Utah Car Accident Laws

If you have recently been injured in a car accident in Utah, you may be wondering about your legal options to recover financial compensation. The one thing you must know is that Utah is a “no-fault car insurance” state. 

What Does Being a No-Fault Car Insurance State Mean? 

In a no-fault state, you must file a claim under your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to obtain compensation for medical care and other out-of-pocket losses incurred by another covered under the policy – no matter who is at fault for the crash. However, you cannot recover compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. 

Can I Still Sue the At-Fault Driver? 

In order to forgo the no-fault system and file a third-party insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver (and, thus, obtain non-economic damages), you must meet a certain threshold. 

The following is the threshold for suing an at-fault driver in Utah: 

  • The injured driver or passenger incurred a minimum of $3,000 in medical expenses due to the collision 

  • The driver or passenger suffered a serious injury, such as a permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, permanent impairment, or dismemberment 

What If the At-Fault Driver Blames Me for Causing the Crash? 

If the at-fault driver believes you are either partly or entirely liable for causing a car accident, Utah follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule, which means your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of negligence.  

For example, if the jury awards you $100,000 for your losses, but the jury also believes you were 20 percent to blame for causing the accident, you can only take home $80,000 (or 80 percent of the total award). Keep in mind, if your share of fault is at least 50 percent, then you cannot recover anything. 

When Must I File a Lawsuit? 

According to the statute of limitations in Utah, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. If your accident involves wrongful death, then the statute of limitations is two years. 

If you have been injured in a car accident in Salt Lake City, contact Nelson, Taylor & Associates PLLC today at (801) 901-7046 for a free consultation. Thousands of cases handled throughout Utah. Speak with our attorneys today!