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How much time do I have to file a car accident lawsuit in California?

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2021 | Auto Accident Injuries |

Getting involved in a car accident can leave you shaken and overwhelmed with anxiety. If the accident results in injury, it is important that you understand your legal rights especially if you decide to file a car accident claim against the at-fault party. 

As a car accident victim, it is not unusual to grapple with a multitude of questions surrounding the accident. This is especially true if you have sustained an injury or damage to property. But, lose track of the fact that you have a limited amount of time to file a car accident claim with the at-fault party’s insurance so that you may qualify to receive the compensation you deserve for your damages. 

So, how long after the accident can you sue the at-fault party?

Every state has a specified time period within which a car accident victim must file a lawsuit against the negligent party. This is known as the statute of limitations. In California, you have 24 months effective the date of the incident to file a car accident claim against the at-fault party. That said, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to seek compensation for damage to property (the cost of fixing your car following the accident). 

What if you miss the deadline for filing your claim?

Unfortunately, your case may be dismissed if you file your claim after the statute of limitations period expires. Unless your case falls within the few exceptions, you will lose your right to seek compensation for your injury and property damage at that point. This is why you must understand what the law says about time limits for filing personal injury lawsuits. 

Getting involved in a car crash can leave you physically, emotionally and financially devastated. You do not want to worsen things by letting the time expire before you can hold the at-fault party accountable for their negligence. If you were recently hurt in a car accident due to another party’s negligence, it is important that you act quickly before the statute of limitations runs up on your case. 

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