Slips and falls can happen at grocery stores, friends’ homes, workplaces, and many other locations. No matter where the accident occurs, your claim is subject to the state’s statute of limitations on slip and fall claims. This state law specifies how long you have to file a claim. It is critical to stay aware of the statute of limitations for your claim because it directly impacts whether the court will hear your case.
Why Does a Statute of Limitations Exist?
All 50 states have passed their own statutes of limitations, placing restrictions on the length of time a victim can file a criminal or civil case. These laws keep the legal system moving efficiently and prevent long, drawn-out claims from clogging up the court system. Without a statute of limitations, lawsuits could be filed long after evidence has been lost or destroyed, making it nearly impossible to accurately discover what occurred. The statute of limitations is supposed to provide enough time for each side to investigate the case thoroughly and file the appropriate paperwork.
How Much Time Do You Have to File a California Slip and Fall Claim?
In almost all cases, the statute of limitations on a slip and fall claim in California is two years from the date of the accident. While this can seem like a long time, the months can go by quickly when you are facing a long recovery. There are even some cases where the time limit may be much shorter, such as with claims involving government entities.
If you do not file your claim within the two-year time limit, the court will almost certainly refuse to take your case, leaving you without any recourse to recover compensation for your damages. Contacting a slip and fall attorney promptly after your accident can ensure they have the time to gather evidence and build your case. Your lawyer will also make certain you do not miss any important filing deadlines.
Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Cases?
Some situations may pause or “toll” the two-year countdown for slip and fall claims. For example, if you experienced a fall but did not realize that it caused injuries until a couple of weeks later, the two-year countdown would begin on the day you discovered your injuries. The statute of limitations can also be tolled for minors because they cannot bring a court case on their own behalf. Once they turn 18, they have two years from their birthday to file a claim.
If you are concerned about whether your specific claim falls within the statute of limitations, you should seek the advice of a trusted slip and fall attorney. Contact our law office today for further information: (949) 749-7402.