Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in California

changing time clock

You may be eligible for compensation if someone’s negligence causes you to get injured in California.

Recovering from an injury takes a lot of time and energy—getting the compensation you deserve will make it easier to seek the medical attention you need. And if your injury results from a traumatizing incident such as a hit and run, you may receive additional compensation for the psychological distress you endure.

However, you can only receive compensation if you file a suit before a certain period elapses. This period is known as the statute of limitations, varying from state to state. If you don’t file a suit within this period, you will likely lose your right to seek compensation. Working with a personal injury lawyer in California is a great way to keep track of your personal injury suit.

Who Is Liable for Your Personal Injury?

We get it—things happen, but when an accident is caused by someone else’s negligence, it isn’t an accident. For example, if you slip and fall in a store with wet floors, those who run the place may be legally responsible, especially if they didn’t provide any warning signs. If you can prove that someone’s negligent actions have caused you to suffer significantly, you should be able to win compensation in your personal injury suit.

What Are the Common Statutes of Limitations in California?

If you’re injured in California, you cannot file a suit if the statute of limitations has passed. This period varies depending on the specific nature of your case. That said, some of the common statutes of limitations in California are:

Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for personal injury is 2 years from the date of injury. This covers any injury you sustain due to someone else’s actions, intentional or otherwise. Wrongful death, battery, emotional abuse, and more also fall in this category.

Property Damage Statute of Limitations

If someone acts in a way that damages your property, intentionally or otherwise, you can seek compensation. However, this suit must be filed within 3 years after the date the property was damaged. Examples of cases that may fall in this category are crashing your vehicle, breaking into your home, fraud, nuisance, and more.

Slander or Libel Statute of Limitations

Slander and libel have a significant impact on someone’s social reputation and mental state. If a party defames you verbally (slander) or in fine print through writing and pictures (libel), you’re eligible to file for compensation. That said, you must file a suit no more than 1 year from the date of injury.

You can also file a suit if the construction faults cause damage to your property.

Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

A personal injury lawyer can help if you get injured at a hospital or sustain injuries due to the negligence you received from a healthcare provider. The statute of limitations for a medical malpractice case is 1 year from the date you knew/should have known about the injury or 3 years from the date of the injury— whichever comes first.

Remember: if you’re going to file a suit against a healthcare provider, you will need to give them a 90-day notice before doing so.

Are There Any Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in California?

Even though most personal injury claims have to be filed within a certain period, no cases are the same. Some scenarios are exceptions to the rule. Here are a couple of examples:

  • You did not discover the injury or notice any signs that would cause a reasonable person to suspect they have sustained an injury. This is also called the delayed discovery rule.
  • You were younger than 18 at the time of injury or lacked the mental capacity to make legal decisions due to temporary/permanent mental illness.

Under certain circumstances, statute limitations can be ‘tolled’ for a specific period. This means that they are suspended for some time before they continue to run again. Tolling may happen when the defendant leaves the state before a suit can be filed. Tolling can also be done if the defendant is in prison or is a minor.

Cases with tolled statutes of limitations may be complicated. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer will ensure you remain on top of everything.

Call Us Today To Get Compensation for Your Personal Injury in California

It’s possible to seek compensation for your personal injury, whether you have an injured nose or fell off a ladder and injured your back and neck. If this injury has been caused by the negligence of someone else, a personal injury lawyer will help you get the compensation you deserve. Such a lawyer knows how to help as they understand the nitty-gritty of the law and have worked on many other similar cases.

At Arshakyan Law Firm, we’re dedicated to ensuring all our clients receive the help, support, and legal advice they need. We have more than two decades of combined legal experience and have helped our clients win not only in personal injury cases but also in estate planning and employment law. Call 888.851.5005 or message us online if you need someone to talk to about an injury you wrongfully sustained in Los Angeles.

Share To: