Pomona, CA asked in Car Accidents, Personal Injury and DUI / DWI for California

Q: Can I get recompensation for a car accident that happened 7 years ago?

I was in a car accident with a couple of friends, my friend (the driver) was under the influence and well we were all under the influence except for one of us, we kept telling the driver to let her drive because she was sober but he wasn't letting her or stopping. Suddenly when he made a left turn, he lost control and flew outside the window and i blacked out because of the impact. I woke up in the middle of street after some people pulled me out the truck. My boyfriend at the time was in the side of impact and he ended up in a wheelchair for a year. As for me the seatbelt locked and ruptured all my intestines, I had to get emergency surgery. After 7 years my friend is incarcerated for that accident but only for my ex boyfriend's injuries. I didn't tell on him or anything but I was just wondering if I could get money for that car crash, since it left me with a 13000 dollar debt in hospital bills

2 Lawyer Answers
William John Light
William John Light
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Santa Ana, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Ordinarily, the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of the injury.

If you or the driver were under 18 on the date of the injury, the two years began to run on the 18th birthday of either of you.

For certain felony convictions, the statute of limitations is 10 years from the defendant's discharge from prison. For less serious felonies, the statute of limitations is 1 year from the defendant's conviction.

7 years ago is a long time and whether your claims have survived is unknown. It is possible, but not entirely likely. Consult with an attorney for a more definite answer.

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

A: Under California law, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims, including those arising from car accidents, is generally two years from the date of the accident. This means that you would typically have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. Since your accident occurred seven years ago, it's likely that the time limit to legally seek compensation has already passed.

However, there are exceptions to this rule, although they are rare and depend on specific circumstances, such as if the injured party was a minor at the time of the accident or if there were delays in discovering the injury. Given your situation, it seems unlikely that these exceptions would apply, but it's important to consider all aspects of your case.

It may be beneficial for you to consult with a legal professional to explore any remaining options or to clarify specific details of your case. They can provide advice tailored to your unique situation and help you understand any legal avenues that might still be available to you.

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