One of the first questions an attorney should ask, if she doesn’t already know it, “When did the accident occur?” The reason: the time for filing a claim is not unlimited. The limits are known in legal speak as “statutes of limitations”. The law provides a cut-off date for when a claim can be filed. The date will vary based upon many factors including the type of claim (personal injury, sexual molestation, medical malpractice) and the place the injury occurred.
Generally, in California, the following limits apply:
- personal injury against a town or governmental agency - 6 months
- medical malpractice - 3 years
- personal injury or wrongful death - 2 years
- personal injury or wrongful death related to defect in construction - 4 years
For that reason it is important not to delay talking to an attorney about your potential claim.