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What to Do After a Car Accident in Utah: A Step-by-Step Guide

June 17, 2024
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What to Do After a Car Accident in Utah: A Step-by-Step Guide

Car accidents can be overwhelming and stressful experiences, but knowing what steps to take immediately following the incident can make a significant difference in protecting your rights and ensuring your safety. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to do after a car accident in Utah.

  1. Ensure Safety and Check for Injuries

Assess the Situation:

  • Stop Immediately: Utah law requires that you stop your vehicle immediately after an accident. Failing to do so can result in legal consequences.
  • Check for Injuries: Evaluate yourself and passengers for any injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately to get medical assistance.
  • Move to a Safe Location: If the vehicles are drivable and it's safe to do so, move them to the side of the road to avoid obstructing traffic. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.
  1. Call the Police

Report the Accident:

  • Contact Law Enforcement: Call the police to report the accident, especially if there are injuries, fatalities, or significant property damage. A police report can be crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  • Protect Yourself: Because of the good-natured people in Utah, many feel that if the accident wasn’t a big deal and the other driver said it was their fault, they don’t need or want to call the police and have the other driver get in trouble. The other driver’s story will change once they talk to their insurance company. Do yourself a favor, make sure your call the police.
  • Provide Accurate Information: When the police arrive, provide them with accurate information about what happened. Avoid speculating or admitting fault.
  1. Gather Information

Collect Essential Details:

  • Exchange Information: Obtain the following details from all involved parties:
    • Full names
    • Contact information (phone numbers and addresses)
    • Driver’s license numbers
    • License plate numbers
    • Insurance information (carrier name and policy number)
  • Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage of your car and the other car, road conditions, traffic signs, and any visible injuries. These photos can serve as crucial evidence.
  • Witnesses: If there are any witnesses, gather their names and contact information. Their accounts can be valuable in case of disputes.
  1. Seek Medical Attention

Prioritize Health:

  • Visit a Doctor: Even if you feel fine, it’s important to get a medical check-up after an accident. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent. Many are hesitant to take an ambulance or go to the hospital if they need to because they don’t know how the bills will be covered. Under your own auto insurance, you have at least $3,000 to pay for medical bills that will be reimbursed by the at-fault driver. So, don’t let that be a reason you don’t get the care you need.
  • Follow Medical Advice: Adhere to your doctor’s recommendations and keep records of all medical treatments, as these documents can support your insurance claim or personal injury case.
  • Avoid Gaps: DO NOT cause gaps in treatment. If your doctor says he wants to see you. Go to every appointment. Gaps in treatment tell the insurance company your injuries are not serious and decrease what they will pay for your case.
  1. Notify Your Insurance Company

Initiate the Claim Process:

  • Contact Your Insurer: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with all relevant information and documentation.
  • Cooperate Fully: Cooperate with your insurance adjuster’s investigation. Provide accurate details but avoid admitting fault or giving a recorded statement.
  1. Understand Utah’s No-Fault Insurance Laws

Know Your Rights:

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Utah follows a no-fault insurance system, meaning your own insurance company covers your medical expenses and lost wages up to a certain limit, regardless of who caused the accident.
  • Threshold for Lawsuits: With a few exceptions, you can only sue the at-fault driver if your medical expenses exceed $3,000, or if you suffer from permanent disability, disfigurement, or dismemberment.
  1. Consult with an Attorney

Get Legal Advice:

  • Personal Injury Lawyer: If you sustained injuries or there are disputes about the accident, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney. We offer a free no obligation consultation. So, you have nothing to lose in consulting with a lawyer. We can help protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation.
  • Document Everything: Keep detailed records of all communications and expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, repair costs, and lost wages.
  1. Repair Your Vehicle

Handle Property Damage:

  • Get Estimates: Obtain repair estimates from reputable auto shops. Your insurance company may also provide recommendations.
  • Choose a Repair Shop: Once you have estimates, choose a repair shop to fix your vehicle. You have the right to go to any repair shop you want, regardless of whether it is your insurance company’s repair shop.
  • Be Annoying: Many people find that property damage adjusters are very hard to work with. They ignore you and don’t return your phone calls. Remember that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Keep on them until they do their job.

By following these steps, you can navigate the aftermath of a car accident in Utah more effectively, ensuring your safety, protecting your rights, and facilitating a smoother recovery process. Stay calm, be proactive, and seek the necessary support to get through this challenging time. If you are this situation and need help, schedule your free consultation today with one of our Utah Personal Injury lawyers by calling 801-849-3664. We would love to be able to help you.

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