How Much Should I Expect From A Car Accident Settlement in Utah?

A miniature car on top of a calculator next to some scattered bank notes.

The average value of a car accident insurance claim is often tricky to pin down. It varies by state, by the time of year, by the insurance provider, and even by the ability of the person to defend that claim.

Nonetheless, knowing – or at least estimating – the average value of a car settlement before it is made is helpful for a number of reasons. Claimants can plan future expenses around a good estimate, for instance.

With a little statistical work, we can find trends in nationwide insurance claims to help us to this end.

What Is the Average Car Accident Settlement in Utah?

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) 2019/2020 report published in 2023, Utahn insurers rake in more than $1 billion in premiums each year. More than three-quarters of that is handed out annually to pay for liability claims.

If we take the total payout from a year on the report – say, 2019 – and divide them by the total number of claims made in that year, we find that the average car accident settlement in Utah is around $12,971.

But this number doesn’t say much, as it represents the average settlement across all types of liability claims. That includes bodily injury, property damage, combined single limits, personal injury protection, medical payments, and uninsured/underinsured motorist claims.

Different claims have different ranges of values. So when you’re estimating the value of your insurance claim, it’s best to compare it to the average settlement of that type of compensation.

For example, if we run the same formula to find the average Utahn bodily injury liability claim in 2019, we get a value of $20,336. Meanwhile, the average property damage liability claim settles for $4,303.

To get a clearer picture, then, we have to use the same formula on the data for each compensation type. This returns the following values:

Settlement Type Average Value
Bodily Injury Liability (BI) $20,335.73
Property Damage Liability (PD) $4,303.32
Combined Single Limits Liability – BI component (CSL) $20,036.47
Combined Single Limits Liability – PD component (CSL) $4,752.98
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) $2,521.86
Medical Payments (MedPay) $5,003.89
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims – Bodily Injury (UMBI/UIMBI) $44,311.35
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims – Property Damage (UMPD/UIMPD) $2,502.25
Total Liability Insurance $12,970.98

From this table, we can see that UMBI/UIMBI claims have the highest average values when they settle, while UMPD/UIMPD claims have the lowest average values.

In BI, PD, and CSL, we find a trend where injuries settle for almost five times the amount that property damage does. This is expected for BI and PD liability since the latter typically has lower split limits, but is surprising for CSL, which has a fixed limit across all expenses.

We also find Utah’s no-fault PIP insurance has a low average settlement, possibly because of its $3,000 threshold. Once a claimant accrues more than this amount, they no longer need to seek compensation solely from PIP and may turn to other avenues instead.

What Factors Affect the Value of My Car Accident Claim?

Car accident settlements can vary wildly based on an enormous range of factors, all affecting the value of your claim to different degrees.

Some factors are difficult to quantify or account for due to the dynamic nature of car accident cases. Some factors might even be unique to specific accidents and not be present in others.

Nonetheless, there are several categories of factors that can be observed in most car accidents, some within the claimant’s control and some not. Identifying these factors can help you make an accurate estimate of your claim’s worth long before meeting the insurance adjuster.

Severity of Injuries & Damages

Especially in no-fault states like Utah, the severity of any injuries you sustain in an accident plays the biggest role in driving up the value of your claim. This is because, in a no-fault state, you cannot pursue higher-limit liability claims if you are still covered by PIP.

Utah law allows injured parties to make BI liability claims against an at-fault party only if at least one of two thresholds are met:

  • Medical Expenses: The victim’s medical expenses must surpass at least $3,000, which is the minimum amount of PIP coverage required by the state.
  • Injury Threshold: The victim must have sustained a severe injury categorized as dismemberment, permanent disability, disfigurement, or impairment.

Going back to the table in the previous section, we find that, on average, people do not expend the entirety of their PIP when making a car accident claim. However, when an accident is severe enough for injured parties to step out of the PIP system, claims settle for around $17,335 more.

This amount is $4,665 less than the minimum amount of required BI liability coverage per person in the state ($25,000).

On the other hand, property damage lost in an accident can be compensated by a PD liability claim regardless of whether or not PIP has been expended. In Utah, PD liability protects a minimum of $15,000 worth of total property damage per accident.

