Should you ever have a legal claim against a party, including a personal injury claim after being in a Woodland Hills car accident, one of the most important reasons to consult an experienced attorney is to avoid problems with the statute of limitations that can eventually bar you from bringing suit and recovering financial compensation if you delay too long.
What is a statute of limitations?
A statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. Most of the time, the clock begins to run from the time an injury or wrong occurs. Each state sets its own statue of limitations for different sets of claims, with the federal government having a separate statute of limitations for federal claims as well. In California, an auto accident victim generally has two years to file a claim. If the injury was not discovered right away, then it is 1 year from the date the injury was discovered if they delay in the discovery was reasonable.
Keep in mind that that these categories are broad, general guidelines. There are a number of scenarios which bring their own set of statutes of limitations or exceptions into play. For instance, claims against certain government agencies require that an auto accident victim file an administrative claim against the agency within 6 months of an incident in order to preserve your right to file suit.
Tolling the statute of limitations
Other factors can delay or “toll” a statue of limitations under certain circumstances, such as when the victim is a minor or mentally incompetent during the time of the initial injury. Bankruptcy can also toll certain claims while its protections remain in effect.
The key thing to remember is that it is always best to consult a qualified personal injury attorney soon after suffering an injury in an auto accident. Undue delay can jeopardize your ability to fully protect your rights and recover any damages that you may be entitled to.
Financial recovery for auto accident victims can assist the injured person in paying for medical bills, hospital stays, physical therapy appointments, emotional counseling, and other associated costs. If you are interested in obtaining financial compensation for your injuries, it is important that you file your personal injury lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs.
To discuss filing a personal injury lawsuit for injuries you suffered in an auto accident, contact Woodland Hills accident attorney Barry p. Goldberg today.