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Filing a Personal Injury Claim: Why Meet the Filing Deadline

If you were in a slip and fall accident, car accident, or other types of accident, you have probably sustained an injury. Because of this, you may want to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit to get compensation for the harm the negligent party caused you. But, did you know that there is a legal deadline to filing a claim? One of the reasons you must work with the best injury attorneys Huntington Beach is to ensure you don’t miss your chance to file a claim. A great lawyer will discuss the statute of limitations with you and how it impacts your case. 

California’s Statute of Limitations

California’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases provides you with two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party in court. Failing to file a suit within this time limit, will result in you being banned from filing. The defendant will point out your failure and request the court to dismiss your case. When this occurs, you will no longer be able to seek damages for the injuries you sustained, regardless of their severity and how clear the liability of the defendant is. The only way you can fight for compensation is when you are entitled to an extension of the deadline. Your attorney can discuss such entitlement with you. 

Exceptions to the Rule

There are various factual scenarios that can extend the two-year filing deadline. This includes when you didn’t discover your injury right when it happened. An extension to the deadline is common in medical malpractice claims because a victim may not detect an injury that results from the negligence of a medical expert immediately. In such cases, the statute of limitations starts to run on the date you discover the injury or should have discovered it. But, you need to prove your injury could not have been discovered before you learned about it. 

Moreover, the filing deadline may also be delayed or tolled when you cannot file a case, even if you were aware of the injury. This is possible because of a disability or mental incompetence or when the victim is a minor. In this case, the deadline starts to run on the date your disability ends, when a victim is declared mentally competent, or when the minor victim reaches legal age. 

To avoid problems with the statute of limitations, contact a lawyer early on. They will file your claim promptly for you.