There is little you can do about the severity of actual damage you sustain in an accident to sway the value of your claim. But accounting for all injuries and damages does allow you to get as close to policy limits as possible.

Available Evidence

While you can’t plan what kind of injuries and damages you get in a car accident, you can personally affect the value of your claim by documenting available evidence. The more evidence you have, the closer to the true value of your damages you can push your compensation.

  • Receipts: These serve as proof that you spent money on various products and services, such as medication, repairs, rehabilitation equipment,
  • Medical Bills: These serve a similar function as receipts, except that you don’t need to have spent the money to pay for bills before filing your claim in order for them to be valid proof of medical expenses.
  • Photographs & Video Evidence: Images and video serve as supplemental proof and, if they were taken the same day as the accident itself, are difficult to dispute.
  • Medical Documents and Reports: Medical reports provide additional context to any other evidence you might present, specifically the severity of the injury and the necessity for treatment.
  • Police Reports: The police department ideally furnishes all involved parties with a copy of the police report before a claim is made, detailing the event and serving as an important document in proving fault.

Stress the word documenting. All the evidence in the world is useless if it is not documented.

For instance, if you provide an X-ray image of a broken leg on its own, who’s to say the injury was not already there before the accident? Who’s to say you didn’t break your leg after the accident due to some unrelated event?

You’ll need a medical report with dates and times as well as a police report noting that injury. If you can get a picture of the broken leg on the same day as the accident itself, you should.

Liability and Fault

Liability and fault matter the most for BI, PD, and CSL claims. For the purpose of these three insurance types, Utah follows a comparative fault system.

Pursuing compensation through these policies requires that the injured party is less than 50% at fault for any bodily injury and damage to their property. Moreover, any degree of fault they have is deducted from the total amount.

So, for example, if you are 25% liable for an accident and the 75% at-fault driver owes you $10,000 in compensation, you will only be able to recover $7,500 in total.

Limits of Insurance Policy

In most cases, the limits of your and any at-fault party’s insurance policies place soft caps on how much you stand to gain. You might have over $30,000 in medical bills and lost wages, but if the liable driver only has $25,000 in their policy, that is all you can get (plus PIP).

That said, these are considered “soft” caps because they do not apply in the event of a dispute or lawsuit where the insurance provider is not involved.

If a liable party’s insurance policy cannot cover all your expenses, it is possible to pursue a lawsuit and attempt to have them cover the remainder of your damages out-of-pocket. Whether or not a lawsuit will cost you more than you make from it is something to discuss with a lawyer.

Speaking of which…

Legal Representation

Having a skilled legal representative on your side can play an important role in maximizing your car accident settlement. Surveys suggest that 51% of claimants who represent themselves get any kind of payout compared to 91% of claimants who work with a legal team.

The same survey finds that claimants working with lawyers, on average, get three times the amount they would have if they pursued compensation on their own. This amount takes into consideration average deductions in the form of attorney contingency fees.

The reason for these drastic differences lies in the fact that lawyers are trained professionals who specialize in their chosen niches. In the case of accident and injury lawyers, this means they know the rights, timelines, procedures, and values associated with compensation.

Push For Highest Possible Compensation With Valley Law

If you’re unsure of how much your car accident claim is actually worth, contact Valley Law Accident and Injury Lawyers today. Our professional attorneys have multiple decades of combined experience dedicated to getting you the fair claim you deserve.

We offer free, no-obligation case evaluations where we can take a look at your claim and recommend the best course of action to maximize your payout and help you right what your car accident turned wrong.

Call us today at 801-810-9999 or fill out our online contact form found here. We won’t charge you a dime until after we’ve won your case for you.

Get in touch

Work with the team that cares

5255 S 4015 W Suite 207C,
SLC, UT, 84129, United States.

Call 24/7 801-810-9999

Directions Sign
Valley Law Accident & Injury Lawyers Logo

Book a Consultation

Find out why so many clients appreciate the amount of work we put into their case.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Brigham Richards
Receive top-tier legal guidance from a leading expert in the valley
Call to action

2021 and 2022 Gold Winner for Top Law Firm by Salt City Best


Call 24/7 801-810-9999