When you experience any type of auto collision, you must report the case as soon as possible. Though, under ideal circumstances, you would file your legal claim immediately, this is not always possible. For instance, you may be held back by lengthy medical assessments, or your insurer may not be punctual in their cooperation in the processing of your documentation. If you have been involved in a serious bus accident, it is very important to be aware of California’s statute of limitations when filing a claim. This law imposes a specific timeframe on the amount of time on when you can report your bus accident to a legal representative.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is a law that enforces a specific timeline in which you are allowed to file a legal case for compensation after an accident. This law exists in all states across the country in many different forms (i.e., one state may allow a longer period to file than others). Further, all lawsuits are affected by the statute of limitations, regardless of the type of case. Still, the case’s specifics can allow for a longer period to file, or shorter.
California’s Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1 allows for anyone that has incurred injuries as a direct result of another individual’s neglectful or wrongful behavior to file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the event. The time begins “counting down,” per se, from the exact date on which the injury occurred. So, suppose you experienced your bus accident one month before the discovery of your injuries. In that case, you will need to backdate the start of the statute of limitations to the date of the crash.
Filing a Claim for a Bus Accident
Buses nearly always belong to the local government in some shape or form, whether they are functioning to serve as general public transportation, a school bus, or intended for a specific demographic or transit. The statute of limitations is especially important in such a case since lawsuits against municipalities and other government agencies are notoriously challenging to see through.
Due to the legal defenses these entities have, your case may be dragged out for quite some time. Yet, the statute of limitations will remain the same and allow for only two years in which you can initiate your lawsuit. Further, there are smaller deadlines within the statute when it comes to suing a local or state government: You will only have about six months to initiate your legal claim with the appropriate government entity to exercise your right to legal action.
If you allow the statute of limitations to expire, you risk forfeiting your right to pursue legal action. Be aware that there are exceptions to this law, though, one specific exception is in place for minors. Anyone who was under the age of 18 at the time of the incident is not considered competent enough to file a lawsuit. So, the statute of limitations will extend until two years after their 18th birthday. Exceptions are in place for adults with mental disabilities as well.
For more information on the California statute of limitations and how it affects your claim for your bus accident, get in touch with an attorney.