Visitor Question

Civil injury lawsuit dragging on…

Submitted By: Luis (Humbodt County, CA)

I’m representing myself in a civil injury lawsuit. I was a passenger in a auto accident, in CA, that caused an injury to my neck.

After serving the defendant a summons, the judge informed me that the Statement of Damages had to be served in the same manner (in person). The defendant has managed to evade the process server for close to a year.

First, is there a statute of limitation I should be aware of?

And since my condition continues to worsen (suffering from head tremors), hampering my ability to effectively perform my job as a carpenter, can I increase the amount of the suit by refiling the Statement of Damages for a higher amount?

Third, I attended 24 visits to a physical therapist. Can I add the cost of those sessions even though the costs were covered by medical insurance? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Luis,

In a personal injury claim in the State of California, the statute of limitations, or time frame in which the victim has to either settle the claim or file a lawsuit, is two (2) years from the date of the injury. If a victim fails to settle or file a lawsuit within the statutory period, the victim loses his or her right to sue the at fault driver.

Learn more about statute of limitations laws here.

To read California’s statute of limitations law go here.

You can add the costs of your 24 visits to the physical therapist. But because your own insurance already paid for those bills, if the defendant’s insurance company pays for the same amounts, your insurance company has a right to be reimbursed for the monies they already paid for those visits. This is known as subrogation.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: June 15, 2017

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