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Statutes of Limitations in Utah: File Your Case as Soon as Possible

Aug 14, 2015 @ 10:09 AM — by Lynn Harris
Tagged with: Statute Of Limitations | Personal Injury | Wrongful Death |

A clock and a judge's gavelLynn C. Harris is a skilled attorney committed to helping injury victims throughout the state of Utah. Offering expert legal advice and counsel in personal injury cases, Mr. Harris believes in making the system work for the injured and the wronged.

It's important that injury victims seek legal help as soon as possible so that their case is filed within the statute of limitations. Let's consider this matter in more detail right now.

What is a statute of limitations?

A statute of limitations is a set amount of time during which a lawsuit can be filed. This timeframe typically starts the moment an accident occurs. This statute of limitations applies to both civil and criminal cases, though certain kinds of serious offenses do not have a statute of limitations.

Once a statute of limitations has passed, a lawsuit can no longer be filed.

Why do statutes of limitations exist?

While having a statute of limitations in place may seem like it's unfair, the fact of the matter is that the statute of limitations helps ensure that the legal system works properly for everyone. There are a few important reasons why a statute of limitations is in place and works for the good of the legal system:

  • A statute of limitations helps ensure that evidence presented is current and not degraded as a result of time

  • A statute of limitations helps ensure that witness testimony is still fresh in memory and not subject to vagaries or other issues

  • A statute of limitations ensures that legal action is taken immediately, helping cases achieve resolution sooner (relatively speaking) rather than later

The ultimate goal of the statute of limitations is fairness in the legal system.

Statute of Limitations for Civil Cases in Utah

The following is a list of statutes of limitations for civil cases. Note that each of them can differ to some degree:

  • Breach of Contract – 6 years (written), 4 years (oral/non-written)
  • Personal Injury – 4 years
  • Assault and Battery – 4 years
  • Trespassing – 3 years
  • Damage to Property – 3 years
  • Medical Malpractice – 2 years
  • Product Liability – 2 years
  • Wrongful Death – 2 years

Statute of Limitations for Criminal Cases in Utah

The following is a list of statutes of limitations for criminal cases. Note that like civil cases, each of them can differ to some degree:

  • Robbery – 4 years
  • Burglary – 4 years
  • Arson – 2 years
  • Assault – 2 years
  • Theft – 2 to 4 years (depends on circumstances of case)
  • Disorderly Conduct – 1 to 2 years (depends on circumstances of case)

Cases in Which There is No Statute of Limitations

There are certain criminal offenses that have no statute of limitations given the nature and the severity of the crime. These include:

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping (depends on circumstances of case)

Even though there is no statute of limitations in place for these offenses, seeking legal action as soon as possible is the best option to consider.

Learn More About Your Legal Options in the State of Utah

For more information about your legal options following a serious injury or a criminal act perpetrated against you or your loved ones, be sure to contact a skilled civil and criminal attorney today. Lynn C. Harris Will fight diligently for you and your legal rights.

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