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Statute Of Limitations

The “Statute of Limitations” as it pertains to a California Dog Bite Lawsuit

The time window, or statute of limitations, in California to pursue a dog bite lawsuit is two years from the date that injury transpired. Failure to pursue the lawsuit within this allotted time frame will for the most part entail that the individual is permanently restricted from recovering any compensation as this pertains to this case.

Concerning dog bite lawsuits, this applies in the following form:

Victims who are minors or under the age of 18 may be eligible to have a longer duration to file their lawsuit claims.

Failure to file a dog bite lawsuit that falls within the statute of limitations period, or filing after the statute of limitations has expired may lead to claim dismissal.

This article discusses the statute of limitations under California legislation as it pertains to dog bite claims:

1. What does the statute of limitations for filing a dog bite lawsuit in California entail?

Dog bite lawsuits are characterized as personal injury claims. Subsequently, there is a designated stature of limitations for these type of claims pursuant to California Civil Code 335.1. This statute mandates that the following types of lawsuits be filed within a period of two years:

  • Battery
  • Assault
  • Injuries or death that are the result neglect or a wrongful act committed by someone else.

Dog bites fall under the purview of this statute because they are conventionally the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful acts.

1.1. When does the statute of limitations initiate, and does this align with when the dog bites me?

California Civil Code 335.1 initiates at the time the injury takes place. With respect to dog bite cases, this moment is defined as when the dog bites you.

It is important to track the timeline of a dog bite because sometimes it can be difficult to identify the dog that bit you or its respective owner. However, your inability to identify the dog owner will not excuse you from missing the deadline of the statute of limitations expiration date.

2. Does the statute of limitations incur a special toll or delay for victims that are minors?

There special circumstances in some dog bite cases, in which the statute of limitations is tolled or delayed. If the victim of the dog bite is under 18 at the time of the bite, the statute of limitation is delayed or prolonged until the victim turns 18.

Once the victim hits the 18-year age threshold, the statute of limitations begins to run its course as in standard cases. Underage victims are able to file a dog bite lawsuit until their 20th birthday.

3. What happens if I fail to file the dog bite lawsuit prior to expiration of the statute of limitations?

If you fail to file the dog bite lawsuit prior to the statute of limitations expiry date, your lawsuit will be subject to dismissal by the court.

The statute of limitations functions as an absolute rule, with no room for leeway. It exists with a concrete expiration date because it compels victims to file their lawsuits while the incident and case evidence is still recent and fresh. The statute of limitations also enables defendants to rest after the transpired period. California courts are notorious for enforcing statute of limitations and can throw out a lawsuit that surpasses even one day beyond the filing expiry date.

In response to an expired statute of limitations, the defendant needs only to file a single motion indicating that the statute has expired. If you, as the victim, are unable to show that the statute of limitations has not expired, then the court will dismiss the case, regardless of how strong it may potentially be, for the purpose of securing compensatory damages.

4. When is considered the optimal time to file a dog bite lawsuit?

The optimal time to file a dog bite lawsuit is defined as:

  • The period immediately following the diagnosis and treatment of your injuries
  • The period prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations

By waiting a lengthy duration in your recovery process, you are able to indicate exactly how much compensation you deserve.

Furthermore, you can help simplify your case by reducing the speculation surrounding your medical treatment.

The compensation that you are entitled to should secure coverage for the following legal damages incurred because of the dog bite incident:

  • Loss of work wages,
  • Medical bills, both those you have already paid and those anticipated for future care,
  • Loss of the ability to generate and earn a living,
  • Pain and suffering, and
  • Loss of consortium for your family or loved ones.

If you file a dog bite lawsuit prior to having fully recovered from the impacts, some of the compensatory losses will still be ambiguous or unclear. This ambiguity grants the dog owner, and their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company, ample opportunity to challenge your claim to damages. This challenge can present issues to the seamless processing of your legal case.

5. When is the appropriate time to consult with a dog bite lawyer?

Time is of the essence in dog bite cases. It is critical to consult with an attorney as soon as you or your loved on are bitten by a dog. By involving a lawyer in the process as soon as possible, you can start to gather vital information as it is fresh from the circumstances of the incident.

Additionally, an attorney’s early involvement in the case can prevent you from unnecessarily admitting liability to the owner of the dog. Additionally, it is critical to not go to a lawyer a few weeks prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations. Dog bite lawsuits take some time to compile and file officially. Consulting with an attorney several days prior to the expiry of the statute of limitations can make it increasingly difficult to file a compelling lawsuit. This can leave an individual uncompensated from the dog bite injuries incurred.

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