Located on the western side of the United States, the state of Utah features large open spaces and a relatively small population. This is a good thing for the residents, as the lower population density means that there are fewer cars and less chance of a collision.
However, the state still experiences its share of road accidents, with the total cost amounting to $268 million per year according to the CDC. Anyone can get involved in a motor vehicle crash, so it pays to know just what to do in case it happens. Utah car accident laws can serve as a guide for motorists.
Immediately after an accident, the tendency is to panic about the situation. This is not helpful. You need to calm yourself and be mindful of your actions.
The first thing that you should do is to check if you have sustained any injuries. Take care of yourself first so that you can help others. See if other people have been injured and help them as much as you can, even if it is just to call paramedics.
Do not leave a crash site in haste as you can be charged in court. Stay until the police arrive and tell them your version of the story. Although not required by law, be sure to contact an auto accident lawyer soon after.
In an ideal situation, both motorists will be insured such that any damage sustained can be taken care of by their respective insurance providers. All that they need to do is exchange vital information such as contact details and insurance numbers.
The involved parties can then initiate the claims process at their own convenience. This is a requirement set by law. This applies to other parties involved in the incident, such as passengers and pedestrians.
To strengthen your case during a potential trial, it would also be wise to collect the contact information of possible witnesses at the scene.
File an Incident Report
You could also be asked to send a report to the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS). Included in this report should be your insurance coverage information. The DPS will check if this is correct. If they find out that you didn’t have any insurance at the time of the accident, you may face license suspension.
The only way to get your driving privileges back is to file a form SR-22, which is proof of your future financial responsibility. This means getting your auto insurance in order. You will also need to pay fines of up to one thousand dollars for reinstatement.
It is possible to get into an accident with an unoccupied vehicle. Perhaps you committed a parking error or something similar. Your car may also damage another person’s property unintentionally. You have a legal responsibility to make amends.
Try to find the owner and inform him or her of what happened. Inform the owner of how you plan to pay for the repairs. If you cannot locate the owner, then attach a note that includes your contact information, as well as the vehicle’s registration number. It would be wise to file an incident report with the local police so that you cannot be charged for a hit-and-run.
Utah car accident laws are clear about all of the requirements following a collision. Be sure to follow them or else you might be charged with violations. You could lose your driving privileges for a year, be forced to pay fines, or even spend time in jail for your inaction.