If you have been injured in an auto accident in California, you may consider filing a personal injury claim for damages. The compensation you receive from a successful suit can help you offset medical bills, and fix the damaged property. However, the success of your personal injury lawsuit in California depends on how well you understand the claim process.
Understanding the statutes of limitations for personal injury cases in California
No matter how watertight your personal injury lawsuit is, you need to understand that there is a limited time window within which you have to file your case. The state of California has a definite time frame within which you must file your personal injury claim. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you have been injured in an auto accident, you will have two years effective the date of the accident to file your personal injury claim in California. You risk losing your right to file a claim, regardless of the strength of your case, if you fail to file your suit within this two-year period.
Possible exceptions to California personal injury statute of limitations
California statute of limitations has a few exceptions. Legally speaking, this is referred to as “tolling.” It basically means “pausing the clock” to take care of certain issues relating to the suit. Here are instances where the California statute of limitations can be tolled:
- If the victim is underage (below 18)
- If the victim is found to have been mentally incompetent at the time the accident happened
- If the victim is imprisoned
- If the victim has been called up for military duty
- If the defendant has left the state
Accident injuries can gravely impact your life. If you have sustained an injury or had your property damaged, you may consider filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. However, filing a personal injury claim in California can be tricky if you do not understand the law. An experienced personal injury lawyer can review your case and take you through the process of filing your claim within the appropriate time frame.