How Long Do I Have To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit In California?
California Limits The Time To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit
Have you been injured by a reckless driver? Did your spouse fall while at the mall with your kids because the store did not clean up a spill by another customer? Was your child injured because of a defective toy? Did you lose your child because he was hit by a drunk driver while riding his bicycle?
If so, you need to consult with a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible because you only have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit to hold the responsible party accountable for his or her actions.
What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The legal system cannot undo the injuries you sustained due to a personal injury accident. The only remedy the law can provide is a monetary award to compensate you for you losses. In many cases, the insurance company for the at-fault party will negotiate a settlement without the need to file a lawsuit. However, if you are unable to settle your claim for a fair and just amount, the law provides a legal remedy in a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney files a lawsuit claiming the defendant caused your injuries and demanding payment for your damages.
Depending on the facts and circumstances of your accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property Damage
- Funeral expenses
- Physical pain
- Emotional Suffering
You could be entitled to additional compensation. An experienced Fresno personal injury attorney can assist you with calculating the value of your personal injury claim. However, it is extremely important that you act quickly because you only have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit under California law.
What is the California Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is simply the deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, you lose the right to file a claim against the party that injured you and collect compensation for your damages. The California Statute of Limitations for personal injury lawsuits include:
- Motor vehicle accidents – 2 years
- Slip and fall cases – 2 years
- Dog bites and attacks – 2 years
- Bicycle accidents – 2 years
- Defective products – 2 years
- Medical malpractice – 1 year from the date of the discovery of the injury or 3 years from the actual date of injury, whichever date comes first
- Wrongful death lawsuit – 2 years
The above deadlines do not apply in each case. Several exceptions to the California statute of limitations could apply depending on your case. For example, if you are suing a government entity or public entity, you must provide notice of your intent to file a claim within 180 days from the date of the injury or lose your right to hold that party responsible for your damages. Other exceptions apply when the injury was not immediately known or the victim was under 18 years of age at the time of the injury.
Because calculating the date for the statute of limitations can be complex, you should consult with a Fresno personal injury attorney at Torem & Associates as soon as possible after an injury to protect your rights to receive compensation for your losses.
Questions? Contact a Fresno Personal Injury Attorney Now!
Even if you believe the California statute of limitations has expired contact a Fresno attorney at our office to discuss your claim. There could be an exception to the statute of limitations in your case that allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit now.
Torem & Associates represents clients throughout the central California Valley. Call our office at (888) 500-5000 or use our convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation.