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CALIFORNIA Personal Injury News "California Extends Statute of Limitations For Personal Injury/Wrongful Death Claims From One to Two Years"

Effective January 1, 2003, the statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death claims in California has been increased from one to two years.

Under California law, whenever there is both knowledge of an injury and facts sufficient to cause a reasonable person to suspect negligence on the part of another party, the statutory clock begins ticking. These conditions apply even when an informed professional renders contrary opinions or the plaintiff has no personal appreciation of the fact that an injury has occurred as the result of another’s wrongful conduct. The clock begins to run once the there is an objective suspicion of negligence, even if the plaintiff is not able to identify the negligent party. Anyone with a valid, enforcible, and collectible claim who files one day after the statute of limitations period faces dismissal of an outlawed claim.

The new extension of the statute of limitations does not specify retroactivity, so the assumption is that all claims arising in 2002 or prior have a one year statute of limitations, while those claims that arise in 2003 and later will be subject to the new two year limit.

To learn more about how the changes to the California statute of limitations may affect your personal injury or wrongful death claim, or to locate an experienced California personal injury attorney, contact us.

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