Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in California?

In the immediate aftermath of an accident, such as a car wreck, slip and fall or other type of personal injury incident, the last thing you want to deal with is pursuing legal action. You just want to concentrate on the health and wellbeing of you and your family. However, depending on the severity of the injuries you or your loved ones suffered, the financial help you need to cover hospital bills, rehabilitation expenses and loss of income (if the injury prevents you from working) could depend on the results of a personal injury claim. Unfortunately, if you wait too long after the incident, you may run out of time to file a personal injury lawsuit in California.

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

In California, generally, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the injury. That means, that a person has two years from the date they suffered the injury to file a lawsuit against the individual or organization responsible.

In some cases, a person may not know that their injury is as severe as it actually is until months or even years after they suffer the injury, which can mean that the statute of limitations could run out before they realize they have a personal injury claim. However, there is a ‘discovery of harm” rule that allows people to file personal injury lawsuits after the two-year statute of limitations if they did not know they were injured at first or did not know the full extent of their injury until after the statute of limitations had run out. In such cases, a person has one year from when they discover their injury to file a lawsuit.

If you have questions about personal injury lawsuits or were injured and want to know if you have grounds to file an injury suit, get in touch with the California personal injury attorneys at Arata, Swingle Van Egmond & Goodwin today.