Your Guide to the Statute of Limitations for Fraud in California

In business and real estate deals, fraud is a common topic for a dispute. Often people violate the law by acting fraudulently for financial gain. In other cases a person may act fraudulently to try to escape being charged with a crime. Either way, California statute of limitations may affect the possibility of filing a claim for fraud.

One reason the statute is on the books is to protect potential defendants. They can be unfairly affected if a lawsuit is filed and a trial occurs after a lengthy period of time.

If you have ever wondered about the statute of limitations for fraud in California, here is what you need to know.

The Basics of the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations sets out the time limit or deadline that a party has to bring a lawsuit for a specific type of claim or cause of action. After the time limit has run out for the particular claim, usually that party cannot bring the lawsuit or claim.

The time limit varies from state to state and also for different types of claims. For example, the statute of limitations for fraud differs from the statute of limitations for negligence involving personal injury. Even if you think a case falls under this legal deadline, there could be an exception in your case. Due to its complex nature, it’s often best to hire a lawyer if there is a statute of limitations issue.

How the Statute of Limitations for Fraud Works and When It Begins

In general, the length of the statute of limitations will depend on the type of claim, incident or injury. In California, it usually begins at the time the initial event occurred. The cause of action in fraud, for example, could be when a false statement was made. There is a major exception to keep in mind. The California statute of limitations can be delayed or tolled. This is supposed to make things fairer. For example, a party may be bankrupt, and so they cannot bring a case. Once this “tolling” period ends, the statute of limitations time period comes into effect.

The Discovery Rule in California

In some cases, a claimant does not discover the fraud they have been subject to. If they cannot detect the fraud, it would be unfair to start running the statute of limitations to file a claim. For example, financial fraud may have been concealed by an accountant and not discovered until years later.

In some situations in California, the discovery rule then applies. The time period starts only when the affected party discovers or should have discovered the cause of action.

Learn More About the Statute of Limitations for Fraud in California

The law on the statute of limitations and how long it runs can be complicated and has several exceptions. That is why it is best to get clear and accurate legal advice. The statute of limitations for fraud in California may affect you and your business. If so, you need a legal professional to represent you who will fight for your rights. You can get a telephone consultation if you get in touch with us today.

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