A car accident can leave you disoriented, confused and hurt. Your immediate action following a car accident should be to ensure that your injuries are treated as soon as possible. However, if another party is responsible for your injuries, then it is equally important that you pursue the liable party for damages.
To hold the negligent party liable for damages, you need to file a personal injury claim. However, you cannot do so at the time of your choosing. You must file your claim within the statute of limitations period.
Understanding the statute of limitations in California
Basically, statutes of limitations are laws that set the timeframe within which aggrieved parties can initiate legal actions. To ensure that the claims process is fair for both parties, California, just like the other states, sets a strict timeline for filing claims.
So how long do you have to file a personal injury claim in California?
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in California is two years. In other words, you have up to 24 months from the date of the accident to sue for the resulting injuries and property damage. You risk having your claim denied by the insurance company and the court if you do not act within the statute of limitations period.
What if you are bringing a claim against a government entity?
The two-year statute of limitations period does not apply to claims that involve government agencies or employees. In this case, you will have up to six months from the date of the accident to bring an administrative claim against the government agency in question. If the agency does not respond to your claim, then you need to file a personal injury claim within two years from the date of your injury.
If you are involved in a car accident that is not your fault, it is important that you seek damages from the responsible party within the statute of limitations period.