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Understanding Personal Injury Lawsuits & the Statute of Limitations

What is the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit for my accident?

The statute of limitations refers to the time limit in which a lawsuit can be filed to recover damages. In California, personal injury cases have a statute of limitations that varies depending on the type of claim. These are some common claims and their statute of limitations:

  1. Personal Injury – 2 Years
  2. Property Damage – 3 Years
  3. Wrongful Death – 2 Years
  4. Personal Injury (Federal, State, Local Government Entity at Fault) – 6 Months

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Extensions of Personal Injury Claims Statute of Limitations

These dates are based on the date of the accident, and in some cases, can be tolled or paused. In this case, the statute of limitations can be extended.

Delayed Discovery

In most cases, the lawsuit clock starts the day of the accident, but if damages weren’t immediately discovered, then the starting date would correspond to the day that the victim discovered the damages. Delayed discovery requires the victim to take every reasonable step they can to discover the damages. This includes seeing a medical professional as soon as possible after an accident.

Minors & People in Comas

If the victim is a minor, the l clock does not start until their 18th birthday. In the case of coma patients, the statute of limitations does not start until the date they wake up.


Call The Scranton Law Firm and discuss the facts of your case with one of our experienced California accident lawyers – consultations are always free! Even if we do not accept a case, we may be able to help. We frequently make referrals to other lawyers when a caller has a problem outside of our specialty.

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