For those who suffer an injury due to the negligence of another person or a business, the consequences can difficult to handle. Physical pain, financial problems and emotional stress can follow on the heels of the accident and linger for quite some time. In some cases, the victim may decide that a personal injury lawsuit is their best option.
Negligence and the duty of care
Every person and business in California is required to exercise reasonable care in the actions they take and in maintaining property they control. This is a duty imposed by law. When they fail to exercise reasonable care, leading to another person being injured, personal injury lawsuits provide a remedy. They permit the victim to be made whole again, representing a powerful tool at the victim’s disposal.
Statute of limitations
The right to seek compensation for injuries comes with restrictions. One of the most important to understand is the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a legal time limit for lawsuits. Once the time limit has passed, the victim loses the right to sue for their injuries.
California’s statute of limitations is two years for personal injury lawsuits. This means the lawsuit must be filed, in most circumstances, within two years of the date of the accident which caused the injury. The primary exception to this rule is when the victim does not, for some reason, discover the injury until some time after the accident occurred.
For instance, the victim of a car accident would typically have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. But if their injuries were severe and they spent two months in a coma, the two-year period would not begin until they have come out of the coma and been made aware of the accident.