Car accident in Los Angeles: An overview of California’s statute of limitations

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Despite strict laws, car accidents are not unusual in California. More often than not, victims of auto accidents are left grappling with injuries and losses because of the other driver’s fault. If you were injured in such an accident in LA, you need to take appropriate steps to protect your rights. One of these steps is to hire one of the reliable car accident attorneys Los Angeles. Below is an overview of the statute of limitations in California with other aspects worth knowing. 

The basics

The statute of limitations sets the deadline for filing a civil lawsuit after a car accident. Every state has its statute of limitations, and typically, it extends to all types of personal injury cases. In California, the deadline is two years for personal injury and wrongful death claims. If you lost a loved one in a car crash, you have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party, as per California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1. 

Understanding the deadline

The two-year deadline starts from the date of the car accident. The typical approach is to file a third-party claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, and as you do that and negotiate a settlement, the clock continues to tick. In case of wrongful death lawsuits, the deadline starts from the deceased’s date of death, which could be a later date. The statute of limitations is important because it can be hard to find reliable evidence after a point. The court will most likely dismiss your car accident lawsuit if you miss the deadline. 

 Do you need an accident attorney?

The short answer is yes. Hiring an accident attorney is an absolute must after a car crash, although it is not mandatory by law. Crucial evidence may disappear with time, and you may end up losing your chance of getting a fair settlement. Experienced accident attorneys know what it takes to investigate a case and gather evidence efficiently by talking to experts, witnesses, and the police. They can also use accident reconstruction services to find pertinent details. Lawyers can also evaluate if a car accident case is likely to end up in court, and they can work accordingly. 

Hiring an accident attorney can improve your chances of winning a lawsuit. Don’t delay seeking legal help and advice because two years is not a lot of time, especially after a car crash.  

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