How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in California?

Were you involved in a car accident several months ago but are now finding that you have new pain and injury symptoms? What if this injury requires surgery or physical therapy? If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you have the right to take legal action to recover compensation for the damages you sustained, even if you thought you weren’t initially injured but noticed new symptoms after the incident.

Each state has set limits on the amount of time individuals have to file personal injury claims. These limits are known as the statute of limitations. It is important to note that the statute of limitations varies depending on the type of filing.

The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in California is two years. This means the injured party must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the injury. If you don’t file a personal injury lawsuit within the two-year period, then the court will refuse to hear the case at any time in the future and your opportunity to pursue compensation will be lost.

Statute of Limitations Exceptions in California

The following special situations can extend the deadline or affect when the statute of limitations "clock" starts to run or pause:

  • The injured party didn’t discover and was not aware of any facts that would have caused a reasonable person to suspect that they suffered harm caused by someone else's wrongful conduct. This is called the "delayed discovery" rule.
  • The injured party was under the age of 18 or was "lacking the legal capacity to make decisions" at the time of the underlying accident.
  • The party who allegedly caused the injury left the state at some point after the accident and before the lawsuit could be filed.

In California, there is a six-month time limit to file an injury claim against a city, county, or state government agency. Claimants must also follow a strict set of procedural rules if they are suing a government entity.

Consult with Our Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers Today

Have you or a loved one sustained an injury due to someone else's negligence or wrongdoing? Are you struggling with the resulting physical, financial, and emotional damages? Then turn to our compassionate and knowledgeable lawyers at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP so we can review your case and build a strong legal strategy that will protect your best interests. Let us navigate you through this difficult time and fight for the justice you deserve.

Give us a call today at (800) 462-7160 to set up your case consultation with a personal injury lawyer at our firm.