Bodily Injury coverage is the portion of an auto insurance policy that pays out when you have injured someone in an auto accident that you caused. To put that another way, if you were in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you make a claim against the at-fault driver’s bodily injury coverage to pay for your medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering, and recommended future care.
People often tell me that they want a certain sum of money from the at-fault driver. However, in order to know what you can get, you need to know how much money is actually available. Despite what many think, there isn’t an unlimited pool of money just sitting there for the taking. The amount available to you is however much the at-fault driver has under his or her policy.
For all policies issued or renewed before 12/31/24, the State of Utah requires drivers to have a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury coverage. Starting 01/01/25, the minimum will increase to $30,000. Utah Code Annotated § 31A-22-304.
So, why does this matter? Let me give you an example. Let’s say you incurred $50,000 in medical bills and lost wages, but the at-fault driver only has $25,000 in bodily injury coverage. All you can get from the policy is $25,000. Therefore, it’s important to find out as soon as possible how much is available under the policy so that you can determine how best to manage your situation. The at-fault insurance company is required to disclose the coverages, so be sure to ask. R590-190-12.
There are two ways you can obtain more than the limits available under the policy: (1) you can file a lawsuit against the individual and jury may grant you an award in excess of the policy limits that you can try to collect from the at-fault individual’s personal assets, or (2) you can make an underinsured motorist or UIM claim. How, when, and if you should approach either of these routes should be discussed in depth with your attorney.
One thing you should take away from this video is that you should look at your own coverage. If you don’t have sufficient auto coverage, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to a lawsuit. Review your coverage and determine whether or not you feel you should make a change.
If you have questions about your specific case, call us at 801-849-3664 to schedule your FREE consultation!