7 Things To Understand About The Statute Of Limitations For Car Accident Claims


The statute of limitations is a time limit for filing lawsuits and claiming damages. The most common statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident, but this varies from state to state, in California being two years as well. In some states, there are no statutes of limitations at all.

So what does that mean?  Well, it means that you have a limited amount of time to file your lawsuit or make a claim for compensation through your insurance company before you lose your right to do so forever.

The Time Limits

The statute of limitations is a law that gives people the amount of time they have to file a civil claim. As seen at https://usa-law.org/car-accident-attorney/statute-of-limitations/, this law exists for three main reasons: to ensure that evidence is retained, to encourage fairness in filing claims, and to fairly allocate resources between plaintiffs. If you are involved in an accident with someone else who may be at fault, it’s always best to contact an attorney as soon as possible so you don’t miss out on any time-sensitive deadlines.

Contacting legal representatives will prove beneficial with many other elements of your case. This includes the preservation of evidence that could help you win, such as witness testimonies or even damage or injuries that have long since healed.

Different State, Different Statute

Every state has its own set of laws regarding what type of civil claims must be filed within which amount of time. You can usually find the statute of limitations for car accident claims in your state’s civil code under a section labeled “Limitation of Actions.”

In California, for example, an injured party has two years to file a personal injury claim following the accident. The deadline only begins running from the date of injury — not from the date of accident as it may in other states. In other words, your two-year deadline starts as soon as you realize that an injury has been caused by someone else’s negligence or misconduct.

However, if you wanted to file a lawsuit for pain and suffering later down the line, I would have only one year to do so.

Every Car Accident Is Different

The statute of limitations for car accidents is typically quite generous, but every case is unique and must be handled appropriately to ensure that deadlines are not missed. Make sure to understand how the statute of limitations for car accident claims in your case apply to the evidence and specific circumstances surrounding the accident. Anyhow, if you don’t understand how the statute of limitations works, contact a legal professional as soon as possible to avoid missing any deadlines.

Faulty Products

In most states, the statute of limitations for faulty products, such as defective tires or airbags, is between three and 10 years from the date the product was sold or leased — sometimes even longer!

As seen, statutes of limitation for injury cases involving car accidents are typically two to three years. This gives the plaintiff more time to file a claim against the manufacturer of a faulty product than against another driver who was negligent behind the wheel.

Time-Barred Claim

If you wait too long to file your claim, the court will automatically assume that it is time-barred and deny it without giving any consideration to whether or not your injuries are valid. This type of rejection is referred to as a “technicality” because it results from unnecessary delays on your part — delays beyond what’s reasonable considering the circumstances of your case. This is why it’s important to seek medical care and legal advice immediately after an accident, even if you’re not aware of any injuries at the time. Otherwise, your claim could be deemed time-barred.

A Statute Of Repose

Under the statute of repose, an injured party has a significantly shorter timeframe to file a personal injury claim against another party. This means that even if your injury doesn’t show up until later on down the line, an extremely short statute of repose could still affect your case.

Equitable Estoppel

In some cases, equitable estoppel can be used to prevent a defendant from asserting that the statute of limitations period has lapsed on an injured plaintiff’s claim. This is typically the case when the defendant takes steps to mislead the plaintiff about his or her injury in order to prevent them from filing a timely lawsuit.

Make sure you understand what type of clause applies in your case and for additional information on how to protect yourself against these time limitations and more, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney with experience in car accident claims.


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