Skip to main content
  • Insurance Attorney

    How Long Do I Have To Make A Car Accident Claim In California?

Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys
Have you sustained injuries in a car accident? You better hurry up and file an insurance claim before your time runs out as there is a certain period of time that you have to act in before you’re unable to get an auto accident claim.

Make a Claim Quickly if You are in a Motor Vehicle Accident

If you’ve been in a car accident and are looking for legal help, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to file for a personal injury claim and get the compensation that you deserve.

Let’s go over the time period you have to make a car a accident claim in California and review some important restrictions.

California Statute of Limitations

When it comes to personal injury claims, every state has its own requirements and laws that one needs to follow. The statute of limitations lets policyholders know the requirements and the strict deadlines that one must adhere to when looking to file a claim in California.

The general rule for claims allows personal injury victims to file a claim within 2 years following the date of the car accident and failure to do so within the 2 year window period would result in the ability to file a claim in California. This is regardless of how strong your case is, make sure to file for claims within the two-year time limit following the car accident.

Statute of Limitations and Minors

Although the two-year window period for filing claims in California applies to minors, the implementation is a bit different. For adults, the two years begin following the date of the accident while for minors, the two years only begin after they turn 18.

It is important to note that filing a claim in a timely manner is a great way to remain compliant with the state law and the statute of limitations, however, don’t wait until the last moment thinking that you have two years to file a claim. An attorney usually has other cases going on and coming a few days before the time limit expires can be hectic for the attorney as well.

Why You Should Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Immediately for a Personal Injury Claim

Although the state of California does provide a two-year time period where personal injury victims can file a claim, it is best to start the legal process immediately. The more you delay your case, the higher the chances you might lose strong ground.

Here are some reasons why you should immediately file a claim with your insurance company.

Lost Evidence

This is a common occurrence among people in motor vehicle accidents. As soon as the victim delays the legal process, the other party or negligent party is quick to remove all evidence that may work in your favor.

Getting an attorney on board for a car accident claim as soon as the accident occurs, increases the chances of insurance claims. An expert attorney will send an investigation team to the car accident site to retrieve all evidence to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence and get you the claim that you deserve.

Government Cases Have a Shorter Window Period

According to the statute of limitations, victims must file personal injury claims against the government of California within six months following the date of the accident. There is a need to file a government if a person becomes a victim in a car accident due to a government entity.

For example, there is a specific department in the government of California that looks after roads maintenance. If a person dies due to the condition of the roads, a family member can file wrongful death claims for the accident victims against the relevant department. The same situation applies if a person becomes a car accident victim and the responsible party is a government employee driving an official government vehicle.

Insurance Companies Sell Vehicles at Auction

To prove the severity of the car accident and the extent of damage to the car accident victim, the damage of the vehicle can tell a lot about the accident. However, within 40 to 50 days of the car accident, the insurance companies auction the vehicle and scrap its parts. If you’re late, you may never be able to get sufficient evidence to prove the extent of damage done as the vehicle is already sold off. A lawyer can easily send out an investigator to check the extent of the damage of the vehicle if you approach them immediately.

Had a Motor Vehicle Accident but Don’t Have Insurance?

This is a tricky situation as you can not drive legally without auto insurance. However, according to state law, you can file a claim on the other party’s insurance if you’re innocent. But the other party is not obligated to act on your claim since they do not represent you. For this, you must reach out to an attorney immediately and learn about your legal options.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney to Make a Claim?

You do not have to approach a personal injury lawyer to make a claim and can do that on your own without any help.

However, it is best to seek legal help as insurance adjusters can put a lot of pressure on trying to scare car accident victims. They get sent by the insurance company to either scare you away or get you to accept a low settlement offer. Having a personal injury attorney to represent you is the best way to send a message to the insurance companies and get you the claim that you deserve.

Ehline Law: Personal Injury Law Firm That You Can Rely On

Ehline Law is a personal injury law firm that has had more than 3,000 success stories and retrieved over $150 million in compensations. Here is how we can help you with your claims.

Determine Damages

Our lawyers are experts in assessing the damages by not only looking at medical bills but also taking into consideration lost wages, any property damage, physical and mental pain, and suffering. We work with experienced medical teams who can give an accurate report on your medical treatment.

Update on the Claims Process

Our law firm acts professionally, ensuring a strong attorney-client relationship. Our attorneys will keep you updated on the progress of your claims and ensure continuous pressure on the insurer to release your compensation. If the insurers refuse or throw an unacceptable offer, we are not afraid to take matters to court.

Free Consultation

The biggest relief one could offer during car accidents is a free consultation from a law firm. After an accident, expenses start to pile up, and you need an expert lawyer to give you a free consultation and relieve some financial pressure. Don’t worry. We even help locate a lien doctor for you.

If you’re injured and are seeking legal help, contact us at (213) 596-9642, and our attorney will help make a claim and get you the compensation that you deserve.


Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of the largest motorcycle accident settlements in U.S. History. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves in being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride, and a a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.

Go here for for More Verdicts and Settlements


Personal Injury News