Unfortunately, accidents happen, and they can cause serious injuries. Along with injuries often comes pain, suffering, medical expenses, trauma, and anxiety. While it may not cross your mind right away, you need to be aware of the time frame in which you need to file a personal injury claim. This time frame differs from state to state, so contact a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Generally, in California, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury claim. If you miss this deadline, the personal injury claim will generally no longer be available to pursue. This time frame to file a claim is known as the statute of limitations.
In some instances, injuries may develop or occur as time passes after the accident. In this case, the time frame in California to file a personal injury claim is one year from the discovery of the injury if the statute of limitations has already expired. While you may not know a clear date for the discovery of the injury, contacting an attorney to discuss your case as soon as possible will be helpful in identifying your time limits.
It also may be the case that your accident and injuries are connected to a governmental agency. An example of this might be that you were on property owned or controlled by a governmental agency when you were injured. In any event, if your claim involves suing a governmental agency, the steps and time frame to file your personal injury claim are different and likely more complicated.
First, you will need to submit your intent to file a claim to the agency or office before you can file it in court. This notice of a claim must be submitted within six months of the date of injury unless your claim falls within the few accepted exceptions. Because this time frame is much shorter than the general two years, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Second, depending on how the governmental agency or office responds to your notice, the time frame to file your claim in court will differ. For example, if the governmental agency denies your claims, you will have six months to file in court. Or, if the governmental agency or office does not respond to your claim at all, you will have two years from the date of the accident to file in court.
Due to the complexity of a personal injury claim involving a governmental agency or office, you should talk with a personal injury attorney right away to ensure you do not miss any important steps or deadlines.
If you have been injured in an accident, the Law Office of Scott Righthand, P.C., can help. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. One of our attorneys will be able to evaluate your rights and options.
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