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How long after an accident can you sue in California?

First, you need to seek medical attention. Second, if your injuries were caused by someone else, you need to consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to protect your personal injury rights. You have a limited period of time after your accident to seek compensation for your injuries.

In California, the statute of limitations (amount of time you have to pursue legal damages) for most personal injuries is two years from the date of the accident

How long can you wait to sue someone?

The clock usually starts on the date of your accident in California. The amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit depends on who you believe is responsible for your injuries.

If you believe a private party is responsible for your injuries, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you believe a governmental organization (city, county or state agency) caused your accident, the statute of limitations in California is reduced to six months

There are extenuating circumstances that can impact when the clock starts. We recommend speaking with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney about your case as soon as possible.

How long after a car accident can you sue someone?

There are two separate statutes of limitations for car accidents in California. The first deals with your right to file a car accident lawsuit in California – the statute of limitations is two years. 

However, you have up to three years to seek compensation for property damages (the cost of repairs to your vehicle after an accident). The state of California understands that it can take time for vehicles to be repaired or replaced after an accident, and some damage may not be readily apparent, resulting in expensive future repairs.

To understand how California’s personal injury laws apply to your accident, you should seek guidance from lawyers that help with car accidents.

Wrongful Death Claims after Car Accidents in California

Unintentional injuries are a leading cause of death in California. Among these types of accidents, car accidents are the leading cause of death

If you lost a loved one in a car accident, you have up to two years from their death to file a California wrongful death claim. It’s important to note that the clock (statute of limitations) does not necessarily start on the date of the accident. Tragically, some accident victims pass away at a later date as a result of the injuries they sustained.

You will probably receive push back from the at-fault party and their attorney(s) if the deceased passed away at a significantly later date, following their accident. They may try to claim that something else, or a combination of medical issues led to their passing – minimizing their liability for their death.

The sooner you speak with a personal injury attorney after an accident, the more effective they will be able to establish linkage between an accident and the injuries they caused, up to and including the untimely passing of the victim.

How long do you have to file a lawsuit in California?

As a leading personal injury law firm in Los Angeles, the personal injury experts at Glotzer & Leib are often asked about the amount of time you have to sue someone, even if it isn’t a personal injury case.

Statute of Limitations for Small Claims in California

Did you know that in 2017, the most recent California Court Statistics Report shows that 163,575 small claims were filed? While we specialize in personal injury claims that are not handled in small claims court (Attorneys cannot represent you in small claims court.), here are a few answers to common questions we receive about these types of legal issues:

$10,000 is the maximum amount individuals can pursue in California small claims court. Sole-proprietorships are considered individuals, but other types of corporations are limited to a maximum claim of $5,000.

You may only file up to two small claims in excess of $2,500 per year. There is no limit on the number of small claims you can file for less than $2500.  

Minor fender benders, if there were no injuries involved, are often handled in small claims court. More serious accidents where bodily injury occurred (for example, motorcycle accidents and pedestrian accidents) will require the help of an experienced attorney to pursue the full value of your claim.

Discuss your case with a Southern California personal injury attorney.

If you have questions about your legal rights after an accident in Southern California, we encourage you to speak with a personal injury expert on our team. 

We hope you found this information helpful, but remember, the information published here is no substitute for the personalized advice that an attorney can offer you, based on the specific facts and circumstances of your accident.

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    “Mr. Glotzer represented me after I was involved in a car accident. I was badly injured,but the insurance company refused to offer me a reasonable settlement. I decided to find an attorney and decided to hire Josh.

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    “Mr. Josh Glotzer is a great attorney. Over the last 15 years he has helped me on a number of cases with professionalism, and more importantly a positive outcome in my favor. I have referred him to a number of friends and colleagues, all of which have been equally as happy with his legal representation. I trust him and confident in legal ability. I highly recommend his law firm.”

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