At Maison Law, our lawyers offer representation to victims of personal injury accidents throughout California. An accident can occur within seconds due to the negligent acts of another party, leaving you with physical, emotional, and financial harm that you never expected. We can assist you when dealing with the big-name insurance companies and meeting deadlines, as well as provide you with the resources you need during this difficult time. Please contact us today for a free and completely confidential case review.
Understanding the California Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a deadline that is put in place to instruct plaintiffs on how much time they have to bring a lawsuit against another party. In California, you have two years from the date of your injury to bring a personal injury lawsuit. This means that, from the time that you discover your injury, you need to bring your claim in two years until you are barred from doing so.
Even though the statute of limitations is strict, there could be some exceptions to the rule under California law. Understanding these exceptions can be helpful if you believe that you are going to miss the deadline.
“Tolling” in Personal Injury Claims
In California, “tolling” temporarily stops the statute of limitations. There are five different situations where tolling could be permitted in a personal injury claim, extending the statute of limitations for you. These include the following:
- When the plaintiff is a minor
- When they are located out of the state
- When they are incapacitated
- When they have been deemed “legally insane”
- When they are in prison
A claim involving tolling can be complex, as there are still time limits within a tolling period depending on the circumstances of your claim. This is why it is crucial that you speak with a lawyer that you can trust after a personal injury claim.
The Discovery Rule in California Personal Injury Claims
In some cases, the discovery rule can also extend the statute of limitations in California. This means that you did not know about your injury at the time of your accident. For example, let’s say that you were involved in a car accident and you went home, thinking you were fine. A few months later, you start to experience back pain and find out at the hospital that you sustained a back injury in your accident. If you did not discover the injury until then, the clock does not start ticking on the statute of limitations until the point that you discovered it. It is true that many people do not immediately discover their injuries due to delayed symptoms, which is why the discovery rule is so important.
Immediately After Your California Accident…
The best thing that you can do for your well-being and your claim is to seek medical attention immediately after your accident. Medical treatment without delays is crucial to document the injuries and harm that you have sustained in an accident. If you wish to move forward with a personal injury claim after your injuries have been documented, it is crucial that you act quickly so that you do not miss the two-year statute of limitations that has been put in place for these claims.
Contact a California Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or somebody you love has been affected by an accident in California, you may be feeling alone and confused about your next steps. Along with the physical recovery you are now facing, you also have to concern yourself with medical expenses, lost wages, and other bills that keep piling up.
At Maison Law, our California personal injury lawyers understand that it can be a difficult journey toward gaining financial support after an accident. Along with the strict statute of limitations, it may be challenging to deal with the insurance company. We will provide you with the resources and answers that you need to be successful in your claim. Please contact us today for a free and confidential case review so that you can get started.