What is the Statutes of Limitations in California Personal Injury Cases

The statute of limitations is the time the victim of a personal injury accident has to either settle their case or file a lawsuit against the responsible party.

For “normal” personal injury cases, like auto, bicycle, motorcycle, pedestrian or slip and fall accidents, the injury accident victim generally has two years to settle their claim. If settlement is not possible in this time, a lawsuit must be filed to preserve their rights. Otherwise, at the end of the two year statute of limitations, their legal rights expire.

Note, however, that when the party responsible for the accident is a governmental entity, such as a city, county, or state agency, a governmental claim form must be filed with the government entity within six months from the date of the accident. These claim forms can generally be found on the entity’s website. The government entity then has forty-five days to take action on the claim. If no action is taken, or if the claim is rejected, which happens in virtually every case, the victim then has six months from the date the claim is rejected to file a lawsuit.

In medical malpractice cases, the victim has only twelve months from the date of the injury (or the discovery of the injury) to file a claim with the medical provider notifying it of the claim.

The bottom line about statutes of limitations is that you don’t want to wait until the statute of limitations in your case is quickly approaching to consult with an attorney. Lawyers often do not want to take these cases on, as it is simply too much of a risk. It is best to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to determine your legal rights and remedies.

If you have any questions about a particular personal injury case, please get your FREE online case evaluation by an experienced and focused personal injury lawyer on our team with 2 decades of of experience.

This video and accompanying text is not intended to be a source of legal advice for any purpose. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. The information in this video and text does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your case.