Statute of Limitations for Auto Accident Claims in California

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Treach out to a skilled auto accident attorney who can help you file a lawsuit within the two-year window.

As much as you may strive to be a safe driver, cyclist, or pedestrian, accidents still happen. We share the road with so many other drivers, some of whom may be distracted, inattentive, or downright reckless. If you were injured in an auto accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, you have the legal right to file a lawsuit and recover compensation that can help to cover your medical costs and lost wages resulting from the accident. However, it’s important to recognize that California, like most states, has a statute of limitations in place that requires you to file your claim within a certain period of time. If the deadline passes, your claim will most likely be dismissed. Let’s take a look at how long you have to pursue an auto accident claim in California, and what steps you should take to get started.

File Your Auto Accident Claim Within Two Years

Like many states, California has a set statute of limitations of two years for auto accident injury lawsuits. This means that auto accident victims must successfully file all the required documents with the court within two years of the date of the underlying accident. It’s worth noting that the entire legal process doesn’t need to be resolved within two years—you simply have to make sure you’ve set the claims process in motion by filing your paperwork with the court.

A Few Exceptions

There are a few special circumstances that may change the statute of limitations. For instance, if there were no major injuries resulting from the accident, you may wish to pursue compensation for damage done to your vehicle. In that case, the statute of limitations extends to three years from the date of the accident. Or, perhaps the at-fault driver is a California government employee. Should that happen, you will need to follow some additional rules when pursuing an auto accident claim, and you must notify the court that you intend to pursue a lawsuit within six months of the date of the accident. If you are wondering about how the circumstances of your accident may affect the statute of limitations, reach out to a knowledgeable auto accident attorney for more detailed information.

Take Action as Soon as Possible

If you’ve suffered an injury in an auto accident, your first priority is to focus on your recovery. It can be overwhelming to think about how you’ll afford the costly medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses stemming from the accident. Time can pass quickly, so it’s essential that you reach out to an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for filing an auto accident lawsuit. In many cases, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home to speak with your attorney—simply call them and share your concerns over the phone. Together, you can make sure that you take the necessary steps to file a successful auto accident claim with the goal of securing the compensation you deserve.


To learn more about how to file a successful auto accident claim in the Temecula or Greater Los Angeles area, call the dedicated attorneys at Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation today at (951) 489-3320.

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