When you suffered personal injury or property loss because of the careless or wrongful acts of another person, you have a right to pursue legal action to recover compensation for all your losses. Under California law, as in other states, you must initiate legal action within a certain period of time or you can lose the right to seek damages.
There are a number of good reasons for this law, known as the “statute of limitations.” First, the longer you wait to file a claim, the greater the risk that memories will fade or that witnesses will become unavailable. In addition, the law does not favor making a person have to wait for years with a pending lawsuit hanging over their heads.
The statute of limitations is a state law and can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and based on the type of lawsuit. In California, the time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date you sustained the injury. For damage to personal property, the statute of limitations is three years.
So what happens if you are involved in an accident or you’re exposed to toxic substances and it takes months or even years for the injury to become apparent? If the statute of limitations has expired, are you out of luck? The answer is generally no. In California, as in other states, the “discovery” rule applies to the statute of limitations in personal injury claims. The discovery rule holds that the clock does not start to run on the statute of limitations until you either actually discover or, with the exercise of reasonable care, would have discovered the injury.
Contact the Law Offices of J. Lewis & Associates
To discuss your legal needs with an experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll-free at 1-800-228-0507. There is no charge for your initial consultation. Se Habla Espanol.