Important Deadlines In California Personal Injury Cases
When you are injured because of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to recover compensation under California’s personal injury laws. However, your time to file a lawsuit is limited by our statute of limitations.
When Does My Time To File A Lawsuit Expire?
The California statute of limitations sets the deadlines for filing various personal injury lawsuits. Most of the actions that fall under personal injury laws have a two-year statute of limitations; however, there are exceptions.
Deadlines to file personal injury lawsuits for the following cause of action are:
- Motor vehicle accidents – 2 years from the date of the collision, this includes bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents – 2 years from the date of the accident
- Product liability claims – 2 years from the date of injury
- Dog attacks or dog bites – 2 years from the date of the attack
- Wrongful death actions – 2 years from the date of death
- Battery and assault – 2 years from the date of attack
- Medical malpractice – 1 years from the date the malpractice is discovered or 3 years from the date of injury, whichever date is first
Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule, including California’s statute of limitations.
Exceptions To The Statute Of Limitations
Several exceptions exist to the statute of limitations. For example, if the injured person is a minor at the time of the injury, the statute of limitations does not begin until the person reaches the age of 18 years. Therefore, a minor injured in a car accident would have 2 years from his or her 18th birthday to file a lawsuit for the car accident. However, there are exceptions to this exception. The minor rule does not apply in cases of medical malpractice, sexual abuse, and uninsured motorist claims. It also does not apply if the other party is a governmental entity.
With regard to government entities, an exception to the general rule for filing lawsuits states that you must file a notice with the governmental entity within six months of the injury. If you fail to file a notice of claim within the six months, you lose your right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the government entity or its employee.
Even if you believe the statute of limitations may have expired, you should still consult a Fresno personal injury attorney. In some cases, you may have the right to file a lawsuit if you only discovered the injury within the past year.
Calculating The Statute Of Limitations
You must be very careful when calculating the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Because some timelines begin on the date of injury while others may begin on the date you discovered an injury, you can easily make a mistake when calculating the deadline for filing a lawsuit. Furthermore, circumstances may suspend or delay the timeline while other circumstances may lengthen the time to file a lawsuit.
An experienced Fresno personal injury attorney with a comprehensive and thorough understanding of personal injury laws and the statute of limitations can correctly calculate the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. The sooner you contact our office to discuss your legal options, the more time we have to work on your case before we reach the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Call Our Fresno Law Office Now For A Free Appointment
Delaying contacting an attorney can hurt your case. The longer we have to work on your case, the better prepared we are for filing a lawsuit if the other party refuses to negotiate fairly.
Call the Torem & Associates at (888) 500-5000 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation and free case evaluation.