Suffering from a slip and fall injury? If another party’s negligence causes your injuries, you are likely owed compensation. You do not have an unlimited amount of time to bring your legal claim.
The California state statute of limitations sets a strict deadline for when an injured party can bring a legal claim.
How Long to Bring a Slip and Fall Claim in California?
Section 335.1 of the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) explains that you have exactly two years from the date of the injury to initiate your legal claim. You do not need to resolve your claim within this timeline, but you must start the process. The two-year deadline appears to be straightforward. However, there are several issues and exceptions worth mentioning.
You have even less time to file a public slip and fall lawsuit in California
The two year timeline only applies to cases involving private defendants. These are commercial or residential property owners. There are different rules for cases against public entities.
If your claim is against government controlled areas, you will have six months to take action. This includes parks, schools, and official buildings. The six-month statute is the time you’re allowed to file a claim with the government. If they reject your claim, you will have another six months to file a lawsuit.
The ‘discovery of harm’ rule provides a very narrow exception
If the statute of limitations has already run out in your case, you may still have a small window to take action. There is a narrow exception to the statute of limitations known as the ‘discovery of harm’ rule.
This rule makes it so that the ‘clock’ does not begin to run until the date the victim knew or reasonably should have known, about their injuries. In most slip and fall cases, that is the same date as the date of the accident. In some cases, the Court may extend the window.
Failure to take action will result in the loss of your rights
It is important that you keep this two-year deadline in your mind. If you fail to take action within that period, you will likely lose out on your right to take legal action at all. Do not lose out on your ability to recover financial compensation because of a technicality in California state law.
Why You Need to Contact a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible
Getting your claim into the hands of a qualified lawyer soon after your accident will increase your chances of making a full and fair recovery. The quicker you get a lawyer involved in your case, the sooner you will have an experienced advocate by your side.
Successful slip and fall cases require strong supporting evidence. That is the role your personal injury attorney will play during the process.