Don’t Miss the Deadline To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in California
When you suffer an injury due to someone else’s negligence, your first thoughts are probably not about taking that person to court. You likely are busy seeking medical care, figuring out how to deal with the injury and getting your life back in order before you ever think about a lawsuit. However, if you want to hold the person accountable under the law, you have to get moving on filing your personal injury claim with the court sooner rather than later due to the statute of limitations in California. The law only gives you a set amount of time in which to file your lawsuit. If you miss it, you lose the right to make a claim.
It is a good idea to secure an attorney after any accident. Your attorney can assure that you meet deadlines and do not miss the personal injury statute of limitations in California.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is the amount of time in which you have to file a lawsuit in a personal injury case. If you file your case after the time limit expires, then the court will not hear your case, and you lose all rights to bring your claim or collect damages.
Setting a time limit for filing cases serves a few purposes. It encourages people to bring their claims to court quickly, which can help courts run more efficiently. It also ensures the preservation of evidence, as many types can deteriorate with time.
Your attorney will want to speak with you and begin gathering evidence as soon as possible. This is because over time, evidence can disappear, especially evidence in a personal injury case. For example, if you are in a car accident, the physical evidence at the scene is only there for a very short time. After that, it can make it more difficult to get what you need to prove your case.
With the statute of limitations in place, the court can assure that cases are fair and provide the strongest evidence. It helps avoid wasting the court’s time and ensures there is a more complete picture of the personal injury incident.
What Cases Fall Under Personal Injury Law?
Personal injury is the area of law that covers civil cases seeking damages for incidents in which one person causes an injury or loss to another party due to negligent actions. There are a few main areas of personal injury law:
In a civil lawsuit, you can request the court to award you money or payment for your injuries or loss of personal property. To prove your case, you must show the other person’s negligence directly caused your injuries or damage.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims?
The length of the statute of limitations depends on the type of case and varies from state to state. It is important that you know what the limit is in your state for your specific type of claim.
The personal injury statute of limitations in California is generally two years. It begins on the date your injury occurs. However, as with many laws, there are exceptions.
Sometimes injuries are not immediately apparent. If you discover your injury after the incident that causes it, the statute of limitations is only one year after you make this discovery.
If you have a medical malpractice claim against a healthcare provider, then the limit is one year from the date you discover your injury or three years from the date the injury happened, whichever comes first.
However, if your case is against a government entity, then you must file your claim within six months. This is a situation where it is especially helpful to have a personal injury lawyer working for you. Six months goes by fast, and you don’t want to lose your chance to file your case.
Another special situation is tolling, which is pausing the countdown. The statute of limitations may pause if you are under 18 because you cannot file a lawsuit at this age. It will begin as soon as you turn 18 years old. It may also pause if you are not mentally capable of bringing your case to court. For example, if you are in a coma, the time limit would pause until you come out of the coma. Lastly, it can pause if the other party leaves the state before you have the chance to file your claim with the court.
How Can an Attorney Help Me Avoid Statute of Limitation Issues in My Personal Injury Case?
Remember that if you miss the statute of limitations, you cannot file a lawsuit. The court will not hear your case, and you lose all ability to make any legal claim for the incident. Because of this, it is essential that you secure legal representation as quickly as possible following your personal injury situation.
It can take time to build your case. Your attorney will need access to evidence that may disappear with time. To build the best case and avoid missing the deadline, you need to hire a lawyer who can begin working right away to put together your case.
A personal injury lawyer has the experience and knowledge to understand what you must do to prove your case and stay compliant with the law. He or she can act as your guide and advocate. Even if you suffer a serious injury, your attorney can get things moving while you recover.
Hiring an attorney is an essential step to recovering the damages due to you under the law. Having someone on your side who understands personal injury law and the statute of limitations can help ensure you do not miss your chance to hold the other party responsible for his or her actions.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer
If you’ve been a victim of a personal injury situation, then you should talk with a lawyer today. Get your case rolling so that you have the ability to file before the personal injury statute of limitations in California expires. Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!