If you have been injured and plan to pursue litigation, you will need to know about the applicable deadlines involved. In most personal injury cases in California, the statute of limitations is two (2) years. This means that you must either settle your case OR file a complaint within that time frame, otherwise, you will be forever barred from recovery.
However, not all cases are that simple. If you intend to pursue a case against a government entity (a City, State or County for example), you must file a "government claim" within SIX MONTHS of the date of loss with the appropriate entity. (You may wish to investigate whether a defective roadway claim exists in certain automobile accidents).
Medical malpractice cases also have a different statute of limitations - either 1 or 3 years, depending on the circumstances (usually it will be 1 year). Minors (people under the age of 18) have a separate statute of limitations that apply to them. Thus, if you are involved in an accident and contemplating litigation, you should consult an attorney to determine what your statute of limitations is. Waiting too long to do so may prevent you from recovering at all.