No one wakes up in the morning and plans on getting injured. Unfortunately, accidents happen every day and when they do, the victim may be left with serious injuries that require time and money to recover from. In some cases, the victim may be entitled to compensation for their injuries through a personal injury lawsuit. So when should you file a Manhattan Beach personal injury claim?
The answer to this question will vary depending on the circumstances of each case. Generally speaking, you should file a personal injury claim as soon as possible after the accident occurs. This will give your attorney time to investigate the accident and gather evidence to support your claim. If you wait too long to file a claim, evidence may be lost or witnesses may forget what they saw.
Of course, you should always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before filing any type of lawsuit. An attorney will be able to assess your case and advise you on the best course of action. If you have been injured in an accident, contact the Law Offices of Scott Dinsmore, APC today to schedule a free consultation.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in California
California state law has established statutes of limitations for personal injury claims — time limits on how long you have to file a lawsuit. 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 If you do not take legal action during this period, the court could decide that your claim is no longer valid.
Exceptions to Time Limit for Personal Injury Lawsuits
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
If you have been injured in an accident, it is important to file a personal injury claim as soon as possible. This will allow your attorney time to investigate the accident and gather evidence to support your claim. If you wait too long to file a claim, evidence may be lost or destroyed, and witnesses may forget what they saw.
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to assess your case and advise you on the best course of action.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Claims in California
Most personal injury attorneys in Manhattan Beach work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case. Contingency fees are paid as a percentage of the total amount recovered in a settlement or verdict.
In California, the courts use a doctrine called “comparative negligence” to determine how much each party is responsible for an accident. Under this doctrine, the court will assign a percentage of fault to each party involved in the accident.
Under California law, people who have been injured by someone else’s negligence have a right to see damages for their injuries. These damages can be economic, such as medical bills and lost wages, or non-economic, such as pain and suffering.
Get Help With Your Personal Injury Claim in Manhattan Beach Today!
For over 30 years, the Law Offices of Scott Dinsmore, APC 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 the Law Offices of Scott Dinsmore, APC 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.