How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for an Auto Accident in California?
In the state of California, anyone who has suffered a personal injury due to an automobile accident will have only two years to file a lawsuit for damages in accordance with California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1. Once that statutory period has passed, that individual will lose his or her right to sue for damages or any other type of relief. Any Los Angeles auto accident lawyer will also advise clients to keep in mind that the date of the injury is ordinarily what starts the clock running for the two-year deadline; but, there are certain exceptions to the rule.
Exceptions to the Two-Year Timeframe
Some of the exceptions to the rule are:
- If your accident was caused by a public entity, to include a county, city, state, or school, you must file your claim against that entity within six months of the accident.
- If an individual was mentally incompetent when the accident took place, the statute of limitations can be stopped (or tolled) for a limited period of time.
- Children under the age of 18 will be given an extended period of time to file after they turn 18, but it would be wise to file within one year of his or her 18th birthday.
A Los Angeles auto accident lawyer will also tell you that claims for damages for personal injuries stemming from auto accidents can be made at any time after the occurrence of the accident directly to the insurance company or the individual who caused the injury.
However, injured individuals should stay mindful that if their matter is not settled before the two-year time limitation lapses, their rights to receive compensation for their injuries will be lost. That is why it is crucial for you to contact a Los Angeles auto accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Call Samer Habbas at 888-848-5084 for a free consultation today and preserve your rights.