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PERSONAL INJURY - Gaps in Treatment, PIP, UIM & UM Coverages

Posted by T. Jake HinkinsJun 24, 20190 Comments

If You're Injured in a Car Accident, Don't Do This!
If you've been involved in a car accident, one of the things you need to do is get medical treatment. The goal in an auto accident case is to get you better, and to get back to a place where you were as if the accident hadn't happened.

Now, in reality is that going to happen?  Likely not. You're never going to be perfectly back to the position you were in prior to the accident.  But, the goal when it comes to the law is to get you back to the place where you were, or as close to that place as possible.

Often, one of the things people do that hurts their case and also hurts their wellbeing and their overall health is taking too much time before going to a doctor.  That's a real problem in the case, and that's a real problem for their health.  Something you need to do is get competent medical advice, make sure you're following that advice, and get all of the treatment that you actually need in order to get better and healthy so you're recovery doesn't take as long.  Overall, that will also help your case.

What Is PIP?  What Is the Utah State Minimum Coverage?
When folks are involved in an auto accident, often there is some confusion as to how their medical bills are going to be paid.  There are a couple of different provisions in insurance coverage that takes care of some of the medical payments, although usually not all of them.

The first one is personal injury protection, often called PIP, which is required coverage in the state of Utah.  It's a no-fault provision that, regardless of who caused the accident, will kick in and cover the medical bills up to a certain amount, usually a low threshold like $3,000 or $5,000 or up to $10,000 depending on what you select and what your insurance coverage allows.

The other coverage you would want to look at is whether your insurance has a medical pay provision, or if the other person's insurance has it.  A medical pay provision can pay for additional medical bills prior to a settlement or anything done on the bodily injury side of things before the entire case is resolved.

What Is UIM?  What Is UM?
If you've been injured in an auto accident, one concern is how you'll get full coverage for your injuries. Often times, in Utah, the amount of damage surpasses what the underlying coverage amount is for the person who hit you. If that person's insurance, for example, is the low threshold in Utah, the minimum requirement is $25,000.  Many times, someone's injuries are going to surpass that limit.  If that's the case, you have two options.  You can accept that limit and then you would be barred from continuing to go after the person who hit you.  Or, you could go after that person individually and try to get some amount in excess of what their policy limit allows.

If you accept the limits offer from the other insurance, usually people have what's called underinsured motorist coverage.  That would allow you to pursue your own insurance company's policy and receive coverage above and beyond what the torfeasor's policy would cover.

If somebody hits you who doesn't have insurance, you can receive coverage if you have uninsured motorist provision on your own insurance policy.  This is a place where people can have better coverage than they realize. People ought to be looking to have higher underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage.  The insurance doesn't cost that much money, and it's great to have in the event that you're hit by someone who doesn't have a lot of insurance.