Utah roads witnessed 63,980 vehicle crashes in 2023. Thankfully, the majority of these only caused property damage. Yet, tragically, these accidents resulted in over 26,500 injuries and 281 deaths. Accidents may take seconds to happen, but the painful results can linger for years.

If your life was turned upside down by a recent car accident in Utah, you may have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries, damage to your vehicle, and other losses. That said, several factors could affect the value of the final payout you are entitled to receive.

Each car accident case is unique and affects the people involved in different ways. A Siegfried & Jensen car accident attorney will have the experience and expertise you need to navigate the claims process and fight for your rights in the courtroom when needed. Find out if you have a case by calling (801) 845-9000 to schedule a no-risk consultation with our legal team.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Minimums

No matter who was at fault in a car accident, Utah law requires that you first seek compensation for your collision by filing a claim under your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Each Utah driver must carry a minimum of $3,000 PIP insurance. This can cover medical expenses and lost wages.

You do not have to turn to PIP first if your accident results in:

As many injuries result in more than $3,000 in medical expenses, it is likely that most injured Utah car accident victims will be entitled to pursue other avenues for compensation.

How Liability Affects Car Accident Claim Values

It makes sense that the person who caused your car accident is liable for damages or compensation. However, car accidents are rarely straightforward. At times, several parties may share a measure of blame for the accident.

When blame is shared

Utah uses a modified comparative negligence system to determine who was at fault – and therefore – responsible for damages. This system allows you to claim damages as long as you were less than 50 percent at fault.

The benefit of this rule is that you can still pursue damages even if you are partially to blame. However, it can be difficult to settle comparative negligence cases out of court. That is because lawyers for both sides must reach an agreement on how liable each party is.

If an agreement cannot be reached otherwise, your car accident attorney may need to fight your case in court to try to secure the damages you deserve.

How comparative negligence affects claim values

If you are found to be partly responsible for the car accident that caused your injuries, you will not be able to claim full damages.

For instance, imagine that a judge decides you were 20 percent responsible for causing the accident. You would only be entitled to 80 percent of the damages you would have been awarded if you had not been to blame at all for what happened. In addition, the other party or parties involved may pursue damages from you if you were more than 50 percent liable.

However, do not be quick to conclude that you don’t have a case when it seems you may be more than 50 percent liable. Instead, talk to an experienced Siegfried & Jensen and let him or her advise you on your legal options. You may be surprised at the avenues open to you.

Severity of Injuries

Another crucial factor that affects the value of a car accident claim is how serious your injuries are. The higher the severity of your condition, the higher the potential value of your claim. Serious injuries take longer to recover from and may leave people with permanent disabilities.

Some serious injuries that may result in higher payouts include:

Severe injuries with long recovery times also cause greater losses in the categories that follow.

Medical Expenses

If your condition is easy to treat and does not require much time to recover, you can expect your compensation to be on the lower side. However, if your injuries involve the following, your settlement may be higher:

  • Repeated hospital appointments
  • Specialist consultations
  • Long-term medication and treatment
  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation services, such as physical therapy

A car accident attorney can calculate the total medical care you have already received when determining the level of compensation you are entitled to for the costs. He or she may then consult expert medical witnesses and financial experts to calculate any projected costs of your future medical treatments. You may have to wait until you have reached maximum medical improvement before this can be done.

Medical expenses are a crucial part of economic compensation. However, medical damages only compensate you for the bills that are piling up. The pain and suffering, among other intangible losses you may have suffered, are calculated separately.

Lost Earnings

If your injuries led to you having time off work, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost earnings and even lost business opportunities.

The actual value of your lost earnings will depend on the nature and severity of your injuries. For example, two people may suffer a broken arm in a car accident. Due to the nature of his or her work, one person can start work again within a few days. However, the other person cannot return to work for weeks due to the physical nature of his or her job.

Property Damage

Property damage includes damage to your vehicle and any possessions damaged due to the accident. Utah drivers must carry liability coverage for property damage to cover these losses. The greater the damage, the more you may be able to pursue compensation.

Pain and Suffering

As well as the economic compensation discussed above, Utah state law allows car accident victims to seek compensation for pain and suffering. Putting a dollar amount on an individual’s pain and suffering can be challenging.

Your attorney will consider the impact of the factors discussed above, as well as:

  • The long-term impact of your injuries, both physical and mental
  • How your injuries affect your everyday life
  • The impact your injuries have had on your family and your ability to support them physically and emotionally

He or she will then play hardball at the negotiating table, fighting for a settlement that reflects the pain and suffering you endured.

Insurance Policy Limits

In Utah, drivers are required to have the following minimum liability coverage:

  • Bodily injury: $25,000 per person
  • Bodily injury: $65,000 per accident
  • Property damage: $15,000 per accident

If you sustain severe injuries in a Utah car accident, your medical expenses alone may greatly exceed the policy minimums. When this happens, you may wonder, “Can I pursue more compensation than the limit of the at-fault driver’s policy?”

The good news is that the answer is: Yes, you can pursue the at-fault driver for the difference. However, be aware that his or her insurance company will fight hard to shift liability or look for other ways to reduce what they pay. Utah car accident lawyers have seen this all before and are well-placed to help you overcome these tactics.

Let Siegfried & Jensen Fight to Maximize Your Claim Value

True, many factors could potentially limit the value of your car accident claim. Insurance companies will try everything they can to pay you as little as possible. If you go it alone, you may not be able to overcome their high-pressure tactics and may walk away with less than you deserve.

Give yourself a stronger chance of success by working with an experienced Siegfried & Jensen car accident attorney. Our compassionate and tenacious lawyers have a success rate of 97 percent in over 35,000 cases. So far, we have recovered over $1.2 billion for our clients.

The sooner you talk to one of our attorneys, the sooner you can be on the road to achieving justice and the compensation you need. Complete our online form or call us at (801) 845-9000 to schedule a free, personalized case review today.