Since 1997, attorney Ron Kramer has represented Utahans with their serious injury . With a state-wide practice and four offices conveniently located in West Jordan, Orem, Bountiful and Ogden, the Kramer Law Group is there to help get you get the justice and benefits you deserve as quickly and expeditiously as possible.
Personal injury law can be complex and involved. Practically every case is different. Our firm has built its reputation on top-quality legal representation and personal attention to our clients – our most important asset.
Although we are not the largest injury law firm in the state..
Although we are not the largest injury law firm in the state, our attorneys and legal staff offer the knowledge, ability, and personal touch, to make your experience with us a great one, one that we hope you’ll be proud to share with your family and friends.
So whatever your situation, the Salt Lake City, West Jordan, Bountiful and Ogden personal injury attorneys of the Kramer Law Group are committed to providing you with the best, ethical representation possible. Because of our experience, we understand the unique challenges you may face in your particular case and can help you get the best possible outcome.
YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, WE HAVE ANSWERS!…
DO I REALLY NEED A LAWYER?
Depending on the type of case you have, you may not actually need a lawyer. If your case is small, then there’s a good chance that you could get by on your own without having to retain one. Your case is a “smaller” if it meets the following criteria: (1) your vehicle was only lightly damaged, e.g., bumper scratch/dent, (2) the medical treatment was for a “soft tissue” injury and lasted only 2-3 months, (3) the bills were at least $3,000 (this is a Utah-state minimum level to make a claim) and were no more than $5,000, and (4) the injuries were not permanent. Cases that can qualify as “small” cases are typically rear-end collisions where there is only damage to the rear bumper that is less than $1,000.00, where the injured person only saw a chiropractor and was diagnosed as having a “soft tissue” injury, who recovered fairly quickly and had no long-term permanent effects. In these cases, it is possible to settle them yourselves, and quite honestly, people do this every day.
CAN I BORROW MONEY ON MY CASE?
If you have a “larger” personal injury case, you can usually get what is called an “advance” on your case. This is usually easier to arrange in auto accident case because issues of liability and damages tend to be more straight forward. You should keep in mind, however, that lawyers are never allowed to loan money. This is against the ethical rules that lawyers are required to follow in Utah (they are also the same in most states). There are a number of companies, however, that will do this. The interest rates are quite high, and so going into it, you will want to be sure that this is what you want to do. The companies all have their own rates and payback terms, so you will want to check with them. And they will only do advances if you have an attorney, since the attorney has to pledge to pay back the company as part of the settlement of the client’s case. As an example, if a client wanted to get an advance of $1,500 with an advance company we have used in the past, they would owe the company $2,100 up to six months after the advance is given. While the interest is high, it is much less than that charged by some of the pay day lenders.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE A CLAIM?
The answer to this question is: it depends. If your injury is significant and there is only a small amount of insurance money (say around $25,000 or $50,000), the settlement could happen quite quickly. In fact, in many situations, the insurance companies, once they learn of the severity of the injury, are actually calling us to see if they can pay their policy limits and settle the case. Honestly, in these cases, you really don’t need an attorney to receive insurance money (you would probably benefit from having one, though, for other reasons, such as negotiating medical bills or medicaid liens). In situations where your injury is not as severe, or where the policy limits are high (say $100,000 or more), then the claim will generally take longer to resolve. In these cases, we wait to see what the full scope of your medical treatment is. We wait until we have all of your medical bills. If the treatment looks like it will extend into the future, we will ask your doctor to give us an opinion letter outlining the expected costs of those procedures. In certain cases, we will also send our client for a medical examination to see what level of impairment they might have.
Every accident and personal injury client we meet with seems to have questions. If you have been injured, you probably have questions as well, such as:
HOW DO I FIRE MY LAWYER?
Firing your attorney is something that you should carefully consider. Sometimes, even if you feel like your attorney is not doing their job, the detriment to doing so may greatly outweigh the benefits to be gained. For example, if your attorney has started negotiating with the insurance company and they have made an offer, then that attorney will probably have a “lien” on your case. You can find out by looking at the retainer agreement that you signed with them. A typical agreement will allow the attorneys to have a lien of 30% on cases that they get a settlement offer on. Typical language also allows them to make a claim for the value of the time they have put into your case. So, if they can claim that they put 20 hours into your case, then at an hourly rate of $200 per hour, they have a lien of $4,000. Not a small amount. The problem arises for clients who have large liens because of the problem of finding an attorney who will want to take their case with a lien attached to it. This is so because the second attorney will basically be working for the first one to get their lien paid before the second attorney can get a fee on the case. Unless the lien is well below the expected value of the case, most attorneys will not want to get involved. Some attorneys don’t want to get involved anyway on the assumption that you are a “problem client” or “damaged goods.” This is why on a number of occasions, I have attempted to talk prospective clients out of leaving their attorney.
WHAT BENEFITS DOES MY CAR INSURANCE PROVIDE ME?
In Utah, insurance companies are required to provide their own customer, or insured, with certain basic benefits. These are called PIP benefits. PIP stands for “personal injury protection.” They are designed to cover you if you get injured in a motor vehicle crash – even if the crash is your own fault. There are three components to these benefits. They are: (1) $3,000 for medical bills, (2) one year of lost wages (this will be the amount of your actual wages or $250 per week, whichever is more) and (3) household services reimbursement of up to $20 per day.
First, the $3,000 is used to cover medical bills which are directly related to the crash. (Some policies may actually have higher limits, although all must have at least $3,000 available.) This is why after the crash, medical providers will ask you to give them the name of your insurance company and the claim number. They ask for this because they will bill your insurance company directly. Some health insurance companies, such as IHC, will not begin to pay any benefits until they are satisfied that the $3,000 from your insurance is used up. Also, if your insurance company suspects that your treatment is not related to the crash, they might cut off benefits and have you examined by one of their insurance company doctors. You should keep in mind that this coverage is available to you even if you caused the crash to happen.
