The tort system is the part of the legal system in the U.S that holds parties financially responsible for harm that they cause to others. The most common type of this harm is car accidents. When someone causes a car accident, they will be responsible for any medical bills and repair costs that they cause the other person. In Utah, it is against the law to drive a car without liability coverage. The state minimum requirement for liability coverage is 25/65/15. The first number refers to the limit for any one person for bodily injury, the second is the limit for all parties involved in the accident, and the third is the property damage limit. The trouble is, some irresponsible people do drive without insurance.
When that happens, even though they are at fault, the victim will likely never fully recover their damages. It would still be easy to get a judgment against them in court, but that is just a slip of paper stating that they owe you money. You then have to collect, which can be a difficult thing to do even if you implement the use of wage garnishment and liens.
If the at-fault driver did not have insurance, or you are damaged over the number of their policy limits, you will have an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. Those are policies that you purchase on your own insurance for just such an occasion. It is also important to remember that in Utah, all auto insurance policies must have at least $3,000 of personal injury protection coverage written into the policy. That means that regardless of fault, each party’s own insurance provider will pay for the first $3,000 of medical bills after an accident. The at-fault parties insurance company later on behind the scenes will reimburse the victim’s insurance company.
Getting the initial estimates and finding a rental car may or may not be up to you. You should contact your own insurance adjuster as soon as you are in a safe quiet place after the accident. They will be able to explain a few options for you. If there will be any type of liability claim involved, that is when you should talk to an attorney right away.
If any kind of liability claim is eventually filed, both party’s insurance companies will be made aware. There is little point to hide this information from your insurance company. After all, you pay your insurance premiums, it is a good thing that they can step in and either take care of you or step in and defend you once something has gone wrong. It does not matter very much which insurer you choose to go through to pay for your initial property damage. The at-fault party will eventually foot the bill either way. Because there are so many different insurance policies involved in any car crash claim, consulting with an injury attorney can pay big dividends. An attorney will keep in regular contact with the several insurance adjusters that will be assigned to your claim from the various departments of various companies so that everything can get handled in an efficient manner.
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This article is offered only for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice or legal opinion. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this article without first seeking the advice of an attorney.