How Long After a Car Accident Can You Claim Injury In Utah?

Posted on June 5, 2024

Car accidents are terrifying and cause trauma to the body from the crash force and impact. Some injuries are immediately obvious and frightening, requiring emergency treatment, but other injuries may have delayed symptoms with pain that shows up hours, days, or even weeks later.

When the adrenaline is high after an accident it can mask the pain that the victim may begin to experience once the stress hormones decrease. In other cases, injury symptoms develop days after the accident due to inflammation or internal bleeding.

How long after an accident is too late to file a claim for compensation for car accident injuries in Utah?

Understanding Utah’s Statute of Limitations

Most injury victims file car accident claims against the at-fault driver soon after their accident so they can recover compensation for their immediate needs like medical expenses and lost income. However, sometimes there are delays, especially when insurance companies dispute, delay, or wrongfully deny claims, requiring a lawsuit. In other circumstances, the discovery of an accident-related injury occurs months after the accident. For example, if a doctor diagnoses a nagging backache as a herniated disc caused by the crash. If an insurance company doesn’t offer an adequate settlement, the case may proceed to court in a lawsuit.

For most personal injury cases, including care accident injuries, lawsuits in Utah must be filed within the state’s four-year statute of limitations.

What are the Exceptions to Utah’s 4-Year Statute of Limitations?

The state may extend the amount of time after a car accident to file a lawsuit only under specific circumstances, including the following:

  • Delayed symptoms discovery, in which case the injury victim has up to four years from the date they discovered the injury
  • If the injury victim is under the age of 18 they have until four years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit
  • If the injury victim is incapacitated or unconscious for some time after a car accident, they have four years from the date they recovered cognitive ability in which to file a lawsuit.
  • If the lawsuit involves a government agency such as a negligent road planning agency or a city bus company, the injury victim has only one year from the date of the accident to file a claim

If you have questions about how the state’s statute of limitations impacts your case, an experienced car accident lawyer in Salt Lake City can help.

Getting Documentation to Prove Your Injury

Before you can make a successful car accident injury claim, it’s important to gather evidence of the injury. You can do this by asking your doctor for a thorough evaluation after the accident and have them write out a detailed medical report listing your injuries, your doctor’s recommendations for treatment, and your prognosis for recovery.

This documentation provides important evidence of your injury for a successful car accident claim. Documentation is especially important in cases of delayed discovery of an injury when the victim wishes to file a lawsuit when the statute of limitations has expired.

To effectively navigate this process, hiring a skilled personal injury law firm like Handy & Handy Attorneys At Law can be crucial. The attorneys at Handy & Handy Attorneys At Law are experienced in handling car accident injury claims, ensuring that all necessary documentation is meticulously gathered and presented. Contact us today for a free consultation.