Can You Sue After the Statute of Limitations has Passed?

A statute of limitations is a time limit set for a person to file a claim for a crime or accident. Once that time limit has passed, the victim may forfeit their legal right to file a claim against the at-fault party. If you are considering suing a person or entity for an accident or crime committed against you, it’s essential that you consult an experienced attorney who can make sure you file your claim within the statute of limitations.

The Barnes Firm is a team of highly skilled personal injury lawyers. We have extensive experience helping our clients whether or not it is possible to still sue someone after the statute of limitations has passed in New York & California.

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Can You Still Sue After a Statute of Limitations has Passed in California?

The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. In most cases, if a statute of limitations has passed for an accident or crime, you will have forfeited your legal right to sue the at-fault party. However, there are certain cases where a statute of limitations can be tolled. Tolling is when a statute of limitations is temporarily suspended or stopped for some time. Five situations in which a statute of limitations may be tolled include:

  • The defendant is under the age of 18 and is therefore not old enough to file the claim.
  • The defendant is out of state.
  • The defendant is serving a sentence in prison.
  • The defendant is legally insane.

In these cases, the statute may be permanent or temporarily tolled, but the statute of limitations will begin again as soon as the toll is ended. Because cases involving tolling can be complicated, it is best to consult a trusted attorney who can tell you whether or not you are still within your rights to sue for the accident or crime.

loss adjuster inspecting car involved in accident

What is the Discovery Rule?

The discovery rule is a way for the courts to provide people with particular circumstances equitable tolling. Those circumstances include the following:

  • The person suing would have no reasonable reason to believe that someone’s negligence or wrongful conduct caused the harm or injuries they suffered.
  • A good faith and reasonable investigation wouldn’t have shown that a harmful situation or product caused the victim’s harm or injury.

If you’re unsure if the discovery rule may apply to your case, you should consult with an experienced California lawyer who may be able to help you based on the details of your case.

Partner With Our Top Personal Injury Lawyers

When you’ve been harmed due to a crime or accident, you may be feeling unsure of what to do next. Seeking the help of a personal injury lawyer in New York or California is important to not only help you get justice but to ensure you file your claim within the statute of limitations set forth by the state governments.

The Barnes Firm is a team of personal injury lawyers with extensive knowledge of the state’s legal system and laws. Our skilled legal team is proud to provide our clients with the specialized service and dedicated representation they deserve. To set up a free case evaluation with one of our trusted attorneys, fill out our online contact form.

The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000