As an injured accident victim, you likely have many things on your mind. You might be thinking about medical bills, missed work days, and other essential aspects of your life that got altered because of your injury. You might feel fed up and ready to move on with your life, but that’s hard to do when you don’t have the resources to heal and recover fully. Fortunately, you can file a claim to receive compensation and pay off all your costs. However, that also means you must know about your claim’s deadline or statute of limitations.
Read on to learn what our attorneys can say about statutes of limitations and how they can affect your claim:
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What are Statutes of Limitations?
As an injured accident victim, you must meet a deadline when filing a legal claim. This deadline is called a statute of limitations. Different types of claims have limits according to your state’s laws. In California, the statute of limitations can change depending on your case’s circumstances. If you have no idea about your personal injury claim’s statute of limitations, an experienced personal injury lawyer in California can help you look at your case’s details and determine its appropriate deadline.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations In California For Personal Injury Claims?
According to California CCP § 335.1, you have two years (from the day of injury) to file a personal injury lawsuit. After that deadline, a judge will most likely dismiss your case.
Some people feel like two years is a very long time. However, most injuries and their extent can take months or even years to diagnose thoroughly. For these instances, California has what we call a discovery rule. It means you can have more time to file a legal claim if your injuries manifest and you discover them some time later after the accident.
Here are other factors that can delay the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in California:
- The defendant left California
- The plaintiff is in a coma or incapacitated by a mental illness
- The victim died later after the accident (surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit)
- The victim or plaintiff is younger than 18 years old
- The victim is in prison
What Should You Know about Personal Injury Claims Against the Government?
In California, the two-year statute of limitations for your injury claim only applies if you file against private companies or citizens. The process can change if you file against a government agency or employee. In this case, you must file within six months from the day you sustained your injury, as indicated in California Government Code § 911.2.
You must include the following details in your claim:
- Claimant’s name and address
- Claimant’s preferred address for claim notices
- List of claimant’s losses with description
- Accident details (date, time, and location)
- Name of the responsible government agency or employee
After notifying the government agency about your claim, they will proceed with their investigation. This step can get complex very quickly because they will also look at even the most minor details of your accident. If you plan to file a legal claim against any government entity, it’s best to consult a personal injury lawyer immediately.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help You with Your Claim?
When you’re in the thick of it, you can quickly realize that filing a personal injury claim is hard. However, you need to consider the unique details of your case to move forward with your claim properly. Also, you must think strategically to meet your claim’s statute of limitations and maximize your compensation.
However, you can’t make the most of it if you don’t have the experience. Most accident victims aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of the legal claim process. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. You can consult a personal injury lawyer in California to help you with the messy legal work of your case, including:
- Collecting evidence
- Accurately computing your value of damages
- Dealing with insurance companies
- Accessing expert witnesses for your case
- Getting statements from witnesses
- Taking at-fault parties to court (if needed)
By hiring a personal injury lawyer, you can increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. Most importantly, you don’t have to endure these hard times alone.
Our injury attorneys here at Jacoby and Meyers can also help you:
- Prove negligence
- Define the Cost of Damages
- Build a strong claim
- Negotiate a Settlement
- Proceed with important deadlines in mind
Give us a call today at 888-960-0480 for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help you.