UNITED STATES—Statutes of limitations exist for all kinds of legal issues to encourage the defendant to take legal action sooner rather than later and prevent false claims as well. For example, suppose you were in a car accident. In that case, according to personal injury lawyers, filing a personal injury claim before the statute of limitations expires is in your best interest because you might lose your evidence in time, but there is more.

Eyewitnesses are known to become more unreliable with the passage of time, and you might not be able to use their testimonies anymore either because they can’t remember or you will no longer find them. In California, you only have two years to initiate a personal injury claim from the date of the accident. There are some exceptions, but here is everything you need to know about California’s personal injury statutes of limitations!

Statues of Limitations and Personal Injury in California

If you were the victim of an accident in California and want to pursue a personal injury claim to receive compensation, you have to do so within two years from the date of the accident. If you miss the deadline on the statute of limitations, you could face all sorts of repercussions.

For example, the other party or their insurance company might argue that your injuries weren’t that serious or the evidence is lacking. Even if you know the other party is liable for your injuries, they will use your delayed personal injury claim against you at every turn in your case, but there is more. Even the court might not be as impartial as they need to be once they find out that you filed a claim after the statute of limitations expired. 

Apart from this, you won’t find a personal injury lawyer so easy to take on your case because they know that once the statute of limitations expires, a case is less likely to succeed if it ends up in court since evidence might be lost, eyewitnesses might not be reachable anymore, and so on.

Delaying the Statute of Limitations and Exceptional Cases 

However, there are situations where the statute of limitations on personal injuries in California can be extended. If you discovered your injury late, you have an additional year to file a claim from the date you discovered your injury. If the person you want to file a claim against isn’t in California anymore, then the statute of limitations can be tolled, and the clock will begin ticking again once they are back in the state.

Suppose you suffered a personal injury due to a government entity. In that case, the statute of limitations is six months from the date of the injury, and you must file an administrative claim. Speak to a personal injury lawyer to find out more.

If you were a minor or the personal injury left you mentally incapacitated, then the statute of limitations will be delayed. Once you turn 18 or are mentally able again, the clock starts ticking once more.