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California Statute of Limitations – Negligence

For a change of pace, I’m going to do a short post. (I can hear all of you now collectively going “Finally!”)

The topic of today’s post is the statute of limitations for a negligence action in California. As a reminder, a statute of limitations is the time period within which a plaintiff has to file their civil suit seeking redress from the defendant. As a general rule of thumb, this proverbial clock starts to run when the last criteria that needs to be met in order to prove the lawsuit occurs. Phrased another way, if you need to prove 5 criteria in order to win your lawsuit, your statute of limitations clock doesn’t start to run until the 5th and final criteria occurs.

In California, the negligence statute of limitations is 2 years under Section 335.1 of California’s Code of Civil Procedure. Section 335.1 states

“Within two years: An action for assault, battery, or injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.”

An example where this might apply would be a car accident where the plaintiff suffered injuries of some kind to their body.

There are many exceptions to this two-year rule, however. For example, if your case involves asbestos exposure of some kind, the statute of limitations could be as short as one year under Section 340.2 of California’s Code of Civil Procedure. If you have a situation involving negligence in California, the best way to know what statute of limitations applies to you is to find a lawyer with whom you can discuss the details of your situation.

 

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Andy Chen

Andy I. Chen is a lawyer licensed to practice law in California and New York. Andy maintains offices in Los Altos, California and Modesto, California. Under the New York Court of Appeals' 2015 decision in Schoenefeld v. State of New York, Andy does not accept cases from those in New York state. He does, however, know many lawyers in New York state and would be happy to make a referral.

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