California Property Damage Laws: The Deadline for Filing Your Claim

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a lawyer signing a legal documentIf you have suffered damage to your personal property, such as a car, or real property, such as your land or house, you might have a claim for property damage. However, it is very crucial that you understand the statute of limitations in California for claims of property damage. Otherwise, you might forfeit your legal right to claim damages.

The statute of Limitations for Property Damage Claims

According to Section 338 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, the deadline of the statute of limitations for filing a property damage claim in the state is three years. This includes cases wherein an offender has detained, stolen, or injured chattels or goods. The term chattels refer to any type of property that is not real property, such as vehicles, jewelry, furniture, etc.

The filing deadline also applies to cases wherein an offender has damaged or trespassed on real property, including a house, physical structure, and land. The three-year statute of limitations applies to any property damage claim whether in a standalone lawsuit or as part of a more comprehensive case, for example, an auto accident that involves property damage and personal injury claim, adds a top property damage lawyer in Los Angeles.

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What If I Missed the Three-Year Deadline?

Fortunately, there are certain situations in which the statute of limitations could be paused or extended. The most common situations being one; if the individual you are suing is or was not in the state for any duration of the three years, beginning from the date the incident that led to the property damage claim occurred; and if you lacked the legal ability to make informed decisions or were underage.

If you attempt to file your claim past the deadline, the individual you’re suing would most likely request that the court dismiss the case. This means that even if you are 100% certain that you will win your case, keep the three-year deadline in mind to avoid complications. If you filed your claim past the deadline but believe that the exceptions above applies to your case, have an experienced property damage lawyer assess your case to find out what you should do next.