Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in California

Every year more than 20,000 individuals suffer injuries caused by auto accident in the State of California. Victims who seek compensation from liable parties are able to file a civil lawsuit in California courts. However personal injury lawsuit against parties responsible for roadway accidents must be filed within a specific time period designated by the statute of limitations laws of the state of California. Failure to file your claim within the timeline established by law will result in the eliminations of your right to financial recovery under the law.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Car Accident Injury Lawsuit in the State of California

In the state of California personal injury claims including auto accident must first be filed within TWO YEARS from the date of the incident which resulted in the harm suffered.

Wrongful Death Auto Accident Claims: Under California Civil Procedure 335.1 wrongful death lawsuits for the death of a loved one in an auto accident has TWO YEARS from the date of the incident to file a Wrongful death cause of action.

More information on CA Statute of Limitations here…

Accidents Involving Government Vehicles – Lawsuits Against Public Entities

Government and public vehicles may include public transportation vehicles, buses, trains, as well as police patrol cars and government vans and trucks. In the state of California victims of injury caused by government agencies or individuals working for government agencies must first file an administrative claim within SIX MONTHS (120 days) from the date of the accident. If an when the administrative courts denies a claim the claimant (plaintiff) will then have TWO YEARS from the date of the original accident to file a claim in state civil court.

Can I Still File a Lawsuit if the Statute of Limitations Has Passed: In limited circumstances courts in the state of California have allowed for the filing of a lawsuit by an injure party despite the statute of limitations having passed. Some examples where courts have allowed for a tolling of the statute of limitations are included below.

  • Fraud on the part of the at fault (liable) party on his representative to induce the victims to not file a claim.
  • Mental or physical incapacitation of the victim.
  • The injury caused by the incident did not present itself until after the statute of limitations for filing the lawsuit had run.
  • Age of the Victim: Under California state law victims under the age of 18 have two years from the date of their 18th birthday to file a claim in the court of law.

Seeking Out Legal Help: If you have any further legal questions regarding the filing of a car accident lawsuit feel free to contact our law offices.







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