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Time Limits on Personal Injury Cases

Statutes of limitations are the legal time frames within which a person must file a lawsuit. In personal injury law, these statutes ensure that claims are made while evidence is fresh and witnesses' memories are reliable. They also provide a sense of closure for potential defendants by preventing the indefinite threat of legal action. Typically, these time limits begin at the moment an injury occurs.

The Impact of the Discovery Rule on Time Limits

The discovery rule is a legal principle that alters the starting point of the statute of limitations. This rule acknowledges that some injuries or damages may not be immediately apparent following an incident. Under the discovery rule, the clock on the statute of limitations starts ticking not at the time of the incident but when the injury is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.

Application in Personal Injury Cases

In personal injury law, the discovery rule can play a pivotal role. Consider the case of a latent medical condition that surfaces months or even years after an accident; without the discovery rule, the injured party might be barred from seeking justice due to the statute of limitations expiring before the injury was ever detected.

Exceptions to the Standard Time Limits

While statutes of limitations are generally rigid, the law makes compassionate allowances for certain individuals. One such allowance is tolling, which effectively pauses the statute of limitations for minors or legally incapacitated claimants at the time of the injury. In California, this means that the clock may not start until the minor reaches the age of majority or until the incapacitated person regains capacity.

If you're dealing with the aftermath of an injury and are uncertain about the time limits for filing a claim, Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation is here to help. Our experienced legal team is committed to guiding you through every step of the process, ensuring you understand your rights and options. Don't let time run out on your claim.

Contact us today to ensure your rights are protected and to explore the legal options available to you.