Do you have questions about personal injury protection in Utah? We’re here for you.
No-Fault States vs Fault-States
In no-fault states, each party files a claim for any injuries sustained in an accident with their own insurance company. This is great in many cases because there aren’t questions about who’s going to pay for what treatment. Instead, regardless of who’s at fault, each party is able to go get medical care with the peace of mind that their insurance company will take care of at least a portion of the cost. In at-fault states, the driver who’s “at fault” is generally responsible for the property damage and injuries they cause during the accident. This means that the injured party will be filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
What Is PIP?
PIP stands for personal injury protection. It’s a type of insurance that pays for any injuries you sustain during an accident, regardless of who’s ultimately found to be at fault. In Utah, PIP pays for the first $3,000 worth of bodily injury sustained during an accident. So if you’re injured during an accident, you can file a claim with your own insurance company and they’ll pay for up to $3,000 worth of medical treatment. However, because of this PIP benefit, you cannot file a claim for “general damages” or “pain and suffering”with the at-fault insurance unless your medical expenses meet or exceed the $3,000.00 statutory threshold. PIP and bodily liability insurance are not the same. Your bodily liability insurance pays for any injuries that you cause that are over the $3,000 limit.
PIP can also provide other benefits.
- Lost wages: if you’ve missed more than 3 days of work, you can get a percentage of your lost wages paid through PIP.
- Household services: If you’re unable to do certain household chores because of your injuries, you can get a nominal daily payment for someone doing them for you. This is true even if you don’t hire a third party to do the chores. Your spouse, roommates, or children can do the chores for you.
Do I Need PIP? – Personal Injury Protection Utah
If you’re in a no-fault state, you’re required to pay for personal injury protection as part of your insurance premiums. If you are in a car accident, and you don’t have personal injury protection, you may still be able to sue for medical expenses that would have been covered by the insurance you’re legally required to carry. There are some at-fault states where PIP coverage is considered to be an “add-on” benefit to your insurance policy. In these states, they don’t require drivers to carry PIP, however, they do allow drivers to add PIP to their existing insurance plan. Though it’s not required in these states, many people find that it adds additional protection to their insurance policy for a minimal increase in their monthly insurance payment. PIP is not required for motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians. However, since people are the most vulnerable to injuries in the aforementioned situations, PIP is usually worth having. If you have PIP coverage on your car and you’re hit as a bicyclist or pedestrian, you can still use this benefit for medical expenses.
What About When PIP Isn’t Enough?
As you can probably imagine, $3,000 doesn’t go very far in the emergency room. If you’re concerned about this, you can ask your insurance agent about increasing your PIP benefits amount. Once you’ve gone through your initial personal injury protection insurance, you can file a claim through the other driver’s insurance. The bodily injury liability policy is what pays for the rest of the damages the at-fault party has caused. If you’re not at fault for the accident, the other driver’s insurance is responsible for reimbursing your PIP benefits paid to you directly to your insurance carrier. This is called “subrogation.” After you’ve used your PIP coverage, the insurance company may try to settle the claim by offering you a settlement check. This settlement check is supposed to pay for your injury related expenses and the subrogation claim of your own insurance. If you’re not sure if it will, you should contact a Utah personal injury attorney to find out if it will. If it doesn’t cover everything, including the PIP subrogation, don’t accept the check. Usually, when you accept this check, you also have to sign a form releasing the insurance company from any further liability.
What Does a Personal Injury Claim Look Like?
If you aren’t getting anywhere with the insurance company, it may be a good idea to hire a Utah personal injury attorney to help you negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. The Insurance industry has published a study confirming that they pay individuals with personal injury attorneys 3x more than they pay people without attorneys. Most personal injury firms offer free consultations to help the injured party decide whether or not a personal injury claim would help them get the compensation they need. Also, most personal injury firms will take cases on contingency. This means that you don’t pay them anything out of pocket. Instead, a pre-negotiated portion of the settlement you receive will cover your attorney’s fees, and all other legal costs. This is called working on contingency, and it allows everyone to get the compensation they need without having to worry about how they’ll afford an attorney.
When You’ve Been Injured – Personal Injury Protection Utah
At Moxie Law Group, our personal injury lawyers are dedicated to helping victims of injury fight for their rights. If you’ve been injured, and you need compensation, contact Moxie Law Group today for a free consultation.