Many people who want to file a lawsuit have no idea that there is a time limit to doing so. This timing requirement is referred to as the “statute of limitations.” This requirement ensures that lawsuits are filed on a timely basis, and helps preserve the availability of witnesses and evidence. It also defines the period of liability for a defendant so that a party is not perpetually at risk of a lawsuit. Here, we’ll look at some of the common statute of limitations periods for personal injury, family law and business law.
Personal Injury Filings
Utah has several different time limits for personal injury cases. The relevant statute of limitations will depend on the underlying cause of action. For example, a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice needs to be filed within two years of the claimed injury. A wrongful death action is also held to the two year standard. However, for a general type of injury (i.e. a slip and fall) the time limit is four years.
Injury actions that are related to a product also have their own statutes of limitations. Pursuant to Utah Code § 78B-6-706, a suit for product liability is subject to a two year statute of limitations. In addition to this, there are numerous other types of tort actions that require filing within one to four years.
Business Law Cases
One of the most common types of business cases is the contract dispute. A lawsuit involving a written contract has a four year statute of limitations. Suits on oral contracts also have a four year rule. It is important to note that time begins counting at the time of the breach. The clock starts to run even if the other party is unaware of the breach. You’ll need an experienced contract litigation attorney.
Family Law Actions
Family law issues such as divorce do not have a particular statute of limitations. Rather, there can be residential time requirements to establish jurisdiction in a local court. However, even though there is no statute of limitations it is still important to file for divorce as soon as possible. In some cases an opposing party can use a defense, like laches, that can affect certain parts of the case. Child custody cases operate in a similar matter. For more information about timing requirements in child custody law contact a custody attorney.
Remember to Timely File Your Suit!
If you don’t file a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations the suit can be dismissed! There are very few exceptions that allow a party to file a suit outside of the the required period. Exceptions usually involve “tolling statutes” that effectively freeze the timing requirements. Due to the strict requirements, it is of the utmost importance that you work on your case as soon as your legal issue arises.
Contact an experienced lawyer right away to get the ball rolling. Time is of the essence in any legal proceeding. Potential litigants in Utah can contact business attorney Rex B Bushman. Call (801) 652-9413 to make an appointment today at the Provo law office. Don’t let your case lapse because you failed to take action!