How Long Can you Wait to Sue after a Car Accident?

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Truck Accident
Car Accident Law

A lot of the time, you see the victims of a car or truck accident exchanging insurance information, after which they normally resolve matters through their respective providers. That said, the settlements these companies offer are not always enough to cover all damages suffered by the victim, and this often prompts the latter to take the issue to court. California’s statute of limitations requires filing such a lawsuit within a prescribed period of time. After that duration has passed, one could be prevented from acquiring compensation from the at-fault party.

The Basics of Statute of Limitations

This is basically the period inside which a victim is allowed to bring a lawsuit against an offending party. After this allotted time elapses, they may be barred from achieving compensation, especially in the event that the defendant brings up the pertinent statute defense, despite the plaintiff sometimes carrying obvious injuries from the incident.

How This Applies to Car Accidents in the State of California

For an adult victim of a car accident, California’s legal system holds a statute limiting the “lateness” of any personal injury-related accident lawsuit, to two years.

As any vehicle accident lawyer could tell you, this is similar to the statute in effect for personal injury cases. If damages sought comprise only property and/or vehicle damage, the duration extends to three years starting from the date of the accident. If a government entity is the defendant, the statute narrows down to six months. If the entity denies the victim’s claim, the latter has six more months to file another personal injury claim against the same party.

The Best Time to File a Lawsuit

Following a car or truck accident, it makes sense to hurry up any legal action you intend on bringing to the at-fault party. This may, however, be particularly difficult if you have serious injuries to recover from, and these require extended treatment. Establishing and initiating a solid treatment plan takes precedence in such cases. Even so, it is unwise to wait till the last possible moment that you can file a personal injury lawsuit. If you cross the time limit, it could cost you the chance to achieve the damages that you could have recovered before. As a result, you would be stuck paying out of your pocket towards medical as well as other expenses.

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