What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Filing An Auto Accident Injury Claim In California?
In California, the statute of limitations for filing a claim or lawsuit for bodily injury is normally two years. If you do not settle your bodily injury case within two years of the date of the collision, you must file a lawsuit. The lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of the accident. If you wait two years and a day to pursue a claim and file a lawsuit, it is too late. In other words, you can’t file a lawsuit, and you can’t make any claim for bodily injury after two years if a lawsuit is not filed in a timely manner. The statute of limitations for property damage in California is three years. You have three years from the date of the accident to resolve your property damage claim or have a lawsuit on file.
For medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is generally one year from the date you knew or should have known that you were the victim of malpractice. This is very vague, so you need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to make sure you do not wait too long and ruin your potential malpractice claim.
For minors, the statute of limitations is longer and can vary depending on the type of case you want to pursue. Waiting is never a good option. It is far safer to consult with an attorney and learn your rights and know the appropriate deadlines involved in your particular situation.
Most people don’t realize that there is another important statute of limitations in California. The other statute of limitations applies to governmental entities. If you are injured by a government entity or injured due to a defect on government property, you must file a government claim within six months from the date of the incident. If you fail to make a claim within that time limit, it can act as a bar to any claim you make after six months. It is not always clear if a government entity is involved in a case. If you were hit by a city garbage truck, fire truck, or police car, for example, you probably have a claim that needs to be filed within six months. It is not always easy or obvious to know if a potential defendant is a governmental entity or not. Again, the best practice is to seek out an experienced attorney to get advice as soon as possible. Know your rights and know where you stand so that you can make a good informed decision for yourself.
Once a lawsuit is filed, the statute of limitations time limit is no longer an issue. You can take the time necessary to resolve your claim which might be settled at any time during litigation all the way up to the trial date.
Can I Still Recover For My Injuries If I Was Partially At Fault For The Collision Causing The Injuries?
If you are partially at fault for the collision causing the injuries, you are still entitled to recover damages for your injuries. California is a comparative fault state. That means that the comparative fault between you and any other party can be adjusted. Years ago, that wasn’t the case. Under the old contributory negligence laws, if you were even 1% at fault, you could not win your claim. Now, however, the law has changed to reflect comparative fault. So, for instance, if you are 50% at fault, and the other party is 50% at fault, you can still make a claim for 50% percent of your damages.
For example, if you have an injury claim that’s worth $100,000, and you are 50% at fault, you may be able to collect $50,000, which is half of the value of your claim. That’s the amount that would be paid by the other party’s insurance company. If the other party had a claim against you worth $50,000, and they were 50% at fault, they would make that claim against your insurance company and settle for half of that amount, which would be $25,000. However, it doesn’t have to be 50/50. There are cases that have a 90% versus a 10% fault, or 75% versus a 25% fault. As long as the other party has some portion of fault, you can make a claim.
What Are Car Insurance Requirements In California?
In California, for bodily injury, you are required to carry at least $15,000 of liability coverage. Most insurance policies have a minimum of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Under some circumstances, you can qualify under low-income programs and get a policy that provides $10,000 per person, and $20,000 per accident. But you don’t necessarily have to purchase insurance to comply with this law. You can post a bond with the state of California in the amount of $15,000. If you post a bond for $15,000, you have established your financial responsibility as far as the state of California is concerned. However, if you want to drive and register a car, you are better off having insurance in California.
A lot of people don’t have insurance. Approximately 20% of the drivers do not carry insurance. Not having insurance is a problem. For example, if you are in an accident that is not your fault, and you do not have insurance at the time of the collision, you lose the right to make a claim for pain and suffering. You still have the right to make a claim for economic losses, such as for car repairs, medical bills, or loss of income. But, you lose the right to make a claim for pain and suffering. The one exception to the rule is if the other driver who hit you was either in the act of a commission of a felony or was convicted of driving while under the influence. If either of those two circumstances apply, then you would maintain the right to pain and suffering. But those are very rare circumstances.
For more information on Statute Of Limitations For An Auto Injury Claim, a personalized consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (818) 530-1770 today.