Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Your Case

Everyone who has suffered a personal injury due to the actions of another – whether it be from a car accident, exposure to dangerous chemicals, or any other accident or incident – has the right to pursue financial compensation from the liable party. They cannot, however, wait an unreasonable amount of time to make their claim. To this end, California has created a set of statutes of limitations – or time limits – for personal injury lawsuits. If no case is filed before the statute expires, any filed in the future for that same injury can be immediately thrown out by the court.

There are a few specifics about statutes of limitations you need to know to fully understand your situation:

  • "Regular" injury: Nearly every personal injury case in the state has a statute of limitations of two years from when the injury occurred.
  • "Delayed" injury: Not every ailment is noticeable at first glance. For injuries that are discovered some time after the accident or incident occurred, the statute of limitations is only one year. For example, you might have been prescribed dangerous drugs unknowingly five years ago but you only started to suffer symptoms from longtime use this year; you would still have a year to file a claim, starting from when your symptoms began.
  • Destroyed property: Injury cases do not need to mean harm to your body, as they can pertain to damage to your property. You will have three years to file a case seeking compensation after your property has been wrongfully destroyed by others.
  • Damage caused by the government: If your injury claim must be filed against a California city, county, or government agency, you will only have six months to create your suit. Additionally, there are numerous other rules in place that you must follow. Claims against the government are notoriously complicated, and it is widely advised that you retain a lawyer as soon as possible in such scenarios.
  • Tolls: A statute of limitation may actually be suspended – or tolled – for a limited duration based on unique circumstances, and then resumed again later. If you were placed in prison, for instance, where you had no access to legal counsel, your statute would pause until you were released.

Beyond statutes of limitations complicating matters for those dealing with a personal injury, litigation itself can feel treacherous and complex. If you need assistance handling an injury claim but don't know where to start, you can turn to our Modesto personal injury attorney, Mr. Steven A. Fabbro. With more than 30 years of experience and more than $300 million recovered for our clients, you know you can trust our law firm with your case. Call 209.803.5117 today!

Categories: Personal Injury, FAQ

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