Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Absent a specific instance in which you are bringing suit against a government agency or if you where a minor (underage) at the time of the injury producing event, California provides a 2-year personal injury statute of limitations. This means that an injury victim MUST settle their claim or file their lawsuit within this initial 2-year time period or risk losing their rights to sue for injury compensation.

Example Scenario 1:  Bill, 34, gets injured in a car accident that occurred on May 1, 2016.  Bill must settle his injury claim or file his lawsuit no later than May 1, 2018, or risk the likely hood that his suit will be thrown out of court if he filed after the two-year time period imposed by law.

  • Continue to read and learn more about California’s personal injury statute of limitations and its exceptions.

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Personal Injury Statute of Limitations | Accrual

The common-law rule is that an action for damages accrues on the date of injury.

Example Scenario 2:  On May 1, 2016, Bill, 34, was in a serious car accident and sustained life altering injuries that rendered him unconscious and kept him hospitalized for several months. After his release from the hospital, Bill was out of work for 6-months while recuperating and rehabilitating.  Even though he was rendered immediately unconscious and incapacitated for nearly one year, Bill’s two-year time period in which he must settle his injury claim or file an injury lawsuit began on the date of his accident- May 1, 2016.

Personal Injury Statute of Limitations | Government Claims

Before you file a lawsuit against a government agency, you first have to file an administrative claim with the government office or agency you allege caused you injuries.  In this instance, you must file your claim using the specific government agency’s form.  For personal injury damages, you must file your administrative claim within 6-months of the date of the injury.

After you file your claim, the alleged wrongdoing and or negligent government agency has 45-days to respond.  If the agency denies your claim during the 45-days, you now have 6-months in which to file a lawsuit.  This 6-month window begins on the date the claim denial was mailed or personally delivered to you.  If you do not get a rejection letter, you have 2-years to file your injury suit from the day the incident occurred.

Example Scenario 3:  On September 1, 2016, Roberto, 23, was in a serious car accident and sustained life altering injuries that rendered him unconscious and kept him hospitalized for several months.  Roberto was struck by a State owned and driven Government agency vehicle that ran a red light.  After his release from the hospital, Roberto was out of work for 2-months while recuperating and rehabilitating.  Even though he was rendered immediately unconscious and incapacitated for nearly 6-months, Roberto’s 6-month time period in which he must file his administrative claim began on the date of his accident- September 1, 2016.

Personal Injury Statute of Limitations | Minors

There are exceptions to the general 2-year personal injury rule when the statute of limitations is tolled (suspended) for a period of time, and then begins to run again. These exceptions include being a minor at the time of the injury producing event, being in/out of prison, or mentally handicapped.  Absent there being an alleged government agency wrongdoer, if at the time of the injury the victim was a minor, the 2-years statute of limitations is tolled until they turn 18 years old.

Example Scenario 4:  Janet, 13, gets injured in a car accident that occurred on January 1, 2016.  She was born on November 1, 2003.  Stacey has until she turns 20 on November 1, 2023 to settle her injury claim or file his lawsuit. For the time she was underage the 2-year period in which to file her lawsuit is suspended and does not begin to run until she turns 18.

Example Scenario 5:  Janet, 13, gets injured in a car accident that occurred on January 1, 2016.  She was born on November 1, 2003. Stacey was struck by a State owned and driven Government agency vehicle that ran a red light.  Even though she was a minor at the time of her accident, Stacey’s 6-month time period in which she must file her administrative claim began on the date of her accident- January 1, 2016.

personal injury statute of limitations | www.ordazlawapc.com

Ordaz Law, APC | Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Juan J. Ordaz Jr. provides candid, hardworking and personal legal representation to individuals seeking a personal injury lawyer in San Diego County.  We help victims suffering from a variety of injuries, who have sustained their injuries through different types of injury producing events.  We believe that it is a necessity to represent people who have sustained traumatic and debilitating injuries, and suffered ultimate losses.

Call (619) 550-3617 today so that we may schedule your free and discreet consultation with a premier San Diego personal injury lawyer.

We are for Justice no Matter Who it’s for or Against.

Sources and Useful Links:

California Courts – The Judicial Branch of California – Statute of Limitations

California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1

California Code of Civil Procedure section 352

Government Code 911.2

Blog: Personal Injury

Blog: San Diego Personal Injury

Statute of Limitations | Personal Injury

Statute of Limitation | Personal Injury

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