The statute of limitations for suing a hotel in California depends on the claim the plaintiff, you, in this case, make. The typical deadline for such claims in California is two years from the date of injury or discovery of the injury. However, this deadline only applies to bodily injuries.
If you incurred property damage due to the hotel's negligence, the statute of limitations for such a claim is three years from the date the damage occurred or was discovered.
Note that there are exceptions, our Costa Mesa personal injury lawyer adds, as discussed below.
This exception applies when the injured are unaware of their injuries until later. For example, let's say you were exposed to toxic substances in the hotel that cause cancer, but the cancer does not manifest until several years later.
The court might extend the statute of limitations in such a case to allow for the delayed discovery of the injury. Once the injury has been discovered, you have one year from the date of discovery to file a claim.
Injuries Involving Minors
In California, a minor is anyone under the age of 18. So if you (or your loved one) were under 18 at the time of the injury, the statute of limitations may be extended until you turn 18. This means that you have until your 20th birthday to file a claim.
Here is why.
When you turn 18, the statute of limitations officially begins to count since you are now considered an adult. This means you can pursue a claim if you file it before your 20th birthday.
Injuries Involving Individuals With Mental Incapacity
Suppose the injured is mentally incapacitated at the time of the injury. In that case, the court may extend the statute of limitations until the individual regains capacity.
Why Do States Have Statutes of Limitations on Personal Injury Lawsuits?
States adopt statutes of limitations for various reasons, including:
Encouraging timely resolution of legal disputes: Such deadlines encourage plaintiffs to pursue their claims promptly and prevent defendants from being subject to litigation indefinitely.
Protecting defendants from stale claims: Over time, evidence can be lost or become unreliable, memories can fade, and witnesses can become unavailable. For this reason, statutes of limitations ensure that defendants are not unfairly subject to lawsuits based on stale claims.
Promoting judicial efficiency: Creating deadlines for lawsuits reduces the burden on the court system and enables more efficient use of judicial resources.
Providing certainty and predictability: This legal principle provides clarity and predictability in the legal system since it establishes clear deadlines for bringing claims. As the plaintiff, you can plan and make decisions based on known risks and potential liabilities.
For example, knowing how long you have left to file a claim allows you to make the necessary preparations to avoid losing your right to sue.
Do I Need an Attorney to Sue a Hotel?
No law requires you to hire an attorney if you get injured in a hotel or any other place in California. However, hiring an accident attorney, the right one, for that matter, significantly increases your chances of obtaining favorable results.
That's where Case Barnett Law comes in. With over 17 years' worth of experience serving clients in Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, Fresno, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, Riverside, Imperial, and Kern counties, our attorneys can fight for the compensation you need and deserve after an injury caused by a hotel.
And if the injury led to your loved one's death, our client-focused and result-oriented attorneys can help you pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the party responsible.