Deadlines for Car Accident Lawsuits

If you’re involved in a car accident, you have a long road ahead of you. You probably have doctor’s appointments, car repairs, and insurance adjuster appointments filling up your schedule. Speaking to a lawyer might not be on your list of priorities. 

However, that could be a mistake. By speaking to a car accident lawyer in Fresno shortly after your accident, you can relieve some of your burden. You can also start taking the steps towards receiving money for your injury. If you wait too long to do so, you could lose your chance at compensation.

In Fresno, there are deadlines for car accident lawsuits. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss the deadline. Grossman Law Offices can explain more about the deadline and how you can avoid filing too late.

California Statute of Limitations

Every state has its own statute of limitations on personal injury claims. In California, you have two years to file an auto accident claim that involved bodily injury. The two year period begins on the day of the accident. If you file after the two year period, the court is likely to dismiss your case.

There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations. However, it is rare for an individual to be able to file after the deadline. Therefore, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to a lawyer. It takes them time to file the lawsuit. Even if you approach them before the two-year deadline, they might not have enough time to file the paperwork.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

One exception for the statute of limitations is for accidents involving a minor. If a minor was injured in the accident, they have two years from when they turn 18 to file the claim. But this only entitles the minor to an extension. If other adults were injured in the same accident, they need to file within two years from the date of the accident.

A similar exception is made for individuals who are in a coma. If your accident puts you in a coma, your clock doesn’t start ticking until you wake up. For example, you might come out of your coma two months after the accident. In this situation, you would have two years and two months from the date of the accident to file.

In some cases, an accident victim does not realize they experienced an injury until after the date of the collision. For instance, memory loss from a head injury might not be apparent until one week after the crash. The victim has two years from the day they realized they had memory loss. But there’s one caveat. The clock starts ticking on the day a reasonable person would have realized the health issue. Failing to see a doctor about pain or other symptoms could hurt your case. If the court feels as if any other person would have sought medical attention and been aware of the injury, they could dismiss your case.

By receiving medical care, you can avoid being unaware of your injury. Even if an injury isn’t obvious, you should see a doctor. They may be able to notify you of an underlying condition. As soon as you find out about that condition, you can initiate your lawsuit.

Claims Against Public Entities

Most Fresno car accident lawsuits have a two-year statute of limitation. However, some of them have a shorter period for filing. If your lawsuit is against a public entity, you only have six months to notify them. Failing to do so means you might not receive any money for your injuries or pain.

Much like typical car accident lawsuits, there are some instances in which you could receive an exemption for a lawsuit against a public entity. However, there are fewer opportunities for exemptions. You should not hesitate to get legal advice on the matter.

Lawsuits against public entities can be complicated. In some cases, the victims file against the wrong entity. If this happens to you, the court will reject your claim. You then only have six months from the date of rejection to file against the proper entity. 

Working with an Attorney to Meet Deadlines for Car Accident Lawsuits

Car accidents are relatively common in Fresno. There were 1,041 accidents in Fresno that involved some type of injury or death. While many of those accidents had the potential for personal injury lawsuits, the victims didn’t always act in time to receive compensation.

Whether you had an accident yesterday or one year ago, you should contact an attorney. You may still have time to file a lawsuit and receive money for your injuries. Instead of letting your accident-related debt ruin your finances, you can recover your damages. Here at Grossman Law Offices, we want to help you. Contact our firm today to learn more.