A Statute of Limitations is the time limit or deadline for filing a lawsuit. The length of time varies depending on the legal claim. There is no simple answer to what time frame applies and it is not always evident or easy to figure out. We strongly recommend you contact our office so that we can help you determine the Statute of Limitations that affects your claim. Below you will find a brief description of the limitations that might apply to your claim according to the California law.
INJURY TO AN ADULT
Generally speaking, in California an adult whose injury was not caused by a public or government entity or during the provision of medical services has two years from the date of injury to bring a lawsuit or otherwise preserve their right to make a claim. (Code Civ. Proc. § 335.1) Failure to do so will likely result in the claim being barred by law forever. Other factors may extend or shorten the two year period of time. For example, if the person who caused your injury died during or after the accident that can shorten or extend your statute of limitations. (Code Civ. Proc. § 366.2)
INJURY TO A PERSON UNDER 18
For minors injured through the fault of others, the statute of limitations is generally two years after the injured minor reaches the age of 18. However, the limitations period can be much shorter depending if the defendant is a public entity (Code Civ. Proc. § 352 (b) ).
INJURIES CAUSED BY A PUBLIC ENTITY
Statutes of limitations against public entities are outlined by the Government Claims Act and require special analysis. Claims against a public entity require presenting a special claim document within a period of time as short as six (6) months after an injury. Thereafter, there may be additional requirements and a short time frame to bring a lawsuit (Govt. Code § 810 et. seq.).
Statutes of limitations for medical malpractice actions are governed by special laws and require specific analysis based on factors including but not limited to when you discovered (or through the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered) the potential malpractice (Code Civ. Proc. § 340.5).
The correct analysis of the applicable statute of limitations is key to the success of your case. The information provided herein should not in any way be interpreted as an analysis of your particular case or fact pattern nor should you use the information contained in this brief blog post to calculate the limitation period applicable to your matter.
We encourage you to contact us today so we can discuss the facts of your case and help you understand how California law operates to limit the amount of time you have to bring a claim. The information provided herein was current as of the date of posting and does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose.
Arthofer & Tonkin Law Offices offers free consultations on personal injury matters. If we accept your case we will take all necessary action to properly preserve your rights within timelines outlined in this complex area of California law.