Healdsburg Personal Injury Attorney
Trusted Healdsburg Personal Injury Lawyers Have the Answers You Need
The residents of Healdsburg, CA, are well aware of how good they have it. Located in the heart of Sonoma County’s wine country, foodies from all over flock to our local wine bars, artisan bakeries, and restaurants that boast savory dishes proudly created from locally-sourced ingredients. Healdsburg offers culinary delights at every turn, as well as visual delights that dot our breathtaking landscape.
Unfortunately, personal injuries occur everywhere – including Healdsburg and the rest of the beautiful, vineyard-laced areas in and around Sonoma County. And when someone else’s negligence causes harm to you or a loved one, you need the help of a professional to ensure that your legal rights are protected.
Statute of Limitations in California
Reckless, careless, or intentional acts (or omissions) that result in injury are covered under California’s personal injury laws. However, California’s established personal injury Statute of Limitations is the deadline for filing your case. Filing after the Statute of Limitations expires will result in the dismissal of your case, so let’s take a look at what this important statute actually says.
- Personal Injury – You have 2 years from the date of your injury to file. This includes things like auto accidents, motor vehicle accidents, assault, battery, or slip and fall accidents.
- Property Damage – You have 3 years from the date your property was destroyed or taken to file suit.
- Slander or Libel – You are allowed 1 year from the date your reputation was damaged.
- Medical Malpractice – Here, you must file by either 3 years from the date of the actual injury or 1 year from when you should have known of the injury. Whichever of these options occurs first is the date by which you must file.
Exceptions to the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
There are a few exceptions that can delay when the clock starts on the statute of limitations deadline:
- If the discovery of the injury was delayed – Some injuries do not present themselves immediately. For instance, in medical malpractice, the victim may not discover that there is anything wrong for a number of years. The clock doesn’t start ticking until the plaintiff reasonably could have known or actually knew of the injury.
- Plaintiff is mentally incompetent – The clock doesn’t even start to tick until the plaintiff is declared competent.
- Plaintiff is under 18 years of age – The statue clock starts the day they turn 18. However, if it is a medical malpractice childbirth injury, the limitation is 6 years from the child’s birth.
- Plaintiff is active duty military – Statute of limitations begins upon plaintiff’s release from service.
- The defendant is out of state – The statute of limitations pauses until the defendant returns to the state. However, there are many nuances to this rule that your knowledgeable Healdsburg personal injury attorney can explain.
As you can see, it is important to know how long you have to file a suit. So speak to a Healdsburg personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They need time to review your case and try to work out a settlement before they even think of filing a lawsuit – and that all must happen within the time allowed by the Statute of Limitations. So don’t delay. Call today.
California Caps on Personal Injury Claims
While not all California personal injury claims have limitations on the amount of recovery available, there are some caps that you should be aware of. A “cap” is a statutory maximum that can be awarded in specific types of cases.
Medical Malpractice – California does not have a cap on compensatory damages. These are actual economic damages such as hospital bills, medical bills, and other costs associated with your injury. However, California does have a $250,000 maximum on non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Uninsured Drivers – In 1996, California passed the “Personal Responsibilities Act” that limits non-economic awards in cases involving an uninsured driver. The Act established that:
- non-economic damages cannot be recovered by an uninsured driver;
- non-economic damages cannot be recovered by the owner of an uninsured car unless the accident was caused by a drunk driver; and
- non-economic damages cannot be recovered by a driver convicted of driving under the influence.
Committing a Crime – If you are injured while committing a crime, you likely will not be able to receive any compensation. You may recover medical costs under a premises liability lawsuit if the courts find the business or homeowner negligent in some way, but you will not be able to recover any non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
The Clock Is Ticking. Call Us Today
Don’t allow procrastination to rob you of the money you need to heal. Michael Henderson has the experience to help you put your life back together. So call us or contact us online to set up your free, no-obligation consultation today.