Pain and Suffering Damages | Utah Car Accidents Attorney | Injury Lawyer
Experienced Utah Car Accident Lawyer
Anytime you are injured in Utah from the negligent acts of another, you are entitled to recover your damages from the negligent individual who caused your injuries. Although this general principle holds true for Utah car accidents, there are some difference on how and what you can recover in if you are injured in a Utah car accident.
Specifically, there is a threshold requirement that must be met before you can recover damages for pain and suffering in a Utah car accident case.
Utah has adopted what is known as a “no-fault” automobile insurance statute. Utah’s no-fault automobile insurance statute has clearly defined and enumerated circumstances in which a personal injury plaintiff can recover general (non-economic) damages. General damages include those damages that are not considered economic damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. (Please see our page on the difference between economic and non-economic damages for more information.)
The Threshold Medical Expenses Requirement for Utah Car Accidents
For example, in a Utah car accident case a personal injury plaintiff cannot recover general damages for pain and suffering or emotional distress unless the injured person has more than $3,000 worth of medical expenses. So, if when all is said and done you have only $2,959 of medical expenses that resulted from your Utah car accident injury you are not able to recover damages for pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Other Exceptions Allowing the Recovery of General Damages in Utah Car Accident Cases
There are a few other exceptions that will allow the car accident victim to recover damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress even if the injured person does not have more than $3,000 in medical expenses. Those include a wrongful death claim, if the injured person has suffered dismemberment (lost a part of his body such as a finger, other appendage, etc.), permanent disfigurement, and permanent disability or impairment.
Limitations of the No-Fault Statute
Just remember that Utah’s no-fault automobile insurance statute applies only for personal injuries sustained in car accidents. It does not apply to any other Utah personal injury case. Further, it applies only to general damages (pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.). Thus, you can still recover your other economic damages (lost wages, out of pocket expenses, medical bills, etc.).
Another important limitation is that the no-fault statute applies only to those who are required to have automobile insurance and actually have it. That means that if you were hit by an uninsured motorist the no-fault statute’s limitations do not apply.
Call Us to Find out if You Can Recover General Damages
The personal injury attorneys at Salcido Law Firm are veterans in the car accident and personal injury industry. We can help you understand what type of damages you can recover and what you can likely expect in your individualized Utah car accident case.
Call the Salcido Brothers today at 888.337.3235 or 801.413.1753. You can also email, or Skype us, or just fill out the form on the right and we’ll get back to you within an hour. It’s time that you Get Protected! today.