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Keeping track of all of the different terms involved in auto cases can get complicated. As experienced Riverside auto accident lawyers, we’re here to help you handle the legal jargon.
One term that’s thrown around a lot in car accident cases is the “statute of limitations.” Although this may sound intimidating, it’s a fairly simple concept. In this article, we’ll walk you through all you need to know about statutes of limitation in car accidents.
The statute of limitations refers to the time you have to file a lawsuit after a car accident if you wish to seek damages for personal injury. In Riverside, like the rest of California, the statute of limitations for auto accident is the same as in other personal injury cases.
You have two years to file any lawsuit related to personal injuries caused by another party, including in car accidents. This applies to any case where personal injury resulted from the negligence of another party.
Many people wonder when the statute of limitations actually begins. The answer is that it can vary depending on the specific details of the accident. The date when the statute of limitations begins depends on whether the accident involved personal injuries, or if someone died.
If the accident involved personal injuries, then you will have two years from the day of the accident to file a lawsuit. This applies even in the case of health issues that arise later as a complication of the accident.
If, however, someone was killed in an accident, then statute of limitations is not based on the date of the accident, but the date of the person’s death. Therefore, if the person dies a year after the accident, their family will have two years from that date to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
California law has a longer statute of limitations for seeking compensation for property damage. You have three years from the date of the accident if you want to file a lawsuit related to property damage.
Always remember that your property damage claims and personal injury claims have separate statutes of limitation. Some clients file their personal claim late, thinking that the statute of limitations is the same for all claims related to the accident.
If you file a case after the statute of limitations has passed, your case will likely not be considered. Courts have to deal with a lot of cases, and dismissing those that are filed late is an easy way of cutting down the workload. There are some rare exceptions to this, but never count on yours being one of them. That’s why you should always be aware of the date of your accident if you plan on filing a lawsuit.
Filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is usually a last resort, and most drivers avoid it if they can. But even if you hope to not have to pursue legal, action, it is always wise to plan for it, in the case that you are unable to get the compensation you are entitled to through your insurance claim.
By leaving yourself enough time to file a lawsuit, you’ll be prepared for any issues that may come up in your claim. If you are not prepared for a lawsuit, you may have to rush last limit if your insurance claim falls through.
Making sense of your legal options in the wake of an auto accident can be difficult. That’s why it’s best to contact a skilled Riverside car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. At Montgomery Steele, we have years of experience fighting to win our clients the maximum compensation.
We know that you may want to avoid going to court. But settling for less money than you deserve can threaten your family’s financial security. With the right Riverside auto accident lawyer, you’ll be able to ensure that you have the money you’ll need to cover all of your medical expenses.
We can assist in your claim or lawsuit, no matter what stage of the process you’re in. And if the statute of limitations is quickly approaching, we as trained Riverside CA car accident attorney’s can help you file your personal injury claim in time.