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How Do Liability Laws Apply to an Auto Accident in Utah?


If you wonder how liability laws apply to an auto accident In Utah, you aren’t alone. The Accident Attorneys of America answer this and more. Call us today!

Utah Liability Laws

You should be aware of some peculiarities of Utah’s car accident laws if you have a car accident there, especially if you plan to seek compensation for your injuries.

An experienced Utah-based car accident lawyer will be able to guide you through the nuances of the law in Utah relating to car accidents and bodily injury claims. Accident Attorneys of America have extensive experience with many types of personal injury cases and are committed to your well-being.

Utah Car Accident Law Peculiarities

Utah’s peculiarities include the following:

  • Utah is a no-fault state.
  • Under the modified comparative negligence rule, if you are less than 50 percent at fault for the accident, you can receive compensation even if the accident was partially your fault.
  • There is a four-year deadline for launching most car accident injury claims.
  • Property damage claims and vehicle damage claims are limited to three years after the accident.


Utah’s No-Fault System

A no-fault insurance system exists in Utah, so if you are involved in an accident, you have to contact your insurance company to file a claim. You can only claim from the third-party insurance company (the at-fault driver’s insurance company) under certain circumstances. In traditional fault states, this is not the case.

Compulsory Minimal Insurance Cover

Under state law, every driver must carry at least $3,000 in insurance to cover accident victims. So, any bodily injury claims resulting from an accident, regardless of fault, are handled by the driver’s insurance company.

Known as personal injury protection, this pays for medical treatment required by anyone covered by the policy, up to the coverage limit.

Since there are limits to these payouts, the question arises as to what happens if these limits are exceeded. An injured party is entitled to look to the at-fault driver’s insurance company when:

  • The injured party’s medical expenses must exceed $3 000, or

  • The injured party must have suffered specific injuries such as :

    • Dismemberment

    • Permanent impairment

    • Permanent disability

    • Permanent disfigurement

The bodily injury claim against the other driver’s insurance company can include claims for pain and suffering and non-economic damages. It is impossible to claim in the initial claim within the threshold of $3 000.

The Modified Comparative Negligence Rule

The modified comparative negligence rule is also called the modified comparative fault rule.

This can be understood best by means of an example. Imagine, for example, that you are partially liable for an auto accident in which you were driving over the limit. You were unable to avoid the accident due to your excessive speed, and the other driver jumped a red light and struck you. Both drivers were responsible for their car accidents in this case.

As a result of the Utah comparative negligence rule, you can still seek damages, but your award will be reduced accordingly. For example, if you are 30% negligent, your award will be reduced by 30%. In order to assert a claim against another at-fault party, your share of liability must be less than 50 percent. Therefore, if you are 50 percent or more at fault, you will not be able to recover any damages.

There are three types of contributory negligence: pure contributory fault, modified comparative fault, and pure contributory negligence. Different state laws follow different models.


Pure Contributory Fault

Under pure contributory negligence models, injured parties may not collect damages if they are as much as one percent responsible for causing the incident. Five states follow this model – Alabama, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia.


Pure Comparative Fault

This model allows parties to sue for damages even if they are 99 percent at fault. To temper this, though, the damages amount is limited by the party’s degree of fault. California, Florida, and New York follow this model, amongst others.


Modified Comparative Fault

Most states follow this model. This is further divided into the following:

  • The 50 percent bar rule: Utah follows this model, which holds that any 50 percent or more responsible for an accident may not recover any damages.
  • The 51 percent bar rule: The 51 percent bar rule determines that a party may not recover if they are 51 percent at fault.

Laws in this area can be quite complex and specific. To make an informed decision about launching a lawsuit, it is important to visit an experienced Utah personal injury law firm before filing a bodily injury claim in Utah.

Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases

There are different periods within which you can bring car accident claims in a Utah car crash. The distinction is made between claiming bodily injury and property and vehicle damage.

Car Accident Injury Claim Time Limits

By law, you must accept a final settlement offer or file a claim within four years from the car crash date for a personal injury claim.

If a deceased estate files a claim after someone dies in an accident, the claim must be made within two years of the deceased’s death. Rather than starting from the date of the accident, the date runs from the date of the death.

Property Damage Claims and Vehicle Accident Damage Time Limit

Property damage and vehicle accident damage claims must be settled or filed within three years from the date of the accident.


Suing the Government for Personal Injury Claims

State legislation provides that you only have one year to sue the government in a personal injury case. The same Acts also impose limits for such claims even where you suffered severe injuries.

If you wish to sue the government for a personal injury claim, it’s a good idea to see an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible due to the restricted time frame.


What are the Minimal Limits for Personal Injury Protection?

Drivers in Utah are required to carry the following minimum amounts:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury liability per person
  • $65,000 to cover bodily injury for two or more persons
  • $15,000 to cover a property damage claim


How can an Attorney Assist?

There are several complexities relating to liability laws in Utah car accident claims. See a Utah-based premises liability lawyer today for your first free consultation so you can consider your legal options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should I Still Get a Lawyer for an Accident That Was My Fault?

Yes, it would be best if you still got a lawyer. In addition to investigating the extent of your fault, an experienced truck accident lawyer will negotiate with your insurance company to resolve the claim.

What Is the Most Common Injury in a Truck Accident?

The most common injuries in a truck accident are spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, head and neck injuries, and broken bones.

A truck or even a semi-truck accident can cause fatal and life-long injuries. For your medical expenses to be adequately covered, ensure that you wait until the end of the anticipated recovery period before settling your truck accident case.

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