How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in the Salt Lake City, Utah Area
Are you the victim of an injury?
Utah law recognizes the fact that personal injuries can cause serious distress and financial problems. If you or a loved one has been injured because of the negligent or willful acts of another party, our caring and experienced lawyers at the Salt Lake City area law firm of Larsen, Larsen, Nash & Larsen can help you recover the maximum amount of damages by filing and pursuing a personal injury lawsuit in Utah.
We provide full-service legal assistance, meaning that our staff handles your personal injury case through each phase of litigation. Our lawyers can review your case and provide you with legal services and advice for each step in your lawsuit. To learn more, you can also refer to our personal injury (FAQ) page.
Filing a personal injury complaint
The exact filing steps may differ because of the size and type of your particular case. For example, suits that claim less than $10,000 can be filed in the small claims court for your local county. Lawsuits that seek damages greater than $10,000 must be filed in District Court.
In any case, the first step in the litigation process is a properly filed complaint. This complaint must be filed within four years for most personal injury cases. The statute of limitations is two years for medical malpractice or product liability claims.
- A complaint describes the accidents and requests damages.
- Damages could include compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and damaged property.
- Damages could also include compensation for physical pain and emotional distress.
- Punitive damages can be included with evidence of willful negligence.
- The accused person or organization has 20 days to respond to the complaint. This is extended to 30 days if the accused entity is out-of-state.
- Defendants can deny the allegations or file counter-claims against another party or the plaintiff.
The discovery process
The process of exchanging information, called discovery, occurs as both sides prepare for trial. This information might include medical records, other relevant documentation, witness lists, and lists of questions for the other side, called interrogatories.
Arbitration and alternative dispute resolution
Most Utah personal injury lawsuits do not go to trial, but instead they get resolved through various types of alternative dispute resolution systems. These could include arbitration, mediation, or third-party accident reviews and assessments. These alternative methods of dispute resolution are not required in Utah, but they might be encouraged because they help defendants, plaintiffs, and the state save time and money.
Preparing for trial
Sometimes lawsuits do go to trial. If a lawsuit goes to trial, the first step is jury selection.
- Suits less than $20,000 require four jurors
- Suits greater than $20,000 require 8 jurors
- Three-quarters of the jurors have to agree to a verdict
- Either the plaintiff or defendant can appeal the case if they disagree with the verdict or award.
Salt Lake City personal injury attorneys assist you with each stage of litigation
Our lawyers at Larsen, Larsen, Nash & Larsen understand the pain and distress of our clients who have been victims of personal injury. Simply contact the office by phone 801-758-8728 or use this online email contact form for your free consultation. We handle most cases on a contingency basis, which means you owe nothing unless you get a settlement or award. Our offices are conveniently located in West Valley City. We work with clients throughout Salt Lake County and surrounding areas in northern Utah.