The statute of limitations refers to the law that sets the maximum time frame during which an injured party has to initiate legal proceedings. It starts from the date of the alleged incident, or the moment the person discovers that they’ve suffered harm.

The time period varies depending on the type of offense. It also varies from state to state—for example, personal injury cases in Utah are given a statute of limitations of two to four years. (Note: Because the facts of every case are different, it’s important to speak with an attorney to determine the statute of limitations on your case.) 

Once this time frame expires, then the court may bar you from making a legal claim. Moreover, if you try to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, the defendant can petition the court to dismiss the case, and this petition is very likely to be granted.

For minors, the statute of limitations doesn’t commence until they reach the age of majority, which is 18 years old. This is because minors are too young or immature to provide the testimony that a court would require.

definition of statute of limitations

What Is the Purpose of the Statute of Limitations?

The purpose of the statute of limitations is to ensure that lawsuits are dealt with promptly, and the facts of the case remain fresh and accurate. Setting a time limit for lawsuits prevents the facts surrounding the lawsuit from deteriorating with time.

People’s memories fade and become unreliable over time. Additionally, people who are crucial to the case may pass away or become incapacitated. This can lead to an unjust verdict for the defendant.

Another reason is to prevent people from filing drawn-out lawsuits for the purpose of harassment. Imposing a statute of limitations ensures that the complainant will pursue the lawsuit with reasonable diligence.

What Are the Statute of Limitations in Utah?

In the USA, the statute of limitations varies per state and depends on the type of case in question. Here are a few civil cases and their respective statute of limitations in Utah:

  • Personal Injury — 4 years
  • Wrongful Death — 2 years
  • Medical Malpractice — 2 years
  • Product Liability — 2 years

If you or someone you love has been injured, it’s important to know what the statute of limitations is and how it relates to your personal injury claim.

How Do I Know If My Personal Injury Claim is Still Valid?

knowing the statute of limitations

There are a number of factors that determine when you can file a claim for personal injury, and the statute of limitations is one of these. Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney if you have questions about this issue. The attorneys at 801-INJURED can help you determine the statute of limitations for your case and provide you with legal assistance.