In California and throughout the country, personal injury lawsuits are subject to a crucial deadline known as the statute of limitations. Our Ventura product liability lawyers explain why the statute of limitations is so important, and how it affects you if you were recently injured by a defective product.
What is the Deadline to File a Lawsuit in California if You Were Injured by a Defective Product?
The statute of limitations plays a critical role in all types of legal cases, ranging from criminal cases to business litigation to personal injury lawsuits. Depending on the type of case involved, the statute of limitations serves slightly different functions. For example, in a criminal case, the statute of limitations restricts the amount of time the prosecutor has to file charges. In a personal injury matter, the statute of limitations effectively serves as a deadline for the plaintiff to file a lawsuit.
There are many different statutes of limitation, depending on two factors: the type of case, and which state has jurisdiction. For example, a person who intends to file a personal injury lawsuit in California will be subject to a different deadline than a person who intends to file a personal injury lawsuit in Florida or Wyoming.
The statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits in California, including product liability lawsuits, is two years from the date on which the injury occurred. That may sound like a long time now, but you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible if you think you might have a case. By getting an early start, you will maximize your preparation time. Moreover, there is the simple logic that the sooner you consult with an attorney, the sooner you will be able to get compensated, if you win your case.
It is perfectly understandable that you might wish to wait a little while to think about taking legal action after you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury. Accidents can be deeply upsetting and traumatic events, and you probably need some time to process what has happened while your emotions are still raw.
However, if you delay for too long, and the statute of limitations expires, you will lose your legal right to bring a claim. If that occurs, not only will you be unable to get compensated – you will also be deprived of the chance to hold the defendant accountable and get a sense of closure knowing that justice was done. For both of these reasons, it is absolutely critical that you move to bring a claim, with assistance from an experienced product liability attorney, as soon as possible following an accidental injury.
On a final note, it is important to mention that California’s two-year statute of limitations applies to all types of personal injury matters, with one major exception: medical malpractice, for which the statute of limitations is three years. Other types of cases, such as cases arising from slip and fall accidents or dog bite injuries, are all subject to a two-year time limit, unless the defendant is a government entity, in which case the deadline is just six months from the date of injury. Though there are rare exceptions in which the statute of limitations is extended beyond two years, it is highly inadvisable to rely on these exceptions, which are inapplicable in most instances.
If you are not a resident of California, please refer to the statutes of limitation in your state. Your state’s time limits may be significantly longer – or shorter. Depending on where you live, the pertinent deadlines can range anywhere from one to six years.
Ventura Personal Injury Lawyers Handling Product Liability Claims
Takata airbags, Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, and GM ignition switches are a few prominent examples of defective and dangerous products that have given rise to personal injury litigation in recent years. However, almost any type of product – including those perceived as harmless, or even healthful – can malfunction and cause serious injuries if compromised by manufacturing defects or design flaws. Product-related injuries can also occur if an item’s potential hazards are not clearly communicated with an appropriate warning label.
The Ventura personal injury lawyers of Bamieh & De Smeth bring more than 22 years of combined experience to every product liability case. Our accomplished team of attorneys possesses the knowledge and skill to handle complex litigation compassionately and effectively. We are fierce advocates for the legal rights of injury victims in Ventura County and Santa Barbara County. We handle injury cases arising from a range of defective products, including but not limited to:
- Automobile parts and accessories
- Cars, trucks, SUVs, and motorcycles
- Child and baby products
- Clothing and apparel
- Electric blankets
- Food and beverages
- Furniture and upholstery
- Helmets, life vests, and other safety equipment
- Hip and knee implants
- Lawnmowers and gardening products
- Medical devices
- Power tools
- Prescription drugs
- Pressure cookers
- Scooters and bicycles
- Sports equipment
- Toasters and microwaves
- Toys and games
If you or one of your family members was injured by a dangerous product, we encourage you to call our law offices immediately at (805) 643-5555 for a free and confidential legal consultation. You may be able obtain compensation for your losses.