Many times, after a tragic car accident or other accidental injury or death, claimants delay on filing a lawsuit because they are busy focusing on the chaos and turmoil the accident has happened. While immediate medical attention, comforting of family and friends, and getting your life back into some semblance of order must be first priorities, you shouldn’t delay too long on contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer after a Utah accident.
Utah Statutes of Limitations
In Utah, as in all other U.S. states, there is a specific time period in which a claim must be filed for various types of accidental property damage, injury, or death. These rules vary from state to state, so it is important to hire a lawyer fully familiar with the way the system works in Utah.
Here is the statute of limitations breakdown relevant to possible tort actions in Utah:
- For medical malpractice injuries, product liability lawsuits, and wrongful death suits the statute of limitations is 2 years.
- For property damage lawsuits, the statute of limitations is 3 years.
- For personal injury actions, your claim must be filed within 4 years of the date of injury.
In most cases, the clock starts running from the date of the injury, but there are times when it will begin on the date of discovery of the injury or could be delayed (“tolled”) for other reasons. A good injury lawyer will know all of these details and will also know how to go through the legal process of properly filing your lawsuit with speed.
Note that when the liable party for an injury is the Utah state government or a state of Utah employee, you only have 1 year to file your claim or lose that right forever. If the claim is initially declined, you have 1 more year to file an appeal.
Other Factors in Utah Personal Injury Suits
In addition to the statute of limitations, there are other important legal matters that will affect your ability to be fairly compensated for your injury.
Utah is a no-fault auto insurance state. This means there are limitations placed on filing claims for auto insurance. If the cost of the injury is low or the injury not very serious, your own insurance must cover the claim regardless of who was at fault. This would force you to pay a portion of your medical expenses and lost income out of pocket and not collect for pain and suffering (“non-economic”) damages.
But a good Utah injury lawyer can help you get past the no-fault rule in many cases by showing that your injury was serious, debilitating, or permanent and by showing the true costs inflicted on you were sufficiently high.
You should also be aware that Utah is a “modified comparative fault state.” This means your claim will be reduced by the percentage of fault for the accident/injury that is assigned to you (if any). If your fault is deemed at 50% or higher, you cannot collect anything.
Not that non-economic damages in Utah are capped at $450,000 in cases of medical malpractice, but not for car accidents or any other cause of injury.
Free Initial Consultation with Personal Injury Lawyer
When you need legal help, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506