When you are hurt in a car accident or other dangerous situation, your first concern is probably the healing process. Whether your injuries are minor or you had a near brush with death, you should take the time you need to recover as fully as possible.
Your second concern, however, may be justice. If not for the negligence of another person, you would have never suffered in the first place. In addition, you probably also worry about the costs of the healing process, such as surgery expenses and lost income during a leave of absence from work. Because you believe these hardships are not fair, you might decide to sue the party at fault.
Don’t wait too long
Like other states, California has a law that determines how long you can wait to file a personal injury lawsuit. This law is called the statute of limitations. Once this time runs out, you will no longer be able to press charges.
In California, you have two years from the time of the injury to sue. It is best to begin the lawsuit as early as possible to avoid missing the cutoff. Waiting until after the deadline could prevent you from receiving potentially thousands of dollars in compensation.
Some injuries arise from unique situations. Domestic violence, medical malpractice claims and birth-related injuries have different statutes of limitations due to the nature of these charges.
If chemical exposure causes an injury at work, for example, the victim might not see its effects immediately. Three years after leaving that job, the worker realizes that they suffer permanent brain damage. Although the general statute of limitations has passed, the law allows the worker to sue within two years of discovering the injury.
California’s statute of limitations aims to make sure that anyone seeking compensation does so within a reasonable amount of time. During this period, you can recover, find an attorney and begin gathering evidence together.