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Recent blog posts written by Kistler Law Firm help inform and
answer questions about personal injury law.

Importance of Timely Filing: Statute of Limitations in California Personal Injury Cases

Statute of limitations sign, book and gavel.

Understanding the statute of limitations in personal injury cases is crucial for anyone who has been hurt in a car accident caused by a negligent driver. While you may never need to file a lawsuit to settle your claim, staying on top of critical deadlines like the statute of limitations is essential to protecting your rights and getting the best result. Read on for a discussion of the statute of limitations and how important it is in personal injury claims. If you have been hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, slip and fall, or other injury caused by another’s negligence in the Antelope Valley, contact Kistler Law Firm to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable Palmdale personal injury lawyer.

What Is the Statute of Limitations in California Personal Injury Cases?

The statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. In California, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years from the date of the injury. This means if you suffer a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.

Statutes of limitations are common in just about every legal matter that might go to court. The main reasons for such laws to exist are:

  1. Preservation of Evidence: Over time, evidence can be lost, memories fade, and witnesses may become unavailable. Filing promptly ensures that the evidence is preserved and your case remains strong.

  2. Legal Certainty: The statute of limitations provides a time frame for both the plaintiff and defendant, ensuring legal matters are resolved within a reasonable period.

  3. Fairness: It ensures that claims are made while the information is fresh, which is fairer for both parties involved.

While the two-year limit is standard, exceptions can apply, such as:

  • Minors: If the injured party is a minor, the clock doesn’t start ticking until they turn 18.

  • Delayed Discovery: In some cases, the injury might not be discovered immediately. Here, the statute may begin when the injury is or should have been discovered.

Failing to file within the statute of limitations generally results in the loss of the right to sue. Courts typically dismiss cases filed after the statute of limitations has expired, barring exceptional circumstances.

The Role of a Personal Injury Attorney in Timely Filing

In most incidents, a lawsuit is not immediately filed. An experienced personal injury lawyer won’t even start to settle your case until you have received medical treatment for your injuries and all your legal damages are known. Only if negotiations fail to reach a good settlement will your lawyer file a lawsuit, and only then with your consent. It can therefore take many months or longer before a lawsuit is filed, depending on the nature and extent of your injuries, whether settlement negotiations are ongoing, and other factors. Hiring a diligent personal injury attorney from a reputable firm can help ensure that all legal deadlines in your case will be accurately identified and met.

Why Choose Kistler Law Firm?

  • Local Expertise: Our deep understanding of California’s legal landscape and experience in the Antelope Valley positions us to handle your case effectively. We have worked with a variety of insurance companies, repair shops, and medical providers throughout the region, which enables us to serve your needs.

  • Client-Centric Approach: We provide personalized attention to each client, ensuring your case is handled with the care it deserves.

  • Proven Track Record: Our history of successful outcomes speaks to our commitment to achieving strong results for our clients.

Understanding and adhering to the statute of limitations in personal injury cases is crucial in California. At Kistler Law Firm, we guide our clients through the complexities of their legal journey with expertise and compassion. If you or a loved one has been injured in the Antelope Valley, contact us today by calling our Palmdale law office at 661-206-6990 for a free consultation. Remember, in personal injury cases, time is not just a factor—it’s a decisive element in the quest for justice.

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