In California, a person who suffers damages in the form of a physical injury, emotional distress, or death as a result of the negligent, wrongful or intentional act of another may be entitled to receive monetary compensation for such damages. Monetary compensation may include lost wages, medical bills, compensation for pain, suffering, emotional distress, scarring and/or a decrease in affection in a marital relationship.
Under California law, for most personal injury actions, there is a two year deadline or “statute of limitations” to file a lawsuit for injury or death for injuries which occurred after January 1, 2003. This two year period starts to run once the wrongful act which causes the injury or death occurs. However, in cases where discovery of the cause of injury is delayed, the two year period may be delayed until the injured person knew or should have known that his or her injury was caused by the wrongdoing.
Note, there are certain types of injury for which there is a shorter, one year statute of limitations. For example, injuries arising out of medical malpractice, defamation, false imprisonment must be filed with one year.
Given the short period of time to file a lawsuit for personal injury, it is important to check with a lawyer as soon as you become aware of the facts and circumstances regarding your injury so that you can make sure your lawsuit is filed within the statute of limitations.