If you suffer an Orange County accident, you can file a claim for damages against the at-fault driver. The success of this claim depends on many factors such as the evidence to prove fault, the nature of the injuries, and so on. An Orange County accident attorney can help you look at these factors to see how they apply to your specific claim.
One of the key factors that play a central role in the outcome of your Orange County accident claim or lawsuit is the timing. Under California laws, you are required to file a car crash claim for damages within a designated period. This period is known as the statute of limitations. Here is a look at what this period is and how it applies to Orange County accident claims.
What is California’s Statute of Limitations?
Most states have defined a general statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. This statute also applies to specific types of personal injury incidents, such as car accidents. As per California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, the statute for personal injury lawsuits is set at two years.
In other words, if you suffer an accident in Orange County involving injuries and want to file a claim for damages, such a claim must be brought within a period of two years. This period is measured from the date of the Orange County accident that caused the injuries. However, if a crash results in the death of a victim, a wrongful death claim may be filed. The statute for such a claim is measured from the date of the victim’s death.
Statute of Limitations for Vehicle Damage Claims
It is important to note here that under California laws, the statute of limitations for vehicle damage claims is different from that for personal injury claims. Section 338 of the California Code of Civil Procedure stipulates that a claim pertaining to vehicle damage alone can be brought within three years of the Orange County accident that caused the damage. So you have a longer period of time to seek vehicular damages for your Irvine car crash.
Statute of Limitations in Crashes Involving Government Entities
The state laws use a different statute of limitations for accidents and injuries caused by government entities. For instance, if your vehicle accident was caused by a FedEx truck or a government employee acting in the course of his or her job, the regular statute period doesn’t apply. Instead, you are required to file your claim within a shorter period.
California laws require you to provide a notice of claim within six months to the relevant government agency or department following a car accident of this type. If you are unable to provide a notice of claim within this period, your claim is likely to be denied after it has been filed.
What Happens if the Statute of Limitation Expires?
As noted above, you are legally required to bring a potential lawsuit against an at-fault driver within the period set forth by the statute of limitations. Even if you are filing a claim with the insurance company, the insurer will consider your claim only when it is filed within the statute of limitations period.
Once the statute period expires, you are no longer legally entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you take your case to a court of law after the statute expires, the other party will instantly object on the basis of the statute of limitations. The court will then be obliged to dismiss your case. Likewise, if you file a claim after the statute period, the insurance company knows that you can no longer legally file a lawsuit. So the insurer will almost certainly reject your claim.
In general, it is a good idea to file a claim or lawsuit for car crash damages at the earliest. This gives you and your attorney plenty of time to gather evidence, get witness statements, and meet any other legal requirements.
How Can an Orange County Car Accident Attorney Help?
If you have suffered injuries or vehicle damage or both in an Orange County accident, it is important to get legal help at the earliest. Here at the Crockett Law Group, our attorneys work with you to ensure that your claim is complete and backed with the right evidence. We also make sure that the claim is filed in time and within the statute period. Our attorneys strive to secure the maximum amount of compensation for your crash-related losses. Call us today to discuss your Irvine crash claim with our lawyers.