How Long Do I Have To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in California?
If you’ve been harmed because of another person’s negligence you have the right to file a lawsuit for damages. However, California law limits the amount of time you have to file your legal claim.
In most cases, you will have two years (California CCP § 335) from the date of your accident to file a claim. If you do not file your claim before the statute of limitations expires you will not be able to get the financial settlement or award you deserve. There are limited exceptions to this rule. For example, you may have additional time to file a lawful claim if you didn’t notice your injury right away or if the defendant cannot be found.
You can make sure that your claim is filed within the applicable statute of limitations by calling a personal injury lawyer at Citywide Law Group immediately after your accident. When you call, we will immediately get to work on your case.
How Much Money is My Case Worth?
Determining the value of your case can be difficult. At Citywide Law Group, our Los Angeles personal injury law firm will pursue all damages to which you are entitled. We will:
- Investigate your accident,
- Evaluate the extent of your injuries, and
- Consult with experts to determine which damages will be sought.
Taking the steps above helps us understand:
- How much medical treatment you will need,
- How much work you’re likely to miss, and
- How the accident will impact your long-term quality of life.
You Can Still Get Money If You Were Partly Responsible
What happens if you are partly responsible for your own accident or injury? In Los Angeles, you can still get compensation as long as someone else is also to blame. California follows the rule of comparative fault. Anyone who causes an accident can be responsible for damages. This is true even if you suffer an injury.
Your role in the accident won’t prevent you from recovering compensation. However, it will impact how much money you can get. The larger your role in the accident, the less you’ll be able to recover. Our attorneys will review every detail of your case and find evidence that shifts the blame to others.
What Damages Are Available After An Accident?
In California, personal injury victims are entitled to recover both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are awarded to help you deal with any financial burdens you face because of your accident.
In other words, you can be compensated for the financial expenses you experience because of your injury. Commonly awarded economic damages include those for:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Nursing care
- Lost wages
- Temporary and/or permanent disability, and
- Reduced earning capacity.
In California, economic damages must be capped at your actual expenses and costs. However, you may also recover damages for reasonably calculable future costs/losses. Find out more by speaking with our personal injury lawyers regarding your case.
Non-economic Damages. Sometimes an accident-related injury will not have a direct financial cost. These injuries tend to be very personal, intimate, and subjective, which can make them difficult to value in terms of dollars and cents. It’s important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer when determining these types of damages. Call our Los Angeles office today for more information.
The fact that these injuries are hard to value economically does not mean that they are any less devastating or harmful to you. Non-economic damages can be awarded to help compensate for these hard-to-value injuries.
Commonly awarded non-economic damages include those for:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Anxiety and depression
- Emotional trauma
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of consortium (sexual relations), and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Generally speaking, there is no limit to the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded in personal injury matters. However, non-economic awards are capped at $500,000 in medical malpractice matters.