I just got off the phone with a woman who sustained a significant injury as a result of the negligence of another person. I asked her to provide me with the date of her injury and she told me October 16, 2016. She had a strong case but I had to tell her that I could not help her as the statute of limitations for her case had expired.
In most instances, the statute of limitations for an adult in a personal injury case is two years. That means that the injured party must either settle their claim or file a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties within two years from the date of the incident (see California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1). If the case is not settled and a lawsuit is not filed within two years from the date of the incident, the injured party may be forever barred from receiving compensation for their injuries. If the injured party is under the age of 18 as of the date of the incident, the statute of limitations on their claim will expire on their 20th birthday. If a governmental entity is the party responsible for causing the injury, the time to take action is even shorter. A government code claim must be filed against the responsible entity or entities within six months from the date of the incident. If the claim involves a federal entity, the time limitations are different.
The moral of the story is that it is important to act promptly if you are injured as a result of the negligence of another party or entity. You should contact an attorney right away. Our office provides free consultations to persons who have been injured or the loved ones of persons who have been killed as a result of the negligence of others. Call us 24 hours a day to make sure that you preserve your right to compensation.