Utah Car Accident Law, Lawyers and Attorneys
Car accidents happen every single day.ï¿½ In a country with 4 million miles of highway within its borders, no state is immune from car accidents. In 2007, the state of Utah had over 61,000 traffic accidents. Fortunately there are many options available to protect yourself: seatbelts, airbags, auto insurance, and, as a last resort, the legal system. If youï¿½ve been in a car accident and are looking for help, youï¿½ve come to the right place.ï¿½ Of course, remember that if the accident just occurred or someone is injured, you should call 911 immediately. Donï¿½t leave the scene of the accident until youï¿½ve made sure that everyone is all right and all your required accident reporting tasks are complete. The information available here on FreeAdvice.com has to do with understanding your legal rights, responsibilities and opportunities after the accident.ï¿½ Youï¿½ll also find rules, laws and other information specific to the state of Utah, as well as links to Utah personal injury attorneys who can evaluate your claim and offer advice on the best course of action for you.
Utah Car Accident Articles:
How an Auto Accident Insurance Claim Works
What is Your Car Accident Injury Claim Worth
Who is at Fault?
Car Insurance and Auto Accidents: Are You Covered?
What You Can Expect to Recover for Property Damage in Auto Accident Cases
Auto Accidents: Options if Youï¿½re at an Impasse with the Insurance Adjuster
Car Accidents Involving Government-Owned Vehicles and Government Workers
Do I Need to Contact an Attorney After a Car Accident
Utah Car Accident Lawyers:
Find an experienced Utah Car Accident Attorney at AttorneyPages.com
Special Rules for Utah Car Accidents:
Utah Fault: Proportional Comparative Fault @ 50%
Utah Car Insurance Requirements/Limits: Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability. The minimum level required by law is:
$25,000 per person for bodily injury
$65,000 per accident for bodily injury
$15,000 per accident for property
Proof of this liability insurance must be kept available in the vehicle at all times, including when registering a vehicle, renewing license plates, or anytime a police officer asks you to show proof of insurance.
Utah also has what is known as a no-fault insurance law. No-fault insurance must be maintained if the vehicle owner is a resident, or a non-resident who operates the vehicle in Utah for at least 90 days of the preceding 365, and all vehicles owned by this owner must maintain that coverage.
Utah Small Claims Limits: $10,000
Utah Personal Injury Statute of Limitations: 2 years
Utah Auto Accidents Involving Government Vehicles: In most cases, government entities receive protection from private lawsuits under a legal doctrine known as ï¿½government immunityï¿½ or ï¿½sovereign immunity.ï¿½ This doctrine doesnï¿½t necessarily afford the government complete protection from lawsuits, though. It may just impose extra notice requirements on you before you sue the government. For more information on this type of government protection, follow this link to the FreeAdvice.com article on vehicle accident claims against government entities. Keep in mind that, depending on which government entity, there are frequently special requirements for how long you have to notify them of your claim. See below for some Utah specific details:ï¿½
Requirements for Filing Against Government Entities:
1) For filing against the Federal Government: Use Standard Form 95 and follow the instructions on the back page. The form must be completed and submitted to the appropriate agency within two years after the claim accrues.
2) For filing against the State of Utah: Utah publicly accessible laws are largely silent on issues of law relating to their state-owned vehicles and private accidents. Should you have an accident involving a state-owned vehicle, the most prudent thing to do would be to follow all the general accident laws as described here. Remember that there are time limits for filing forms. Contact whichever agency was involved for more information as soon as possible. Feel free to use the contact information for the various state agencies listed in our Utah Car Accident Resources and Statutes article. Of course, also be sure to contact an attorney specializing in Utah car accident law as soon as possible.
3) For filing against a Utah county or municipality: The requirements vary with the entity, so youï¿½ll have to contact the specific county or agencies involved. See Utah Personal Injury Venue below for more information on where and how to file a claim.ï¿½ See this directory for a list of all public agencies in Utah.
In dealing with accidents involving government entities and workers, be aware that there are always special notices to be filed against the appropriate government unit responsible, whether in risk management, attorney generalï¿½s offices, or local agencies, and the time periods are limited in all cases: as little as 30-180 days after the accident to file a notice of claim. The rules for each jurisdiction may vary, so be sure to carefully check the forms linked above before you fill them out, and/or call the main office numbers of local agencies directly involved before filing your claim. Accident claims involving the government can be complicated; you donï¿½t want to risk losing your ability to recover damages for your injuries because of a filing error. Consult an experienced attorney right away to preserve your rights. Also seeCar Accidents Involving Government-Owned Vehicles and Government Workers.
Utah Personal Injury Venue (Where to File Your Lawsuit): In the municipal or justice court located where the defendant (the person you are suing) lives or does business. Alternatively, you might consider filing in a court located where the accident occurred. If you are filing a claim against a government agency and are unsure of which agency is responsible, the most prudent course is to file a separate claim against each agency, or contact a Utah auto accident attorney. If you are appealing, you will file in the District Court, and it must be done within 10 days. Remember that appeals are decided on issues of law, not issues of fact.