Getting injured in a slip and fall accident can change your life in an instant. One minute everything is normal, and the next minute, you may be struggling with serious and disabling injuries with serious financial repercussions.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
In that context, it can be challenging to remember the importance of adhering to deadlines. Still, it can cost you and your family much-needed compensation if the statute of limitations expires before you file a lawsuit with a slip and fall lawyer.
Under the California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, you have two years to file a lawsuit against a private defendant such as a commercial or residential property owner. However, if your claim is against a government or city entity– such as a park, public school, or office building, then you only have six months in which to file a claim. If they reject your claim, then you have another six months in which to file a slip and fall lawsuit. If the applicable statute of limitations in your case expires before you file a claim, you may lose all legal rights to file a lawsuit.
Time is of the Essence
While six months or even two years may seem like a long time, there are several important facts to consider:
- Expecting to hire a slip and fall attorney right before the statute of limitations expires may cause you to miss the deadline and forego your right to financial compensation for your injuries.
- Evidence and the memories of potential eyewitnesses both tend to diminish over time. The longer you wait to begin investigating the facts surrounding your accident, the more difficult it may be to prove your case. That is another reason why hiring the right attorney early on can pay dividends for you down the road.
- Letting the statute of limitations expire or even just waiting too long to begin investigating your case– can give the defendant significant leverage when it comes to negotiating a settlement. Suppose the defendant knows that trial is not an option because the statute of limitations has expired. In that case, the value of your settlement offers will likely plummet or even disappear altogether.
Are there any Exceptions?
It should be noted that there is one exception where the statute of limitations may expire, but you may still be able to file. This exception is called the “Discovery of Harm” rule, which says that the clock does not start ticking until you know, or reasonably should have known, about your injuries. This would likely come into play with an internal injury that you could not have reasonably been expected to discover in the immediate aftermath of the accident.
Additionally, the Statute of Limitations may be tolled or suspended if the victim of the accident is under 18 years old. In these cases, it does not begin to run until they turn 18.
We Value Our Clients
Since 2011, the Hobbs Law Group here in the Los Angeles area has earned over $10 Million in settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of our valued clients. As a client-centric firm, we understand how stressful these accidents can be for you and your loved ones. We do everything we can to maximize your financial recovery as part of our commitment to results.
Call Today for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, call us at Hobbs Law Group today to schedule your free consultation with a slip and fall accident lawyer at our Claremont office. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, so there are no upfront legal costs.