No matter what type of personal injury case you have, California law gives you only a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit.
This time limit, known as the statute of limitations, is an important part of the claims process, especially if your case lasts longer than a few months.
Here’s what you need to know about the personal injury statute of limitations in CA and how it may affect your claim.
What Is the Personal Injury California Statute of Limitations?
Under California law, victims of personal injury have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit.
This applies to any case that involves an injury caused by another person due to negligence.
However, some cases have a different time limit. For example, medical malpractice claims have a three-year statute of limitations, giving plaintiffs extra time.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in California
In some cases, the personal injury California statute of limitations can be suspended or tolled.
This means that the clock doesn’t start immediately after you sustain an injury.
While these circumstances are rare, they do apply to some situations.
Here are some common instances when the court may modify the standard time limit:
- The plaintiff was under the age of 18 or lacked the capacity to make legal decisions at the time of the injury,
- The defendant left the state after the incident before the plaintiff could file a lawsuit, or
- The plaintiff didn’t discover the injury until later.
If you believe any of these circumstances apply to your case, we recommend contacting one of our personal injury attorneys.
Since evidence degrades over time, it’s imperative that you know your legal options sooner rather than later.
What Happens if I Miss the California Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Deadline?
Waiting to file until after the statute of limitations is a bad idea, even if you qualify for an exception.
This is because if you try to bring an action after the California statute of limitations for personal injury expires, the court will likely not allow your case to proceed.
If the court dismisses your case, you will likely lose your right to pursue damages, even if your injuries are serious and the defendant is clearly liable.
In addition, if you are in the process of negotiating a settlement, you will lose your leverage with the insurance company.
This is why it’s important to contact an attorney soon after your accident. They’ll ensure that you do not miss the deadline.
Questions About Your Claim? Contact Weinberg Law Offices Today
If you want to know how the personal injury California statute of limitations applies to your case, we’re here to help.
At Weinberg Law Offices, we put our clients first and manage every aspect of their case from day one.
Our goal is to fight for your well-being so you can focus on recovery.
We proudly serve clients throughout the state of California from our practice in Los Angeles.
Disclaimer: This content should not be construed as legal advice.