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Who Pays in a No-Fault Accident in Utah?

No-fault accidents do not require the determination of an at-fault driver to cover all costs associated with the accident. Although property damage falls under the at-fault policy, bodily injury does not. That is, the court holds the at-fault driver responsible for car and property damage, but not the other party’s medical bills. No-fault insurance provides compensation for initial medical bills for any and all minor injuries sustained by both parties.

Utah Minimum Car Insurance Coverage Requirements

As a vehicle owner and driver in Utah, you are required to purchase and carry a minimum amount of coverage.

  • $3,000 in personal injury protection coverage. This coverage is required for all drivers who are residents of Utah, as well as for any driver that resides in Utah for more than 90 days out of 365 days. In both cases, this no-fault insurance must be maintained throughout the vehicles registration period.
  • $25,000 in liability coverage for bodily injury, per person, for any accidents for which the insured driver is at-fault.
  • $65,000 in total liability coverage per accident. This is for cases in which more than one person suffers bodily injury as a result of the accident caused by the insured driver.
  • $15,000 in property damage coverage for accidents caused by the insured driver.

It is important to note that any damages causes by the driver that exceed their insurance coverage will be the responsibility of the driver to make up the difference through personal assets.

What Does No-Fault Insurance Cover?

No-fault insurance covers a driver’s initial medical bills, which are costlier than property damage payments. However, no-fault insurance has a cap that varies in each state. In Utah, this amount is $3,000. Individual insurance is responsible for all payments until a driver’s medical bills surpass $3,000, in which case the driver can file a claim against the at-fault driver.

Personal Injury Claims

A no-fault driver can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver once their medical bills reach the specified cap of Personal Injury Protection (PIP). In this scenario, the claimant files their case with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Once the court settles the case, they also reimburse the claimant’s insurance company for the initial $3,000 spent in medical bills.

Benefits of Utah’s No-Fault System

The benefits of Utah’s no-fault statute are not related to the compensation or claims processes involved. The no-fault system is ultimately preventative in two different ways: it prevents drivers from passing on insurance and it prevents small accidents from entering the court system.

This policy increases the number of drivers that possess adequate car insurance because it forces both drivers’ insurance companies to pay for damage. While the at-fault driver assumes responsibility for all personal injury and property damage, the no-fault driver still uses their own insurance policies for minor accidents. Both parties must possess a certain standard of coverage if they don’t want to pay out of pocket for medical care caused by minor accidents.

The no-fault policy also helps the court system. By directly addressing who pays for what in minor accidents, the no-fault policy prevents these minor cases from clogging the court system. The insurance cap lifts the case into a more serious bracket in which the no-fault driver can ultimately pursue a personal injury claim. Aside from keeping minor incidents out of the court system in general, the no-fault policy prevents small claims from reaping huge awards.

Utah’s no-fault accident policy contains and regulates minor incidents by requiring both party’s insurance companies to account for different aspects of the accident. In the case that your medical bills do surpass the acceptable limit, and you were not at-fault, it is best to contact an attorney to file a personal injury claim.

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