Do I have a time limit in which to bring a claim?
I always recommend contacting all insurance companies involved of the occurrence of an accident as soon as conveniently possible. This will allow insurance companies to open their file and prepare for negotiating your claim(s). But there are vitally important drop dead time lines in California to observe or you will be restricted from presenting a personal injury claim at all.
You typically must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident in California in order to preserve your right to recover damages from a personal injury claim - this is known as a Statute of Limitations. If the injured person is a child or a person with a profound mental disability, this period can often be extended beyond the two years.
If you intend on making a claim against a government entity, the law requires that you file a claim within six (6) months of the injury causing incident. Several times throughout my career severely injured people have been barred from pursuing a claim against a negligent government entity because they failed to file the necessary paperwork withing the six month period. It’s heartbreaking.
With government entities, you must also file a lawsuit within certain time periods after the claim is rejected (typically within 182 days of such rejection).
In order to protect your rights, if you have any question of what your Statute of Limitations may be, I highly recommend that you contact an attorney immediately to find out the time limitations involved. Please know: These are general statements of limitations. There are many exceptions and you should consult an attorney concerning your particular claim and the applicable statute of limitations and any available exceptions.