California Personal Injury Statute Of Limitations

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If you or a loved one are looking to file a personal injury lawsuit in the state of California, it’s necessary to understand what a statute of limitations is and how it may impact your ability to file a personal injury claim. The personal injury attorneys at Sette Law Office are here to help you understand what a statute of limitations is and how best to file your personal injury lawsuit in a timely manner.


If you have been injured, Sette Law is here to help you get the compensation you need.


What Is A Statute Of Limitations?

Regardless of the type of case or jurisdiction you are looking to file in, every kind of legal claim is subject to a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a timeframe within which you may file your claim in court. Should you fail to file within the specific timeframe set forth by the statute of limitations that presides over your desired lawsuit, you may subsequently be barred from filing your case altogether. 


This is why it is important to be aware of the statute of limitations if you are seeking to file a personal injury claim. Otherwise, you will be unable to obtain compensation and justice for any injuries you have endured. 


California’s Statute Of Limitations For Personal Injury Is Two Years From The Date Of Injury


Each state has its own statute of limitations governing personal injury lawsuits. Whether you are looking to file a lawsuit in Sacramento or anywhere else in California, it’s important to understand that, under California state law, the statute of limitations in which a person may file a personal injury claim is two years from the date of injury. If you miss that two-year time frame to file your claim, it is unlikely that you will be able to pursue this claim in the future. 


This is why it’s important to discuss your specific case with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Sette Law Office, as your case may fall within an exception to the statute of limitations if you miss this two-year window. 


Exceptions To The Statute Of Limitations


While exceptions for the statute of limitations may vary, some of the more common exceptions in the state of California consist of the following: 


Tolling — Minor Victims


The courts in California recognize that, in situations involving minors, the minor victim may be incapable of filing the claim until they reach the legal age of 18 years old. In this situation, it is common for the statute of limitations to begin running upon the victim turning 18, despite how young they may have been at the time of the original incident.


Delayed Discovery


The court recognizes that situations in which a plaintiff is subject to delayed discovery may not be liable for the delay, as discovery can often be a timely and tedious process. If you believe you have been incapable of bringing your case within the appropriate statute of limitations due to a delay in discovery, you may be able to establish an exception for failing to file your claim earlier. 


The Defendant Leaving The State


Another issue that the court may recognize as being out of the plaintiff’s control includes the defendant leaving the state. This may result in procedural issues that make it difficult to locate the defendant in order to timely file a complaint.


Domestic Violence


Situations involving domestic violence are typically extra sensitive, especially since the victims are likely afraid to speak out against their abuser. Suits involving injuries sustained by domestic violence extend the statute of limitations to three years from the date the victim discovered or should have discovered that the injury or illness resulted from domestic violence, or whichever occurred later. 


Injury Caused By A Felony



Given the sensitivity surrounding injuries caused by a felony, the statute of limitations in these types of personal injury cases is typically extended to three years to give the victim adequate time to file their personal injury claim amidst any other trauma or criminal lawsuits in which they may be involved. 


Medical Malpractice Against A Healthcare Provider


Under California law CCP § 340.5, the exception to the statute of limitations in a medical malpractice case is one year from the date the injured party knows or should have known about the injury or three years from the date of the injury, whichever is earliest.


Claims Against A Government Agency Or Office


An administrative claim must first be filed in more complex situations involving claims against a government agency or office. Unlike the other exceptions in which the statute of limitations is typically extended for the plaintiff’s benefit, these types of lawsuits require the claim to be filed within six months of the date of injury.


How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?

Given the complexities surrounding a personal injury lawsuit, having an experienced personal injury attorney who thoroughly understands the requirements of California laws to guide you through the process is essential to guarantee you properly file your claim and obtain the settlement you deserve. 


Sette Law Will Help Ensure You Are Compensated Fairly


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Whether you seek personal injury claims from a car accident, work accident, slip-and-fall case, or another type of incident, our Sacramento personal injury attorneys can handle anything from minor injuries to catastrophic injury lawsuits. We will help you understand how to file a lawsuit while keeping you updated on how long the process will likely be and any other questions that may arise. 


We are here to ensure you obtain a maximum settlement while you focus your energy on healing from your injuries. 


Contact Sette Law Office today for a free consultation to discuss your personal injury claims.



Barrett, S. Statute of Limitations: Is It Too Late to Sue? 

California Code, Code of Civil Procedure – CCP § 340.5. (2023).

Statute of Limitations Definition.


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