NOTE: The state has granted immunity from malpractice claims to health-care providers responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
What’s a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a law that sets a maximum amount of time a plaintiff has to initiate a legal proceeding.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in Utah?
Type of Claim
Injury to Property
4 years for an oral contract; 6 years for a written contract
Negligence and Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in Utah
“An action may be brought within four years:
“(1) after the last charge is made or the last payment is received:
“(a) upon a contract, obligation, or liability not founded upon an instrument in writing;
“(b) on an open store account for any goods, wares, or merchandise; or
“(c) on an open account for work, labor or services rendered, or materials furnished.” (Utah Code Ann. § 78B-2-307)
Utah Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
The wrongful death statute of limitations in Utah is two years. A wrongful death is defined by Utah Code Ann. § 78B-3-106 as a death “caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.”
“(1) A malpractice action against a health care provider shall be commenced within two years after the plaintiff or patient discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered the injury, whichever first occurs, but not to exceed four years after the date of the alleged act, omission, neglect, or occurrence.” (Utah Code Ann. § 78B-3-404)
“A civil action under this part shall be brought within two years from the time the individual who would be the claimant in the action discovered, or in the exercise of due diligence should have discovered, both the harm and its cause.” (Utah Code Ann. § 78B-6-706)
“An action may be brought within three years:
“(3) for relief on the ground of fraud or mistake; except that the cause of action does not accrue until the discovery by the aggrieved party of the facts constituting the fraud or mistake. (Utah Code Ann. § 78B-2-305)
“The statute expressly provides that accrual of the cause of action is not complete until discovery of the pertinent facts.” (Hill v. Allred, 28 P.3d 1271, 1276 (Utah 2001))
- Actions due to asbestos injuries may be commenced up to three years after discovery.
- Several rules apply to limit liability claims against ski and snowboarding areas.
Municipal Liability/Sovereign Immunity
The Utah Governmental Immunity Act shields many government entities from legal claims. Claims allowed by state statutes must be filed by submitting a notice of claim with the entity in question within one year of the incident.
The discovery rule applies to most claims in Utah.
Utah followed a modified comparative negligence rule when awarding damages. If the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault for their own injuries, they recover nothing; otherwise, the amount awarded is reduced by their percentage of fault.
A person who renders emergency care at or near the scene of or during an emergency, gratuitously and in good faith, is not liable for any civil damages or penalties as result of any act or omission by the person rendering emergency care, unless the person is grossly negligent or caused the emergency.
In cases involving juvenile or insane plaintiffs, the statute of limitations runs from the end of this legal disability (age 18 for minors). However, the statute of limitations may not be tolled due to disability in malpractice cases. Statutes of limitations also do not run during the absence or concealment of the defendant.
Punitive damages are allowed in Utah.
Utah is a no-fault state.
Consumer Fraud Complaints
Consumers can file fraud complaints with the Utah Department of Commerce Division of Consumer Protection online or call (801) 530-6601 for assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Utah’s State Code?
The Utah Code is a compilation of laws put into effect by the Utah Legislature.
How Long Does the State of Utah Have to File Charges?
The Utah statute of limitations to file criminal charges varies based on the severity of the crime, ranging from one year for minor infractions to four years to many felonies. Some charges, such as murder, have no statute of limitations at all.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Criminal Mischief?
As with other types of criminal charges, the statute of limitations in Utah for criminal mischief will depend on the severity of the offense. A second-degree felony count of criminal mischief will likely have a four-year statute of limitations, while a class B misdemeanor charge may only have a two-year deadline.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Debt Collection in Utah?
The statute of limitations in Utah for debt collection on a credit card or based on an oral contract is four years. A written contract for an account has a statute of limitations of six years, and a judgment can remain active for up to eight years.
Do Warrants Expire in Utah?
Arrest warrants can expire in Utah, but the court has the opportunity to renew and reissue the warrant depending on the circumstances.