If you live in California and have been injured or have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to monetary compensation; a personal injury attorney can help. Personal injury law is a broad term that covers many specific areas of law including medical malpractice, product liability, vehicle accidents, abuse of the elderly and even legal malpractice.
Personal injury lawyers fight to get compensation for victims of negligence who need money for medical bills, pain, lost wages, and emotional suffering they have endured through no fault of their own. One very important part of a personal injury case is the statute of limitations, which is the time period you have to take legal action following an injury or death.
In California, a personal injury case must be filed within two years of the date of the act that caused the injury; compared to other states, California has one of the shortest time periods for taking legal action.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in California
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice is as follows according to California Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5: “…within one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury,” or within three years of the date of the injury, whichever comes first.”
Keep in mind that when surgical mistakes are made and you don’t realize that you have been harmed until years after the surgery, you may still be able to file suit. However, any delay could put your claim at even more risk. An experienced California medical malpractice attorney will advise you on whether or not you have time to file a claim.
Product Liability Statute of Limitations in California
California statutes of limitations for defective products vary and depend on whether the injury happened to a person or property was damaged. In general, an injured party can file a products liability claim against the manufacturer, designer, or the seller of the product. However, since people injured by a defective product have a limited time to file their claims, keeping track of when the injury occurred is crucial.
Under California law, the statute of limitations for a defective product that caused injury or death must be started within two years. The clock starts running when the injured party knows or in the “exercise of reasonable care” should have known the injury occurred.
Breach of Contract Statute of Limitations in California
A breach of contract can be a serious matter and can cause financial disaster for some. If you feel you believe you have a breach of contract claim and have been harmed by the breach, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The statute of limitations for breach of contract in California is four years for a written contract and only two years for an oral contract. Don’t delay because you must take legal action within those time periods in order to recover any money lost due to the breach of a contract.