WHAT SEVEN THINGS SHOULD I DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
- Make sure the police have done a report. If you haven’t, and it hasn’t been that long (2-3 days) call them and have them do one.
- Get medical treatment if you haven’t done so already. If you have auto insurance or live with someone that does, you should have at least $3k for med treatment. If you have been to the ER and released, you should follow up with your own doctor. You can also “self-refer” to a chiropractor if you have neck or back injuries. If your injuries are more severe, you should see a specialist, either by referral from your own doctor or by setting an appointment yourself.
- Document the crash with photos, especially in more moderate to severe crashes. This is not as important if you have a bumper scuff.
- Inform your insurance carrier of the crash. They will have forms that they will send you that you should fill out to qualify for benefits, including at least $3k in medical benefits, lost wages up to $250 per week for one year, and “household services” benefits of up to $20 per day for one year.
- Continue your treatment and be compliant with all the doctor/therapist wants you to do. If you have to miss an appointment, make sure you have a good reason and you give your doctor/therapist advanced notice of this.
- Insurance statements. There is no law that says you have to give one. The danger with these is that the insurance person may ask questions to get information that they can later use against you. If you do give a statement, stick to describing how the crash happened, e.g. “I was at a stop and this car rear ended me.” You have to be really careful if you could be blamed in any way for the crash because they could try and elicit confessions out of you. The same thing applies with describing where you were injured. Suppose your back is hurting really bad and they ask you to tell them everywhere it hurts. So you tell them about your back but can’t at that point appreciate a shoulder injury you also sustained.Later, they will say that your shoulder injury is not related because you didn’t mention it to them. This is why there is a rule in Utah that says if the statement is taken within 15 days of the accident, they can’t use it against you unless they gave you a copy of it and gave you a chance to make corrections.
- Be honest. Be honest to your doctors: don’t try and exaggerate (or minimize) your injuries.
Get the Help You Need, Now!
Our years of experience in representing personal injury and accident victims like yourself has helped us hone our ability to put our clients’ lives back together. We represent Utah injury and accident clients residing in Utah near Salt Lake City, West Jordan, Sandy, Bountiful and Ogden.
OUR CLIENT SATISFACTION GUARANTEE…
At the Kramer Law Group, we want to make sure that you are satisfied with the quality of our legal services. While no law firm can guarantee the final outcome in a case, the lawyers and staff at the Kramer Law Group are committed to delivering to you a level of service that we can be proud of. We therefore pledge to you the following:
ALL INITIAL CONSULTATIONS ARE FREE OF CHARGE. At the Kramer Law Group, we believe that all initial consultations on injury cases should be free, no matter how long they go. This is how we’ve operated since we opened our doors over 10 years ago and still do to this day. This means that all initial consultations on a personal injury matter, auto accident, sexual harassment or other injury case will not cost you anything.
30-DAY NO-FEE PROMISE. We know that the public is suspicious and wary of personal injury lawyers. You’ve seen some of the tacky commercials out there and may be worried if the lawyer you hire will do a good job for you. To relieve your mind, we guarantee that if in the first 30 days you are not satisfied with the level of service we provide as your attorney, we will not charge you a single penny for the work that we have done on your case. This will allow you to “test drive” our law firm for 30 days with no obligation to remain a long-term client. We don’t think you’ll need to exercise this Guarantee, but provide it to give you peace of mind in the abilities and results of our law firm.
WE GUARANTEE THAT WE WILL NOT TAKE A FEE UNLESS WE GET YOU AN ACCEPTABLE SETTLEMENT OR A TRIAL VERDICT. Some law firms require you to pay money up front in the form of a “retainer” before they’ll work on your case. Other firms require that you pay for case expenses as the case goes along, such as money for filing a lawsuit in court. We understand that those who have been injured may not have the money to pay for these things. That’s why we will not charge you any fee or expense on your auto accident or injury case until we receive an acceptable money settlement or receive a trial verdict.
WE GUARANTEE THAT WE WILL RETURN YOUR PHONE CALLS. We have all heard stories about lawyers not returning their client’s phone calls. We feel that this is unacceptable and disrespectful to you, the client. We therefore guarantee you that we will return your phone call as soon as possible, but no later than one business day after you call. If we ever fail to do this, we’ll send you a free gift card to a restaurant in the area. We’ll additionally schedule a phone conference or in-person meeting with you to discuss your questions or concerns and to make sure your case is proceeding properly.
WE GUARANTEE THAT AN ATTORNEY WILL MEET WITH YOU. We know that some people who think they are hiring an attorney, never actually meet with them! Often, especially with TV firms, they will send a “runner” or “investigator” out to meet with and sign you up. That’s not how we operate at the Kramer Law Group. You will always have the opportunity to meet with one of our lawyers right at the initial consultation, as well as anytime during the case if you wish.
OUR GOAL IS COMPLETE CLIENT SATISFACTION. At the Kramer Law Group, our goal is to finish your case with you being satisfied with the results and the performance of our attorneys and staff. Reaching this goal can sometimes be a challenge and is something rarely discussed or offered by other injury law firms. However, our firm has set complete client satisfaction as a goal and we intend to do our best to achieve it. Therefore, if for any reason you are not satisfied with the performance of our attorneys or legal staff, I personally want to hear about it so we can resolve it. While we cannot guarantee the final outcome, we believe that all attorneys should try harder to treat their clients with the understanding, fairness and respect that they deserve.
Ron J. Kramer