Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in California

Depending on the nature of the accident, California has different statute of limitations for car accident claims. Be aware of these statutes as they limit the time you have between an accident and filing a claim.

Different Statute of Limitations for Different Types of Car Accidents

  • Personal Injury Claims: two-year statute of limitation following a car accident. After this period, claims are forever barred for being brought to court for the accident.
  • Property Damage Claims: three-year statute of limitations following damage resulting from a car accident.
  • Wrongful Death: If a family member is killed in a car accident the same statutes of limitations apply. Some governmental entities are immune from wrongful death suits, therefore it is important to hire a personal injury lawyer that is experienced in wrongful death suites to handle your case.
  • Automobile Accident with a government entity (state, local, or federal): six months statute of limitation. If the government entity denies the claim, individuals have six months from the date of denial to file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim.

California law allows accident victims to file a lawsuit immediately following an auto accident, but that does not mean you should. Recovering from serious injuries may take a long time, resulting in additional treatment, if the initial treatment is unsuccessful. Therefore, you and your treating medical providers should have a confirmed treatment plan in place before you settle your claim. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer while you deal with medical treatment is essential, as they can coordinate with medical providers to ascertain the amount of care and cost of that care in order to quantify your damage claim. Too often accident victims settle their claim quickly, resulting in out-of-pocket expenses that add up.

If you have questions about filing a claim or about an accident, call BD&J, PC at (855) 906-3699 for a free consultation!


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