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Utah Car Accident Laws

 

There is no need to guess who caused your accident when it happened in Utah. Read more about car accident laws in Utah here.

Utah Automobile Accident Laws

Getting into a car accident in Utah can change your life forever. Regardless of who’s at fault, you may have the right to recover compensation for your injuries and suffering. However, there are many car accident laws on the books in Utah that can affect your rights and ability to get the money you deserve.

Here’s what you need to know.

 

You’re Legally Required to Report a Collision in Utah

Under Utah state law, motor vehicle accidents that result in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 must be reported immediately and by the “quickest means possible” to local law enforcement.

Typically, this means that you have to call the police (or 911) if you are involved in a crash. If, for some reason, you’re unable to report the accident right away, you’re legally required to notify law enforcement at your earliest opportunity.

If you’ve been injured, it’s in your best interest to report an accident immediately. You don’t want a lot of time to pass before your accident is documented and recorded. Evidence can get lost or destroyed as time goes by. Witness memories fade and change, too.

When an officer is dispatched to the scene to investigate, the accident report they generate will provide some critical information when your car accident attorney begins to pursue damages on your behalf.

You’re Prohibited From Leaving the Scene of a Utah Car Accident

Utah law requires all motorists involved in accidents resulting in injury, death, or damage to property to remain at (or near) the scene of the collision

In addition to staying at the scene, you’re required to:

  • Exchange your name, registration, and insurance information with other parties, and

  • Help injury victims get medical attention.

Unless you have to leave to get medical treatment, leaving the scene before police arrive can be considered a hit and run, which can have serious civil and criminal consequences.

Utah is a No-Fault Car Accident State

Insurance will be your primary source of compensation after you’re involved in a car accident in Utah. Utah is one of 12 states to adopt a “no-fault” system for auto insurance.

Simply put, this means that drivers are required to file a claim with their own insurance provider and seek benefits from their own insurance policy after an accident, regardless of who caused the crash.

Under Utah law, you’re legally required to purchase a policy that satisfies these minimum requirements:

  • Bodily Injury Coverage: $25,000 per person, $65,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Coverage: $15,000 per accident
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): $3,000 per person

You can purchase a policy with higher limits and/or add on other protection – like uninsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, or comprehensive coverage. After an accident, you can recover compensation up to your policy limits.

Note that only economic damages – for things like medical bills and lost wages – are available under your no-fault insurance coverage. You cannot recover for things like pain and suffering.

 

What Happens if Your Damages Exceed Your Policy Limits?

If you’ve racked up at least $3,000 in medical bills or have suffered a “serious injury,” then you reserve the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver (or their insurance carrier).

In a lawsuit or third-party insurance claim, you can seek non-economic damages for the emotional distress and anguish you’ve experienced because of your auto accident.

A serious injury is defined as one that results in dismemberment, permanent disability, permanent impairment, or permanent disfigurement. Chances are, if you’ve suffered an injury of this magnitude, then your medical bills will easily exceed $3,000.

Knowing how to navigate Utah’s car insurance system can be difficult, especially when you’re dealing with a painful physical injury. It can be important to turn to a trusted Utah car accident attorney near you for help to ensure that you’re able to secure all of the compensation you deserve.

Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Lawsuits in Utah

You won’t have an unlimited amount of time to file a lawsuit after a car accident in Utah. The state has a four-year statute of limitations that typically applies to car accident lawsuits. Generally, you must file your civil lawsuit within four years of the date of your crash.

There are some exceptions:

  • Wrongful death: after a fatal car accident in Utah, family members have two years from the date of a loved one’s death to file a wrongful death action

  • Property damage: claims involving property damage must be filed within three years of the date of a collision

  • Government claims: a claim against a government agency in Utah must be filed within one year of the date of a car crash

You don’t want the deadline that applies to your case to expire before you take action. Once the statute of limitations runs out, so does your right to file a claim, demand accountability, and secure compensation from an at-fault party.

Sharing Fault Can Affect Your Ability to Recover Compensation After a Car Accident in Utah

Sharing fault can affect your ability to recover compensation for your car accident injuries. Utah has adopted a modified comparative negligence system with a 50 percent bar to recovery. You will automatically lose your right to recover compensation from a third party if you’re assigned half or more of the blame for your crash.

Sharing less than 50 percent of the blame for a collision won’t bar a financial recovery. However, it will affect how much money you can get. Your damages will be reduced based on your role in the wreck. If you’re assigned 10 percent fault, then your financial recovery will be reduced by 10 percent to reflect that.

Our Utah Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You Make the Most of Your Personal Injury Claim 

You don’t have to figure out how Utah’s car accident laws work or how they might apply to your case. After all, you’re dealing with a serious injury and should have the opportunity to concentrate on getting better. Hiring an attorney can increase the odds of a successful result and help you maximize your financial recovery.

Contact Accident Attorneys of America for immediate legal assistance after you get hurt. You’ll benefit from the insight of experienced Salt Lake City car accident lawyers who have helped clients like you win life-changing settlements and jury awards. We’re ready to help you fight to get the compensation you deserve, too.

Our team offers a free consultation and is available to schedule yours right now.

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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