Utah Personal Injury Law
Statutes of Limitations: The amount of time you have to sue whoever caused your injury or damage.
- Personal Injury – 4 years from the discovery of the injury
- Damage to Personal Property – 3 years
- Medical Malpractice – 2 years from when you discovered that you were injured
- Legal Malpractice – 4 years
- Other Professional Malpractice – 4 years
Where to Sue:
- Personal injury claims under $7,500 – Utah Small Claims Court (a division of each Utah Justice Court)
- Personal injury claims $7,500 or more – Utah Justice Court
How to Sue:
Small Claims Court:
- Forms: Cover Sheet for Civil Answer; Affidavit and Summons.
- Where to file: The plaintiff should file his personal injury lawsuit where the defendant resides or where the claim arose.
- How to notify the defendant (service): A sheriff, constable, or disinterested person over age 18 should personally serve the defendant with the Affidavit and Summons. If the plaintiff chooses to serve the defendant by mail, the plaintiff should use certified mail return receipt requested.
- Proving the defendant was notified: The person serving process must file a Certificate of Service of Affidavit and Summons with the clerk of the Utah Small Claims Court.
- Attorneys: Allowed in Utah Small Claims Court.
- Appealing a small claim: Either side may file a Notice of Appeal with the Utah District Court within 30 days after the judgment.
Utah Justice Court: You should obtain legal advice from a licensed Utah Personal Injury attorney, because the filing and process of initiating a personal injury suit can be quite complicated. Mistakes made in filing a personal injury case may result in court fines, dismissal of the suit, or loss of the suit.
- Forms: Complaint, Summons and Civil Cover Sheet. The clerk of the Utah Justice Court will issue the Summons when you file your Complaint.
- How to File: File the Complaint and Civil Cover Sheet with the clerk of the Utah Justice Court and pay the filing fee. The court will stamp the Complaint and issue the Summons.
- How to Notify the Defendant: A disinterested person, sheriff or constable should hand the Complaint and Summons to the defendant, or mail the documents to the defendant by certified mail, return receipt requested. The person serving process should then file Proof of Service with the clerk of the Utah Justice Court.
What to Do if You Are Being Sued:
- You must to respond to a Summons in Utah within 20 days.
- An attorney should be contacted to help you prepare your answer to the Summons and Complaint. If the plaintiff's injury is related to an accident at your residence or employment, notify your insurance company. Your insurance company may give you an attorney to defend you if your insurance covers the claim.
What to Do if A Judgment Was Entered Against You:
If you do not respond to a Utah summons and complaint, the court may enter a default judgment against you. Thus, the plaintiff will win and be awarded the amount of money he claims you owe him. It is possible to set aside a default judgment and discussing your case with an attorney should be the first step in what can be a complicated process.
- Time to Set Aside a Judgment in Utah:
- 3 months from the entry of default judgment
- 3 months to vacate, modify, correct, or reform the judgment
Ways to Collect Your Judgment:
- If you succeed in your Utah personal injury lawsuit, you may collect your judgment by putting a lien on the debtor's property, or by garnishing the debtor's wages or bank accounts. A Utah debt collection attorney can assist you in filing the appropriate motions with the court.