A Statute of Limitations is a law passed by the Utah legislature and signed by the governor.  It sets an outside limit on when a lawsuit can be filed.  In other words, a lawsuit must be filed before a certain amount of time has passed.  If the lawsuit is not timely filed, the case will be dismissed at the request of the defendant.

Some common Statutes of Limitations in Utah are:

  • Personal Injury — 4 years
  • Injury to Personal Property — 3 years
  • Breach of oral contract — 4 years
  • Breach of written contract — 6 years
  • Defamation/Libel — 1 year
  • Wrongful Death — 2 years
  • Product Liability — 2 years
  • Medical malpractice — 2 years
  • Assault — 1 year
  • Claim against Governmental Entity — 1 year
  • Claim against Insurance Company — 3 years

This list is simply an overview.  There are several complex rules that govern statutes of limitations.  Here are a few examples:

  • When a claim belongs to a minor (the child is the one suing) the statute of limitations generally doesn’t begin running until the minor turns 18;
  • When payments are made on a contract, each payment resets the Statute of Limitations;
  • When someone tries to hide wrongdoing, the statute of limitations may not start to run until the wrong is discovered;
  • When a claim is made against a governmental entity, paperwork must be served against the governmental entity, the lawsuit doesn’t need to be filed until after that.

This isn’t a comprehensive list of Statutes of Limitations and the rules governing them.  If you have a question, please feel free to email or call.