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How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?

Overview of California’s Statute of Limitations

If you were injured by someone else’s negligent actions, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. This would allow you to seek damages for any losses you have suffered, including the cost of your medical treatment and time spent away from work. However, you should know that you only have a certain amount of time to file a claim per the statute of limitations.

Essentially, the statute of limitations is a deadline for filing any type of civil action. Once the statute of limitations runs out, your claim is no longer valid. For this reason, it is imperative that you discuss your case with a Pasadena personal injury lawyer as soon as you have been injured. When you work with Gille Kaye Law Group, PC, we can ensure that your claim is filed before the statute of limitations expires.

The statutes of limitations for common legal disputes in California include:

  • Personal Injury: two years from the date of your injury
  • Property Damage: three years from the date the damage occurred
  • Government Claims: six months from the date of the incident
  • Breach of Written Contract: four years from the date of the incident
  • Breach of Oral Contract: two years from the date of the incident
  • Medical Malpractice: three years from the date of your injury

For more information about the statutes of limitations in California, please click here.

Can the statute of limitations be temporarily suspended?

Although the statute of limitations is a hard deadline for most personal injury cases, there are certain exceptions to this rule. For example, it may not have been reasonable for you to discover that you have been injured until the statute of limitations has already expired. In this case, you would have one year from the “date of discovery” to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible.

In other cases, the statute of limitations can be suspended or “tolled” for a period of time. This could happen if the defendant is a minor, out of state, in prison or insane. Once the reason for tolling ends (i.e. the defendant turns 18 or returns to California), the statute of limitations will begin to run again. Cases that involve tolling can be extremely complex, which is why you should consult an attorney.

Different Deadlines Apply to Lawsuits Against the Government

If you want to file a lawsuit against a government agency, rather than a private person or institution, you would be required to file an administrative claim with that government office or agency before you are able to file a claim in court. If your case involves personal injury or personal property damage, your administrative claim must be filed with the agency within six months of the date of your injury.

If your case involves a breach of contract, you must file your administrative claim within one year. Once this claim has been filed, the government has 45 days to issue a response. If they deny your claim, you would have six months to file a lawsuit in court from the date that the denial was issued. If you do not receive a response, you would have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit in court.

Are you still unsure about how long you have to file your personal injury lawsuit? Contact the Pasadena personal injury attorneys at Gille Kaye Law Group, PC for a free, no-obligation consultation.


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