November 30, 2022 Posted In Personal Injury
Every state has a law that places a time limit on how victims have to pursue a slip and fall case, known as the “statute of limitations.” In Riverside, it is two years from the date of the injury. This law encourages victims to file a slip and fall lawsuit within a reasonable length of time so that evidence remains available and to prevent unfair legal action.
Under California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) Section 335.1, the two-year period begins on the date the slip and fall occurred. However, it is typically in your best interests to begin the claims process relatively soon after a slip and fall. Once too much time passes, evidence begins to disappear, witnesses’ memories fade, and details on fault can be too challenging to trace.
However, beginning the claims process and resolving it are two completely different situations. Starting a slip and fall claim quickly is ideal, but that does not mean you must resolve it quickly. Instead, a slip and fall attorney will advise you to wait on settling your case until you either fully recover from your injuries or reach “maximum medical improvement” (MMI). That way, you understand the full extent of your injuries, your financial losses, and how your life will be impacted in the future. Only then can you accurately estimate the total value of your case and the minimum amount to settle for.
If your slip and fall accident was caused by the negligence of a government agency or employee in Riverside, the statute of limitations is different. An injury claim against the state government must be filed within six months of the injury. If your claim is rejected, you have another six months to file a lawsuit.
When a slip and fall accident results in a fatality, surviving family members have the right to pursue a wrongful death case. Under California law, the statute of limitations is similar to injury cases in that families have two years to pursue a lawsuit. However, the difference is that the time begins on the date of the victim’s death, which may not necessarily be the day of the accident.
There is usually no way around the statute of limitations. Once it is passed, you are typically barred from pursuing a claim and recovering compensation. One of the only exceptions is the “discovery of harm” rule, which delays the statute of limitations until the victim discovers or reasonably should have known about their injuries. However, that is typically the same date as the slip and fall accident in most cases.
If you are unsure how long you have to file a slip and fall claim, it is best to speak to a Riverside Slip and Fall Attorney as soon as possible. They can ensure you do not miss out on the compensation you deserve.