A statute of limitation is a law that prescribes the maximum time within which a claimant or plaintiff may initiate legal proceedings after an event. The aim of establishing a statute of limitations is to expedite the resolution of claims and ensure fairness and integrity in litigation.
Common Statutes of Limitations in California
Let us look at the statutes of limitations for common types of cases in California:
- Personal Injury: 2 years from the date of injury
- Property Damage: 3 years from the date of damage
- Libel or Slander: 1 year from the date of injury
- Fraud: 3 years from the date of fraud
- Oral Contract: 2 years from the date of violation of the contract
- Written Contract: 4 years from the date of violation of the contract
- Medical Malpractice: 1 year from the date the complainant was or should have been aware of the malpractice, or 3 years from the date of injury (whichever is earlier)
- Legal Malpractice: 1 year from the date the complainant was or should have been aware of the malpractice, and at the most up to 4 years after the legal action
- Debt Collection: 4 years from the date of debt owed
California Statutes of Limitations in Lawsuits against the Government
Any claim against the government, known as an administrative claim, needs to be filed within six months of the injury date. In case of property damage or breach of contract filing, the statute has a limitation of one year.
The law requires the government agency to respond within 45 days of the filing of the administrative claim. In the event of a denial of a claim, the complainant has six months after the denial to file a lawsuit. Pending a response, the complainant can file a lawsuit within two years of the incident.
California Statutes of Limitations in Toxic Tort Claims
An illness or injury due to chemical exposure or pollution arising from an individual or company's actions is a toxic tort. The statute of limitations in a California toxic tort case is 2 years from the date the plaintiff was or should have been aware of the exposure. The statute is 2 years from the date of death if the exposure results in death.
Statute of Limitations Exceptions in California
Any exception to the statutes of limitations, also known as tolling, is essentially an enforced pause to aid potential plaintiffs who are incapable of filing a case for some reason. Some possible scenarios for tolling are, when the plaintiff:
- is below the age of 18 years
- has prenatal injuries
- is mentally incompetent and declared as such
- dies with fewer than 6 months until the end of the statute of limitations
- is in prison
- is in the military service
Talk to a California Personal Injury Attorney
If you are the victim of an accident or wrongdoing, it is critical that you contact an experienced California personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You do not want to regret not moving fast enough to give yourself a better chance to claim the rightful compensation for your injuries.
The attorneys here at the Kann California Law Group, with their exceptional understanding of the local courts and excellent knowledge of California's personal injury justice system, can represent you effectively. You can contact us through our website contact form or call us at 888-744-7730.