First things first, determining exactly how much time you have to file a property damage claim can be very difficult. This is because even if you know what type of property damage claim you want to submit, there may be facts about your case that change the amount of time you have to file (otherwise known as the statute of limitations). For these reasons, we recommend that you speak with a civil litigation attorney before filing.
To get you started, however, here are some of the general timelines for personal property and real property damage cases:
Damage to Property
You have three years from the date of the property damage to file a claim. Whether or not the person intended to damage your property or not does not make a difference; you can still file a property damage claim as long as it is within the three years.
Filing a Property Damage Claim Against a Government Agency
If you are filing a claim for property damage against a government agency, then you need to submit a special claim, called an administrative claim, before you file in court. You have one year from the date of the property damage to file the administrative claim, and the government has 45 days to respond.
If the government agency denies your claim, then you have six months from the date you received the denial to file in court. However, if the agency does not respond to your claim, then you have two years from the date of the property damage to file in court.
While these timeframes will give you a good idea of how long you have to file, there are certain conditions that may alter these time periods. To ensure you do not miss the deadline for filing a property damage claim, please consider getting a referral to a civil litigation attorney from the Lawyer Referral & Information Service of San Diego.