Making an Underinsured Motorist Auto Accident Claim in Utah

Tuesday, 11th November 2008

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Here’s where handling your own Utah auto accident case without the help of a lawyer can be tricky.

Let’s say your injuries are serious and the other guy’s insurance offers you policy limits of say $25,000 (the minimum required liability coverage in Utah.)

There are two places where you can go wrong.  (Of course, now that I have let the cat out of the bag you won’t go wrong and that undermines my entire thesis which is:  always hire an experienced injury attorney for your auto accident case.)

Anyway, back to my story.

You’ve gotten a “limits offer”.   You saved attorney fees by not hiring a lawyer so you accept the $25,000 less the PIP payments made on your behalf and move on with your life.

The only problem is:  you’ve left money on the table.

But where?

First, your underinsured motorist coverage.  You are required to have at least $10,000 of this insurance.

Here’s the catch:  most underinsured motorist policies say you have to get consent before settling your Utah auto accident case with the other guy or you give up your right to this money. Since you did not get consent you may have given up your right to this money.

So the right way to do it is as follows:  once you get the limits offer you contact your own auto insurance and ask your consent to settle.  It will be granted.  And, if it is not granted your own company has to cut you a check for the 25K.

Second, from the 25K your insurance company deducted reimbursement for their PIP payments since the Utah legislature says they are so entitled.

How could this have been otherwise?

If your injuries are serious and you ask your own insurance to waive its right to PIP reimbursement they will do so.  In 20 years I have never seen them refuse.

To prepare an underinsured motorist claim letter or an uninsured motorist claim letter follow the same format presented in How to Prepare a Settlement Brochure.

So there you go.  Some of the tricks and traps involved in representing yourself in your Utah auto accident case.

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