Statute of Limitations for a California Personal Injury Claim

personal injury | February 25, 2022

If you or a loved one sustain an injury caused by the actions of another individual or entity in the state of California, then you will likely be able to recover compensation for your losses. However, recovering compensation can be challenging, and injury victims need to be aware of deadlines in place as they begin the discussion of filing a claim. Here, we want to look at the California personal injury statute of limitations as well as any other deadlines victims need to be aware of.

Statute of Limitations for a California Personal Injury Claim

What California Law Says About the Personal Injury Statute of Limitation

Every state around the country has deadlines in place regarding how long individuals have to file lawsuits. These time limits are called the statute of limitations.

For personal injury lawsuits, the California statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. This means that injury victims have a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the individual or entity who allegedly caused the injury.

If a personal injury victim fails to file a lawsuit within this time frame, this means that they will likely not be able to recover any compensation at all. The courts will typically dismiss the claim if it is filed beyond this two-year limit.

There are exceptions to the statute of limitations, including various ways that the time limit can be paused, or “tolled.” For example, pausing the statute of limitations may be possible if the injury victim is under the age of 18.

Are There Other Deadlines to be Concerned About?

The personal injury statute of limitations is not the only deadline that individuals need to be concerned about. The most immediate deadline for most personal injury victims revolves around the insurance carriers involved in the case.

The vast majority of California injury claims are resolved through settlement with insurance carriers. Insurance carriers usually have stringent reporting deadlines put in place and written into their contracts with policyholders. Sometimes, these deadlines are within a day or two after the injury occurs. There are various exceptions to these deadlines, and we strongly encourage you to research your particular policy to understand the reporting requirements.

Should You Work With an Attorney for Your Claim?

If you have sustained an injury caused by the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of another individual or entity in California, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled personal injury lawyer will handle every aspect of the claim on your behalf. Importantly, an attorney will understand all deadlines in place regarding your claim, including those in place by the insurance carriers, as well as the overall statute of limitations for California.

A lawyer will work within these confines and make sure that your claim is investigated and filed appropriately. Failing to file a claim within the appropriate deadline could result in injury victims not being able to recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, property damage expenses, or pain and suffering damages.