Question: When Should I File a Personal Injury Claim in Manhattan Beach?
As personal injury attorneys with decades of experience assisting people who have been injured through no fault of their own, we get asked this question all the time.
Our answer: As soon as possible!
If you have sustained injuries in an accident that you believe to be the fault of another, don’t put off speaking with an experienced Manhattan Beach accident attorney. You have only a limited window of opportunity after your accident in which to seek compensation for the pain, suffering and financial losses you have suffered as a result of your injuries.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in California
California state law has established statutes of limitations for filing personal injury claims. If you wait too long, you may be unable to file a claim — in which case you will find yourself on the hook to pay all the expenses related to your injuries.
Here’s another question: Can you afford that?
You have a right to seek compensation for your damages — up to a point. The statute of limitations for filing most personal injury claims in California is two years from the date the injuries occurred. If the defendant is a government entity, a government claim must generally be filed within 6 months of the accident. If you do not take legal action during this period, the court could decide that your claim is no longer valid.
There is an exception. Sometimes the symptoms of a person’s injuries take a while to manifest themselves. For example, it may be years after exposure to radiation and certain chemicals before a person develops a disease resulting from this exposure, such as cancer. In these situations, a special rule called the “discovery of harm” may apply. Under the “discovery of harm” rule, the time period for filing a claim starts as soon as victim learns, or reasonably should have learned, that they have in fact sustained an injury. Because the time limits for the statute of limitations vary depending on the type of case, you should immediately consult a personal injury lawyer regarding the applicable time limits. For example, in medical malpractice cases, the time limit is one year from the date the victim learns or reasonably should have learned that they sustained an injury as a result of negligence. There is also an absolute outside time limit of three years for medical malpractice claims, regardless of when the injury is discovered.
The Longer You Wait to File a Personal Injury Claim, the Colder the Evidence Gets
In addition to statutes of limitation, it’s important to get started on your claim before the evidence disappears. Photos and records can get lost or destroyed, and memories fade. The sooner we get started collecting and preserving evidence to support your claim, the better your chances of success.
Get Help With Your Personal Injury Claim in Manhattan Beach Today!
For over 30 years, Dinsmore & Sandelmann, LLP has been successfully representing residents and their families in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Hawthorne, Gardena, Redondo Beach, Torrance and surrounding communities in a wide variety of personal injury cases. Our clients know they can depend on our skills, knowledge and dedication to get them the best settlement or jury verdict possible.
We handle most of our cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no up-front costs for our clients and we only collect our fee after our clients receive their settlement.
Don’t put off seeking legal help after your injury. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact Dinsmore & Sandelmann as soon as possible. The sooner we get to work on your case, the sooner you’ll get the compensation you deserve.
Call us at 310-318-1220 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Manhattan Beach injury lawyers. We are eager to discuss the facts in your case, answer any legal questions you may have and offer professional advice on the best way to move forward with your claim. Weekend and evening appointments are available; if your injuries prevent you from traveling, we can meet with you in your home or hospital room.