Utah Personal Injury Protection Benefits
A brief summary by Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton
(Not a thorough review of Utah PIP law; please contact your attorney with questions regarding your case.)
Whether you were a driver, passenger, bicyclist, or pedestrian and were injured in a motor vehicle collision, you are entitled to personal injury protection benefits, or PIP. In Provo, UT, the personal injury attorneys of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton have the experience and skills necessary to help you collect the maximum amount of benefits. Utah is a “no-fault” state, meaning that payments for medical expenses, wage loss, and household services (as explained below) will be made under the applicable auto insurance policy regardless of who was at fault for the collision.
To begin receiving PIP benefits, you must complete the PIP application and submit it to the appropriate insurance company. No payments can be made until the insurance claim is opened and your PIP application is on file. Highlights of the benefits to which you are entitled are as follows:
The minimum statutory benefit level for medical expenses is $3,000.00, although the policy under which you are covered may provide for a higher amount. This benefit includes coverage of all reasonable and necessary medical expenses arising from your injury. To obtain this benefit, your bills must be sent to the PIP adjuster. Be sure to provide your doctors with (1) your claim number and (2) the name and address of the PIP adjuster, so they may bill the adjuster directly. If the adjuster feels that your treatment is no longer reasonable or necessary, he or she may request you attend an “independent” medical exam by a physician of his choice. You should immediately contact our office if the adjuster makes such a request.
You are also entitled to payment for lost wages if a physician declares you are disabled from work because of the auto collision. The statutory benefit level is calculated at 85% of your gross income, up to a maximum of $250.00 per week. This benefit is available during the period you cannot work, up to a maximum of 52 weeks from the date of the first day of disability from work. A special rule applies to your wage loss claim: lost wages for the first three days of your disability will only be paid if your disability continues for more than two consecutive weeks at some point following the collision. To obtain any wage loss benefits, a statement from your employer is also necessary which verifies your employment, rate of pay, average number of hours worked (per day or per week), and number of hours (or days) you have missed. Both documents must be sent to the insurance adjuster to receive this benefit.
You are entitled to payment for essential/household services if a physician declares you are disabled from performing your customary household duties because of the auto collision. The statutory benefit level is up to an average of $20.00 per day during the period of your disability, for a maximum of household 365 days from the date of the first day of disability. A special rule applies to your household services claim: household services for the first three days of your disability will only be paid if your disability continues for more than two consecutive weeks at some point after the collision. To obtain this benefit, a statement from your doctor is necessary which indicates the period of time you cannot perform household services. A signed statement from the person who performed the services in your place is also necessary (or receipts, if commercial services are used) which includes his or her social security number, dates worked, and description of the services performed. Both documents must be sent to the insurance adjuster in order to receive this benefit. Please keep in mind the person who performs the services receives payment, and not you.
By law, the insurance adjuster has 30 days from the date he or she receives all appropriate documents to make payment. Payment may also be made on a monthly basis, as expenses are incurred.
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