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Statute of Limitations

Time Period Limitations

There is a time period within which a lawsuit must be filed or a government claim must be filed, or your rights are  lost forever. This is referred to as the statute of limitations. When the claim is made against a governmental agency in California, the claim must be made within 180 days of the incident. A failure to make this claim usually bars recovery against the government. The government entity than has 45 days to accept or reject the claim and thereafter you must file a lawsuit to preserve your right.

The statute of limitations for negligence in California is two years for tort claims other than medical malpractice(which is one year from the injury), which went into effect in January 2003. California’s two-year statute of limitations in personal injury cases begin to run upon the date of the injury or when a person discovers an injury has occurred. Anyone with a valid, enforceable and collectible claim, who files even one day after the two year statute of limitations period, is facing dismissal of an outlawed claim. The statue of limitation for property damage is three years.

You should always consult with an attorney as soon as possible in order to avoid missing applicable deadlines.

Time Period Limitations for Minors

If the injured party is a minor, i.e., someone under the age of 18 years old, then the minor has until 12 months after his/her eighteenth birthday to file the suit.

  • As a minor, the suit has to be filed on his/her behalf by his/her guardian (ordinarily their parents).
  • If the parents failed to file the lawsuit while the person was a minor, they have the same period of time after they reach the age of 18 (it used to be one year and now it will be two years), to file the lawsuit on their own behalf.
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