Many people are confused by the idea of the statute of limitations that surround the filing of a California personal injury lawsuit. They may have heard that you can lose your right to file a suit if you do not do so within the period outlined by the statute of limitations, and, therefore, they think there is no purpose in pursuing a personal injury claim.
In reality, there are many exceptions to the statute of limitations rules. A victim should never assume that it is “too late” to file a personal injury claim. Instead, he or she should talk to an experienced attorney like Daniel M. Gilleon in San Diego. A personal injury attorney can examine the case and decide if there is an exception to the statute of limitations.
As the name implies, a statute of limitations is a law that limits the time a victim has to file a personal injury lawsuit. The purpose of this law is to protect all of us from frivolous lawsuit filings. Imagine if someone could file a lawsuit based on an injury that happened 50 years ago! It would be impossible for the victim or the defendant to prove how the accident happened, who was at fault or who should pay. Instead, the law requires that victims file their claims in a timely manner.
According to the California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 335-349.4, the statute of limitations for most claims is two years from the date of the injury. That means if you are injured in a car accident on March 1, 2016, you have until March 1, 2018, to file your claim. If you do not file a claim against the person who caused the accident within that time period, the judge has the right to refuse to hear your case.
However, it is important to remember two facts. First, just because the statute of limitations has passed does not mean that a judge will automatically disallow your claim. It may be possible to present evidence that shows that you were unable to file a claim by the end of the time period. It may also be possible to show that new evidence has emerged that gives you the information you need to file your claim against the right party.
Second, it is important to remember that some groups and situations have different statutory time limits. You should never assume that you have lost the right to file a claim. Instead, contact Dan Gilleon today for help.