How Much Time Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Los Angeles?

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October 19, 2018

Ellis Law Corporation

Personal Injury

If someone has harmed you in a way that caused injury or illness, or an entity such as a retail establishment or corporation has created conditions that caused you an injury or illness, it is possible to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages you have suffered. The damages can cover medical treatment, physical therapy, lost time and wages from work, and damages from loss of quality of life.
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How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If something like this has happened, however, it’s important to note that legal claims must be filed within a certain amount of time after you discover the illness or injury. This amount of time is referred as “the statute of limitations.” After the statute of limitations has been exceeded, a court will refuse to hear your case.

Statute of limitations apply in all types of cases, although the time for each type of case may vary.

For personal injury claims, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of discovery of the injury or illness. This is true in Los Angeles and throughout the entire state of California.

In other words, if you slip and fall because a grocery store manager has not cleaned up spilled liquid, you are highly likely to note the injury right away. If you cut yourself, you will notice the cut. If you sprained an ankle, you will likely notice it as you walk out of the store. Any personal injury claim you filed needs to be filed within two years of the date you realized you were injured.

But there are personal injuries that might take time to manifest. What if you have are working in a place with asbestos, for example? Asbestos is a known cancer-causing substance, and was supposed to be removed from buildings decades ago. However, every now and then, a report surfaces that asbestos is found in a building.

In that case, you may discover you are ill in a doctor’s office years after you were injured by breathing asbestos. In that case, you would have two years from the date you discovered you were ill from asbestos.

The Other Party Must Be Negligent in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

It’s also important to note that personal injury cases can only be brought if the other party was negligent. That means that they must have been responsible to make conditions safe, have known they were unsafe, have had enough time to rectify the unsafe conditions, but did not do so.

If all these conditions are met, your attorney can argue that the other party is negligent.

How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Los Angeles

Ellis Law Corporation has been successfully fighting for the rights of personal injury victims in southern California for more than 20 years. If you or a loved one has been harmed due to the negligence of another party, we can help.

Call us today to speak with an experienced attorney about filing a personal injury lawsuit Los Angeles. Our track record speaks for itself: we win 99% of the cases we take on! Call our law offices today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation about your case.

Additional Resources:

  1. California Courts. Statute of Limitations.
  2. California Legislative Information. Code CCP 335.1.