Time Limits To Make A Claim Can Be Critical
If a person has been injured (or killed) due to the negligence of another, there are strict time limits that must be met in order to perfect or pursue a claim. Many people think that they will wait to see how things develop and stabilize before doing anything. This can be a serious mistake.
If the injuries were caused due to the negligence of a public entity and/or employee of the public entity, generally claims must be filed within six months of the date of the occurrence. There is some leeway for injuries to minors; but, in any event, the usual six month limitation is extremely important and, if not met, can be fatal to the case.
Injury and wrongful death claims in California, other than regarding public entities, may have a two year time limit to file a case. This is extended during the time an injured person is under 18 years of age. However, there are exceptions to this, too!
Medical malpractice has its own time limits. One year is the normal standard, but this may be extended somewhat by a variety of circumstances, including age of the victim or date of discovery being later than when the malpractice occurred; and it can be shortened – for example, involving public entities. The time limit can also be extended when objects that have no therapeutic value are left accidently in the patient.
There are also special rules for sexual molestation and similar claims, wrongful death related to an earlier accident, and other types of events and claims.
The essence is this: Time limitations can be confusing and can defeat a claim before it is ever heard on its merits. If there is an injury or death caused by the negligence of another, immediate consultation should be sought with a competent, experienced attorney that can guide you through the processes, procedures and complexities of making sure the claim is brought in a timely manner and is not lost through some legal technicality or error.
Written By: Sara Morgan