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Resources, Tools and Information about Personal Injury and Accident Law

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Insurance Issues

Property Damage Recovery Repairs: The at-fault driver’s insurance company should pay for the repairs required to fix your vehicle. The at-fault driver’s insurance company should also pay for a rental vehicle, one that is comparable to your vehicle, while yours is being repaired.

Total Loss: There may be a point where the at-fault driver’s insurance company determines that your vehicle is totaled. If so, their insurance will pay you an equal amount to the market value of a comparable vehicle. Please note: the at-fault driver’s insurance company is not required to pay off your loan balance if your balance exceeds the market value of your vehicle. But, if the at-fault driver’s insurance company determines that your vehicle is totaled, they are required to pay for a rental car at a price comparable to your vehicle.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists: The at-fault driver may not have insurance or may not have enough to fairly compensate you for your injuries. But you can still obtain a recovery for your injuries from your automobile insurance company.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Benefits

PIP: Utah law requires drivers to purchase automobile insurance in order to protect yourself when you are in an automobile collision. This insurance is called Personal Injury Protection and is often referred to as PIP.

No-Fault: First, you must make a claim against your own automobile insurance for PIP benefits before making a claim against the at-fault driver. Utah is considered a “no-fault” state because you have to make a claim against your own insurance company regardless of who was at fault for causing the collision.

Minimum PIP Benefits: Utah law requires the following minimum PIP benefits in every automobile insurance policy:

  • Payment of up to $3,000.00 of medical bills related to your injuries
  • Payment of up to $250.00 of lost income per week (maximum 52 weeks)
  • Payment of household services of up to $20.00 per day

 

Call Your Insurance Company: PIP benefits are typically paid by your automobile insurance company without much hassle. Call your insurance company to obtain a claim number and an application form to receive PIP benefits.

Use Your PIP Benefits: Provide your medical providers with the name of your automobile insurance company, and if you have it, give your medical provider your PIP claim number.

Recovery Against At-Fault Driver: Why Hire a Lawyer?

Lawyers know what you need to do to process your claim and maximize your settlement.

Focus on Getting Better: A lawyer will communicate with insurance adjusters so you can focus on your medical treatment.

Faster Settlement: The at-fault driver’s insurance company will require documentation in order to evaluate your claim. A lawyer understands the documentation requirements and will be able to obtain and submit the documentation on your behalf faster than a person who is not being represented.

Larger Settlement: The at-fault driver’s insurance company will do everything they can to avoid giving you a fair compensation. A lawyer is familiar with insurance company tactics and has the additional leverage of threatening legal action if a fair settlement is not reached. Consequently, a lawyer can typically negotiate a much larger settlement than an unrepresented person. Important tips to maximize your settlement:

  • Do not speak to the at-fault driver’s insurance company
  • Take photographs of your vehicle and your injuries (cuts, bruises, etc.)
  • Keep a list of witnesses who saw the collision

Workers’ Compensation

What is Workers’ Compensation? Workers’ compensation is a wage replacement and medical care program for an employee whose injury or illness is work-related. Workers’ compensation benefits are paid by the employer’s insurance carrier or by the self-insured employer. These benefits cover all injuries, illnesses, and fatalities that are work-related. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier information should be posted at your site of employment. This information may also be obtained by calling the labor commission at (801) 530-6842 or (800) 530-5090.

Reporting an Accident: Report the accident to your employer immediately, no matter how minor it is. However, you have up to 180 days to report an injury or work-related illness.

What Will Workers’ Compensation Pay For?

  • Wage replacement for time lost from work
  • Hospital bills, medical bills, and prescriptions
  • Permanent partial impairment
  • Mileage for medical care

How Are Wage Replacement Benefits Calculated? Multiply your average gross weekly wage at the time of your accident by 2/3 + $5 for dependent spouse + $5 for each dependent child under 18 years old (up to 4 dependent children). Having a second job will also be factored in when calculating your benefits. The total benefits cannot exceed $589 per month. You will receive temporary total compensation checks until a doctor states you have reached maximum medical improvement or have been released to return to work.

Am I Entitled to Any Other Benefits? You may be considered for a Permanent Partial Impairment rating if you have sustained a permanent impairment due to a job-related injury or illness. It is inherently a partial impairment since you are able to return to work. Impairment ratings are determined by a doctor. You may be considered for Permanent Total Disability Compensation if you have sustained a permanent disability that is totally disabling and prevents you from returning to any type of work.

 

Why Hire a Lawyer? Workers’ Compensation has historically denied many claims for injuries that should be covered under workers’ compensation. Lawyers are experienced in the file and appeal process and know what you need to do to maximize your benefits.

Important Tips to Maximize Your Settlement

  • Keep copies of medical bills, records, and payment stubs
  • Keep track of any time you are unable to work
  • Keep track of mileage traveled for medical care
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