Knowing the Statute of Limitations

statute of limitations, personal injury lawyer, irvine californiaThe deadline for filing a lawsuit is called the Statute of Limitations. Most lawsuits are required to be filed with a Court or Government entity within a certain time frame. Once the statute of limitations on a case expires, the legal claim loses is ability to move forward for disposition.

The time period during which a lawsuit can be filed depends on the type of legal claim.

For Personal Injury cases, the statute is 2 years from the date of injury; or 1 year from the date the injury was discovered.

  1. Breach of written contract is 4 years from the date the contract was broken.
  2. Breach of an oral contract is 2 years from the date the contract was broken.
  3. For Property Damage cases, the statute is 3 years from the date the damage occurred.
  4. For complaints against government agencies, the claim must be filed within 6 months or 1 year (depending on the type of case) of the date of the incident. If the Agency denies the claim, then a lawsuit can be filed with the court, but there are many limitations, so consulting an attorney is always a good idea.
  5. Libel or slander cases whereby the defendant defames you in print, writing, or pictures (Libel) or verbally (considered slander) have a 1 year statute from the date of injury.
  6. If a Bank pays your funds out on a forged or unauthorized check, the statute is 1 year from the date the funds were paid.

Criminal cases have their own statutes generally, except for murder, which has no statute. You can check with the Court, or your attorney to get specific case information.


Tolling a Statute occurs when the time is stopped, due to a defendant being in prison, or being out of state, or mentally incompetent. Tolling a statute can occur when the defendant is a minor. When the defendant becomes available, the time begins again. When tolling a statute becomes an issue, get advice from a legal professional.

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Kenneth Marks Law, Personal Injury Lawyer Kenneth G. Marks has been practicing personal injury law since he was admitted to the California Bar in