what is personal injury protection?
Millions of drivers in the United States do not have auto insurance. This is illegal, but an estimated 13% of all drivers do it, according to the Insurance Research Council. If you are hit by one of these uninsured drivers, you could be left paying for medical and property damage bills. In addition to any auto or health insurance you may have, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance is another level of protection you can use in the event of an auto accident.
Utah is one of twelve states which require auto insurance companies to provide PIP coverage to their insureds. The Utah law is found here. This means that whenever you buy insurance for your vehicle, you automatically receive PIP coverage. With PIP insurance, in the event of any crash, no matter whose fault it was, your auto insurance will cover your medical expenses, and certain other benefits, up to your policy limits. It also covers any passengers in your vehicle, as well as any pedestrians or bicyclists who are hurt in the accident. Insurance companies are not required to provide PIP coverage in Utah for motorcycles, trailers, semi-trailers, off-highway vehicles or ATVs.
how does personal injury protection work in Utah?
Under Utah law, the minimum PIP insurance provides coverage for:
- $3,000 of medical expenses per person;
- 85% of lost income due to injuries sustained in the accident, up to $250 per week;
- Up to $20 per day as a special allowance for services necessary if you can’t perform certain tasks due to injuries;
- Up to $1,500 in burial costs per deceased person for funeral, burial or cremation services;
- Compensation on account of death of a person, payable to the person’s heirs, in the total of $3,000.
Since personal injury protection is first-party coverage, your insurer pays these expenses no matter who was at fault.
These are the main benefits of PIP in Utah.
If you are involved in a vehicle accident in Utah, you and anyone else injured are entitled to receive the reasonable value of all covered medical-related benefits up to a minimum of $3,000 per person–or more if your policy provides greater coverage. These covered benefits include medical services; surgical services; X-ray services; dental services; rehabilitation services, including prosthetic devices; ambulance services; hospital services; and nursing services. Click here for a medical expenses worksheet.
PIP insurance will reimburse you and any other injured person involved in the accident for lost wages if they demonstrate they are unable to work due to injuries sustained in the crash. Utah law limits the minimum required coverage your insurer must offer to 85% of your gross lost income or $250 per week, whichever is less. This benefit only lasts for up to a maximum of 52 weeks (one year), even if you haven’t recovered from your injuries within that time. However, you still may have the right to additional benefits under your or the other driver’s auto insurance policy, VA services, Medicare, Medicaid or private health insurance.
There are some conditions and limitations on these PIP benefits. For example, in order to receive payments for lost income, you usually will need a doctor’s written confirmation that you were unable to work due to injuries resulting specifically from the crash. And in some circumstances, the first three days of lost income following the accident may not be covered. A personal injury attorney experienced in Utah PIP law can advise you of these and other conditions of coverage. Click here for a lost wages worksheet.
special allowance for household expenses
If the vehicle accident leaves you or any other person involved in the collision unable to perform normal household activities due to injuries, PIP will pay up to $20 per day for someone to provide those services. These tasks can include cooking, cleaning, child care, home maintenance, yard work and other typical household duties. This benefit lasts for a maximum of 365 days (one year). Again, certain conditions and limitations may apply—like no coverage for the first three days after the accident and the requirement of written confirmation of disability from your doctor. So it is important for you to consult an experienced Utah PIP attorney. Click here for a household services worksheet.
how do I file a pip claim?
You will need to follow these steps to file a PIP claim with your insurance company:
- Contact a Medical Provider Immediately After the Accident.
The doctor or other medical provider you choose must be PIP-approved. Utah law defined a PIP- approved medical provider as someone who holds a medical doctor degree, including a doctor of osteopathy, doctor of chiropractic or a dentist. Also included are services rendered at a hospital or other medical facility. If you are not taken to the ER immediately after the accident, you need to make an appointment to see a doctor as soon as possible—do not delay!
- Be Sure to Keep Your Medical Appointment
Once you make an appointment to see your doctor or other medical provider, it is critically important that you keep that appointment. Some insurance companies in some cases will try to deny or reduce an otherwise valid claim by arguing that the insured delayed receiving medical care, so obviously they weren’t badly hurt in the accident. But often injuries from vehicle crashes—even major injuries—are not felt or observed for days, or even weeks, after the accident. So it is critical that you be examined by a competent medical provider right away after the collision.
- Prepare and File a Claim with Your Insurance Company
It is also very important that you or someone you trust on your behalf notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible after the crash. Some insurers try to deny claims on the grounds that their insured did not timely notify the company of a claim. On the back of your auto insurance card should be a telephone number of the claims department of your insurance company. Call that number without delay and tell the receptionist (or leave a voice mail message) the basic details of the accident, such as when and where it occurred; information on the vehicles involved; how many people, if any, sustained injuries (both major and minor); and all the information you have gathered about the other driver(s) and passenger(s). Do not say that the accident was or was not your fault. After this call, you will need to fill out a written claim on a special form your insurer should provide to you. An experienced PIP attorney can help you obtain, fill out and submit this form.
why hire a Utah personal injury attorney to handle your pip case?
In Utah, and in other states, insurance carriers sometimes decline or underpay an insurance claim for medical care. However, you still have to pay expenses associated with being treated by a medical professional. An experienced, competent personal injury attorney can help you recover losses that occurred as a result of an auto accident—including your PIP benefits and all other payments to which you are entitled.
A personal injury attorney is a licensed professional who understands Utah law when it comes to PIP and your other legal rights. A competent personal injury attorney can negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf to ensure you receive the PIP and other benefits to which you are entitled. Whether you are in Salt Lake County, or another part of the state, a qualified personal injury attorney attorney may be an essential part of recovering benefits you are owed, such as for medical expenses, household services and property damage.
Shane Gosdis is the best attorney in salt lake for your auto accident
If you or someone important to you have sustained injuries in a vehicle accident in Salt Lake City or any other Utah location, you need to retain an experienced, competent Utah accident lawyer. You are entitled to compensation. Shane Gosdis will help you recover it, including compensation for your past medical bills; future medical bills; past pain and suffering; future pain and suffering; past lost wages; future lost wages; and property damage. Call or text 385-429-9960 to speak with a Salt Lake accident attorney today.