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How Long Do You Have To File a Claim in California After an Accident/Injury

Justin King talks about the time limits in California for filing a claim after an injury/accident.

Auto Accidents: Important Time Restrictions to Consider When Filing a Personal Injury Claim

When you experience a car accident, you can quickly be overcome by a sudden feeling of fear and anxiety. Car accidents that cause injury or pain can lead to unnecessary stress and therefore, it is important to understand that you have legal rights as an injury victim in California.

As an accident victim, you may have a multitude of questions surrounding the event. This is especially true if you have suffered injuries that resulted from the accident. As a victim, it is important to seek the legal justice you deserve; consider speaking to an expert attorney who can answer your legal questions and help you file a personal injury claim.

Your Personal Rights in the State of California

Every state in the nation will have different rules and regulations when it comes to car accidents. If you were injured as a result of another party’s negligence, you may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. Filing a claim can become a complex endeavor and as a victim, understanding your rights can be the utmost determining factor as to whether you receive financial compensation for your injuries or not.

Attorney Justin H. King is an experienced personal injury attorney in the State of California. As an expert attorney, he will highlight the importance of filing a personal injury claim under the appropriate time frame.

Understanding California’s Statute of Limitations

As previously mentioned, every state will have different laws with regard to filing personal injury claims. The State of California enforces strict deadlines for filing, also known as statute of limitations.

If you have been injured as a result of a car accident, under the statutes of limitations you will have two years to file a claim in the State of California. If you fail to file a claim within the two-year margin, you will lose your right to file a personal injury claim, despite the strength of your legal claim.

Unfortunately, many accident victims fail to recognize California laws when it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit. As an accident victim, it is important to understand that time constraints should not be an issue when it comes to filing personal injury claims. Seek the legal expertise of a knowledgeable attorney who can guide you through the process of filing a case in the appropriate time frame.

Statute of Limitations When It Comes to Minors in the State of California

The statute for accident victims who are under the age of 18 in the State of California is slightly different than it is for adults. Minors will also have a period of two years to file a claim, however, the two-year time-frame will not begin until the minor has turned 18 years old.

The Importance of Contacting an Attorney Immediately After the Accident

Time sensitivity is crucial in personal injury lawsuits and an experienced attorney will understand this. Although the State of California will allow up to two years from the time of the accident to file a claim, it is important to begin the process as soon as possible. Prolonging the legal process can, in fact, hinder the strength of your case. The following are just a few of the many scenarios in which waiting to seek legal support can affect your case.

The Loss of Important Evidence

When an accident victim delays contacting the help and support of an attorney, he or she faces losing evidence that can be vital to his or her case. When an accident happens, one of the most fundamental pieces of a case is to safeguard evidence that can support the claim. A very common scenario can involve impacted cars. If a car has been completely totaled, it is likely that this car will be either sold off for parts or be auctioned in effort to recuperate any form of money towards the insurance company.

If you have been injured by another driver, it is fundamental to get the support of a skilled attorney who will act quickly in order to obtain the necessary evidence. In the aftermath of an auto accident, many victims are often rushed to the hospital, and the last thing they think about is collecting evidence. An attorney with the right skills and experience will understand how to handle these types of cases and will help to ensure that the victim’s case is as profound as it possibly can. Personal injury attorneys work with investigators who can quickly recover evidence and other important information/evidence to support your claim.

Time Frame for Personal Injury Claims against a Government Entity

While every personal injury case demands a sense of urgency, there are certain cases that will require an imminent sense of rush. Cases filed against a government entity in the State of California allow for a maximum of six months to file a personal injury claim. When a person has suffered an injury as a result of an auto accident caused by someone from a government agency, the victim will have to file a government claim with the State of California.

There are various situations where an accident victim may find his or herself needing to file a government claim. A common example is if a motor vehicle accident has transpired as a result of a faulty road. Depending of the specifics of the case, it is likely that a government entity oversees the roadway conditions. Other examples can involve being struck by a government-managed automobile.

In either of these scenarios, it is important to obtain the help and support of a proficient attorney who will act quickly. Similar to other forms of personal injury claims, government claims also require that evidence be documented with urgency. In cases where the accident could have been prevented, it is likely that the city or county will act swiftly to make necessary repairs in effort to diminish the possibility of further injuries. This will typically lead to the destruction of evidence that could affect the outcome case of the victim.

After a Vehicle Accident, File a Claim Straight Away

When a person has sustained injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident, the victim will likely require an extensive amount of medical care. Filing a personal injury claim can present many benefits to any accident victim. Obtaining the help and support of a trusted personal injury attorney can help the victim present a strong claim.

If you have been injured as a result of a negligent driver, it is important to seek the expertise of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who has experience in handling auto accidents. Equally important, filing a claim in a timely manner can make or break a case.

