Utah Car Accident Cases
Article provided by Rex Bush
If you are involved in a Utah car accident case that goes to trial and you receive a favorable verdict, congratulations are in order. Contrary to popular knowledge the insurance companies actually win a lot of cases at trial and their defense attorneys are skilled at making Mother Theresa look like Jack the Ripper. (My guess is you are somewhere in the middle.) There could be some hyperbole in that analogy but you get the idea.
Why Insurance Companies Benefit from Your Utah Car Accident
The amount of the verdict in a Utah car accident is reduced by the amount of PIP (Personal Injury Protection) benefits that have been paid by your own insurance on your behalf in connection with your Utah car accident. This includes PIP medical payments, PIP lost wage payments, and PIP household services payments.
Therefore, the insurance company that insures the person who caused the injuries in your Utah car accident, may have the verdict reduced by the amount of PIP benefits paid to you. This amount goes back to your auto insurance. That is referred to as the “PIP offset.”
If your Utah car accident case settles through negotiation, mediation or arbitration the PIP offset still applies but the payment is made directly from one insurance company to another regardless of whether it is explicitly discussed or not.
In some states you can go to your auto carrier and ask them to take less PIP reimbursement. In Utah you can ask, but it does you little good as the reimbursement is mandated by the Utah legislature.
Waiving PIP Reimbursement from a Utah Car Accident
If you settle your Utah car accident case for policy limits then you should ask your own insurance company to “waive the PIP subrogation/reimbursement.” (It is more appropriately reimbursement rather than “subrogation” as the latter is a so-called equitable principle that applies in the absence of a specific law on the subject.)
By asking for and getting a waiver you get the full amount of the other driver’s policy limits without having to deduct for the PIP benefits that are owed back to your own insurance company.
You should also ask for permission to settle your Utah car accident case so as to protect rights under your underinsured motorist coverage as most policies specifically require you to ask for such consent before settling.
Help Resolving a Utah Car Accident Case
If you have been involved in a Utah car accident and believe you might have a claim, contact us.