As with any lawsuit in any state, there is the statute of limitations. After an auto accident, there is a specific time period in which a person can file a lawsuit or waive the right to file one. For the state of Utah, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is 4 years, which means that you need to be able to file your case in the proper court within the prescribed time period. But this 4 year limitation only applies to negligence law suits involving private persons. If you have a claim against the state or a government business, the statute of limitations is 1 year. If the person is driving for a federal agency, the claim should be filed within 2 years from the date of the accident.
In Utah, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit after an auto accident might vary depending on the situation. This would depend on the party at fault and the type of claim. In general, the personal injury claim needs to be filed with 4 years. One exception to this rule is where a child is harmed. The statute of limitations typically begins when the injury occurs, but in the case of a minor, the clock does not start ticking until the child reached the age of 18. There is another exception when there is underinsured coverage available. In this instance the claim does not begin until the third party liability claim is resolved.
There are also other time limits for a certain claim. For instance, if it is a claim made for wrongful death then it must be filed 2 years from the date the accident happened. Attorneys can help their clients file the claims on time and to identify all proper damages.
If your vehicle or personal property incurred damages brought about by the accident, you need to file the claim within 3 years under the Utah Code Section 8B-2-305.
Given the legal complexities and technicalities in personal injury cases, it is highly advisable that you seek professional legal help. An experienced Utah auto attorney or personal injury attorney can help you in your case and to make sure that you file within the specified time frame.
From a strategic point of view, you would always want to have enough time to file a claim and to have a settlement without any delay. Being open to options, you can have more leeway for settlement talks especially if the other party is open for such settlement discussions. However, in cases where the claim will soon approach the deadline, the best way is to consult a car accident attorney and get a claim filed in a timely manner.
Aside from filing the lawsuit in a timely manner, keep in mind that in order to win the case, you need to prove the negligence of the defendant that lead to or caused the accident which then resulted in injuries and other damages.