Statute of Limitations in California

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

When someone is injured by another person's negligence, recklessness or intentional conduct, they may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit as a way of recovering financial compensation. However, anyone who has been harmed should keep in mind that there are time limits involved in these situations and that failing to adhere to these time limits could lead to the dismissal of an otherwise valid case.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, the best course of action is to seek help from a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Time may be running out on your case, so it is important to discuss your rights and options with an attorney before it's too late.

General Personal Injury

When someone is harmed because of another person’s negligence, the victim has two years from the date of the injury to file an action. However, there are limited exceptions to this time limit, such as when the plaintiff could not have discovered an injury until a later date, but those situations are rare.

Medical Malpractice

Those who are harmed by medical malpractice generally have either three years from the date of the injury or one year from the date of the discovery of the injury to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations will not work against a plaintiff if he or she could not have discovered such problems as a foreign object inside his or her body or when fraud is present that conceals the nature of the medical malpractice.

Intentional Acts

If someone is harmed by the intentional acts of another, that plaintiff has one year to file a lawsuit for actions including slander, libel or false imprisonment, and two years for assault and battery.

Policy Behind the Statute of Limitations

Generally, a person must adhere to these statutory time limits for several reasons. One of them includes the notion that the longer the period of time between the date of the injury and the filing of a lawsuit, the less dependable and available evidence tends to be at trial. In addition, the would-be defendant has the right to reach a point where he or she can realize that a personal injury lawsuit cannot be filed.

Every statute of limitations issue regarding personal injury lawsuits contains some exceptions and technicalities. Rather than risk having your claim dismissed as a matter of law, seek the help of a personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you or someone you love has been injured.

Contact the Scarlett Law Group at (415) 688-2176 for your free consultation.

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