If you are considering filing an elder abuse claim in Los Angeles County, it is important to understand how much time you have to file a lawsuit. All civil lawsuits have what is known as a “statute of limitations,” which creates a time window for filing a claim. If a plaintiff does not file his or her lawsuit within that time window, the claim can become time-barred. A time-barred claim is one that is barred from being filed because the statute of limitations ran out. In some cases, it can be possible to pause the statute of limitations, which is known as tolling. In the meantime, the following is some important information about the timeline for a nursing home abuse claim.
Statute of Limitations for a Negligence Claim
Many nursing home abuse and neglect cases are filed as negligence claims under California law. Like many other personal injury lawsuits, the statute of limitations in these cases is two years under Section 335.1 of the California Code of Civil Procure. How does the statute of limitations relate to filing a claim, and when does the “clock” start ticking? In most negligence cases, including claims for injuries resulting from nursing home abuse, the clock on the statute of limitations will start to “tick” on the date of the injury, or the nursing home abuse incident.
This timing can get tricky for a couple of reasons, however. Often nursing home abuse does not involve a single incident of abuse or neglect. Rather, the abuse is ongoing, and the patient suffers injuries or harm over a longer period of time. It is important to speak with a California nursing home abuse lawyer in these kinds of cases to determine the necessary timeline for filing a lawsuit.
The timing can also be complicated in cases where a patient suffers from cognitive impairment, as many seniors do. It might be difficult or even impossible to know with certainty when the act of elder abuse or neglect occurred if the patient cannot provide detailed information. Your elder abuse attorney in Los Angeles County can discuss possibilities for tolling the statute of limitations in situations where the senior was incapacitated or if the injuries did not appear until after the incident of abuse.
Timetable for a Claim Under the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA)
If you plan to file a claim under the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA), the statute of limitations may be slightly longer. Under Section 338 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, the statute of limitations is three years for liability claims that arise under a California statute. Accordingly, since the EADACPA is statutory law, plaintiffs who file claims under it may have a three-year clock for filing a claim.
Timetable for a Wrongful Death Claim
Nursing home abuse and neglect often results in the death of an elderly person. In such cases, the claim may shift to a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute of limitations in a wrongful death claim is slightly different from cases filed while the injured person is living. Under California’s wrongful death law, the statute of limitations is two years. Yet the clock starts ticking on the date of death. This timetable is often clearer because the date of death will be officially recorded, and issues of incapacity or cognitive impairment will not come into play.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Los Angeles County
Do you have questions about filing a nursing home abuse claim? One of the experienced Los Angeles County nursing home abuse attorneys at our firm can help. Contact the Walton Law Firm today.
See Related Blog Posts:
Risk of Coronavirus Spread in Southern California Nursing Homes