Utah Car Accident Settlement and Lawsuits
Utah is one of a dozen or so "no fault" car insurance states.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Utah, you need to have an understanding of the different state laws and insurance requirements that could affect any injury claim you make over the accident.
This page provides a guide to our Utah-specific resources on All-About-Car-Accidents.com, starting with Utah’s “no-fault” car insurance system works. We’ll also look at a few state laws that could affect a car accident lawsuit in Utah -- if your claim is eligible to step outside of no-fault -- and when it might make sense to get help from an experienced lawyer.
Utah No-Fault Car Insurance Rules
After any car accident in Utah, the first thing to understand is that the state follows a “no-fault” car insurance system. That means, regardless of who is actually to blame for the accident, anyone who has been injured turns first (and often exclusively) to his or her own car insurance coverage to get compensation for injuries and lost income.
In Utah, if you’ve been injured in a car accident you can only step outside of the no-fault rules and file a liability claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver if your case meets one of two thresholds in place in the state:
- you have incurred $3,000 in medical expenses stemming from the accident, and/or
- you have suffered certain qualifying “serious injuries” as a result of the accident
Why does exemption from no-fault matter? For one thing, taking a claim outside of no-fault lets an injured person demand compensation for pain and suffering and other kinds of non-economic damages (these aren’t available to a claimant under no-fault). For more information on Utah’s no-fault rules, plus a breakdown of the car insurance coverage minimums in the state, check out our companion article Utah No-Fault Car Insurance Laws.
Utah Car Accident Laws
If your injury claim is serious enough to let you step outside of Utah’s no-fault system and file a lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident, there are a few state laws that could come into play, starting with the deadline for filing a personal injury case in court. This kind of law is called a “statute of limitations,” and every state has one; different deadlines apply to different kinds of cases.
The relevant time limits for filing a lawsuit over a car accident in Utah are:
- four years after the accident to file a personal injury claim (Utah Code Sec. 78-12-25), and
- three years after the accident to file a property damage claim. (Utah Code Sec. 78-12-26)
If you miss the two-year lawsuit filing window, the court will probably throw your case out, so it’s crucial to pay attention to the Utah statute of limitations as it applies to your claim. Even if you’re only making a third party insurance claim against the other driver and you think it’s bound to settle outside of court, you always want to keep open the option of turning to the court system for a remedy if the settlement process isn’t promising a satisfactory solution.
Learn more about Car Accident Laws in Utah.
Contact a Utah Car Accident Lawyer
You might not need the assistance of a lawyer in every car accident claim scenario. If you were involved in a minor car accident and you are simply making a claim through your own policy under Utah’s no-fault car insurance rules, you can probably handle it yourself, as long as you’re comfortable doing so.
But if you’ve suffered significant injuries and you think your claim meets the Utah threshold for taking a car accident case outside of no-fault, you might find that there is a lot more at stake. An experienced lawyer can be your best bet when you’re trying to prove that your case qualifies for exemption from no-fault, and once it does qualify, your lawyer will protect your rights at every stage of any liability claim or car accident lawsuit you decide to pursue.