Handling Uninsured Motorists On and Off the Road in Utah

It is impossible for Utah drivers to identify who is an uninsured motorist while on the road, so handling vehicles safely and driving defensively is a must. However, when car accidents involving uninsured drivers do occur, it is difficult to know how to best handle the situation. While there are penalties for driving without insurance in Utah, insured drivers have little recourse. However, with the help of attorneys experienced in personal injury claims against uninsured motorists, insured auto accident victims in Utah may still receive compensation.

State of the Uninsured

Even though almost every state in the U.S., including Utah, requires that drivers carry automobile insurance, many motorists drive without it. When car accidents involve persons who are uninsured, this puts a financial burden on insured motorists and their carriers, especially when plans do not include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. It also creates problems for the uninsured, who may face stiff penalties and legal action for injuries or damages. The reasons vary for why drivers choose not to purchase coverage.

Typically, uninsured motorists exist because they do not want to pay for, or are not able to afford, automobile insurance. According to recent data released by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), the poor U.S. economy is to blame for why one in seven American motorists drives without coverage. This amounts to almost 14 percent of all U.S. motorists and costs insured drivers over $10 billion in claim payouts and legal and other fees each year. The IRC also indicates that 8 percent of drivers in Utah do not carry any automobile insurance.

Utah's Laws

Utah statutes require drivers to purchase and maintain automobile insurance on any vehicles they operate on state highways. Motorists must show evidence of this coverage if stopped by law enforcement. Examples of evidence are items like the insurance policy or card, a notice of renewal or a self-funded coverage certificate. Verification that a vehicle is insured from the Uninsured Motorist Identification Database is also acceptable evidence. If Utah drivers cannot provide any proof of insurance, they may face various legal penalties.

How Should You Handle It?

Failing to purchase automobile insurance, or choosing not to carry it, is not good for anyone, especially insured car accident victim in Utah. In some cases, injured victims may carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, so it may be possible to recover from their own insurance companies. However, knowing how to handle these claims and work with insurance carriers to receive a settlement can be frustrating and difficult. Victims may also be able to sue the uninsured motorists for compensation, but this takes time and legal help.

If you or your loved one was recently injured in a car crash that involved an uninsured motorist, the best way to handle this scenario is to contact a Utah personal injury attorney today. Lawyers with experience in uninsured driver cases can help you determine the best route to ensure you are not left with all the financial burden of your injuries and related pain and suffering, medical costs and lost wages.