Understanding the Statute of Limitations
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Hi, this is Robert Mansour, and I’m broadcasting to you today from my home office in Los Angeles, California. I wanted to spend a couple of minutes talking about one of the ways that you can be misinformed by friends and family.
I got a call from a client the other day and he says, “Listen, I was in a very bad accident some years ago, and I was hospitalized then I had physical therapy, and I was on crutches for a long time…” Basically, it was a big accident. And so I said, “Well, how can I help you?” He goes, “Well I settled with the insurance company a while ago and I didn’t’ quite accept the money yet, they haven’t sent me the check, and I haven’t signed any paperwork.” And I said, “So, why not?” He says, “Well, I wasn’t sure if I was okay, and I wanted to make sure I was okay first, before I signed any paperwork and I accepted their settlement.” And I told him I said, “That sounds very reasonable, so what’s the problem?”
And so he says, “Well, we’re coming upon the three-year statute and I want to make sure we file the case in a timely fashion because they’re not returning my calls, and I can’t seem to get them to address the situation.” I told him, “Wait a minute, did you say ‘three-year’ statute?” He says, “Yeah, a buddy of mine says I have three years to file a lawsuit, and if I don’t file within that three years, I’m out of luck.” I said, “Actually, it’s two years.”
That’s right, as I record this video the statute in California is two years, not three years, and this is the danger, one of the dangers of listening to friends and family - they could give you the wrong information. Not just the wrong information from an opinion point of view, sometimes they’ll make it sound like they know the facts. Here is the thing: When you’re involved in an accident that requires some kind of medical attention, etc., go talk to a lawyer who’s been doing this for a while. Get their information, get their opinion, get some guidance from them because then at least you can make an educated decision. This poor fellow who talked to me, he’s out of luck. It’s well past the two-year statute. He settled with the insurance company, but what do they care, they’re not there to protect his rights. They’re there to protect their money. So, once again, always talk to a professional at the outset of your case to make sure you get all the facts and all the information that is relevant to you and your matter.
This is Robert Mansour, thank you very much for watching this brief video. (Keep in mind there are different rules for various legal matters so you should consult with an attorney.)
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by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.