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What is the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in California?

Personal injury claims refer to individuals who have been injured as a result of someone else's negligence or intentional act. The statute of limitations is a law that sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit in court. If you do not file your lawsuit on or before the deadline, you will lose your right to pursue a claim for compensation. Not all personal injury cases have the same statute of limitations. In California personal injury statute of limitations is set forth in California Code of Civil Procedure. If you have been injured in California, it is important to understand the statute of limitations that applies to your particular case.

Generally speaking, the law states that a lawsuit must be filed within TWO (2) years from the date of the injury. This means that if you were injured on March 1, 2022, you must file your lawsuit no later than March 1, 2024. However, there are exceptions to the two-year rule. It is important to know under what category your personal injury case falls under to determine the exact statute of limitations applicable to your case as statute of limitations is a strict deadline. It would be highly advisable to consult with an attorney who can guide you through the legal process. Law Offices of Garret A. Lungin offers free no obligation consultation and case review.

The following are some examples of the exceptions.

If the injured person is a minor, the statute of limitations extends two years after the minor’s 18th birthday. At which point the injured minor would be an adult and able to file a lawsuit without the involvement of the parents.

If the injury occurred as a result of medical malpractice, the lawsuit must be filed within ONE (1) year from the date of the injury or from the date the injury was discovered.

If the injured person did not realize that they were injured at the time of the incident, but discovered the injury at a later time, the law provides that the statute of limitations would count from the date injury was discovered.

Furthermore, cases involving public entities, such as city, state or federal entitites, have different rules for the statute of limitations.

It cannot be stressed enough the importance of consulting an attorney for your personal injury matter, as missing the appropriate statute of limitations, and failing to timely file a lawsuit prevents injured party from ability to recover for their injuries, no matter how severe they may be.

This is why the Statute of Limitations so Important! The statute of limitations ensures that claims are filed in a timely manner so that evidence can be preserved, and witnesses can be located. It provides a measure of certainty for potential defendants, who can be confident that they will not be sued for events that occurred many years in the past. Finally, it encourages injured persons to take prompt action to protect their rights.

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