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Negligence / Personal Injury
2 Years

with Discovery Rule (Note: California amended the SOL in 2003 to 2 years [from 1 year] with respect to negligent torts. Injuries occurring before the effective date of the new law may not benefit from the change, however.) 


Wrongful Death
1 Year Exceptions: Death from exposure to asbestos or medical malpractice.
Medical Malpractice
3 Years from date of injury or 1 year from date of discovery, whichever occurs first except for foreign objects where SOL runs from when object is, or should have been, discovered. Infants under the age of 6 have 3 years maximum to file their claim, or prior to age 8, to commence actions (unless tolled by fraud or collusion of parent or guardian and defendant's insurer or health care provider in failure to bring action for minor as a result of professional negligence). The SOL is tolled for fraud or intentional concealment of the presence of a non-therapeutic, non-diagnostic foreign body in person of plaintiff. This 3 year SOL is an exception to the 1 year wrongful death statute.
Malpractice (Other Professions)
Products Liability
2 Years with Discovery Rule.
Intentional Torts
1 Year
3 Years for relief on ground of fraud or mistake. Cause of action not deemed to have accrued until discovery of facts by aggrieved party.
Municipal Liability/Sovereign Immunity
SOL: 6 months. Runs from date of notice of claim is served on entity. Doctrine of sovereign immunity abrogated.
Discovery Rule
See specific rules above for medical malpractice, legal malpractice. Otherwise SOL runs from when injury is, or should have been discovered.
Comparative Negligence
Pure comparative negligence applies.
Charitable Immunity
No charitable immunity.
For infancy, insanity, incompetence, and imprisonment SOL does not run until disability ceases. Infants have 2 years from 18th birthday. If plaintiff dies, SOL extended by 6 months, if defendant dies, SOL extended by 1 year.
Punitive Damages
Must be proven by clear and convincing evidence of oppression, fraud, or malice.
Defendant's absence from state, except in motor vehicle accident where defendant can be served with summons and complaint outside of the state unless defendant cannot be located through exercise of reasonable diligence.
No-Fault Insurance
Other Relevant Information
Civil Action for Sexual Molestation of a Minor:
By any person or entity with duty of care to the plaintiff - 3 years after discovered (or should have been discovered) for injury or illness, or within 8 years of majority, whichever is later. Prosecution of certain sexual offenses committed when victim under 18 may be commenced anytime prior to victims 28th birthday.

Sex Discrimination Action for Wages:
2 years but 3 years if the violation was willful.

Sexual Abuse by Doctors, Surgeons, Psychotherapists, counselors, and other Health Care Professionals:
2 years

Actions Not Provided For:
4 Years after action accrues.

Injuries Caused by Domestic Violence:
3 years from injury, 2 years from discovery, whichever is longer.
In cases involving developers, design professionals, contractors, and their insurers the California Court of Appeals has determined that Code of Civil Procedure 337.15 10-year cutoff of suits for latent defects may be extended if the contractor that performed the defective work attempts repairs.
Consumer Fraud Complaint
California Department of Consumer Affairs
(800)952-5210 (toll-free in California)


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