How Long Do You Have To File A Brain Injury Claim In California?

Did you know that unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in children? In the US, approximately 475,000 people in the age group of 1 to 14 years old sustain brain injuries. Brain injuries can range from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and they can have a wide range of effects depending on their severity and location in the brain. 

Another study shows that brain damage occurs in 1 in 1,900 vaginally delivered babies and 1 in 2,750 cesarean section babies. Deliveries that involve the use of delivery tools double the risk and occasionally even triple it. 

If you want to read more about the injuries children can sustain during birth, you can head to this page.

Let us now look at the process for filing a brain injury claim and understand the statutes of limitations that dictate how long you have to file a claim after sustaining a brain injury. 

Defining Traumatic Brain Injury

A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is defined as an acquired brain injury brought on by a physical force from the outside. According to Paul Figueroa Law, TBIs result in an entire or partial functional disability, a psychosocial impairment, or both. During birth, children can also suffer from brain injuries when forceps and vacuum extractors are incorrectly used.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations refers to the time limit within which you must file your claim. In California and most states in the US, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including brain injury claims, is generally two years from the date of the injury. 

Be aware of the deadline, as failing to file within the statute of limitations can result in your claim being rejected and you lose your right to seek compensation. There are some exceptions and variations to the statute of limitations though, depending on the circumstances of your case.

Exceptions and Variations to the Statute of Limitations

It is important to be aware that there are exceptions and variations to this general rule. For example, if the brain injury wasn’t immediately apparent, the clock may start ticking from the date of discovery. In addition, if the injured party is a minor, the statute of limitations may be tolled until they reach the age of 18.

To make sure that you don’t miss any critical deadlines, it’s advisable to consult with a brain injury attorney as soon as possible. They can guide you through the legal process, help determine the applicable deadlines, and give you a guarantee that your claim is filed within the time limit. 

Factors Affecting the Filing Deadline

Various factors can influence the filing deadline for a brain injury claim in California. You need to be aware of these factors because they can impact your ability to seek compensation for your injuries.

  • One of the key factors that can affect the filing deadline is the statute of limitations. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including brain injury claims, is generally two years from the date of the injury. Note that there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, if the brain injury wasn’t immediately apparent or if the injured party was a minor at the time of the injury, the filing deadline may be extended. 
  • Another factor that can affect the filing deadline is the availability of evidence. It’s beneficial to gather and preserve evidence as soon as possible to support your claim. Delaying the filing of your claim can result in the loss of important evidence, making it more difficult to prove your case. Still, the complexity of your case and the availability of legal representation can also impact the filing deadline.

It’s advisable to consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in brain injury claims to understand the specific factors that may affect your filing deadline.

Consequences of Missing the Filing Deadline

Missing the filing deadline for a brain injury claim in California can have serious consequences for your ability to seek compensation. The state has imposed strict deadlines to protect the rights of both parties involved. 

One major consequence of missing the filing deadline is the loss of your legal rights. This means that even if you have a strong case and can prove that your brain injury was a result of someone else’s negligence, you’ll no longer have the opportunity to hold the responsible party accountable. In addition, missing the filing deadline can also lead to the denial of your claim by the court. If the court determines that you failed to file your claim within the required timeframe, they may dismiss your case outright.

Another consequence of missing the filing deadline is that it can weaken your case. As time passes, evidence may become harder to gather, and witnesses may become less reliable. Memories fade, documents get lost, and crucial pieces of evidence may disappear.

Seeking Legal Assistance for Your Claim

Dealing with a brain injury can be overwhelming, and trying to handle a claim on your own may only add to the stress and burden you’re already experiencing. By hiring a skilled attorney who specializes in brain injury claims, you can be assured that your rights are protected and that you will receive the compensation you deserve.

A knowledgeable attorney is a master in understanding the laws and regulations specific to brain injury claims in California. They’ll be able to guide you through the entire process, from gathering evidence and building a strong case to negotiating with insurance companies and representing your interests in court if necessary. 

An experienced attorney has access to a network of medical experts who can provide valuable insights and testimony to support your claim. Collect necessary medical records, consult with specialists, and see to it that your injuries and their impact on your life are accurately assessed.


If you have suffered a brain injury in California, it’s crucial to be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a claim. The time limit for filing can vary depending on several factors, and missing the deadline can have serious consequences. 

It’s important to seek legal assistance promptly to ensure your rights are protected and to increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.