In Utah, you have to have a minimum of $25,000 to cover bodily injury per person. So, that means if there is more than one person, it is an aggregate total of $65,000. You can have an automobile accident with four people in it and you do not need to have $100,000 of insurance or $25,000 per person. It is an aggregate total of only $65,000 and no more. So, that is on the personal injury side or bodily injury side. The other side is the property damage side and that is a minimum of $15,000, which is not very much.
Are Most Motorists Uninsured Or Underinsured In Utah?
Both. A lot of people simply go in and they want to get the cheapest rate they can possibly get, because they want to fit the insurance into their budget, so they are not necessarily looking at protecting themselves, they are looking at keeping their cost down. Now, that is not true of everybody. Once you hit the middle class and you go from there, especially the more affluent people, they will have insurance agents that will specifically look and advise them, “You are missing in this area” or you perhaps need to have an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage. So, it really usually depends on the classification and whether you can afford additional insurance or not, but by and large these minimums do not cover a lot of accidents, unfortunately.
Does Full Insurance Coverage Cover All Aspects of Auto-Insurance?
No. Full coverage simply means that the lender on your automobile is going to be covered in case there is an accident and the car gets wrecked. It means that the lender who is the lien holder of your vehicle, they are going to get paid back in full for the loan. That is what it means. It does not necessarily mean that you are going to be able to cover all the injuries that someone else sustains.
Compensatory Rights When Involved In an Accident with an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist
If they do not have any insurance and they are uninsured motorists, you are basically looking at suing that individual for the damage that has incurred. You can get that, the damage, up to whatever you can prove at trial. So, it is not just your medical bills and your property damage, but it is also for pain and suffering. This is determined by and large going to trial and providing evidence of your suffering. Did you injure your finger to the point where you were an avid bowler and you can no longer bowl and that was your favorite pastime?
That is a significant injury that is going to affect you differently than someone else who never bowls or never needs the use of their finger for whatever reason. But you get the idea; you just have to be able to prove it when you go to trial. If you are insured, then most of the time, not all the time, but most of the time insurance companies want to settle those claims because they are aware of the damages that they might have to pay in the future if it goes to trial.
Is Comparative Fault Applicable in Utah’s Auto-Accident Laws?
Essentially what you are looking at in Utah is we are a no-fault state, which means that if there is an automobile accident and your medical bills are $3,000 or less, you are really not looking at any type of fault or liability other than to cover the $3,000 in medical bills and any property damage. However, if you go over that $3,000 in medical bills, it now becomes somebody is at fault and it does depend on what that police report says and the evidence we can muster together.
The police report is not always definitive, but it is very strong as to who bears the liability for the injuries. So, since we are in a no-fault state, that first $3,000 of injuries, we call it personal injury protection, which is part of the insurance, the minimum insurance you have to carry and we call it PIP for short and usually PIP will cover any minor injury. Does that make sense?
How Difficult Is It To Get Compensated In An Uninsured Or Underinsured Motorist Case?
It really does depend on who hit you. Most people who are running without insurance usually do not have many assets or anything, which should cause all of us to get uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
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