Personal Injury Lawyer in Stockton Discusses Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases
A statute of limitations is the maximum amount of time after an incident occurred that a lawsuit may be brought about regarding that incident. For personal injury in California, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is general two years from the date of the incident during which the injury occurred. There are some exceptions to this rule but they are relatively rare. If you miss a deadline relating to taking legal action, all right to sue is lost so make sure to contact a personal injury lawyer in Stockton immediately if you’ve been injured.
Unfortunately, there are some injuries that take awhile to make themselves apparent. Head injuries are especially susceptible to delayed manifestation and unpredictable developments. What may initially seem like a mild injury resulting in a slight headache can turn out to be a more serious, debilitating, and expensive problem requiring extensive treatment and medication. There is no forgiveness for delayed symptoms – the statute of limitations stands even if your symptoms from an injury don’t show up until past the deadline to take legal action. This is one reason it’s so important to speak to a personal injury lawyer in Stockton about whether to move forward with legal action as soon as possible after the injury occurs.
There are some exceptions to the 2 year statute of limitations rule
- Coma – If the individual who has suffered an injury is in a coma or otherwise incapacitated, the statute of limitations is paused for the duration of the incapacitation and then resumes when it has resolved. The period of incapacitation does not need to be related to the injury-causing incident.
- Claims against the government – Any personal injury claim against a city, county, or state government agency in California must be filed within six months. There are also very strict procedural rules surrounding claims brought against the government that must be followed or the suit may not be heard. These legal proceedings vary by location and can be quite complex which is why it’s best to speak to a personal injury lawyer in Stockton.
Two Years Isn’t Actually Very Long
Two years may sound like plenty of time to file a personal injury lawsuit, but they often don’t take into consideration all that goes along with creating a lawsuit and the aftermath of an injury. Recuperating from an injury that is significant enough to warrant a lawsuit consumes a lot of energy and often makes daily tasks, not to mention meetings with lawyers, difficult. It’s important to meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Stockton as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on the complicated legal battle ahead, especially if the defendant with be a government entity, as the statute of limitations is extremely short for those cases.
There are many personal injury attorneys that are qualified to take your case. For best results, it may be advisable to find an attorney that specializes in your type of injury, such as due to:
- Car, bus, motorcycle collisions
- Defective products
Filing a lawsuit isn’t simply filling out paperwork – there is often a decent amount of research that must be done before a strong case can be established and filed with the court. Depending on the nature of the incident, research can take a long time. Additionally, testimony from witnesses may be necessary and getting that sooner rather than later is certainly advantageous in capturing an accurate memory. This is further reason to seek legal advice as soon as possible after an injury.
Shared Fault Laws
The state of California abides by what is called “shared fault laws,” meaning more than one person may be deemed some percent responsible for an accident and thus for any injuries resulting from such accident. This means that if a person sues another individual for an injury resulting from a car collision, but that person is later found 50% responsible for the car crash, the payment from the defendant would only be 50% of the damages owed. Since the person filing the lawsuit is half responsible for the car crash, he or she should be responsible for half the cost of the collision.
An exception for this rule is in cases of dog bites. In California, dog owners are legally responsible in most situations where the dog bites someone. This does not involve situations of home invasion, etc. Some states have what is called a “one bite” rule, in which a dog owner is protected from legal recourse in the case there is a dog bite from a dog that has never before displayed viciousness. California does not have this protection. Because there are so many different circumstances and elements within each situation, it’s ideal to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Stockton.
Steps You Can Take
Besides seeking legal advice from a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer in Stockton, there are some actions an injury victim or loved ones of an injured party may take. Ways to prepare for legal recourse include:
- Keep careful track of medical treatments
- Keep all receipts and bills resulting from the injury
- Take photos of damaged property as well as individual’s injuries
- Keep contact with your attorney and provide information as quickly as possible when requested
No one believes they will be injured when they walk out their door in the morning. Teaming up with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic attorney can help you recover some costs resulting from an unforeseen injury.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Stockton Before Time Runs Out
Having extensive experience with personal injury cases and insurance company litigation, you can trust the Sadiq Law Firm, P.C. knows exactly how to approach your case. Because there is a statute of limitations for personal injury claims, make sure to contact our office immediately after your injury. Give us a call at (209) 943-0000 to speak to a personal injury lawyer in Stockton.