The legal system often has statute of limitations, or time limits, in place for legal procedures which could be time-sensitive. For instance, if too much time has passed between an alleged misdemeanor and the prosecution of that crime, then the person accused cannot be prosecuted at all, even if there is clear and convincing evidence proving he or she is guilty.
There also is a statute of limitations for civil cases, such as personal injury claims and wrongful death claims. The time-frame to file a lawsuit after an accident and injury (or death) varies by state, from one to ten years. In California, the statute of limitations for filing either a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the incident.
Statute of Limitations and Discovery
In some cases, the two-year window for filing a claim does not begin at the time of the incident, but rather from the time the discovery of negligence is made. In other words, if an injury victim did not know who caused his harm until after the accident, he has two years from the date of his knowledge to file a lawsuit.
Why do statutes of limitations exist?
Statutes of limitations exist because evidence and memories often fade over time. Witnesses forget details, businesses may destroy records, and even the participants themselves may not clearly remember the events leading to the lawsuit.
Orange County Personal Injury Attorneys
At Russell & Lazarus, our California car accident lawyers are well aware of all time limits and deadlines related to your personal injury case and car accident claim. We can guide you through the entire process in an efficient and timely manner. Call us today at 851-855-2400 to schedule a free case evaluation with an attorney.