidents often leave behind lots of damage. The roadway is often full of broken class, cars are mashed and mangled, and unfortunately drivers are injured. But one of the scary things about being in an auto accident is that while sometimes the damage is very obvious, there are times when it’s not. There are often delayed injury symptoms that arise long after the roads are cleared. If you’ve been in an auto accident, here is what you should know and watch for to identify these delayed injury symptoms.

Monitor

If you’ve been in an auto accident, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a health care professional. There are often injuries that aren’t visible or obvious; you will have the peace of mind knowing you are healthy by consulting with a professional.

It is also a good idea to monitor how you feel closely several days and even weeks after an accident. Because some injuries can be extremely delayed, don’t discount any change in your health. Keep note of how you feel so that you have documentation and to notice any patterns.

Headaches

Headaches can often be a symptom of injury following an auto accident, and may not start until a few days after your accident. A headache can be a sign of a concussion, neck injury, or even blood clot. If you have a headache that is persistent, seek medical attention.

Back Pain

Because of the nature of auto accidents, you may experience muscle soreness. But if your back is causing you a lot of pain you should be checked out for spine compression, fractures, or even herniated disks. You may have also injured the muscles in your back, ligaments, or nerves. Back pain can be the symptoms of many different and serious back problems, so pay close attention to back pain that may arise after an auto accident.

Neck and Shoulder Pain

Whiplash is one of the most common delayed injury symptoms after an auto accident. In fact, it takes very little speed for someone to experience whiplash after getting rear-ended. Whiplash can be a minor as muscle soreness to very serious. Watch for neck and muscle pain, but also watch for dizziness, problems hearing, or chronic neck pain which can also be symptoms of whiplash.

Abdominal Pain

If you experience abdominal pain following an auto accident, even if it is delayed, it is important to seek medical attention. When damage is done to the soft-tissue inside, it is often very serious. Internal bleeding can cause headaches, dizziness, and deep bruising as well as abdominal pain. The longer it is left untreated, the more serious it is so as soon as you experience these symptoms, get help.

If you’ve been in an auto accident and experience any of these or other injuries, make sure you get the help you need to take care of your medical bill. Cockayne Law can help with any injury or accident case, including delayed injuries following an auto accident. Call for a free consultation and let Cockayne Law fight for you.

Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

After you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed. There are many questions to be answered, paperwork to be filled out, and legal procedures to follow. You may even be trying to deal with these things while managing an injury or pain. There are a lot of good reasons to hire a personal injury attorney, but it’s especially important to make sure you hire one who knows what they’re doing. Here are just a few benefits of hiring an experienced personal injury attorney.

Understands the Legal Process

Working with the law and navigating the legal process can be extremely confusing and frustrating, especially if you don’t understand the process or jargon. When your personal injury attorney you are turning all of that over to someone who is a trained professional. And when your attorney is experienced, they understand exactly how the legal process works and feel comfortable no matter which case they have or what unexpected situations may come up. They also have helpful legal resources and connections which can help when it comes to fighting difficult cases. The most important part of understanding the legal process is the confidence that comes with it, which is priceless!

Variety of Cases

When you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, you benefit from their past cases. No matter what your case may be, you can bet your attorney has dealt with it before! And if they haven’t after years of practicing law, they will be confident enough to move forward with your case regardless. Whether you are injured in an auto, bicycle, or pedestrian accident, your experienced attorney will know just what to do.  With experience and confidence on your side, you can’t lose.

Perspective

Years of experience can give attorneys great perspective and insight on many different cases. It can also give them a level-headedness that is very beneficial. After an accident, you may be feeling frustrated, angry, or sad. When you have someone working for you who is experienced, they can help you make good decisions and get the most out of your situation.

Get on With Your Life

One of the biggest benefits of hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is the fact that you’re able to get on with your life! Whether it’s dealing with insurance or the law, paperwork and phone calls can pile up. Without help, you may spend all of your time and energy trying to get your accident resolved. But when you hire an experienced attorney, you can delegate the busywork and focus on healing and living your life.

As you begin looking for a personal injury attorney, make sure you contact Cockayne Law for your free consultation. When you hire an attorney from Cockayne Law to fight for you, you know you’re getting an experienced personal injury attorney. Let Cockayne Law help you get your life back to the way it was before your accident.

 

Utah’s 100 Deadliest Days – How to Stay Safe

Utah’s 100 Deadliest Days – How to Stay Safe

It’s true that there are more dangerous times to travel than others. In Utah, you may think that the deadliest days for driving or traveling are around the holidays when many people are traveling, partying and there are snowy, icy road conditions. But you may be surprised to learn that Utah’s ‘100 Deadliest Days’ actually begin Memorial Day weekend. During the next hundred days, the Utah Department of Transportation says fatal crashes nearly double on Utah roads. With so many fun summer activities to do, many Utahns are driving more often. And while icy conditions are dangerous, many drivers realize this and take the necessary precautions. Unfortunately, many drivers think clear roads means they don’t need to be as careful. Here are five ways you can stay safe during the ‘100 Deadliest Days’.

  1. Pay Attention
    You pay close attention during a blizzard or when you know there is black ice on the road; you should be paying just as much attention when you’re cruising around this summer with the windows down and a cold soda in your hand. By simply paying attention, many of the accidents during the summer can be avoided.
  2. Don’t Speed
    Speeding is always a temptation, but one way to stay safe this summer is to go the speed limit. When you are going too fast, you lose the precious time you need react properly to avoid an accident. You should also make sure you are obeying all laws of the road, not just the speed limit. Doing so will keep you and others on the road safe.
  3. Wear Your Seat belt
    If you want to stay safe and alive, wear your seat-belt! It’s as simple as that.
  4. Avoid High Traffic Times
    Another way to stay safe is to avoid areas that are more likely to have accidents. If you know a certain road or area is highly congested at certain days or times of day, it’s best to avoid that area. More cars moving through an area only increases your risk of getting in an accident.
  5. Drive Sober
    If you drink and drive, you ought to know the risks by now. But that doesn’t stop many from driving impaired during the ‘100 Deadliest Days’, and any other day of the year. If you don’t want to be injured or killed, or injure or kill another person on the road, don’t drink and drive.

