If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in California, the first step is usually to try to reach a favorable settlement with an insurance company. The way insurers act now, however, you’re likely to be confronted with the insurance industry’s 3-D strategy of deny, delay and defending claims. Be careful you don’t wait too long – or it may be too late.
There are very strict Statutes of Limitations in California that limit how long you can wait to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver to recoup losses from an accident. The theory is that lawsuits should be pursued with reasonable diligence, ensuring that evidence is still available. In the case of a car accident, the statute of limitations begins on the date of the accident.
In California, the Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims from an automobile accident is two years from the date of accident. For property damage claims the Statute of Limitations is three years from the date the damage occurred. When the government is responsible for an accident, such as those involving Police or Fire Department vehicles or injuries occurring on public property, a Government Claim must be filed within six months of the accident with very limited exceptions.
No one should wait until the last minute before seeking legal help. Most attorneys exclusively handling accident cases charge a contingency fee. You are likely to pay the same percentage whether you hire them shortly after the accident or much later. In fact, the percentage may be higher if you wait until the final weeks to seek help from a personal injury attorney in Orange County because there’s little time to settle before a lawsuit must be filed. It often takes weeks to gather the information and resources to file a suit that will get an insurance company’s attention!
When you’ve been injured in an accident, the first thing you should do is contact your personal injury attorney in Orange County. At Kerr & Sheldon, we can walk you through your options and make sure you receive quality medical treatment and get a fair settlement for you injuries or we’ll file a lawsuit in a timely manner if your best option is to sue the insurance company.
If you have questions about the California Statute of Limitations or how to sue an insurance company, contact us today. We’re your Orange County personal injury attorneys!