The unique personal injury laws in your state will affect how your case must be handled and what kind of outcome you can expect. If you were injured in Utah you need to know about the specific time limits for filing different types of personal injury lawsuits, and type of compensation to which you may be entitled.
Statute of limitations
After an injury, you have a limited amount of time to take legal action. The time limit for filing your lawsuit is called the statute of limitations. Personal injury covers a wide variety of issues, and there are different time limits for different types of personal injury. In Utah, you have two years to file most types of personal injury lawsuits.
In some types of cases the time is calculated from the date of discovery rather than the date of occurrence. This can make or break your case. For instance, if you were harmed by asbestos exposure, you have three years from the time of discovery. This is very important because asbestos-related illnesses often do not manifest symptoms until 10 to 25 years after exposure.
If you were injured in Utah you may be entitled to compensation for your losses including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future medical bills
- Lost earning capacity
- Long-term care
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
Utah has placed a cap on non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. For most types of personal injury there is a limit of $400,000, but this limit is adjusted each year for inflation. In medical malpractice cases non-economic damages are limited to $250,000.
Punitive damages are used for punishment rather than compensation. There is not a cap on punitive damages, but you should be aware that the state will get half of all punitive damages over $20,000.
In most types of personal injury, you must prove negligence in order to prove fault. Negligence is simply the failure to use ordinary care. It does not have to be intentional. If your own negligence contributed to your injuries you may still be entitled to compensation under modified comparative negligence, in Utah. This doctrine allows you to claim compensation if you are 49% or less to blame for your injuries. Your compensation will be reduced by an amount equal to your share of the blame.
When there are multiple responsible parties, each party will be held responsible for their share of the compensation and their share only under several liability. This means you must collect from each defendant individually.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in Utah, please contact one of our Utah personal injury lawyers for a free claim evaluation.