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A victim injured by another’s negligent or reckless actions generally has the chance to hold that person accountable through a lawsuit. In many states, including California, this form of legal relief is only available for a certain period of time. This is the statute of limitations.

What time limits apply to claims in CA?

Two main factors impact the statute of limitations: where the claim is filed and the type of legal action. According to California state law, the following time limits generally apply:

  • Personal injury. Personal injury cases involve one person causing injury to another. This includes car accidents, dog bites and construction accidents. Victims have two years from the date of injury to pursue the claim.
  • Medical malpractice. Medical malpractice claims involve injury caused by the negligent treatment of a physician or other medical professional. This could include a birth injury, surgical error or failure to diagnose case. A victim has one year after discovering the injury or three years after the injury.
  • Property damage. A case for the damage or destruction of property has a three year time limit. This could include stealing property, causing damage to a vehicle or a breach of sale of goods claim.

Building a personal injury lawsuit is often a complicated matter. The statute of limitations is just one of many legal issues to consider before moving forward with a claim. As a result, those who believe they may be the victim of another’s negligence are wise to promptly seek legal counsel. An attorney can review your claim and help determine if it will result in compensation.