One of the most important considerations in any California personal injury case is understanding when the claim must be filed. In a recent case, an appellate court allowed a California motorcycle accident case to proceed to trial despite the defendant’s argument that the claim was filed after the relevant statute of limitations had expired.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff hired an accounting firm to manage her finances. As part of the agreement, the firm was to purchase insurance for the plaintiff and her family. The plaintiff asked the firm to obtain uninsured/underinsured insurance with a $5 million policy limit, but the firm obtained a policy with a limit of only $1.5 million.
The plaintiff’s son was later involved in a motorcycle accident, resulting in his sustaining serious injuries. The plaintiff only then found out that her insurance policy was limited to $1.5 million. After receiving the $1.5 million payout under her insurance policy, the plaintiff sued the accounting firm, alleging that she and her son suffered damages because they could not collect the additional money under the policy that she had requested.
Under the relevant statute of limitations, the plaintiff’s claim had to be filed within two years of the accrual of her claim. The accounting firm argued that the lawsuit was filed too late because it was filed more than two years after she discovered the policy limit was not what she had requested. The company argued that the claim accrued when the plaintiffs found out that the policy limit was less than what had been requested. In turn, the plaintiff argued that the claim accrued when they collected the insufficient benefits under the policy because they did not have actual damages before that point.
The appellate court agreed with the plaintiff, finding that her claim was not filed too late. The court explained that in this case, the plaintiff did not suffer actual damages until her son received insurance benefits that were less than what he would have received from the requested policy. Since the plaintiff filed the claim within two years of receiving the benefits, the claim was timely filed, and the case could continue.
Statute of Limitations in California
The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time in which a plaintiff must file a claim in court. The relevant statute of limitations depends on the type of claim. Therefore, the first step is to determine what the cause of action is in one’s case. For example, in general, personal injury claims must be filed within two years of the injury or within two years of the discovery of the injury.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a California motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. At Sharifi Firm, APC, our injury attorneys provide dedicated representation to Los Angeles residents who have been harmed due to the negligence of others. We fight tirelessly for the compensation that you need so that your family and you can focus on the physical and emotional healing process. We handle all types of accident cases, including those arising from motor vehicle collisions, slip-and-fall accidents, nursing home abuse, and wrongful death. Contact us for a free consultation at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form.
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