What are the State Minimum Motor Vehicle Insurance Requirements?
The insurance requirements for a motor vehicle, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and SUVs, in Utah are the same. If you operate a motor vehicle, you must purchase and maintain a minimum of $25,000 to cover bodily injury damage to one person in addition to $65,000 to cover bodily per accident. You must also carry $15,000 in coverage to pay for property damage to vehicles other than your vehicle.
When you are involved in a car accident in Utah, you may have the right to file a claim against the other driver to recover damages. However, it may not be as simple as filing the claim. Insurance companies don’t like paying claims and try to find ways to deny them. Instead of dealing with this headache on top of everything else you are dealing with, let our Utah car accident attorneys fight the insurance company for you. We understand Utah’s car accident laws and know how to use those laws to maximize your chance of recovering full compensation for your injuries.
I Thought Utah Was a No-Fault Insurance State?
You are correct, Utah is a no-fault insurance state, but the threshold for filing a liability claim is low. The law requires that your insurance provider pays the first $3,000 in medical bills under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. PIP coverage is part of your standard insurance policy. Therefore, if you were in a minor fender bender and did not have over $3,000 in expenses, your insurance company takes care of paying your claim.
However, most car accidents cause more than $3,000 in damages. In addition to medical bills, damages in an accident claim may include:
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages, including loss of future income and loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Permanent disabilities, scarring, and disfigurement
- Physical pain, emotional suffering, and mental anguish
In a motor vehicle accident with traumatic injuries, your damages could easily total hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even a relatively simple surgery can result in tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, not to mention lost wages while you are recovering. For this reason, Utah allows liability claims against other drivers.
Proving Negligence and Liability
It is not enough to have an accident report prepared by a police officer stating the other driver contributed to the accident to prove fault. Depending on the facts of the case, an insurance provider may accept the crash report as sufficient proof of liability. However, an insurance company often performs an independent investigation to determine fault, especially in cases with substantial damages. The insurance company looks for any reason to deny or lower your injury claim.
Because of Utah’s comparative negligence laws, the insurance provider doesn’t need to prove you were 100 percent at fault for the collision to lower the value of your claim. If the company can prove you are at fault for any percentage of the collision, it can lower your payment.
For example, if you admit during a recorded statement for the insurance adjuster you were running late that morning and you were in a hurry to get to work for an important meeting, the company may argue that you were speeding and distracted. If it can convince a jury that you were 20 percent at fault, your compensation will be reduced by 20 percent. In other words, if your damages are $100,000, you will only receive $80,000 (the total damages less 20 percent fault).
This is a good example of why you want to hire a Utah car accident attorney as soon as possible. Anything you say to the adjuster can be used against you later. The adjuster is not going to tell you about your legal rights or warn you before you do something that can harm your claim — he works for the insurance company. Our lawyers protect your legal rights because our first priority is your best interests.