If you have been in any type of accident then you may be wondering how long you have to decide if you should file a personal injury case. The answer is different state to state but you are likely wondering about California. Keep reading to find out why the statutes of limitations are in place and how they affect your case. Then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 if you need a free legal consultation.
Why Do We Have Statutes of Limitations?
First and foremost, let us consider why statutes of limitations exist in the first place. It’s actually rather simple: To protect people from fraudulent charges or claims. For example, let’s say that the police arrest you for a burglary that occurred ten year ago. One of the easiest ways to prove your innocence is to have a rock solid alibi – but di you know what you were doing a decade ago on a specific date?
The same is true of personal injury cases. If a person is injured in an accident and has plenty of evidence to prove it, but they wait ten years to do so, then the person they are suing is at a serious disadvantage. Why? Because they cannot have their own doctors consider the injuries, they may not be able to contact witnesses, and other evidence may have been lost. To prevent these issues, the state has made rules that victims have only a certain amount of time to file their claim.
Those specific rules vary based on the nature of the case and who you are suing. However, remember that there are always exceptions. One example is an injury that was undiagnosed for longer than the statute of limitations. In that case, you may be able to bring a case even if the statute of limitations has expired. It is always worth calling The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.
The Specific Statutes of Limitations in California
Now that you understand why the statutes of limitations are in place, let’s get down to the specifics of them. Generally speaking, in a personal injury lawsuit, product liability lawsuit, or wrongful death lawsuit, you will have two years to file a lawsuit. One major exception is a personal injury lawsuit in which there are no injury damages and just property damages – you have three years to file that.
If you are suing for medical malpractice then you will likely have just one year to file. If you are suing a government agency, then you will need to follow a different process that involves filing a notice of injury within six months of the injury. Your attorney will help ensure you do not miss important deadlines. You can contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for more details.