Personal Injury Lawsuit Statute of Limitations

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The statute of limitations is a state rule that establishes a fixed deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Each state and federal government has its deadlines for different types of cases. A personal injury lawyer in Sacramento can help you get through the process of filing your case. Do you know how much time California state law gives you to act if you intend to file a personal injury case? You may lose your right to compensation if you wait too long. It’s important to understand the personal injury statutes of limitations before filing.

Here, we will shed some light on the topic.

Can You Sue After the Statute of Limitations?

No, you cannot! When the statute of limitations ends, you lose the right to sue. In California, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the accident or damage. A few exceptions can influence this duration, but two years is the standard timeframe. Your legal right to sue the other party ends once that period has passed.

Although two years may seem enough, you must speak with an experienced personal injury or auto accident lawyer in Sacramento to start the process and protect your rights. As your attorney obtains the evidence, you can file the case.

Can The Statute Of Limitations Be Extended?

Under the following definitions and distinctions, your state may extend the statute of limitations.

Statutory Discovery Rule

According to the “discovery rule,” the timeframe on the statute of limitations might not begin until the victim of the injury knew that they were hurt. For instance, in asbestos cases, mesothelioma or another asbestos-related ailment would not appear until years after the plaintiff had been exposed to asbestos-containing materials.

Injured Minors

If you are a minor at the time of injury, the state will wait until you turn 18 years before the “clock” on the statute of limitations begins to tick. Therefore, in California, where the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years, if you are wounded in a car accident as a passenger at the age of 15, you will be given time until the age of 20 to file a lawsuit.

Special Deadlines for Special Cases

Most states have special deadlines allotted to cases as follows:

1. Medical malpractice cases.
2. Civil lawsuits over sexual assault.
3. If the person becomes debilitated.
4. Leaving state between the incident and lawsuit filing.


If you or your loved one is hurt in an accident in California and want to know more about legal rights, get in touch with an attorney. Speaking with an expert can save you trouble and guide you through the process.