Every state has a deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is known as the statute of limitations. In California, this deadline is two years, per CCP § 335.1. While this may sound like a long time, starting the process early is best, as it will take time for your lawyer to gather evidence and build a case.
Filing a personal injury claim promptly is crucial to protecting your rights and increasing the likelihood of receiving the compensation you deserve. A personal injury lawyer from our law firm can help guide you through the process and meet the statute of limitations in your case.
When Should You File a Personal Injury Claim?
If you were hurt in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation to pay for your losses, such as medical expenses, lost income, child care, property damage, emotional distress, mental anguish, disability, disfigurement, and loss of life enjoyment.
You should take time after an accident to consider your options. Consulting with an attorney with experience handling personal injury cases can help you make the best choice. A lawyer from our firm can guide you through the claim and legal process.
As for when you should file a personal injury claim, you can and should file even if you are still receiving medical care for your injuries. The process can take time, and you don’t want to wait so long that you risk missing the deadline if you want to file a lawsuit. You also don’t want to accept a settlement offer without knowing the full extent of your damages.
It’s ultimately up to you when you want to file a claim, but you don’t have to wait to begin the process.
How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Every personal injury claim goes through a process. After you consult with an attorney from our firm, we will investigate the accident that caused your injuries to determine the facts and gather evidence to strengthen your case.
We will calculate the value of your claim, so we can pursue a fair compensation package for you and evaluate any settlement offers. We will then enter into negotiations with the liable party’s insurance provider. In some cases, this process involves filing a lawsuit. Most personal injury cases settle out of court, but we will represent you at trial if necessary.
Each state has a statute of limitations that limits how much time you have to file a lawsuit. According to Forbes, some states only give you one year, while others give you as many as five or six years. California’s deadline is two years.
If you fail to file a lawsuit before the deadline, you lose your right to seek compensation through the legal process. We will work to meet the deadline in your case, so you retain this right.
How Long Is the Personal Injury Claim Process?
Depending on the extent of your injuries, the personal injury claim process can take weeks, months, or even years. A trial can further slow things down before resolving your case.
This is why most cases settle out of court. You can agree to a settlement offer at any time during the process. Just be sure to review the terms with your attorney so you understand them. Once you sign a settlement, you cannot seek additional compensation in the future.
What Is Maximum Medical Improvement?
According to the American Medical Association, maximum medical improvement (MMI) means you are as healed as you will ever be after your injuries. When you reach this point, you and your lawyer should know how to value your future medical care and the continuing financial impact of your injuries.
While you should start the process as soon as possible, you should ensure you and your attorney understand the extent of your damages before you choose to settle.
Let a Personal Injury Lawyer Help You File Your Claim
You don’t have to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit alone. An attorney from our firm can help you seek the compensation you deserve. The earlier you start the process, the better.
If you or someone you love was hurt in an accident, a personal injury lawyer from Greenberg Gross is ready to evaluate your case. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today.