The average driver in their lifetime will get into about three car accidents. That’s one factor insurance companies use to set their rates. Not every accident will involve injuries, but the chance is always there. Do you know what to do after a car accident?
Find out what you need to know by speaking with our Salt Lake City car accident lawyers at 1Law. If you go beyond the coverage of your PIP insurance, or your injuries are severe, you can sue the other insurer or driver under Utah law. We can tell you if you have a lawsuit.
Utah is one of a few states that uses no-fault insurance. This means that you turn to your own insurance first for a claim before going to the other driver. All minimum insurance policies in Utah are required to pay at least $3,000 in Personal Injury Protection benefits.
If you have a minor accident, know your costs, and the insurance company pays what you’re owed, that could be the end of the matter. However, it’s often not enough. If your medical expenses are over $3,000, or you have serious injuries, you can make a claim against the other driver’s insurance.
What is a serious injury? For Utah law, the injury must be permanent. This could be a disability, impairment, disfigurement, or dismemberment. These injuries let you bypass the requirement to use your own insurance first.
Utah follows the “25/65/15” rule for minimum auto insurance. These numbers mean:
If the other driver only carries the minimum, you may have to sue the other driver directly to get compensation. These limits are often far too low to cover costs. However, with the help of a car accident attorney, you’ll have more options for seeking damages, including taking the insurer to court.
Also, under Utah law, all drivers must carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage unless they reject it in writing. If the other driver has no insurance at all, or has too little insurance, your own UIM coverage may cover some of the costs.
The order to contact people after a car accident is the police, then a doctor, and then an attorney. Don’t reach out to your insurer to make a claim until you’ve done these things. By doing it in this order, you’ll have the best chance of success.
Contacting the police first starts the accident report process. If paramedics take you to the hospital because of your injuries, the police will come to visit you there. You will want a copy of the accident report.
Then, a doctor can diagnose your injuries and create a medical evaluation. With those pieces of evidence, then you can speak with a car accident attorney in Salt Lake City. They can use that evidence to see if you have a case, whether they can help you, and give you further legal advice about reporting the accident to your insurer.
All insurance companies want to take in as many premiums as they can and pay out as little as possible. No-fault systems help insurance companies quickly process smaller claims with less legal hassle, but they also set up roadblocks for claims that need larger amounts of compensation.
The hoops of going beyond your PIP coverage are best crossed by hiring a car accident attorney. They know the tricks of the insurance companies and how to get around them so you can get the compensation you deserve, not what the insurance company thinks you should get.
To get started on your car accident case, contact 1Law at the number on your screen or by using our free legal chat service. Our 1,200+ strong legal network can connect you with a car accident lawyer in Salt Lake City with the experience you need to get paid after your car accident.