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Nathan D. Alder
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Nathan Alder’s Answers

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  • I rear-ended the person in front of me. My car insurance indicated the person is not taking the offered settlement and is going

    I rear-ended the person in front of me. My car insurance indicated the person is not taking the offered settlement and is going to file a suit against me. Do I need a lawyer outside of my car insurance representation? If so, what type of lawyer...

    Nathan’s Answer

    You are always welcome to have your own, independent counsel. You are right; your insurance company will hire a lawyer to defend you if the other person files suit against you. You paid for "defense and indemnification" with your insurance premiums. If you have sufficient coverage for the amount being claimed, and you feel comfortable with the attorney hired to represent you, then you may choose to not incur the additional cost of your own, independent counsel. On the other hand, if the claims against you are larger than your coverage amount and your insurance company is not settling the claims, for one reason or another, and you feel like it would be in your best interest to have someone (your own lawyer) advocating on your behalf for a more immediate resolution of the claim, they the cost of that lawyer might be well worth it. The kind of lawyer you are looking for is someone who understands insurance, what we call insurance defense, and, essentially, "insurance coverage." In Salt Lake City, lots of lawyers are able to handle this matter for you, and it should not be a large expenditure of time for them. They need to simply write and relay some basic information and encourage the insurer to act in your best interest. If for whatever reason the insurer chooses to roll the dice on this particular claim, and you are nervous about their course of action, please have your own, independent counsel ask the insurance company for what is called a "peace of mind letter" or a "comfort letter." The insurance company should write to you and indicate that if the verdict/judgment in the case is larger than your policy limit then it would pay the "excess" amount. Thus, you would be put at ease, or you would have that peace of mind knowing that the insurer is taking the risk, not you. Feel free to call if you want more information.

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  • Dog bite case 2months ago July 2015.

    My 6 year old Autistic son just recently had a dog bite to the face by a pit bull dog after the "owner" brought out the dog food while my son was just warming up to and trying to pet the dog. He repetatively said "she's great with kids". The "owne...

    Nathan’s Answer

    I am very sorry this happened to your son. I encourage you to talk with/meet with a few Salt Lake City personal injury attorneys to discuss how to present the insurance claim to the owner's insurance company. Utah has a strict liability law for dog bites -- the dog's owner is liable for your son's injuries. The insurance company knows that. Even more so, your son is under the age limit where a judge/jury would consider him to be at fault in any way. This is all about the dog's owner. The concerns you raised won't be an issue, I believe. The bigger question here is his recovery -- treatment, procedures, therapy, counseling -- and the expenses to be incurred (special damages), as well as general damages for pain, suffering, emotional distress, etc. Don't be confused by the $5,000 discussion -- that's a "med pay" portion of the larger insurance policy. What you need to be asking (and your lawyer would do so in his or her first letter to the insurer) is what is the total amount of the homeowner's liability policy, or the "policy limit." It could be $300,000, or some other number depending on what liability coverage was purchased. The claim has a value of its own, and is based on a range of factors. A lawyer will be able to help guide you in determining that value (and of course, building the case), and in negotiating with the insurer to a final number, then getting the court to approve the settlement amount. I have handled many of these cases, and they are always sad and disturbing; a dog is supposed to be a man's (here, a boy's) "best friend," but then you have a terrible situation like this one. I am so very sorry.

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  • On December 3 my daughter was hit by a truck while in a crosswalk. She had her femur broke and pelvis broke

    She needed a rod put in her leg. medical bills are all ready at 70.000 dollars and going up. But from what i have been told is his insurance coverage is only 25.000 pay out. I Guess that's the minimum coverage for utah drivers.So dose that mean I ...

