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How long does one have to sue after a car accident?

No one in California wants to get into a car accident, but unfortunately such incidents happen every day. While they may differ in severity, even seemingly minor car accidents can lead to injuries. While sometimes injuries are minor, it may be the case that an individual will suffer severe injuries requiring a significant hospital stay and long-term care. As the medical expenses increase, those injured in a car accident may wonder if they can pursue legal action against the individual responsible for causing the accident.

However, did you know that you have a limited amount of time in which to file a lawsuit based on the car accident in order to seek damages? This time limit is known as the "statute of limitations," and per California law, individuals in general have two years after the car accident occurs to file a suit based on the negligence or wrongful act of another. After the statute of limitations has passed, in general the harmed individual can no longer pursue legal action.

Why have a statute of limitations? Well, one reason is so that the plaintiff's (the harmed individual) physical evidence, witness recollections, medical reports and other types of evidence remain fresh. However, some individuals are opposed to having a statute of limitations, arguing that they are not fair.

Whether or not one agrees with a statute of limitations, they must abide by it. If you wait too long to seek recovery for your damages, you may not be able to seek any compensation at all, which is understandably not a desirable result. Since this post cannot serve as legal advice for any one person's situation, people injured due to another's negligence should make sure they understand what the statute of limitations is in their state, so they can be sure to meet it.

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Law Offices of Steven M. Hanna, P.C.
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