It’s easy to put off calling an attorney after a serious accident. Even when the damages are adding up fast, commencing the claims process is often the last thing on your mind when recovering from debilitating injuries.
The good news, however, is once your lawyer has a clear understanding of what happened, your legal team can essentially take over. They will handle virtually every aspect of your claim, so you’re free to focus on your health and your family.
With that in mind, it’s wise to call an attorney and get the proceedings underway as soon as possible. This is because California has strict filing deadlines for personal injury actions. In other words, if you and the liable party cannot arrive at a satisfactory settlement, you’re going to have a limited amount of time to take them to court. And if you miss the deadline? You may not be left with any legal recourse.
Under California tort law, the standard statute of limitations for personal injury actions is two years. That means plaintiffs usually have two years from the date on which they were hurt (or the date on which their injuries should have been discovered through reasonable diligence) to file a formal lawsuit against the liable party.
While this might seem like a considerable amount of time, it’s inevitably going to pass faster than you realize. This is especially true if you sustained catastrophic injuries because it could take a year—or more—for you to reach maximum medical improvement.
It’s also important to note that you might have less than two years to commence the proceedings. There are a few exceptions to this statute, and if one of them applies to your situation, you’re going to want to confirm the actual deadline as soon as possible.
If it turns out a government agency is to blame for your injuries, for example, you must file an administrative claim with the appropriate entity within just six months (though in some cases this is extended to one year). The government then has 45 days to respond.
If they deny your claim, you may proceed with a formal lawsuit. Should you receive a rejection letter, you have six months from the date on which the letter was mailed or delivered to you personally to bring your case. If you don’t receive a letter, however, you have two years from the date on which the cause of action occurred to take the agency to court.
Call (562) 206-1939 for a Free Consultation with a Long Beach Personal Injury Lawyer After a Serious Accident
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
When you’re ready to get your claim underway, turn to the Law Office of Michael D. Waks. Our tenacious team has secured numerous six- and seven-figure payouts for our valued clients. To set up a free initial consultation with a personal injury attorney in Long Beach, call (562) 206-1939 or fill out our Online Contact Form.