    Nathan’s Answer

    I am very sorry for your daughter's injury and now for the stress, worry and questions that comes after the accident. I recommend that you talk to the right lawyer. Even 1/2 hour on the phone will help -- free consult. Here's what is going to happen. There are (likely) three insurance company policies at work here -- the truck's, your own auto policy, and your own health insurance policy. The first one is called a liability policy (or Bodily Injury or BI policy). The second is called underinsured motorist or UIM. The third policy is important because your health insurer will want to recover medical expenses paid under a "reimbursement" or "subrogation" clause in its policy with you. This is where a good personal injury lawyer comes in and can negotiate an outcome that benefits your daughter, meaning finds a way to reduce the amounts owed back in reimbursement via the BI and UIM settlements, netting a recovery to your daughter. My answer here is a beginning point; there is much more to offer by way of information, and I hope you can talk to a lawyer on the phone to get the lay of the land. His or her initial questions to you will be to find additional recovery sources, meaning additional UIM, additional BI, additional factors involved in the accident, and then to assess the strength of the health insurer's position re: net recovery. And the timing of this is all important, frankly. I hope this helps. And I hope your daughter is making a solid recovery.

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  • When your child is hit in a crosswalk is there car insurance responsible for all medical bills

    She was in the crosswalk and he failed to yield.

    Nathan’s Answer

    I am deeply sorry to hear about your child's injury. I hope all will be well soon. The vehicle that hit your child should have (meaning, is required by Utah law to have) auto insurance, and in this particular case Personal Injury Protection coverage for a pedestrian, your child, who was involved with that vehicle in the accident. There are additional layers to this answer, but this is a starting point. That PIP coverage usually consists of (at minimum) $3,000 for medical bills, and additional amounts for "household services" and "income loss" or lost wages. Utah is a "no-fault" state so these insurance benefits are paid without regard to fault (I.e., who is at fault); once a "threshold" is reached (e.g., $3,000 in medical bills, permanent impairment or disfigurement, etc.) then the case becomes one where general damages can be alleged and a regular lawsuit can be filed. $3,000 in medical expenses can go pretty quickly, especially if your son or daughter had a longer stay in the ER that day. In many cases, the threshold is reached and the focus becomes something other than PIP recovery. I recommend talking with a lawyer who practices in this area. I would talk to a lawyer before engaging with the adverse auto insurance company. I hope your child makes a very quick recovery.

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  • When your child is hit in a crosswalk is there car insurance responsible for all medical bills

    She was in the crosswalk and he failed to yield.

    Nathan’s Answer

    I am deeply sorry to hear about your child's injury. I hope all will be well soon. The vehicle that hit your child should have (meaning, is required by Utah law to have) auto insurance, and in this particular case Personal Injury Protection coverage for a pedestrian, your child, who was involved with that vehicle in the accident. There are additional layers to this answer, but this is a starting point. That PIP coverage usually consists of (at minimum) $3,000 for medical bills, and additional amounts for "household services" and "income loss" or lost wages. Utah is a "no-fault" state so these insurance benefits are paid without regard to fault (I.e., who is at fault); once a "threshold" is reached (e.g., $3,000 in medical bills, permanent impairment or disfigurement, etc.) then the case becomes one where general damages can be alleged and a regular lawsuit can be filed. $3,000 in medical expenses can go pretty quickly, especially if your son or daughter had a longer stay in the ER that day. In many cases, the threshold is reached and the focus becomes something other than PIP recovery. I recommend talking with a lawyer who practices in this area. I would talk to a lawyer before engaging with the adverse auto insurance company. I hope your child makes a very quick recovery.

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  • Been summoned for car accident regarding my hitting them during a stopped light, no injury at time of accident

    The defendant has claimed that she has suffered conscious pain and a disk bulge in their back, post traumatic stress disorder, emotional distress etc. Considering there was no ambulance called and no injuries brought up at the time of the acciden...

    Nathan’s Answer

    Please send all information (summons, complaint, etc.) to your insurance carrier ASAP. Call them. Follow up. Ensure they respond via an attorney on your behalf. Cooperate with your carrier/counsel.

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  • I live in Utah. I was in an auto accident. I was not at fault. The other driver was ticketed. Who do I sue for damages?

    Since Utah is a no-fault state. How do I get help with medical bills? Do I sue my own insurance company? Do I sue the other driver's insurance company? Do I sue the person directly?

