A personal injury is an injury inflicted to your body as opposed to damage to your property. The area of personal injury law includes dog bites, slip and falls, pool drownings, bicycle accidents, and more. What you should know, and what this post will explain, is that California has strict time limitations for when you may file a lawsuit after experiencing a personal injury.
If you or a loved one were injured at the fault of another person, it is imperative that you hire an experienced attorney. The Southern California personal injury lawyers at Patrick G. Shea, APC are here for you. Contact us today for a FREE consultation and we will quickly analyze the merits of your case and compassionately advise you about your best options. Because we accept cases on a contingent fee basis, we will collect no fees unless you win.
The Statute of Limitations
California’s deadline to filing a personal injury lawsuit is known as the “statute of limitations.” The following limitation periods must be strictly adhered to. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the allotted time, you are most likely barred from a later filing.
The exact limitations period ultimately depends on the type of your legal claim. Personal injury cases, for example, have a statute of limitations period of two years. In other words, if you are injured, you must file your lawsuit with the proper California court within two years of the date of your injury.
California also recognizes a “discovery rule.” Per this rule, if your injury is not apparent initially, you will have one year to file your personal injury claim from the date the injury was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered by a person in a similar position.
Furthermore, California recognizes several “tolling” rules. “Tolling” is when the statute of limitations period is delayed for a certain time in some prescribed situations. Some of these events include, but are not limited to, when a person is a minor, in prison, or is insane. At the time the reason for the tolling ends, such as when the person turns 18 or is released from prison, the statute of limitations period begins to run.
California’s Statute of Repose
California also recognizes a “statute of repose” limitations period for personal injury cases. A statute of repose, in short, differs from a statute of limitations as it sets a strict limitations period, outside of the statute of limitations period, that will bar lawsuits even if the injury is not initially discovered or discoverable. In California, per California’s Code of Civil Procedure Section 335-349.4, a cause of action for personal injury arising from the construction, design, or supervision of real property improvements is required to be filed within ten years of the date the improvement is substantially completed. When “substantial completion” occurs is to be determined by the court. Yet, it is normally the earliest of the following:
● The date the property is ready for occupancy;
● The date of the final inspection by the applicable public agency;
● The date of recordation of a valid notice of completion; and
● One year following the termination of work on the improvement.
Hire an Attorney for Your Case!
As you see, these time limitations rules can be highly complex. An attorney will ensure that your case is filed on time. The Southern California personal injury lawyers at Patrick G. Shea, APC have the experience and skill to aggressively take on your case. Our attorneys are knowledgeable of the relevant statute of limitations periods and the related rules. We will help you get the compensation you need. Contact us today to schedule a FREE consultation.