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3.30.2022

How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Written by: Ercolani Law Group

The Statute of Limitations in California for Car Accident Claims

Each state sets forth a statute of limitations for personal injury claims such as those related to car accidents. By law, a person must file a claim for damages within the statutory time limit, or their claim may be denied by the court. If you are injured in a car accident, it is essential to remember that you only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit.

At Ercolani Law Group, we represent individuals injured in car accidents in Thousand Oaks and throughout Southern California. Our experienced legal team can help you get the compensation you deserve after a severe car wreck. Contact our office today to discuss your legal options at (805) 338-6880. All consultations are free and without obligation to retain our services.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for a California Car Accident?

Pursuant to the California Code of Civil Procedure, you only have two (2) years from the date of your accident to file a claim for damages based on personal injury. Failure to file your claim within the statute of limitations may result in your lawsuit being dismissed. 

While many people assume that 2 years is ample time to file a lawsuit, car accident claims can take months to investigate. Hiring a skilled car accident lawyer early in the process can help ensure that you meet all legal deadlines and obtain the largest possible recovery in your case.

Are There Any Exceptions to the 2-Year Statute of Limitations?

There are limited exceptions to the 2-year statute of limitations. It is imperative to discuss your case with a lawyer as early as possible. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and responsibilities related to the accident.

Exceptions to the 2-year statute of limitations include:

  • Claims against a government agency or entity must be made within six (6) months.
  • Property damage only claims must be made within three (3) years of the date the property was damaged. 
  • Minors injured in auto accidents have up until two (2) years from the date they turn 18 to file a lawsuit based on personal injury.
  • Wrongful death claims must be brought within two (2) years of the decedent’s death, not the date of the accident. 

Under most circumstances, a person who files a car accident claim after 2 years will be barred from recovering compensation. If the claim is against a government agency, the statutory time period is even shorter. The best way to ensure that you meet all statutory requirements is by retaining an experienced attorney.

What Should I Do If I Am Injured in an Auto Accident?

If you are injured in a car accident, you need to seek medical attention immediately. One of the most important things you can do for your physical and financial recovery is to avoid a delay in medical treatment. 

Once you are able, you need to consult with an attorney. It is never too early to discuss your case with an attorney, but it can be too late. You should never sign anything or make any statements without first consulting with a lawyer and deciding the best course of action to get you the maximum recovery on your case.

Injured in an Auto Accident? Contact Our Office.

If you were injured in a car accident, contact our office at (805) 338-6880 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We have recovered millions in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients.  Let us help you get the compensation you need after a car crash.

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Timing is Everything.

Do not delay in addressing your legal concerns. If your situation has gotten out of hand, contact a Ventura County lawyer at the Ercolani Law Group to learn more about how we may be able to help you.

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