My granddaughter and I was involved in an car accident. we were the passengers in a rental car in which one of the employees were driving in the process i have some personal injuries
In California, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is usually 2 years. There are some exceptions to this rule. If a government entity is involved, you must file a claim against the government entity within 6 months of the accident. If non government entity is involved, a minor has the statute tolled until they reach their 18 th birthday.
When to file the lawsuit involves some strategy. You should wait until you are done with your medical treatment and until your attorney attempts to settle the claim. After all medical information is gathered, and any proof of loss of earnings documented, your attorney should make a settlement demand. Certain insurance companies are difficult to work with. Sometimes a lawsuit earlier than normal may be filed against such companies insured.
Set up a meeting with your attorney and get his opinion on how he will handle your case. Ask any questions you may have at that time.
Different attorneys have different "styles". Some file immediately while the plaintiff(s) are still obtaining medical treatment and issues involving liability are being investigated. Others prefer to wait until they are in both a better position to file knowing hte facts and legal theories. The only rule is that not attorney wants to get "too close" to the statute of limitations so as not to lose the clients' rights.
It is difficult to say since there is no set time line for a personal injury case. Filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties and their employer is a legal strategy used when negotiations have broken down. Negotiations can take some time, the responsible party or more likely their insurance company will want to review your medical records and property damage evidence before making an offer to settle. It takes months in most cases. The best thing you can do is keep in contact with your attorney and request timely updates.
Good luck, I hope this was helpful.
Michael R. Juarez
The statute of limitations on your claim would be two years from the date of injury. If your grandaughter was injured and if she is under the age of 18, she may have as much as two years from her 18th birthday to file a claim but, could (and probably should) file the claim with your claim through a "guardian ad litem" (person appointed by the court to file the claim on her behalf -- usually the parent or legal guardian). This is all done best through an experienced #california #personal #injury #attorney.
Attorneying is an art which means there are several correct ways to do some things... and which way often depends on the specifics of a particular case. In a motor vehicle accident with bodily injuries, some attorneys like to wait until what seems to be the last minute to file suit as the longer they wait the less guess work is involved in seeing how bad the injuries are (time allows healing or not - meaning there are permanent injuries), and sometimes the negotiations with the insurance company seem to go well until there is a switch of adjusters or something else that causes a breakdown meaning suit gets filed sooner than planned. The bottom line is that no matter what style an attorney uses, he or she should make sure the client knows what is going on so the client does not seek another attorney - that;s bad for business and for the client as many attorneys don't like taking up where another left off - it can be like finishing someone else's painting.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
Corona, CA 92879
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
"When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."
* This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.
As long as it is filed within the 2 year statute of limitation, it is really matter of strategy. One important factors include: 1) did the insurance company make a serious settlement offer; 2) which insurance company is involved; 3) what type of adjuster the attorney is dealing with. This is some of the factors that effect at what stage an attorney may file a claim.
It may depend on which insurance carrier is envolved--some simply will not settle for a fair amount, so you must file early and push for a trial setting. In other cases it may depend on the severity of the injury weighed against the cost of litigation;e.g. -better to settle w/o litigation a small case! There are truly a number of factors an experienced PI lawyer would consider-so i suggest you see one-most will consult for free!!
Since you have an attorney you really need to ask him/her this question. We are not here to second guess legal strategies.
Not all cases have to be filed. If there is a settlement then no need for a lawsuit. Also, no case can be settlement until you are done treating and your doctor has released you.
The timing of when to file a suit will vary from case to case. No matter what approach an attorney takes, he or she should explain that approach to you and answer any questions you may have. In all cases, the attorney must file before the statue of limitations for that type of case expires.
Let me offer you some examples of how we handle filing lawsuits in our firm. For most personal injury cases (including car accidents and slip and fall cases), we prefer to complete our investigation and to wait for our client to finish treatment or at least stabilize. We then prepare a detailed Case Assessment for our client. At that point, we will present a detailed Settlement Proposal to the defense. To act to soon, (i.e., before a client finishes treatment) could mean that we underestimate the nature of our client’s injuries. We also find that many insurers and defendants have more flexibility to settle before we file suit. However, there are some cases where we file a lawsuit much earlier, sometimes because the client brought us the case very late and we are near the statue of limitations or because we know from experience that the defendant or insurance company will not give the case a fair evaluation unless we file suit.
You should be able to discuss this issue with your attorney.
Generally it is in the best interest of the client to attempt to obtain a settlement of the case prior to filing a lawsuit. Litigation is expensive, stressful and time consuming for most individuals. Further, the case should not be settled until one knows the full extent of the injuries and damages. Sometimes, however, filing a lawsuit is necessary, when the statute of limitations is going to expire, when treatment is not completed and/or you are not receiving the cooperation of the other party or the insurance company to settle the case. The other attorneys have outlined what the statute of limitations is in California. Good luck!
The reasons I file suit are these:
1) We are within a few months of the statute of limitations,
2) The defendant refuses to settle on fair terms, and
3) I want to start the formal discovery process which requires filing suit because I am afraid evidence favorable to my client will be lost if I wait or I am afraid there may be some confusion as to the responsible parties so I want to know as much as possible about who is responsible before the statute of limitations runs.
4) I have made a judgment that what my client and I consider a fair settlement will be impossible without filing suit, so why not start now?
Except for these reasons, I prefer to give the settlement process a chance.
Litigation is expensive for both sides and the formal discovery process can hurt as well as help the plaintiff and each side loses control of the case when it is submitted to a jury or judge. Each side has to make a judgment call as to whether it makes sense for them to try and settle without formal discovery and/or trial.
Except for these reasons
Get free answers from experienced attorneys.
23,494 answers this week
2,729 attorneys answering
Don't speak legalese? We define thousands of terms in plain English.Browse our legal dictionary