Statutes of limitation – the time limit that a person has to file a lawsuit before it is too late – can be extended in certain rare circumstances. In California, a child who is injured in an accident will usually have the statute of limitations extended (or “tolled”) until they turn 18 years of age. However, this does not apply to all claims – claims made against government employees or claims involving toxic exposure are not necessarily tolled solely because the victim was a minor.
The statute of limitations may also be tolled if a person did not know, or have reason to know, that they were injured by a particular person or entity. For example, you may quickly realize that you have been seriously injured but may not know the true source of your injury. Generally speaking, California law may toll the statute of limitations until you become aware of information or evidence that points to the responsible party. However, this is not a good reason to delay a claim. The statute of limitations will not be tolled if you knew or had reason to know that another person or entity is liable for your harm. This is why it is crucial that you consult with an experienced attorney so you understand the time limits that may apply and take steps to protect your rights.