What To Do If You’re In a Car Accident Without Insurance But Not At Fault In Utah

Utah is a no-fault state and if you’re found at fault without insurance, you’ll have to pay for the cost of damages out of your own pocket.
Written by Christelle Agustin
Reviewed by Amy Bobinger
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If you get into a car accident in
Utah
without insurance but you aren’t at fault, you will have to pay for your own expenses—along with receiving a Class B misdemeanor charge, possible jail time, and a suspended driver’s license and registration.
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What to do if you’re in a car accident without insurance in Utah and not at fault

If you’re uninsured and you do get into an
auto accident in Utah
, you will have to pay the fines and expenses from the accident, and you’ll be slapped with a Class B misdemeanor. It can be a lot, but as an uninsured driver, be sure to follow
Utah’s car accident laws
, even if the collision wasn’t your fault: 
Stay at the scene. Consider this: you’re already in an accident without insurance—you don’t want to be charged with a
Utah hit and run
, too! Fleeing the scene of an accident is an illegal act in Utah and can result in varying degrees of penalties:
  • If you flee an accident that involves property damage: Class C misdemeanor, up to $750 in fines, and 90 days in jail
  • If you flee an accident that has caused serious bodily injury to the other party: Class A misdemeanor, up to $2,500 in fines, and 1 year in jail 
Exchange information with the driver(s). Under Utah Traffic Code,
Section 41-6a-401.7.
, you are required to exchange your name, phone number, address, and
vehicle registration
number with the driver you struck. By law, you must also present your Utah driver’s license if you are requested to do so by the other party or an officer. 
Document the accident. Photo evidence is invaluable, so don’t forget to photograph damage to your vehicle and any injuries you and your passengers may have sustained. 
Expect to pay your medical bills. Since Utah is a
no-fault state
, each driver is expected to carry
personal injury protection (PIP)
to cover their own medical expenses. Without an insurance provider to reimburse your damages, you will have to pay for those expenses out of your own pocket. You cannot file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
MORE: Hit and run insurance claims: Everything you need to know

Who decides fault in a car accident in Utah?

Ultimately, each driver’s insurance company decides who is most at fault for the accident. As a modified
comparative negligence
state, Utah considers the driver who has contributed 50-51% fault the most at fault for the accident. This means the not-at-fault driver can collect 49-50% of the damages from the at-fault driver.
To paint another example, if you are 30% at fault, you have the right to collect 70% of the damages from the other driver. 

Do you need to report a car accident in Utah? 

It depends on the accident. 
As a rule of thumb, if the car accident resulted in no injuries and damages that equate to less than $1,500, it isn’t necessary to report the accident to the police. 
However, if the accident resulted in serious injuries—including death—yes, you must report the accident. Failure to do so is considered a class C misdemeanor in Utah, which can entail up to 90 days in jail and up to $750 in fines.
MORE: How to file a car accident claim report

What if you’re hit by an uninsured driver in Utah?

Let’s switch the scenario—what if you’re hit by an uninsured driver, but this time you have insurance? In this case, it is even more imperative that you exchange information with the at-fault driver. Getting in contact with them ensures you are properly compensated for the accident. It can certainly be time-consuming, though.
This is where adding
uninsured motorist coverage
to your policy can ease your burden. This coverage will help pay off your medical bills if you are hit by an uninsured driver or a driver who does not have the proper amount of bodily injury liability. 
In addition, you can also opt for
medical payments coverage (MedPay)
to supplement your state-mandated personal injury protection. Not only will your injuries be covered, but your ambulance fees, chiropractic care, and nursing services as well. 
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), 6.5% of Utah drivers are uninsured. That may be a small fraction of Utah drivers, but the cushion of uninsured motorist coverage will certainly be a blessing when the unpredictable happens.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Utah

Purchasing the required amount of insurance may be costly, but the price you pay for being caught
driving without car insurance
is even steeper. Utah driving laws are stringent and, when broken, come with punishments that affect your permanent record and access to the road. Here are the penalties for driving without car insurance in Utah: 
  • You will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor 
  • You will be fined a minimum of $400 for your first offense and $1000 for subsequent offenses
  • Your vehicle registration will be suspended
  • You may receive jail time for a maximum of six months 
Your expenses don’t end when your suspension period is up either. You will have to provide
proof of insurance
and then pay reinstatement fees to have your driver’s license and registration returned to you.
MORE: The penalties for using fake proof of insurance

Minimum required car insurance in Utah

As a no-fault state, Utah requires drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) on top of minimum liability insurance. The insurance minimums are also known as 25/65/15 (3). Here’s a breakdown of the coverage you must have to drive in Utah:
While many states only require minimum liability coverage, Utah takes it one step further by adding PIP. This coverage pays for your medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation services. It may mean shouldering a bigger insurance bill every month, but it also provides you with a higher level of protection in the event of an accident.

Driving without insurance can increase premiums

Remember: don’t risk driving without insurance—you’ll pay a bigger price for it if you’re caught! Driving without a license can land you fines, and your driving record will be affected. That information then trickles down to your future insurance provider, increasing your rate for your risky behavior.
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