Statute of Limitations for a Premises Liability Claim in California

January 22, 2024 Posted In Premises Liability

Time is a critical factor in premises liability claims. In California, the statute of limitations sets a legal deadline for initiating legal action. 

Statute of Limitations Overview

The statute of limitations for premises liability claims is generally two years from the date of the injury. This means that an injured party has a two-year window to file a lawsuit against the property owner or responsible party.

statute of limitations for premises liability claim

Exceptions and Special Circumstances

In some cases, the statute of limitations may be tolled or paused. For instance, if the injured party is mentally incapacitated or a minor at the time of the injury, the statute may be tolled until they regain mental capacity or reach adulthood.

Government Claims Act

When a premises liability claim involves a liable government entity, compliance with the California Government Claims Act is crucial. This law requires you to file a government claim within six months of the incident before pursuing a lawsuit.

The Importance of Timely Action

Missing the statute of limitations in a premises liability claim can have serious consequences for your legal rights. If you fail to initiate legal action within the appropriate time frame, the court may dismiss your case, effectively barring you from pursuing compensation for your injuries. This dismissal can be a significant setback, as it limits your ability to hold the property owner or responsible party accountable for their negligence. 

Who Can File a Premises Liability Claim?

An individual who suffers injuries on someone else’s property may be eligible to file a premises liability claim. The eligibility often depends on your legal status while on the property, for example:


Invitees are individuals who enter the property for the benefit of the owner, such as customers in a store. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees.


Licensees have the property owner’s permission to enter but do so for their own purposes, not for the owner’s benefit. Social guests are typically considered licensees.


Property owners owe the least duty of care to trespassers.

Special rules apply to children, as property owners often have a heightened duty of care to protect children from potential dangers.

Contractors and Employees

Contractors or employees who are injured while working on a property may have the right to file a premises liability claim against the property owner if their injuries result from the owner’s negligence.

Does the Statute of Limitations Mean I Have to Settle My Premises Liability Claim within Two Years?

California’s premises liability statute of limitations does not mean that you have to settle your claim within two years. The statute of limitations means you have two years to initiate legal proceedings by filing a lawsuit if a settlement cannot be reached. Settlement negotiations can occur at any point within that time frame, and even after a lawsuit has been filed. 

Consult an Attorney Today

It is essential to consult an experienced Riverside Premises Liability Lawyer to determine eligibility and how long you have to file a claim based on the specific circumstances of the incident. An attorney can guide you through the process of filing a claim and ensure deadlines are met so that you can recover the compensation you deserve.

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