STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

Stockton car accident lawyer

If you were injured due to conditions outside your control, but in the control of another group or individual, you may believe there should be no time limit on seeking compensation for your injuries. Unfortunately, this is a false belief! There is a statute of limitations on almost all cases of personal injury and it is dependent on the way in which those injuries incurred and the individual or organization against whom you intend to file charges, not the extent or nature of your injury.

The clock starts ticking from the moment the injury occurred and could be timing down from just one year. Be sure to understand the nature of your accident and exactly who would be held liable in order to operate on the correct statute of limitations. California law is pretty similar to most states in the various statutes of limitations, but it could be surprising to find out the exact rules. Every case is different and only an experienced Stockton car accident lawyer can help you file a claim on time.

Purpose of Statutes of Limitations

Statutes of limitations may seem very inconvenient and unnecessarily stressful, but they do exist for good reason. They are meant to create a practical timeline for legal action and fairness when filing lawsuits. It is not fair to be in a situation where you may be sued for something that happened decades ago. It is also unlikely that a judge would be able to make a fair judgement when the time of the presentation of evidence is so far removed from the time of the incident in question. It also creates a definitive end time for a legal dispute. If nothing is done within a certain time period, both parties will have to let it be.

Though there are many things to worry about when you incur an injury, it’s very important to think about your legal rights and the next step you want to take. It’s a very good idea to seek legal help from a knowledgeable Stockton car accident lawyer to help you understand your case and do work on your behalf.

General Statutes

As in most situations pertaining to the judicial system, there are many variations and exceptions. Below is a list of some forms of injury and their relevant statute of limitations:

  • Injury to a person: any type of assault, battery, injury, or death caused by the wrongful or negligent act of another person has a statute of limitations of 2 years.
  • Known problems (i.e. patent defects): any type of poor property design, survey, construction, etc. that results in damage or injury has a statute of limitations of 4 years from the last date of construction.
  • Medical malpractice: this has a limitation of 1 year from the date the plaintiff discovered or should have discovered the injury and 3 years from the date of injury (whichever is the shorter period).
  • Actions brought against any agency or office of the government: The statute of limitations involving any government entity is much shorter. You must file a special “administrative” claim when taking action against the government to alert the exact office of your intent to sue. This must be done within 6 months from the time of injury. The government then has 45 days to respond. If the government denies your claim, you have 6 months to file in court from the date the denial was mailed out or directly given to you. If the government fails to respond within 45 days, you have 2 years from the date of the incident to file in court.

As you can see, there are complicated and somewhat ambiguous rules about when and how to file a claim, especially when dealing with a government entity. There are also some cases in which exceptions may be made. This is another reason why it is so important to have high quality legal representation – experienced attorneys have deep knowledge of these regulations and can work within the time limits to create a strong case. A Stockton car accident lawyer can help you with any legal ambiguity you are facing.

Tolling Statutes of Limitations

The state of California has a process called “tolling,” in which the statute of limitations for a crime may be paused. Some examples of cases in which a statute of limitations may be tolled include the following:

  • The defendant is a minor
  • The defendant is currently serving time
  • The defendant has been declared insane

The tolling may be lifted after the circumstances have changed. For example, the statute of limitations will start ticking away once a minor turns 18, an individual is released from prison, or the declaration of insanity is lifted. It is very important to communicate with an experienced legal representative to educate you on all these relevant details and jump through the legal hoops on your behalf. It could make the difference in whether you are compensated for your injury.

Speak With A Stockton Car Accident Lawyer To File A Personal Injury Claim On Time

The Friel Law Firm has the resources and experiences to handle personal injury claims in a timely and professional manner. It’s important to file your personal injury claim on time in order to get the compensation you deserve. Speak with a Stockton car accident lawyer today. Call (209) 464-8000 or send us an email for a free consultation.

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

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IMPORTANT US

AUTO & TRUCK ACCIDENTS DUE TO DEFECTIVE ROADWAYS

Stockton Auto Accident Attorney Talks About Auto & Truck Accidents Due to Defective Roadways

Accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Humans are distractible, technology fails, and the unexpected happens. Arguably, one of the only things out of our control is the roads we drive on: what they look like, how they’re maintained, and how safe they are. Truck accidents in these situations are far more severe. When roads are ill maintained, everyone loses, and your life could be altered forever. These are called defective roadways. If you are involved in a car accident due to a defective roadway and injuries are sustained because of it, speak with an experienced Stockton auto accident attorney for legal help.

What is a Defective Roadway?

