Plaintiffs that file personal injury claims in California should know the personal injury claims limitations in that state. Having a good understanding of civil procedure according to California law is critical to being completely aware of this information. Personal injury victims should make sure that they understand the following laws to avoid compromising their cases.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations refers to the time limit within which you must take a particular legal action. Failure by the plaintiff to take specific legal action within the period means that he or she may be prohibited from making the legal action.
The statute of limitations in California for certain personal injury cases is within two years of sustaining the injury and others can be as short as 6 months. The plaintiff has a maximum of 2 years within which to file the personal injury lawsuit from the day he or she sustains the injury.
Plaintiffs may sometimes not learn about the harm until later. In such instances, a special rule known as “discovery of harm” kicks in. It is useful when the personal injury victim does not know that he or she sustained an injury.
In such circumstances, the clock usually does not start ticking until the victim realizes that he or she has sustained the injury. The victim thus has longer to file the lawsuit, but he or she still has to prove that the injury was not sustained at a later date. Medical records can help prove this point.
Personal injury victims who file claims after the applicable statute of limitations risk finding themselves in situations where the defendants use this as a defense. The defendant can even ask the court to award attorney fees for defending invalid claims.
The Bottom Line: Seek Professional Legal Assistance
Personal injury victims in California should consult a personal injury attorney to familiarize themselves with the various limitations and how they can affect their case. Being aware of the information helps victims increase their chances of receiving sufficient compensation for their injuries.
Schedule Your Free Consultation With Our Personal Injury Lawyer
Christopher Montes de Oca is an experienced personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles. Chris is recognized as a “Super Lawyer Rising Star,” a recognition that only 2.5 percent of lawyers receive, because of the exceptional results he has seen and his dedication to his clients. Chris services clients throughout Los Angeles, including Echo Park, Maywood, Long Beach, Whittier, Glendale, La Mirada, Pico Rivera, Hacienda Heights, and Alhambra. Call him today for a free consultation at (562) 901-4664.