Is Utah a No-Fault State For Car Accidents?
You may wonder, “Is Utah a no-fault state for car accidents?” Legal advisors from Accident Attorneys of America provide answers to that and more. Call today!
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No-Fault Accidents in Utah
Utah is a no-fault state for car accidents. It does not matter who is at fault. Any injured party must first claim under the coverage of their own vehicle up to a total of $3,000 in medical expenses.
Utah’s no-fault car insurance system may make it impossible for you to recover compensation after a car accident unless you meet a statutory threshold of $3,000. In that case, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault Utah drivers or their insurance companies. Utah law requires car owners to have minimum coverage for all vehicles registered or running on state roads.
For a free consultation if you were involved in an auto accident in Utah and are unsure what your rights are, contact an experienced car accident lawyer.
We can assist you in assessing your liability claim and advise you of our Services and the way forward.
Mandatory Insurance Coverage in Utah
All Utah drivers are required to carry liability car insurance. There is a provision in Utah for liability insurance, personal injury protection (PIP), and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. The minimum coverage requirements for Utah auto insurance are:
- Personal injury protection coverage of at least $3,000
- A minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person in a single accident
- An amount of at least $65,000 in total liability coverage for any accident caused by the policyholder resulting in bodily injury to one or more people involved in the accident
- Liability coverage of at least $15,000 for property damage the policyholder causes
The Utah Division of Motor Vehicles requires all cars, trucks, and vehicles to have no-fault insurance in place for the duration of their registration where the owner or operator of the vehicle:
- Is a Utah resident
- Is a non-resident of Utah who operates a vehicle that has been physically present in the state for at least 90 days during the last 365 days
No-fault is only applicable to bodily injury claims in Utah. It excludes damages for pain and suffering as well as other non-monetary damages.
Generally, minor accidents are resolved by the injured driver’s own insurance policy. If the driver’s injuries resulted in medical expenses of less than $3,000, legal action does not need to be taken against the at-fault driver. However, injured drivers are entitled to sue at-fault drivers for property damage liability.
PIP Coverage Exceptions
Your insurance company may not extend cover if:
- You did not have express permission to operate the vehicle you were driving. You may, for example, have borrowed a person’s car without their knowledge or permission.
- A driver intentionally caused injury to another person or was in the commission of a felony at the time of an accident.
- The injuries were sustained in a vehicle that was being used as a residence, such as a campervan.
If a pedestrian is injured, the driver’s insurance will cover the cost of personal injury damages to the pedestrian.
Fault vs. No-Fault: How Does No-Fault Car Accident Work?
A fault state requires you to prove the other party’s fault before any money can be awarded for bodily injury and property damage. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will bear all damages since their client was at fault. In a fault state, you can recover general damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, medical care expenses, and property damage.
In contrast, in a no-fault system, fault is not a consideration when deciding whether to pay a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims are covered by the no-fault insurance held by each driver, but all property damage claims and non-monetary damages, including pain and suffering, remain a fault issue. PIP coverage does not cover them.
Utah’s statutory threshold for medical expenses is $3,000. Once medical bills exceed this threshold, parties are entitled to sue the other party or their insurance company for their losses.
So, if your medical bills do not exceed the threshold, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit. If you exceed your PIP coverage, you can use your own health insurance coverage to cover your medical bills pending the case outcome. Once you reach that limit, a party will have to prove fault on the part of the sued party to potentially win an award.
Circumstances in which You Can Sue
Circumstances in which you can sue are set out in the law. You can sue the at-fault driver when:
The medical bills from the accident exceed $3,000
The accident was a fatal one
The accident resulted in disfigurement or disability
The law (Utah Code 31A-22-309) further prevents you from suing unless you have sustained one of the following:
A permanent disability
A bone fracture
Medical expenses exceeding $3,000
What if the Driver is Underinsured or Uninsured?
You may then claim from the Utah Uninsured Motorists Fund. This fund relieves claimants of medical expenses, lost wages past and future, and emotional damages like pain and suffering.
You can take out insurance against underinsured or uninsured motorists, in which case your car insurance policy will cover losses caused by an uninsured driver.
Another option you may have is to sue the uninsured driver for damages. Remember that if you wish to sue, you only have three years to do so due to the statute of limitations on personal injury and motorist claims in Utah.
What to Do After an Auto Accident in Utah
If you are involved in a car accident in Utah, make sure you do the following:
Get to safety
Call the police
Do not admit fault under any circumstances
Get a copy of the police report – you can even file a police report online in Salt Lake City
Exchange information with other driver/s
Take photos/videos/make notes – take witness details
Get checked out medically and track all medical expenses
File an insurance claim
Employ the services of a personal injury lawyer
Should I Appoint an Attorney?
In the case of a severe accident and a potential personal injury claim, it is necessary to consult with a law firm. The Accident Attorneys of America can assist you if you have been involved in an accident that resulted in injury, including truck accidents.
Considering Utah is a no-fault state, your claim can be complicated. America’s accident attorneys are here to help. We provide services that assist you in filing a lawsuit, assessing your no-fault claim, and checking whether you qualify to sue.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with truck accident attorneys.