How Long Do You Have to Sue Someone for a Personal Injury?

by Christian Scranton

You’re probably here because you are wondering if you have left it too late to pursue a personal injury case. As Scranton Law Firm is based in California, let’s take a closer look at personal injury law within the golden state.

In California, the law allows you two years to file your personal injury case. This is called the statute of limitations. This sets a deadline for the date by which you must have initiated legal proceedings. If you miss this deadline, your claim will most likely be invalid.

The statute of limitations begins on the date of your injury. So, if you have been the victim of an accident that wasn’t your fault, you have 24 months to approach a personal injury lawyer and get your case started. It might seem like a long time but 2 years can fly past pretty quickly. And everyday life is bound to get in the way, so we do recommend getting your case started as soon as you feel ready and able to do so.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the victim is under the age of 18 when the injury occurs, the statute of limitations may begin on their 18th birthday so that they are given the full two years as an adult. Another exception to the statute of limitations may be granted if the personal injury did not manifest itself immediately after the accident. For example, if it took 6 months for a back injury to become apparent after what seemed like a minor fender bender, then the victim may be allowed an additional 6 months to file their personal injury case. After all, new information has arisen that changed a minor incident into a painful and expensive major inconvenience.

Some accidents can be so severe that the victim is incapacitated and unable to pursue legal action on their own behalf for quite some time. If a car accident  victim was in a coma or otherwise recovering from severe physical or mental problems that would prevent pursuing legal action, then they may be allowed a longer period to make their claim.

We should also mention that California has a different statute of limitations for personal injury claims against government agencies. If you wish to make a claim against any government body either at city, county or state level, you generally have just six months to file your case from the date of your personal injury. That’s just 180 days. Cases that fall under this definition are also subject to a specific procedure that must be followed.

Even though there are exceptions to the two-year rule, we always recommend a consultation about your case as soon as possible. If you feel ready to pursue your personal injury case, contact Scranton Law Firm on (800) 400-8742 or use our contact form to arrange a meeting with one of our personal injury lawyers.

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