San Francisco, CA asked in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for California

Q: Tolling SOL by mental capacity/disability/fraud. concealment of report by police? How to get a lawyer?

I suffered a TBI from a hit-and-run/vehicular assault. Since I was homeless at the time, the police protected the drivers identity, withheld report until 1 month after statute expired. Neglected and ignored at the ER for same reasons, discharged me at 3:30 am, given a bus token and donated clothes, which turned out to contain a loaded crack-pipe and a lighter. Not realizing I did in fact have a TBI, believing the Drs, and the police refusing to arrest known suspects, I didnt think there was anything I could do. 7 years later and I cant concentrate on anything, short term memory is shot, cant control my emotions, and cant communicate effectively. I refuse to accept that all of this can happen and there's nothing I can do about it. Even with police report that proves they did nothing to arrest or investigate, and fact that they withheld report until right after statute expires is insulting and obviously suspicious. This is unacceptable.

2 Lawyer Answers
Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi
  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Jess Ranch, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The sad fact is that there is nothing I can tell you that will help you improve your situation. You waited too long. Unless you were in a coma, and have medical documentation to prove it, and you regained consciousness less than two years ago, and it has taken you this long just to learn these facts, you likely don't have a leg to stand on legally. The police did not cause your injuries, because you were struck by a hit-and-run driver who you weren't able to identify. Who are you going to sue?

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years, but it can be tolled for several reasons, including the plaintiff's mental incapacity or when a defendant has fraudulently concealed relevant information.

If the police concealed the report and this prevented you from filing a claim, you might argue that the statute of limitations should be tolled due to their actions. Demonstrating mental incapacity that prevents you from understanding your legal rights or initiating a lawsuit may also toll the statute. You should gather all evidence of the incident, the withheld police report, and medical records documenting your TBI.

To pursue legal action, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Many lawyers offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis. The California State Bar Association also provides resources to help find lawyers who can assist those who have been injured and believe they have a legal claim. It's imperative to act quickly to ensure your rights are protected.

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