Courtesy photo, Law Offices of Daniel Kim

What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

A personal injury lawsuit is a civil claim where the injured person (the plaintiff) sues another person or party (the defendant) because they acted negligently or intentionally and caused their injury. The injured person will seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses related to the injury.

Common types of personal injury lawsuits include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, and product liability. These cases are based on the legal theory of negligence, which means that the defendant failed to act reasonably and caused harm to the plaintiff.

To prove negligence, the plaintiff must show that:

  • The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff.
  • The defendant breached that duty of care by acting or failing to act reasonably and safely.
  • The defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injury.
  • The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the injury.

What Is the Statute of Limitations in California?

If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit in Long Beach, you must know the statute of limitations. This is the deadline for filing a lawsuit. Once this deadline runs out, your claim is no longer valid. For personal injury, the statute of limitations is two (2) years from the date of the injury.

However, there are some extensions and exceptions to the statute:


In certain cases, the statute of limitations may be “tolled” or delayed for a period of time. If a minor suffered a personal injury, the statute of limitations will be tolled until the minor turns 18.

Delayed Discovery

The “delayed discovery rule” may apply if the injury is not discovered immediately. In this case, the victim may bring a wrongful death action even if the time limit has expired. The clock will start running once the victim is aware of the injury.

Out of State

If the defendant is out of state for a period of time, the statute of limitations can be delayed until returning to California.

Mentally Incapacitated

If the defendant is mentally incapacitated or in prison, the statute of limitations will be suspended until they regain mental capacity or are released.

Government Agency

If your personal injury accident involves a government agency like a public bus or a government-maintained building, you will have a shorter deadline. You must file a lawsuit within six months of the date of the injury. If you plan to file this type of claim, you must file an administrative claim with the government agency first.

What If I Miss the Deadline?

If you miss the deadline for filing a personal injury claim, you lose the right to seek compensation – no matter how strong your case is. The strict filing period helps preserve the quality and availability of evidence and witnesses. Therefore, acting quickly and contacting a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident is crucial.

Need Help Filing a Long Beach Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If you wish to learn more about filing a personal injury lawsuit in Long Beach, the personal injury lawyers at Belmont Accident Lawyers can help. The experienced and dedicated legal team has over 20 years of experience representing personal injury victims and maintains a 99% success rate. Learn more about Belmont Accident Lawyers.