    Nathan’s Answer

    Call your insurance company. They will handle your medical bills up to the PIP limit (often $3,000). If your injuries are more significant you will/can make a general damages claim against the person (via his/her insurer, usually) who hit you. Your own insurance co will explain PIP benefits. Call a lawyer if you need additional help or to file a claim against the other driver.

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  • Accident pedestrain darted in front of car died im in therapy for pstd do I file a claim with my auto insurance(pain suffering

    I was driving with a passenger I was not sited, she ran in front of my car with stroller(no child ) and dog they stuck my car both died. myself and passenger cant get it out of our minds .I am 18 and am unable to drive even being in a car makes ...

    Nathan’s Answer

    I am very sorry to hear about this terrible tragedy, and also that you are suffering from it. I can only imagine the suffering. I'm so sorry. Under Utah law you have an auto insurance provision called "Personal Injury Protection" (or PIP or "no fault") and can submit your medical bills, including treatment for PTSD, to your auto insurer for their payment. The minimum amount of this coverage is $3,000, while some policy holders choose to purchase higher amounts of coverage. I encourage you to see a mental health therapist as soon as possible. You and your passenger need to find this kind of help. Your passenger is entitled to the same coverage you have -- the $3,000. You can also consult with a lawyer about the other issues you raise. Your insurance company may be in a position (given the nature of this claim) to provide a lawyer to you at its cost. If there is a suit against you, they will (must) provide you with a lawyer. You can hire one independent of them, as well, should you choose to do so.

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  • Can I have two attorneys from separate law firms represent my child in the same case?

    A child was hit by a truck and her parents both want to get different lawyers for her in the same case. It happened in Utah. The child is 6 years old and the parents just want justice, they are separated and want to see if they are allowed to each...

    Nathan’s Answer

    I answered your related question earlier. This addtional information is very helpful. Now that we know the parents are separated, and that they both want their own lawyer for the child, and are hoping that two lawyers can come in to do the work of one, the issue is more in focus. I don't recommend this approach, in part because of your related question and the information we've gleaned in the process. It is not like a divorce situation where both parents get lawyers. This is a situation where the child needs a lawyer. The lawyer will be working on behalf of the child. The settlement, when achieved, will be the child's. The court will get involved and a judge will review the settlement and will determine whether the settlement is in the best interests of the child, or not. I think it would be a bit unusual for two competing lawyers to both represent the child. There are situations where two lawyers are involved, but that would be more like one referring a difficult case to a specialist and both working up the case together to achieve a common result for the child. The parents need to engage one lawyer to represent their child. That is my recommendation. I hope my earlier answers also help, too.

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  • My friends child was hit by a truck, the driver was an illegal and no charges were allowed to be pressed what can be done?

    I just got the most devastating news from a dear friend of mine. I live in CO and she lives in UT, but we have kept in touch over the years and so do our children. When she called this morning I figured it was the same old thing, however, I was mi...

    Nathan’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague from Georgia -- your friend must contact a reputable and competent personal injury lawyer in Utah to handle this. She should relay all the information she has now, and investigate the situation further with her lawyer involved. My first set of inquiries would be location of the accident, the environment of scene (proximity of crosswalks, intersections, witnesses to the accident, visibility in the area (particularly for the driver involved), pictures, and what the investigating officer has already gathered and possibly put in his or her report. There are special considerations when pedestrians are involved, especially children. I'd want to know if a hill is involved, as there are issues with speed and stopping in those situations. Drivers have heigtened duties when some of these considerations exist. You mentioned a truck, I'd want to know what kind of truck. Was the driver in the course and scope of employment? Also, there is special treatment in the law for children under the age of 7. Pedestrians receive insurance in situations like this from the truck involved. On my profile I have posted a legal guide about PIP that you may want to review. There is much more to examine and discuss, but this is a start. I sincerely hope this litte girl quickly recovers and returns to full health. I am so sorry this happened.

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