Can I File an Injury Claim Months After an Accident?
There are a lot of reasons people don’t reach out to a personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit after an accident occurs. The shock, trauma, and physical debilitation that come with an injury can leave people emotionally and physically exhausted, and even depressed. It might be hard getting out of bed in the morning (or in the afternoon for that matter), much less taking care of all of the everyday tasks of life while incapacitated and in pain, and then on top of that figuring out what to do next with pursuing a legal claim. And, for many people, the thought of bringing a personal injury lawsuit can feel intimidating, stressful, and just something that they do not do.
But then the medical bills continue to rise, pain and suffering goes on and on, and there may even be lost wages and inability to work. What many people realize a few months after an accident is that the financial, emotional, and physical losses that result from an accident are going to be there regardless of whether there is an injury claim.
The question only becomes who should pay for it: the innocent victim or the negligent defendant who actually caused the injuries?
California Allows Plaintiffs to Bring Personal Injury Claims for Two Years
In order to be able to bring a successful personal injury claim, it must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations that applies to both your state and the particular action you are bringing. Failure to file your lawsuit within that period dictated by the statute of limitations means that, in most cases, your claim will be lost forever and you will be on your own with paying your expenses and any wrongdoers will have no liability to you.
In California, the applicable statute of limitations for personal injury actions is two years. This applies to actions such as vehicular accidents, defective product or drug injuries, and acts of violence. For medical malpractice claims, you need to file a claim within one year from the date of the discovery of your injury or the date you should have reasonably discovered your injury.
That said, you should not hesitate to speak with a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible after an accident. While you can still reach out to an attorney to bring a case months after an accident, the sooner you do, the more opportunities there may be for your attorney to collect the necessary evidence to win your case, make sure you are getting the comprehensive care you need, and work towards a speedy financial recovery for your losses.
Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in the Inland Empire
At McCune Wright Arevalo, our personal injury team – led by by partner Cory Weck, a Marine Corps officer with over 20 years of service to his country and 15 years of experience litigating personal injury cases – has repeatedly won verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients across the Inland Empire in the millions of dollars. Our attorneys understand that the fear, anxiety, and pain that you and your family are going through following a personal injury, and we are dedicated to doing everything we can to help our clients get the help they need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.