Statute of Limitations for a California Car Accident
Like other states, California gives injured victims a short amount of time to file a lawsuit for a car accident. You can find the amount of time in the state’s car accident statute of limitations.
Meeting this deadline is critical, and one of the disadvantages of representing yourself in a lawsuit is that you might go over the deadline, jeopardizing your lawsuit.
What is the Statute of Limitations in California for Car Accident Lawsuits?
According to the California Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1, California has a two-year statute of limitations for car accidents. This is the amount of time you have to bring a lawsuit for cases involving injury to a person or wrongful death caused by the negligence of another person.
However, if all you want is compensation to repair your damaged vehicle, then you have 3 years to bring suit. (CCCP § 338).
When Does the Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Start?
The clock starts ticking when it becomes apparent that you have a legal claim against someone. In the vast majority of cases, this will be the day you are actually involved in a crash.
As said before, you have 2 years from the date of the crash. So, if you were hit by a driver on January 1, 2019, then you have until January 1, 2021 to bring a lawsuit for personal injuries.
What Happens if You Wait too Long?
The defendant can request that the judge dismiss the case, and a judge will do so. Because the statute of limitations has run out, you won’t be able to refile in a different court. Instead, you have lost your ability to hold the defendant legally accountable.
What if I Live in Another State and Only Visited California?
Did the car accident take place in California? If so, you are required to bring your lawsuit in California. You’re unable to file a claim anywhere else. Because of this, you must follow the California Code of Civil Procedure.
You aren’t allowed additional time, even if you live thousands of miles away in another state.
Do I Need to Worry if I Only Want to Settle?
Yes. Actually, most car accident claims settle. But the real leverage that an injured motorist has is the ability to go into court and file a lawsuit. If you lose this right because the statute of limitations has expired, then your case will likely be dismissed.
Contact Us Today
If you were injured in a car accident, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced California car accident attorneys right away. Our skilled legal team at the Levinson Law Group has built our reputation by providing top-notch representation that our clients deserve.
We will get your case filed in the correct court, but we need to hear from you before the deadline passes.
Please contact us to schedule your free consultation.