For most of us, our cars and vehicles are an integral part of the family and everyday life, allowing us to commute to work, maintain an active social life, drop off kids and family members at activities, and run errands with minimal fuss.
If you are involved in a car accident, the damage sustained can be significant enough to write off your car, leaving you without transportation and facing hefty charges and garage bills to get yourself back on the road. In some cases, the vehicle may be beyond saving, meaning that you face the cost of a brand new car. Contact our Salt Lake car accident lawyers in case you faced an injury after an accident.
Understanding your rights in this situation is crucial, knowing who you can turn to for financial compensation and damages.
What Does My Insurance Company Have to Offer?
The state of Utah operates on a no-fault car insurance system. In short, this means that any driver who finds themselves involved in a car accident is required to use their vehicle insurance to cover any expenses, including medical bills, loss of wages, and any out-of-pocket costs – such as damage to the car. Damages and compensation for pain and suffering will not be included in this category.
The law states that any car insurance policy issued within the state is legally required to provide personal injury coverage. This meets the ‘no-fault’ laws embedded in the legislation. Any policy sold must also include liability coverage, designed to protect and cover for any property damage or bodily injury claims. In most cases, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is also required, though the person taking out the policy is free to reject these coverages in writing at the time of purchase.
Can I Pursue the Other Driver for Damages?
In some cases, the damage and injuries sustained by the victim can be extremely severe. In these cases, they may wish to pursue separate legal action directly against the driver deemed to be at fault. In these circumstances, the injured party must first turn to their insurance policy and ensure that the personal injury protection coverage is exhausted.
Alternatively, they must have incurred over $3000 in medical expenses, or have their injury qualify as ‘severe’ according to the legal definition – this generally includes dismemberment, a severe bone break or fracture, injuries resulting in long-term or permanent damage, or permanent disfigurement.
There are specific requirements that must be met before a personal injury claim being approved, and the injured party will also need to prove that the accident in question was directly caused by the other party – the other driver. Medical proof detailing the extent of the injuries will also be required, along with evidence that the actions of the other driver directly resulted in these injuries. If these criteria are met, the individual will possibly be in a position to pursue the other driver for damages, including pain and suffering.