Dangerous roads can arise from faulty execution (design, construction, maintenance), or failure to adapt to changing conditions. Driving on a defective roadway can reveal itself in many ways, for example:

  • Merging lanes that are not long enough
  • Tight curves that do not comply with posted speed limits
  • Narrow Lanes
  • Trenches
  • Potholes (Poor road maintenance)
  • Improper signage
  • Improper grading
  • Blind intersections

Who is Liable for a Defective Roadway?

California roadways are maintained by either the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) or by a government entity (local, state, etc.). Since these cases are often levied against the government in this situation, it takes a nuanced defense to avoid the loopholes the government creates in order to hold them accountable. These cases are intimidating, and taking on the government can seem impossible, but our experienced attorneys can make sure the law is on your side for your best chance at compensation.

State governments will try to use their immunity from liability however, there are different courses of action you can take to establish liability. A personal injury attorney can help you establish liability by:

  1. proving contractors failed to follow the original approved plan or
  2. the government acted recklessly. Every case is different and only a skilled attorney can find the right defense for your claim.

Legal defense can help to establish liability for governments or government institutions in these cases. These charges are either toward the contractor that the government hired to carry out the job, or negligence on the part of the institution. There is a statute of limitations for bringing claims against the government so reach out to a knowledgeable auto accident attorney who can fight your claim and get you the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been injured from an auto accident, consultation with a Stockton auto accident attorney is necessary to assess whether any or all road problems contributed to the accident. Please call today to begin building a claim.

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REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

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ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY HIT & RUN DRIVERS

Stockton Accident Lawyer Helps Victims of Accidents Caused by Hit & Run Drivers

Victims of hit and run accidents are likely to feel angry and confused, and it can make the already difficult process of getting the compensation that you deserve seem impossible. This page will outline some general facts about hit and run accidents and procedures for handling these situations to help ensure yourself the best possible outcome.

It is against the law in all 50 states to leave the scene of an accident without following proper procedure. Generally, a hit & run accident is defined as:

“Leaving the scene of an accident without first stopping to render aid”

Rendering aid can include assisting anyone who is injured during the collision, calling the police or emergency services, or leaving your contact information so as to aid in the investigation of the accident. If a driver leaves the scene of an accident without first rendering aid in any form necessary at the time (it is always necessary to aid in the investigation by providing all of your information to other involved parties and/or the police) they can be charged with hit and run. In California, you can be charged with misdemeanor or felony hit and run. Felony hit and run charges can be brought if the incident resulted in injury or death.

Examples of hit and run accidents include:

  • A car or truck hits your vehicle and speeds off
  • An automobile or motorcycle hits your vehicle and the driver leaves the scene of the accident, abandoning their vehicle and returning sometime later or never at all
  • A driver hits your unattended car and leaves no contact information or way of collecting damages
  • A driver hits a pedestrian or bicyclist and leaves the scene without rendering aid
  • A car, truck or motorcycle collide with someone else’s property and does not leave contact information or a way of collecting damages

What to do following a Hit & Run

The most important thing to do is stay calm and collect all the information / evidence that you possibly can. It is an unfortunate truth, but insurance companies and police may treat you as if you are attempting insurance fraud, as falsely claiming a hit and run accident is a common fraud scheme that plagues the insurance industry.  Having more information increases the chance the police will catch the hit and run driver, and the insurance company will fairly pay out your claim. 

Remember, the insurance companies are not on your side. Contact a Stockton accident lawyer at The Friel Law Firm to make sure your rights are protected.

Proper Steps to Take Following a Hit & Run Accident:

  • Get as much information about the vehicle that struck you: model, make, color, unique identifying marks, and of course, the license plate number
  • Record the exact time, date and location of the accident and immediately write down the narrative documenting your recollection of the incident
  • Find any witnesses to the accident and ask for their names and contact information and relay this information to police
  • File an accident report with the proper jurisdiction and follow up

Taking the steps outlined above will give your attorney the best possible chance of recovering compensation for you following a hit and run collision. Even if you have not properly followed the steps above and have no idea who hit you, there is still hope!

California requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage, generally used for accidents caused by another uninsured driver, but also used to cover individuals who have been the victim of a hit and run. This type of coverage generally applies to bodily injury and not property damage, but in California, there is precedent for this coverage to be used for both.

Please give our office a call today for a free consultation with our Stockton accident lawyer – its OK if you didn’t follow the steps and have no idea who hit you, we can help!

In you have been hurt in a car accident, call (209) 464-8000 to speak with a Stockton accident lawyer today.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US