Generally speaking, any legal action for an injury to a minor child in California, either physical or mental, is tolled until the child’s eighteenth birthday, meaning a lawsuit or settlement needs to happen within two years from the date the minor child turns eighteen. However, allegations of sexual abuse while a person was a minor child, contain special time frames for legal actions in California. In a legal action for a person over the age of eighteen, recovering for sexual abuse that happened while he or she was a minor child must be as follows: the time for the commencement of the legal action must be within eight years of the date the person attains the age of majority (eighteen years old) or within three years of the date the person discovers (or reasonably should have discovered) that psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of eighteen was caused by the sexual abuse, whichever period expires later, for any of the following actions:

  1. An action against a person for committing an act of childhood sexual abuse;
  2. An action for liability against any person or entity who owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, where a wrongful or negligent act by that person or entity was a legal cause of the childhood sexual abuse that resulted in the injury to the plaintiff;
  3. An action for liability against any person or entity where an intentional act by that person or entity was a legal cause of the childhood sexual abuse that resulted in the injury to the plaintiff.

There are numerous exceptions to the above rules. An experienced child injury attorney will need to be consulted in order to see if you have a case for childhood sexual abuse.

Child Abuse Agencies

Unfortunately, child abuse is a reality in today’s world, but there are some steps you can take in order to be proactive. If you suspect child abuse by a sexual offender, or if child pornography was involved, you can contact the following agencies for immediate help:

  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  2. California Child Protective Services (CPS)
  3. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  4. U.S. Department of Justice—Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. See this link, to the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section with the Department of Justice Web site, for an explanation of how to report child pornography to the U.S. legal authorities:
  5. Your local police department special victims unit
  6. Your local U.S. Postal Service

Do you need to file a claim for your child after abuse has happened or other child injury accident? You need an experienced child injury lawyer in San Diego to fight for rightful compensation and to follow the correct procedures for approval of the settlement. Call my office to schedule a free consultation to learn how I can help.

Mark Blane
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San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer | California Car Accident Attorney
When I was younger around 6 my dads girlfriend would physically and mentally abuse my brother and I. I’m 19 now and always wanted to take her to court but never knew where to start or if it was too late. My mom took us away from the situation but also didn’t know what to do. Is it too late to do anything about it?
by Cynthia April 9, 2020 at 11:10 PM
I juist found out that my 39 year old son was sexually molested by my babysitters son when he was under her care. My son is having a hard time with dealing with this memory, is there anyone I can contact to get him counseling or something. I also want to know if I can file charges or is it to late. My main concern is my son's mental state. Please help
by Mg December 9, 2017 at 05:04 PM
My son was physically abused while and a boys group home back in 2008. The staff member broke my son's arm, the probation officer immediately took my son out of the home oh, my son had court the next day and I brought him home. The judge told me that I could file a civil case however I did not know where to start and did not have the money to hire an attorney. My son has had emotional scars and issues after this incident. Is it too late to pursue charges?
by JANICE MARTINEZ November 2, 2017 at 05:05 PM
I have a question. My ex husband and I divorced in2013 due to my relapse with drugs. He filed for emergency custody of my son when I got arrested that same year. And I lost custody of him for child endangerment and was test positive in family law.Never got charged no criminal charges for it So on August2016 I get charges filed against me. After cleaning up been employed for couple months and was paying child support. I was also in a cna program. I went through a hard patch but got my shit straight. And I had my own place again being a reasonable parent I was also about to file for a custody review. But now after all my hard work and years of pain of loosing my family I get charged for it. Right when everything was going ok for me. My question is can the da have authority to get my family law custody case test results of my child and mines to make it evidence in my criminal charges? And what about the special statute of limitations on it. I need some advice please.
by Jf February 2, 2017 at 07:46 AM
I was abused by three family members from age 3 to 10. Iam now 29 having a severe hard time about this. Do I have legal rights to this still?
by Annie December 17, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Hello, hopefully you can help me with this. I was molested and raped at 14 by my 8th grade teac, would you her, I was a foster child in his home when this occured, I have contacted a lawyer, but he is not familer with any of the special statute of limitations in CA, He is requiring me to find a code for this statute of limitations, I am now 55 years old now and have recently been to get counseling from the mental problems I now have from the molestation would you know if I have a case and what special law code number there might be. Best Regards Carmen Farnsworth.
by carmen farnsworth November 6, 2012 at 08:12 PM
This is important information for everyone to know. It is amazing how much news is going on right now about child abuse in our schools. Thanks for providing this information to public. As you help the community understand their right we try to help people understand their rights when it comes to dui insurance
by Bryan Sr22 Insurance Guru March 29, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Dear R: I highly recommend you consult with a California Child Injury lawyer in your local area. As you know from my blog posting, and special time frames apply. mb
by Mark January 17, 2012 at 04:44 PM
My children were physically abused by my ex husband while we were married. We divorced 13 yrs ago, and my kids are now teenagers. I live with the kids in another state, but he lives in San Jose, CA. Is there a limit on years of reporting and him being arrested? My kids are all special needs and in special education with IEPs. Can you please tell me what, if anything, can be done?
by R January 17, 2012 at 03:23 PM
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