In the state of Utah, all car owners are required to obtain personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. PIP is a type of auto insurance policy that covers expenses for you and your passengers after a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. PIP is often referred to as no-fault insurance since it is mandatory in no-fault car insurance states.
PIP has limitations, so accident victims occasionally have to pursue a lawsuit to receive compensation for their losses after injury-causing crashes.
If you’re injured in a car accident, the experienced Utah car accident lawyers at Great West Injury Law can help you understand your PIP benefits and recover the damages through a PIP claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Utah’s No-Fault Laws
Utah is one of 12 no-fault insurance states. In a no-fault state, financial responsibility for losses and injuries from a car accident falls onto the injured party’s personal insurance provider, no matter who caused the collision. For example, if another driver runs a red light and crashes into your car, you will file a claim with your own insurance company for any injuries you sustain.
What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?
PIP is an insurance option that can help you cover medical costs immediately after a serious accident without needing to establish fault, and is required by law in Utah.
Although the state requires a minimum of $3,000 in PIP coverage for all motorists, many drivers purchase a policy with higher coverage limits when they can afford to do so. Minimum coverage may not provide sufficient compensation for your bills or long-term losses after a serious car crash, especially when an ambulance ride alone may cost upwards of a $1,000!
Minimum PIP insurance in Utah covers:
- $3,000 in medical costs per person (driver, and any additional passengers)
- $3,000 in death benefits
- $1,500 toward burial expenses (or similar services) in the event of death
- 85% of lost income with a cap of $250 per week, when injury victims are too injured to return to work immediately
- Maximum of $20 per day for replacement services (any services the injured person would usually perform themselves before the injury, such as childcare)
PIP insurance doesn’t cover injuries to other drivers or passengers involved in an accident, damage to your vehicle, or property damage (such as to buildings or to personal property that was in the vehicle). Separate liability policies or add-ons are required to cover vehicular damage. As PIP is personal insurance coverage, it doesn’t cover injuries sustained while driving for commercial purposes.
Since PIP coverage is mandatory in Utah, tort thresholds, sometimes called serious injury thresholds, restrict your right to file an injury claim against another driver unless your damages reach a specific limit. Motorists may not pursue a lawsuit unless they or their passenger has experienced one or more of the following:
- Permanent impairment, disability, or disfigurement
- Bone fracture
- Medical expenses exceeding $3,000
Filing a Claim for Injuries in Utah
If you suffer injuries in a car accident in Utah, you can work with a knowledgeable auto accident attorney from Great West Injury Law to help you understand your compensation options. We can help you file an initial claim with your PIP insurance to receive benefits up to your policy limits.
If your expenses exceed your PIP coverage, we can help you file a third-party claim against the other driver’s liability insurance. In Utah, drivers must also carry liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage, including:
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage for one person
- $65,000 bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- $15,000 liability coverage for property damage
We will calculate your accident-related expenses and ask for a fair settlement on your behalf. If the insurance company refuses to pay, we can take the case to court to seek damages, including non-economic compensation for emotional distress or pain and suffering, which are not compensated with PIP.
Utah recognizes a comparative negligence rule, so you must prove you were less than 51% responsible for the accident to get compensation through a personal injury claim against another person or party. We can help you build an evidence-based claim, allowing you to recover full damages for your losses.
How PIP Works with Out-Of-State Drivers
If you get into an accident with an out-of-state driver in Utah, your PIP insurance should provide standard coverage. You can file a claim for PIP benefits and, if necessary, seek damages from the out-of-state driver’s at-fault liability car insurance.
If you drive outside of Utah and get into an accident, consult an auto accident attorney. If the accident happens in an at-fault state, you may file a claim with the other driver’s insurance rather than your PIP policy. However, PIP insurance can still cover you if the state where the accident occurred also uses no-fault policies.
Arrange a Free Consultation with Great West Injury Law Today
Utah’s no-fault car insurance laws ensure you can recover compensation quickly after a minor accident. However, if you experience more severe injuries, you may need to file a lawsuit to earn the compensation you need to cover medical bills, loss of income, and replacement services in the long term.
Schedule a free consultation with Great West Injury Law to assess your case and determine your rights to compensation.