How Long Do I Have to Bring an Injury Claim in California?

if you were injured in an accident caused by another person or business’s negligence, one of the most important reasons to consult an attorney is to avoid problems missing the statute of limitations — a legal “time limit” that can prohibit you from bringing your lawsuit if you wait too long. What is the statute…
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How Long Do I Have to Bring an Injury Claim in California?

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if you were injured in an accident caused by another person or business's negligence, one of the most important reasons to consult an attorney is to avoid problems missing the statute of limitations -- a legal "time limit" that can prohibit you from bringing your lawsuit if you wait too long.

What is the statute of limitations?

The statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. In many accident cases, the clock begins to run from the time the injury occurs. Each state sets its own statue of limitations for different sets of claims, with the federal government having a separate statute of limitations for federal claims as well. In California, there are general statutes of limitations for a broad range of claims.

How long do I have to bring a personal injury claim?

A person injured in an accident that was not their fault has two years to bring a personal injury claim. This also covers any action for assault, battery, or death of an individual caused by another’s wrongful negligence. If the injury was not discovered right away, then it is 1 year from the date the injury was discovered if they delay in the discovery was reasonable.

Exceptions to the statute of limitations

Keep in mind that that these are broad, general guidelines. There are a number of scenarios that bring their own set of statutes of limitations or exceptions into play. For instance:

• Claims against certain government agencies require that you file an administrative claim against them within 6 months of a wrongful incident in order to preserve your right to file suit.

• Civil claims stemming from childhood sexual abuse can be filed up to 8 years after the victim's 18th birthday, or 3 years after the victim realizes that he or she suffers from physical or psychological injury which stems from childhood sexual abuse.

• Professional malpractice against a doctor or health care provider - Three years after the date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers, or reasonably should have discovered, the injury, whichever occurs first.

Other factors can delay or “toll” a statue of limitations under certain circumstances such as when the victim is a minor or mentally incompetent during the time of the initial injury. Bankruptcy can also toll certain claims while its protections remain in effect.

For more information about the deadline you have to file your potential case, contact the experienced accident attorneys at Ghozland Law Firm today.

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Our employment & personal injury attorneys recognize that the individuals we work with are typically going through overwhelming and stressful times in their lives. When an individual hires us, we strive to provide the client with the strong legal representation and effective counsel they need to receive fair and just compensation. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients in their time of need. Our employment & personal injury team is comprised of well-respected lawyers who have been involved in several multi-million dollar settlements, earning us membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum®. This further demonstrates our ability to take on complex accident cases.

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With over 40 years of experience, we have handled many slip and fall cases. I can provide you with the caliber of legal services that is normally available only to large companies, due to my experience in large-scale litigation that has resulted in awards of millions of dollars on many occasions. In 2014, Michael Ghozland was named “Street Fighter of the Year” by Consumer Attorneys of California in 2014. Because of my outstanding trial record, winning your case will probably mean obtaining a private settlement, with no need to ever step into a courtroom. Insurance companies know my reputation, and most of them would rather settle than face me in a slip and fall lawsuit.