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Is there a Statute Of Limitations On Car Accident Cases in California

If you are a car accident victim in California, you are legally entitled to compensation for your injuries. To obtain compensation, you must file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. But don’t wait forever. The length of time victims have to take is called a statute of limitations, and it varies from state-to-state. So, if you are in California and have an accident, here’s what you need to know-

Statute of Limitations- Car Accident Cases involving Injuries

If a negligent driver injures you, you can recover compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the car accident. But don’t wait too long… 2 years may seem like a long time… but it comes quicker than you think.

Statute of Limitations- Car Accident Cases involving Property Damage

Your car can be damaged as a result of the collision, without an injury. If so, you can need to file a claim against the at-fault driver to recover compensation for your property damage.

Property damage claims has a statute of limitations of three years in California. If you do not file a lawsuit within two years to recover compensation for your injuries, you still have time to file a lawsuit for property damage. If a valuable item in the car was damaged at the time of the accident, you can recover compensation, with proof.

Statute of Limitations- Wrongful Death Cases in California

California Wrongful death claims have a statute of limitations of two years from the date of the victim’s death. The two-year time period begins on the day of the victim’s death, not on the day the victim was injured.

Statute of Limitations- Personal Injury Cases Involving Government Entities

If you are injured in a car accident caused by a negligent government employee, (a negligent bus driver or a government employee), you do not have much time to file a personal injury claim. The law only provides victims in this situation six months to initiate the claim against the responsible government entity.

In Conclusion

Do not wait! Filing a personal injury lawsuit after the statute of limitations, usually results in a defendant will usually ask the court to dismiss the lawsuit. Judges are inclined to dismiss the case in this instance. This means the defendant can no longer be held liable for the harm they have caused and you will no longer be able to recover compensation for the damages you have suffered.


Have you been injured in a car accident?  As you focus on your physical and emotional recovery, working with a professional who understands the complexities associated with car accidents will improve the chances of you receiving your rightful compensation. Let the professionals at KJT LAW GROUP help. Call us at (818) 507-8525 or email us at for a free consultation. We will go over all the facts of your case and recommend the best ways to move forward.


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