The statute of limitations for a legal claim refers to how much time you have from the date of the injury to file your claim. With many motorcycle accident claims, the statute of limitations in California is two years, but this is not always the case. It may vary based on the defendant. At Salamati Law, we strongly advise that you consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible following your accident so you are properly informed.
When Does the Clock Start to Run?
In practice, the statute of limitations begins on the day of your accident. However, this is not always the case, as the clock technically does not start until one of the following occurs:
- Injuries from the crash. These often surface immediately, but not always. For example, soft tissue injuries can take longer to manifest.
- The date on which the victim dies from injuries sustained in the crash. These wrongful death cases are tragic, and while some victims die at the scene of the crash, others may not perish for days, weeks, or even months. The clock for a wrongful death lawsuit does not start until the time of death.
The Status of the Defendant Helps Determine the Statute of Limitations
There are many potential causes of a motorcycle accident. If your lawsuit is against another driver or a private company, then the statute of limitations is two years.
If you believe your crash was caused by a defective product or part of a vehicle, then the statute of limitations would be two years for your lawsuit against that product’s manufacturer.
Your accident may have been caused by the driver of a public vehicle such as a bus or train. On the other hand, it may have been caused by unsafe road hazards or conditions on public roadways under the care of governmental entities. In these cases, your claim would be against a governmental entity, and your statute of limitations would be much shorter. Instead of two years, you may have as little as six months to a year in which to file an administrative claim. Within 45 days of filing your claim, they must review and investigate your case and then respond to you.
If they deny your request for financial compensation, you will have six months to file a lawsuit. If you never receive this denial, you have two years from the date of the accident to file.
There are Exceptions That May Apply to Your Case
While these different deadlines can be confusing and stressful for motorcycle accident victims, an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney knows that several exceptions may extend your window, including– but not limited to– the following:
- If the motorcycle accident victim is a minor, the statute of limitations does not start until they turn 18.
- The victim was physically incapacitated for a period of time after the accident.
- The crash victim was mentally incapacitated for a period of time following the accident.
There are other exceptions to the statute of limitations, so it is always best to consult with an experienced lawyer.
Contact our team of Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers at Salamati Law
For more than 25 years, we have been standing up for justice and fighting for the rights of injured victims. For example, a motorcyclist client was struck by a car, and liability was disputed in the claim. Nevertheless, we achieved a $5 million settlement for them.
If you have questions about the statute of limitations on motorcycle accidents in California, call us today to book a cost-free case review. We will never send you a bill unless your case is won.