Attorney Justin H. King is dedicated to helping auto accident victims obtain the financial compensation they deserve. He acts diligently and swiftly to ensure that his client’s claims are filed in a timely manner. Equally important, he works hard to ensure that his clients receive fair compensation for their calamities. With personal injury claims, time is of the essence; seek the appropriate legal support as soon as possible.

Video Transcript: Hi, my name is Justin King and I’m a personal injury lawyer here in the Inland Empire. I just want to talk to you today about I often get questions from clients, “Justin, how long do I have to initiate a claim or file a lawsuit against the other driver who struck me in an auto accident?” The short answer to that question is you have two years from the time of the accident. In the State of California, the statute of limitations … Which is the period in which you have to file a lawsuit … Is two years. After two years is up, you lose all rights to get a remedy from that other driver as a result of that accident. So it’s important that no matter what, you consult a lawyer and that you have a lawsuit filed within two years.

But there really is no reason to wait that long. And there are various things that are time sensitive in a case that you need to get to a lawyer early on for. A good example is if it’s a slip and fall case. If you slipped and fell on some water. There may be an ice machine that’s leaking in that store. If you come to a lawyer that day or the next day and he sends his investigator out and he sees that ice machine leaking and he takes photos or he takes video of that, that helps your case substantially.

Now, if you come to him two years later, that ice machine is fixed. It’s now gone and there’s no way to prove what actually caused the substance to be on the ground. Whether it was just some lady who dropped some water, you know, two seconds before you came through, and then there’s no liability. Or if it’s the fault of the store for having a faulty ice machine. That’s one example.

The other thing is vehicles. It’s important to document the damage of the vehicle to prove the severity of injury. Those vehicles within 45 to 50 days after the accident, they’re typically gone. They’re sold at auction by insurance companies. So you want to consult with a lawyer before hand so they can have someone go out and document the cars before they’re gone. Nowadays, many of these cars have what are called black boxes, where you can actually do downloads and you can download the impact information from the accident. And from that information, my engineer can tell the speeds at impact, the severity of the impact, where the vehicle was hit. All those things can disappear if you don’t get to a lawyer or a person who knows what they’re doing right from the beginning.

Another example is it may be that you were involved in an accident by someone who doesn’t have much money or doesn’t have much insurance coverage. And it could be that that accident was actually caused by a dangerous condition of public property. Maybe part of the roadway was dangerous. Maybe part of the signal light was dangerous. There wasn’t proper signage. A tree was obscuring someone’s view. Those kinds of things can actually cause accidents. And if you wait too long to get to a lawyer who can then investigate these things and document these things, it could be that the condition at the accident scene has been changed and you no longer have a case. So while you do have two years to file a lawsuit, it is important to get to a lawyer early because there are things that are time sensitive in a case.

If you are a minor, the statute of limitations is a little bit different. In California, it is still two years. However, if you’re under the age of 18, the statute does not begin to run until you turn 18. Once you turn 18, then you have two years from that date. Again, these are the outermost limits on filing a claim. No lawyer wants to be contacted a week or two days or three days before a statute runs. If we can avoid those kind of scenarios, we want to avoid them. So get to a lawyer. Get to someone who knows what they are doing early so they can help you with their case.

There are a couple of variations from that. If it’s a public employee that hit you, like an employee of a city or a county or the State of California, or if potentially it’s a dangerous condition of public property like I spoke about earlier … Maybe it’s within the city, maybe it’s within the county, maybe it’s within the State of California … There are things called … There’s a thing called a government claim. You need to file a government claim with that public entity within six months of that accident. If you do not do that, you will not be able to sue that public entity.

So in those kind of scenarios, you don’t want to be waiting around for two years. You want to get to a lawyer quickly who knows the six-month claim statute and can get that claim filed for you and protect your rights.

Again, many, many, many of my clients do ask me how long they have to file a lawsuit. And again, the short answer is two years. But cases don’t get better with time. They tend to get worse with time. So the best time to file a case is when it is not gonna get any better from that point on. And I can tell you when it’s not gonna get any better. It’s not gonna get any better when you finished completing your medical treatment. Once you finish completing your medical treatment and we know what is going on with you and what your long-term medical prognosis will be, that’s the time when you want to get the case filed.

And there’s no need to sit … I tend to file my cases very early, because there is no need to sit around negotiating with an adjuster, an insurance company, while time is being wasted. You get the case filed, you have discovery rights. I can then get information. I can get documents from them. I can move your case towards a trial so that they’re not willing to pay you the appropriate money, fair compensation, for what you went through, then we we can have … We can get our case heard before a jury and we didn’t waste months or years negotiating. And then we have to start the process from the very beginning.

If you have further questions about this, please give my office a call. I’m happy to help you. I’m happy to answer any questions you have. You can also visit my website. — End of Transcript

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