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Utah Car Accident Report Basics

Your busy day got a little busier with the addition of an auto accident during your morning commute. While it was both unexpected and unwanted, it's now an unfortunate part of your life that you're going to have to deal with. What happens next?

As a driver in Utah, you have certain legal obligations after a car crash. Being aware of your responsibilities and knowing what to do can go a long way toward making your experience less unpleasant.

The crash accident report is one of the most important aspects of the post-crash experience. Often a police report, this document is used by insurance companies to help determine who was to blame for the accident. As you may be required in Utah to file your own accident report, it's crucial to understand its requirements.

This article will also touch on relevant Utah motor vehicle accident laws, what you need for insurance companies and auto insurance claims, and what to do about your medical expenses. You'll come away better prepared to handle post-accident confusion.

Read on to learn about Utah auto accidents and auto accident reports.

Utah Car Accident Laws

Some of the required rules for driving on the roads of Utah are the same basic laws you see in every state. You must have a valid driver's license, and your vehicle must be registered and carry liability insurance. All drivers must obey traffic signals and yield for emergency vehicles.

Other laws have a distinct Utah flavor. Knowing these is a necessity.

Mandatory Liability Auto Insurance in Utah

When it comes to auto accidents, Utah is a no-fault state. This means that regardless of who was to blame for the accident, your insurance will cover your property damage costs and medical bills, at least to start. You are required to have the following minimum liability coverage in Utah if your policy was started or renewed through Dec. 31, 2024:

  • $25,000 bodily injury/death liability coverage per person
  • $65,000 bodily injury/death liability coverage per accident
  • $15,000 property damage coverage
  • You can also have a policy with $80,000 per accident for bodily injury/death and property damage

For policies initiated or renewed after Jan. 1, 2025, the new minimums for auto liability coverage will be:

  • $30,000 bodily injury/death liability coverage per person
  • $65,000 bodily injury/death liability coverage per accident
  • $25,000 property damage coverage
  • You can also have a policy with $90,000 per accident for bodily injury/death and property damage

These are the minimums required in the state of Utah, but you can pay higher premiums to have more coverage.

In addition, you must carry a minimum of $3,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) for your medical expenses and those of anyone injured while in your vehicle. PIP also covers expenses like lost wages and tasks the injured person can't do alone.

While Utah's no-fault status limits your ability to recover damages from the driver responsible for the accident, you can file if certain conditions are met. Suppose you've exceeded the $3,000 threshold for your medical expenses and/or suffered permanent disfigurement, impairment, or disability. In that case, you can file a third-party insurance claim against their insurance company or a personal injury suit.

Utah goes above and beyond to ensure that every car on the road has proper insurance. The Utah DMV has partnered with Insure-Rite Inc., a company that collates insurance information and vehicle registrations. They inform the DMV of any vehicles without insurance. The DMV then revokes the registration and alerts the driver.

For a deeper dive into what happens once you've filed an insurance claim, take a look at FindLaw's Utah Car Accident Settlement Process and Timeline article. If you feel like you're over your head and need legal advice, consider speaking with a Utah car accident lawyer.

Negligence and Auto Accidents in Utah

Utah operates under the modified comparative negligence model. This means that the person determined to be the most responsible for the accident cannot recover any damages.

Modified comparative negligence also affects those who are awarded damages. That sum will be reduced by the percentage the driver was considered to blame for the accident. If you're awarded $25,000 in damages but were considered to be 10% at fault, your final amount would be $22,500 (10% of $25,000 is $2,500, and $25,000 - $2,500 = $22,500).

For a better understanding of how damages and recovery work in your state, consult FindLaw's Utah Car Accident Compensation Laws article.

What To Do After an Accident in Utah

The shocking, sudden violence of a car crash can disorient you in a way few other things can. If possible, take a deep breath and try to achieve some degree of calm. Try to recall what you need to do but stick to the basics if they're all you can remember at the moment.

Don't leave the scene of the accident without, at the very least, exchanging information with the other driver(s). No matter how minor the accident may seem, law enforcement must be alerted if any of the following conditions apply:

  • There is an injury
  • There is a fatality
  • There is at least $2,500 in property damage

If you're unsure about how much damage there is, err on the side of caution and call the police.

Check yourself and everyone else involved for injuries. Offer first aid if necessary. Take pictures of the accident scene before moving the vehicles to a safer location, if possible. Exchange information with the other driver(s), including:

  • Name, address, date of birth, and phone number
  • Driver's license numbers
  • License plate numbers
  • Auto insurance policy information and policy numbers

If you can, alert your insurance company from the scene. Doing so will start the process of recovery. If anyone saw the accident, get their contact information and get a witness statement.

If you suffered an injury, seek medical treatment. Keep copies of all medical bills for your insurance company. If your injuries are life-altering, consider consulting a personal injury attorney familiar with seeking damages under Utah car accident laws.

Utah Auto Accident Crash Reports

With most accidents, local law enforcement will come after you've called to take control of the scene and write the accident report. Try to help them as much as possible.

If the police don't respond or choose not to write up an accident report, you must file one yourself with the Utah Department of Public Safety within 10 days of the crash. The DPS may request you supply additional information to a police report as well.

In addition to taking statements from drivers, passengers, and witnesses, the investigating officer will gather objective data for the police report. They will follow a flow chart during the process, taking down information such as:

  • Diagram(s) showing the type of collisions, points of impact, visible damage, and angles of vehicles
  • Driver license numbers, addresses, dates of birth, insurance information and policy numbers, and contact information
  • Sobriety of drivers
  • General information such as weather, time of day, road conditions, traffic signals, location, and type of roadway

When giving your side of the crash, be calm and truthful. Avoid claiming fault.

You'll need copies of the accident report for your insurance claim and for any attempts to recover damages. Whether you're in Salt Lake City, Orem, or anywhere else, you can order a copy via the Utah Department of Public Safety website.

Utah Car Accident Report Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of state laws related to Utah car accident reports, including links to important code sections.

Utah Auto Accident Statutes

Law Enforcement Notification Required

  • Must notify police immediately if accident involves injury, death, or total property damage to an apparent extent of at least $2,500

Report Required

  • Law enforcement must submit report
  • Driver or witness must submit report if requested by DPS
  • Driver must submit report if law enforcement is not submitting

Report Deadline

  • Law enforcement must submit report within 10 days of completing investigation
  • If required by DPS to submit an additional report, driver or witness must do so within 10 days of the request

Who Must Report

  • Law enforcement and any driver or witness required to submit a report by DPS
  • If driver is incapacitated but not the owner of the vehicle, the owner must file the report within 15 days of learning about the accident

Note: State laws are subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts that include federal decisions, ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Utah Car Accident Report Basics: Related Resources

Have Questions About Utah Car Accident Reporting Requirements? Ask an Attorney

Even a minor fender bender can end up being a time-consuming hassle. Some car accidents result in lawsuits or frustrating insurance disputes. Speak to a local car accident attorney to learn about your legal options or to get help with your reporting requirements under Utah car accident report laws.

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