In case you are a victim of a careless or negligent action in Orange County, you will need the service of personal injury attorneys in Orange County. And most importantly, you will need to know some background information about the statute of limitations of California.

What is the statue of limitation?

The statute of limitation is a kind of law which specifies the time for which a case can be filed. Each state prescribes its own ‘period of grace’ in which the injured person must take action against the responsible party. And this time limit is determined by a number of factors, which include (and essentially) the state and the type of case.

Personal injury attorneys in Orange County know the statue of limitation for each type of case. Once the period elapses for your case, all they can say is sorry.

In fact, the first thing you should know is the period with which the case can still be filed. Usually, the statute of limitations enforces a deadline for all claims to be made. It varies from country to country, region to region. For people in California, your personal injury attorneys in Orange County will tell you can only file a claim within two years.

Within the 2 years, you must meet your lawyer, file a case and sought things out in court. If you fail to take actions within the two year period, it means the court will NEVER hear it again. You will have no right to take your claims up to court and your right to compensation is gone.

There are a few exceptions. Not all cases can or should be closed within that period of two years. What if the responsible parties are not available? What if it takes the injured person a long time to discover the damages? Those are possible situations, and the statute of limitations attends to each one of it.

To that, here are all the various rules, which are designed according to some factors. Below are the factors and what the rules say.

Discovery rule

Possibly, the injury was not apparent at the beginning. It takes a while before the conditions and the damages started showing. This rule gives the plaintiff one year from the day she should have known or to put it differently, a year from the day she knows she is injured.

Defendant bankruptcy

If the defendant claims bankruptcy, it is a pretty difficult situation and the court will have to prevent anyone from demanding an amount the defendant owes. The hearing will still proceed (not discharged). But the claimant will need to be patient till the hearing is over before she can demand the amount owed.

Filing claims against governments

Perhaps your claims are against an entity of the government. Your claims must include the details of the specific government entity and you must file your case within six months from the date of the event.

Injury to a minor

There could be a situation when a claimant is a young person below eighteen years. The statutory period of two years will only begin to count when the young person is exactly eighteen years old.

Defendant unavailable

When the defendant is unavailable for some reasons such as she is insane, in a coma, outside the states, cannot be found, is a minor or is in prison, the Statute of Limitations will be tolled. The period of statutory, that is the two years for people in California, will begin to count when the reason for the defendant’s absence reverses. For instance, if she is out of the state or in prison, the time begins to count when she is back in the state or out of prison.

The law of shared faults

At times the blame is both shared by the injured and the defendant. Someone causes an accident, and she claims and proves to the court of law that the injured party is also at fault. Now the two are guilty.

The case might be resolved by reducing the amount of compensation that the defendant should pay using the percentage of fault that isn’t hers. In other words, the injured person will get less than what her actual compensation should be.

In Orange County and the whole of California, your personal injury attorneys in Orange County will tell you this is called ‘the pure comparative negligence.’

Here’s a clear example:

You are driving home one night and your speed limit is little above the standard. You are breaking some rules in your car. There is another car and that guy is completely drunk and driving like a maniac. He runs into your car and you take the case to court. You are at fault too for beating the speed limit no matter how little. Your percentage of fault can be a mere 10% and the guy buys the bigger share, 90%. Assuming you are meant to earn a compensation of $100,000, but by virtue of the fault you share in the accident, you will now earn $90,000. 

In summary, the percentage of your fault will be deducted from the compensation.

Note: although this law doesn’t say anything about the period of seeking claims, it is an important part of the statute of limitation. It safe the defendant some cost when the other party is also guilty.

What is the purpose of the statute of limitation?

The aim of the statute of limitations is to offer protection for defendants who are passing through certain difficulties. Looking at some of the rules under the statute of limitation – insanity and being absent – you will realize that some of the defendants should not have a case waiting for them. Another thing is that it makes the victims act and do it fast; procrastinating and postponing can lead to losing the right to make a claim.

To understand all the detail about the statute of limitation that is specific to your case, talk to your personal injury attorneys in Orange County. This article is not a complete guide for you to file your case. An attorney has the experience and skills to interpret the rules and make the right moves. Do not wait too long before you meet a personal injury lawyer.