When you are injured in a car accident, at a business, or from the negligence of any other person, it can throw your life into turmoil. Aside from the physical pain you experience, you may have questions about what steps you should take and whether you should seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. And while California law provides you with avenues to address these questions, there is a time limit involved.
The statute of limitations
California gives any person who is injured, through the negligence of another, the right to sue for compensation for their injuries. It is an invaluable option to have at your disposal, particularly when insurance companies fail to do their part. But taking advantage of this option must be done within the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations is a legal deadline by which a lawsuit must be filed. Generally speaking, once the statute of limitations has run its course, the legal claim is no longer valid. California’s statute of limitations for personal injuries is two years. If, for example, you injure your back when another driver collides with you, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit for that injury.
Exceptions to the statute of limitations
However, there are exceptions. If time passes between the accident and the discovery of the injury it caused, the statute of limitations is one year from the date the injury was discovered.
Another exception is when a government agency is involved, such as when the accident occurs at a public school or you are struck by another car which is owned by a government agency. In this case, the statute of limitations can be as little as six months.
The legal and factual issues involved in a personal injury case can be complex. Take your questions to an experienced and knowledgeable professional to ensure you receive the compensation to which the law entitles you.