What is the statute of limitations in California for a personal injury on a minor car accident.

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What is the statute of limitations in California for a personal injury on a minor car accident.

A friend borrowed our truck, got into an accident. Insurance had all taken care of everything in regards to the vehicles and both parties were happy.  Over two years later a suit is filed claiming an injury from that accident. Both vehicles sustained minor damage and the monetary amount to repair the damage was extremely low.

Asked on April 7, 2009 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Statute of limitations aside, anyone can sue anyone.  However, that doesn't mean the plaintiff/petitioner always wins.  What did the settlement state? Was there a waiver of future claims? What did the check say ("full and final satisfaction")?  http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=ccp&group=00001-01000&file=335-349.4

Usually two years -- but it can be tolled (held) for many reasons.  You may want to speak with your insurance company and the counsel who repped you in the underlying matter.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

It seems as Section 335.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides a general 2 year statute of limitations for personal injury actions in California.

335.1.  Within two years:  An action for  assault, battery, or
injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful
act or neglect of another.

That said, there are so many circumstances that can change that result -- with exceptions and conditions -- such as if someone is under 18, or out of state, etc. that you should get the advice of a lawyer you've retained, and this answer is not a substitute for your own lawyer's answer.

In any event, your auto liability insurance carrier will defend you and assert the statute of limitations as a defense if it applies.


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