California has a two-year statute of limitations as it relates to personal injury cases. This means that you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the event that caused your injury.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, but it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after your injury to ensure that you do not miss the deadline. The statute of limitations is essentially designed to ensure that lawsuits are filed when evidence is still available, and witnesses' memories are fresh.
It also helps to prevent people from filing lawsuits after a long period of time when it may be difficult to determine who is responsible for the injury. If you have been injured in any kind of accident, it is important to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as you can.
A lawyer will be able to help you understand the statute of limitations and ensure that you file your lawsuit on time. They can also help you gather evidence and build your case.
Here are some of the exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations as it relates to personal injury cases in California:
- If a minor is injured in an accident, the statute of limitations does not start to run until they turn 18. This means that a victim has two years after their 18th birthday to file a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if a 16-year-old is injured in a car accident, the statute of limitations will not start to run until they turn 18. This means that they have until their 20th birthday to file a lawsuit. There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, if a minor was injured by medical malpractice, the statute of limitations could begin to run sooner. It is important to speak with an attorney to understand the specific rules that apply to your case. If you have been injured in an accident as a minor, it is important to speak with an attorney right away. An attorney will be able to help you fully understand the statute of limitations and ensure that you can file your lawsuit on time.
- In child sexual abuse cases, the statute of limitations is extended under specific circumstances to allow victims to pursue legal action even after the standard statute of limitations has expired. The extension may be extended to either eight years after the injured party's 18th birthday, meaning the victim has up to eight years after reaching the age of majority (18th birthday) to file a lawsuit for child sexual abuse, or three years after the date on which the victim discovered or reasonably should have discovered a "psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by the sexual abuse,” which allows victims who have experienced psychological injuries or illnesses as a result of the sexual abuse, which may have become evident after reaching adulthood, to file a lawsuit within three years of discovering or reasonably should have discovered the causal connection. If more than eight years have elapsed since the victim's 18th birthday, and the case is filed under the delayed discovery exception, the victim, the victim's attorney, and a psychological expert must sign a sworn certificate stating that the case has merit. This requirement helps ensure that the delayed discovery exception is appropriately applied and that there is sufficient evidence and justification for the case to move forward despite the extended statute of limitations. These extensions and exceptions are intended to provide victims with a reasonable opportunity to seek justice and hold perpetrators accountable, even when the effects of the abuse may not become apparent until years later.
- The statute of limitations for a lawsuit arising from domestic violence is either three years from the date of the last act of domestic violence or three years from the date the victim discovered or should have discovered that their injury was a result of the domestic violence.
- In cases where a lawsuit arises from an injury caused by an act that is classified as a felony, the victim typically has one year after the criminal judgment is entered to file a civil suit. This means that if someone is injured as a result of a felony, they have one year from the date of the criminal judgment (such as a conviction) to initiate a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries. However, there are certain circumstances where the statute of limitations for a civil suit related to a felony may be extended. For example, some felonies have statutes of limitations lasting 10 years, which means that the victim would have up to 10 years to file a civil lawsuit. Additionally, the statute of limitations for a civil suit related to a felony may not begin until the defendant's period of parole ends. This is known as tolling the statute of limitations during the defendant's parole period. It is important for victims of felonies and their legal representatives to be aware of the specific statutes of limitations that apply in their jurisdiction and the potential extensions or tolling provisions that may impact their ability to file a civil lawsuit. Statutes of limitations are put in place to ensure that legal actions are brought within a reasonable time frame after an incident occurs, and they may vary depending on the type of offense and the laws of the jurisdiction in which the offense took place.
- If a person is injured due to the negligence of a government entity, they must first file an administrative claim with the government entity before they will be able to file a civil lawsuit in court. An administrative claim has to be filed within six months of the date of an injury, but there are some exceptions to this time limit. The government entity then has 45 days to respond to the claim. If a government entity denies a claim, the injured party has six months from the denial to file a lawsuit in court. If the government entity does not respond to the claim, the injured party has two years from the date of their injury to file a lawsuit in court.
Call Us Today to Speak with a California Personal Injury Attorney
Do not let confusion about time limits prevent you from taking necessary legal action. Arshakyan Law Firm understands how confusing the statute of limitations can be for most people but will be happy to help explain to you what your rights are and how long you have to take certain actions.
Our firm works closely with all of our clients so they can understand everything that is happening with their cases. You can call (888) 851-5005 or contact us online today to take advantage of a free consultation.