A statute of limitations is the deadline for filing a lawsuit. Most lawsuits MUST be filed within a certain amount of time. In general, once the statute of limitations on a case “runs out,” the legal claim cannot be pursued. The period of time during which you can file a lawsuit varies depending on the type of legal claim. Here are the statutes of limitations for some common types of legal disputes:
- Personal injury: Two years from the injury. If the injury was not discovered right away, then it is 1 year from the date the injury was discovered.
- Breach of a written contract: Four years from the date the contract was broken.
- Breach of an oral contract: Two years from the date the contract was broken.
- Property damage: Three years from the date the damage occurred.
- Claims against government agencies: You must file a claim with the agency within 6 months (for some cases, 1 year) of the incident. If the claim is denied, you can then file your lawsuit in court but there are strict limits to when, so read the section on government claims and the chart on statute of limitations below. http://www.courts.ca.gov/1001.htm