The Legal Definition of Delayed Discovery Rule Law

The delayed discovery rule was created as a way to protect negligence claims from the statute of limitations, which could have expired prior to the plaintiff knowing that he or she had a legal claim. The delayed discovery rule is a legal set of guidelines that postpone the running of the statutes of limitations during the period of time the plaintiff did not know they had a claim.

This could also be due to the implement of reasonable diligence, which would not have discovered the injuries could lead to his or her action against the defendant or perpetrator. This rule can apply in sexual abuse cases, until the victim discovers the connection between their injuries and the sexual abuse that occurred.

An example of the delayed discovery rule legal definition:

Normally, a ground of legal action accrues upon the event from the final component crucial to the cause of action. (April Enterprises, Inc. v. KTTV (1983) 147 Cal.App.3d 805, 826.) Nevertheless, in cases where it would be obviously unfair to deprive a plaintiff of a cause of action prior to his knowing he has been injured, the delayed discovery rule is relevant. This means the statute of limitations starts to run not upon injury, only when the plaintiff either actually discovers his or her injury, or could have discovered his or her accidental injury through the utilization of reasonable diligence. (Smith v. Dunham, 2008 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2823 (California Unpublished Opinions 2008).