Lawsuits for damages caused by a vehicular accident are often attributed to the failure of the driver to exercise reasonable care. If you have been seriously injured because of a car accident in Utah, the driver who caused the accident can be held liable.
However, before you can file a lawsuit or claim for damages, you should know that personal injury in Utah is handled differently. Here’s what you need to know:
Utah applies a no-fault system in vehicular accidents, as is with most minor accidents. It means that automatically, no one is at fault in an accident. This also indicates that if you were injured in an accident, your insurance company would be the one to cover lost income and medical expenses incurred.
State law requires all vehicle owners to get personal injury protection (PIP), insurance coverage that allows the no-fault system to be implemented. In case of an accident, PIP obliges your insurance carrier to pay for expenses including not only medical fees and lost income but domestic help expenses as well.
With PIP, you can reimburse lost wages for up to a year since the date of the accident and at least $3000 worth of medical expenses. For domestic help, you can receive a daily allowance of $20. Please take note, however, that property damage, disfigurement, inconvenience, suffering, and other injuries are not included in the PIP coverage.
You Can Still File a Liability Claim
On the other hand, if you have severe injuries because of the accident, you can hold the driver liable and file a liability claim. The only challenge here is the possibility of the at-fault driver contesting the seriousness of your injuries.
Should the liability claim pushes through, you will be paid by the driver’s insurance carrier. You can receive damage claims for your pain and the expenses incurred due to the accident.
Utah can implement liability claim coverage because like PIP, liability insurance coverage is also mandatory in the state.
What If the Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Unfortunately, there are cases when the at-fault driver is from another state and you have severe injuries because of the negligence of the said driver. In a worst-case scenario, you're a victim of a hit-and-run. The liability insurance coverage can’t be applied in these situations.
You can get insurance coverage only if you have your insurance that covers these types of accidents.
Finally, you can be held liable if you are partly responsible for your injuries. This can happen if you file a personal injury claim against a company or person and that party counter presents a shared-fault injury case.
This means that you will share the liability for your injury. For example, after a car accident, the court declares that you are 30% at fault because you were texting while driving, and the other driver is 70% at fault because he snoozed while driving.
However, if you are found to be 50% at fault, you are not allowed to get or file for damage claims.