If you were involved in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries you sustain, including bodily injuries, loss of wages, and emotional pain and stress. If you wish to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you must understand that there is a limited length of time to take legal action. This limited length of time is referred to as a statute of limitations. What exactly is the statute of limitations for car accidents in California?


The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit when there were injuries involved is two years from the date the car accident occurred. If you wish to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, you must act quickly. Instead of relying on the two-year statute of limitations, we recommend you contact ANAND LAW as soon as possible to file your personal injury lawsuit.


Even if you are not injured, your vehicle could have been damaged as a result of the accident. If this is the case, you have the right to file a claim against the at-fault driver to obtain compensation for the sustained property damage. The statute of limitations on property damage claims in California is three years, which means that if you do not file a personal injury lawsuit within the two-year mark, you still have one more year to file a property damages lawsuit.

Property damage refers to more than just any damages caused to your car. If, for example, a valuable item inside your car was damaged during the accident, you can also recover compensation for these damages. An at-fault party may be liable for compensation if you are able to provide proof of the damages.


The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is two years from the date of the victim’s death. The victim’s family has two years from the date of the victim’s death, whether the death took place at the moment of the incident or a few days/weeks later as a result of injuries sustained during the accident.


A government entity may be the subject of a personal injury claim when a government employee is at fault in a car accident. The statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim against a government entity is only six months. If a claim was filed with the government entity and denied, you have six months from the date of denial to file a lawsuit. If you were involved in a car accident where a government employee may be at fault, you should contact ANAND LAW as soon as possible because time is very limited.


After a car accident, you may first decide to negotiate with the insurance company to reach a settlement for your injuries. However, this process could take months, and in some cases, years. Unfortunately, the two-year statute of limitations for personal injuries is running its course while you are negotiating with the insurance company. If you are getting close to the two-year limit and have not reached a settlement with the insurance company, you must file a lawsuit to ensure that you have the opportunity to recover compensation.

In addition to recovery for economic damages, a party injured due to the negligence of another is entitled to recover noneconomic losses for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement and other nonpecuniary damage.

These damages are also known as emotional distress damages, and include psychological hardships, loss of ability to engage in life activities, permanent scars, embarrassment, humiliation, and hardship.

The insurance companies fight hard to limit your recovery and routinely claim that pain and suffering is made up.  ANAND LAW PC will ensure that all forms of pain & suffering damages are investigated and the recovery you receive is maximized.  

California Proposition 213 (“Prop 213”) was heavily lobbied for by the insurance industry and passed in 1996.  Prop 213 prevents you from recovering any damages for pain and suffering under 4 general circumstances:

  1. You did not have insurance and were in your vehicle;
  2. You were the driver of someone else’s vehicle which was not insured;
  3. You were convicted of a DUI stemming from the accident;
  4. You were in the convicted of a felony, and injuries stem in part from the commission of this felony.

Exceptions to these categories include:

  1. You were the driver of someone else’s vehicle that did not have insurance, but you had your own insurance that covered you while driving other vehicles;
  2. You were the driver of someone else’s vehicle that did not have insurance, but that vehicle was owned by your employer;
  3. You got into an accident on private property.

If Prop 213 applies, you are still entitled to economic damages, which include medical bill and lost wages.  However, you will be prohibited from any recovery for noneconomic damages, which include pain and suffering/emotional distress.

ANAND LAW PC will thoroughly investigate the insurance policies that may be applicable, the exceptions to Prop 213 (including those listed above), and ensure that no money is left on the table. The insurance companies have fought hard to prevent you from recovering what you deserve.  We fight hard to combat this practice.

Call us today – there is no obligation on your part – if we handle your matter, you will have the peace of mind knowing that we will obtain every penny possible for you.

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The information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information contained is not intended to be a complete recitation of the law, and is provided only as general information in an area—it may not contain all nuances of the law, and is not guaranteed to be correct or complete.  ANAND LAW PC (“ALPC”) expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on the information contained in the FAQ.

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