While personal injury claims will generally have a four-year statute of limitations, wrongful death claims can be much shorter – as little as one year.
According to Utah Code 78B-2-304, Utah wrongful death claims need to be brought no more than two years after the death occurs. If the claim is against a Utah governmental agency, a prerequisite “notice of claim” needs to be filed within one year of the death occurring. Underlying all Utah wrongful death claims is the ability to show that someone acted wrongfully or was negligent in causing the death. A claim does not arise just because someone died.
In Utah, wrongful death heirs include: (1) the spouse of the deceased, (2) the children of the deceased under U.C.A. 75-2-114, and (3) the natural parents of the deceased. Step children are also included if they are under 18 and are “primarily financially dependent” on their deceased parent.