Following these five tips between Memorial Day and Labor Day will help you stay safe during Utah’s 100 Deadliest Days. But if you do find yourself in an accident (whether it be auto, bicycle, motorcycle, or pedestrian) make sure you have someone in your corner to help you deal with other drivers, insurance, and lawyers. Cockayne Law fights for those who need it most. Don’t suffer any more than you need to, whether physically or emotionally. Call Cockayne Law!

Risks of Riding a Motorcycle

Risks of Riding a Motorcycle

If you’ve ridden a motorcycle before, you know nothing beats that feeling of being out on the road, cruising along on two wheels. While it can be a very enjoyable activity, it doesn’t change the fact that being on a motorcycle makes you vulnerable to accidents or injuries.

Statistically, your chances of dying in a motorcycle accident are much higher than in an auto accident. So, before you go out for a spin, be sure you know the risks you take when riding a motorcycle.

1. Lack of Protection

One of the major differences between motorcycles and cars is the lack of a physical barrier around the rider. This automatically creates more of a risk for motorcyclists. But, motorcyclists can make themselves more at risk by failing to wear proper protective gear. This includes tall boots covering the ankle, leather or very thick pants and jackets. And most importantly, motorcyclists should always wear a helmet.

2. Other Vehicles

Another huge risk to motorcyclists are other drivers. When drivers are distracted, it doesn’t take much for someone to drift into another lane (whether oncoming traffic or not). This can prove deadly for those riding a motorcycle. Even getting clipped by a car can send a motorcycle out of control.
Cars waiting to turn can also be a huge risk to motorcyclists. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for some drivers to gauge just how fast a motorcycle is moving, or they overestimate their ability to make a left-hand turn. Either way, turning cars are a risk for riders. When you come to an intersection, be extra cautious.

3. Braking Hard

When drivers aren’t paying attention, or if they are following another car too closely (this also applies to motorcyclists) they may be required to brake hard or unexpectedly. This is dangerous when you drive a car, but it is even more of a risk when you are riding a motorcycle. Most of the braking power comes from your front wheel, but braking too hard could cause you to fly over your handlebars. And if you aren’t able to stop in time, you have much less protection than a vehicle does.

4. The Elements

Another risk you have when riding a motorcycle is simply being exposed to the elements. Rain will not only leave you soaking wet, but the roads are slippery and you have less visibility. Snow and ice also make for very dangerous roads.

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and are dealing with injuries, you may not be in a position to take care of all the insurance adjustments or other involved parties. It’s important to know that there are resources for you out there. The attorneys at Cockayne Law can help you with physical or emotional injuries and wrongful death in motorcycle accidents. Not only that, but they have experience in auto accidents, dog bites, slip and fall incidents, as well as cyclist and pedestrian accidents. No matter what situation you may find yourself in after an accident, Cockayne Law is there to help.

 

5 Common Car Accident Myths

5 Common Car Accident Myths

When it comes to car accidents, there are many commonly believed “facts” about what should happen after the wreck. The only problem is, these beliefs are usually myths. Here are five common car accident myths, and what you really need to do after you’ve been in an accident.

Myth #1: The Police Will Decide Who is At Fault

When you’ve been in a significant accident, the police will likely show up. While you may think that they will determine who is at fault, but the truth is they are there to write up an accident report. The report may be useful later if you decide to go to court, but liability will be determined by a judge or insurance companies. While an accident report is helpful, make sure you take as many notes of your own as you can as well as plenty of photos and maybe even video.

Myth #2: You and the Other Driver Can Work It Out

After you’ve been in an accident you may be tempted to admit fault. You may do so willingly or unintentionally while you try to work accident details with the other driver. Don’t admit fault! If it’s a minor accident, exchange insurance information (without admitting fault). And if it’s a larger accident, you may want to hire an accident attorney (while still refraining from admitting fault!).

Myth #3: Work with your insurance to handle the claim

You will have to work with an adjuster from your insurance company to get the damages settled after your auto insurance, but that doesn’t mean everything will be covered or that the company has your best interest in mind. Thoroughly review offers your insurance company makes (which may be easier to do in a simple fender bender). And be careful when talking with the other driver’s insurance!

Myth #4: You Can’t Sue for Injuries Later

If you’re in an accident and suffer from whiplash, it could be weeks before your symptoms manifest. So, when it comes to suing for injuries after the fact, you can do so as long as it’s within your state’s statute of limitations. In serious car accidents, it’s wise to seek medical attention even if you don’t have any obvious symptoms immediately following the collision.

Myth #5: Hiring an Accident Attorney Isn’t Worth It

You may be able to get away with handling your own paperwork and damages with a minor fender bender. But in accidents anything more serious than that, it is worth hiring an accident attorney. Your attorney will represent and fight for you – whether that’s for fault, damage to your vehicle, injuries, or anything else necessary to get you back on track after a car accident. If you’ve been in an auto accident, it is well worth it to hire an attorney from Cockayne Law. With a free consultation, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Cockayne Law will be your advocate to ensure everything is settled fairly. Avoid this fifth myth and contact them today!