Automobile accidents can be extremely stressful. This is especially true if you are even the slightest bit concerned that you may be at-fault in some way. You may be second-guessing your actions behind the wheel, causing you to ask yourself several questions to determine what happened. Did you take your eyes off the road for a second to look at a sign? Did you hit the brakes during inclement weather but they didn’t stop in time? You may be well aware that someone else’s negligent acts were the ultimate cause of the accident, but you still may be worried if your driving was not perfect.
Thankfully, there are laws within the Utah state code that address this very issue. Utah itself assumes the modified comparative negligence rule when it comes to determining fault in an accident. What this entails is that any party to an accident can seek recovery from any other person involved in the accident so long as their fault exceeds the fault of the person seeking compensation.
If you are injured in a car accident, it is imperative to contact a personal injury attorney to see what legal options are available for you. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries and damages sustained in the crash.
Protection From Insurance
In Utah, every automobile insurance policy comes with Personal Injury Protection coverage. Personal Injury Protection coverage, which is often referred to as “PIP” is no-fault coverage. PIP provides benefits for drivers, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Your own insurance company should get reimbursed by the at-fault party’s insurance company up to the total amount paid in cases where this coverage is applied.
Personal Injury Protection insurance allows automobile accident victims to access immediate relief from various damages and expenses associated with the car accident. Available benefits and coverage provide:
- Up to $3,000 in medical expenses;
- Up to $250 or 85% of a victim’s lost wages each week;
- Up to $20 a day for household services, like dishwashing, lawn care, etc.;
- Funeral benefits up to $1,500; and
- Death benefits up to $3,000.
The coverage provided under PIP extends to all passengers in the vehicle as well. Each person within the vehicle will have the same limits available for their expenses. For example, if you are traveling in a vehicle with two passengers, and you are all injured, you will each receive a maximum of $3,000 for medical expenses.
Although the stress of an automobile accident and determining fault can be overwhelming for those involved, there are protections in place for you that can assist you in receiving compensation for your injuries.
Why Is Personal Injury Protection Insurance Important?
Personal injury protection coverage is extremely important in that it enables individuals who are injured in accidents to take care of some of the more pressing financial burdens immediately. Individuals who file personal injury lawsuits against at-fault drivers may have to wait for months or even years to receive any form of compensation for their claims. During the wait, victims continue to obtain thousands of dollars in medical expenses while being forced out of work to recovery.
Unfortunately, the desperation for taking care of financial obligations often causes individuals injured in accidents to sign away their legal rights by accepting a small settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This can have a very damaging impact on a victim’s ability to obtain full and fair compensation for their injuries and damages.
Important Facts About Personal Injury Protection Coverage In Utah
There are some very important things to remember when it comes to personal injury protection. As you may know, individuals who want to file personal injury lawsuits against at-fault drivers should do so if the damages exceed the amounts provided in PIP coverage. Understandably, Utah case law highly discourages individuals from intentionally running up their medical expenses in an effort to file a lawsuit against the at-fault drivers.
Additionally, some vehicles are exempt from PIP requirements in our state. Essentially, those who drive trailers, semitrailers, and motorcycles are not required to have personal injury protection coverage. Generally, this requirement applies to passenger cars and pickup trucks. At the scene of an accident, or while taken to the emergency room, someone will ask you for your insurance information as well as your health care insurance. Your PIP coverage will pay for the first $3,000 in medical expenses. Once the PIP coverage is exhausted, your personal health insurance plan will take over the remaining expenses.
Personal injury protection coverage extends only to those injured inside the policy holder’s vehicle. Individuals involved in the other vehicles will be covered by the other car’s policy holder’s insurance coverage. The only exception to this coverage is when the accident involves a pedestrian. In pedestrian accidents, the pedestrian receives PIP coverage from the vehicle that struck them.
After the accident is investigated by the insurance companies, the insurance company whose driver was not responsible for the accident will attempt to gain a reimbursement of the PIP coverage payout from the at-fault party’s insurance coverage. This negotiation does not include the drivers of the vehicles.
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a negligent or reckless driver, and your damages associated with the accident exceed the limits established in your personal injury protection coverage, it is imperative to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to assist you with filing your claim.
A Utah Car Accident Attorney Can Help You
If you were injured a car accident due to a negligent or reckless driver, it is imperative to contact a personal injury attorney from Siegfried & Jensen as soon as possible. Our skilled legal professionals have over 30-years of experience helping accident victims obtain compensation for injuries and damages sustained in their automobile accidents. Our attorneys work diligently to help accident victims obtain full and fair compensation to cover medical treatments, lost wages, pain and suffering, and various other damages sustained due to their accidents. Contact our law firm at (801) 845-9000 to schedule a free case evaluation so we can see what legal options are available for you.