How Long Do I Have to File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?

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How Long Do I Have to File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?

How much time you have to file a slip and fall lawsuit can depend on many factors, such as your state laws and the severity of your injuries. However, knowing the best time for filing a claim can be crucial for getting what you deserve. Waiting too long could mean getting barred from filing a lawsuit, while filing too soon could lead to leaving money on the table.

Seeking legal advice as soon as possible after your injury can be critical for winning damages. Morgan & Morgan’s slip and fall lawyers can give you the best chance of prevailing in a slip and fall lawsuit and recovering the compensation you need to rebuild your life. Start with getting justice now and contact us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

What Is a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?

A slip and fall lawsuit is a legal case where an injured individual seeks compensation for injuries they suffered after slipping or tripping and falling on someone else’s property. Slips and falls can happen anywhere, including:

  • Grocery stores
  • Sidewalks
  • Parking garages
  • Restaurants
  • Government buildings

Property and business owners must ensure the safety of their visitors. When someone files a slip and fall lawsuit, they allege that their injuries resulted from a property owner or manager neglecting to fix or warn of dangerous conditions. Such hazards can include wet floors, missing stairs, and any other dangers that should have been addressed.

Proving a Slip and Fall Lawsuit

To win a claim, the injured individual must prove that the property owner:

  1. Had a duty to make the premises reasonably safe
  2. Breached that duty by failing to prevent the hazard
  3. Directly caused the person’s injuries and damages due to their breach of duty

If successful, the claimant may receive damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, it is worth noting that not all slip and fall accidents result in a lawsuit, and many are resolved out of court. Since each case is unique, consider seeking legal advice from a seasoned slip and fall lawyer if you suffered injuries in a fall on another’s property.

Factors Determining the Timing of Your Slip and Fall Lawsuit

If you or a loved one experienced a slip and fall recently, you may wonder how long you can file a lawsuit and seek compensation. The answer depends on the nature of your claim and factors such as:

  • Your state’s statutes of limitations
  • Your maximum medical improvement
  • The defendants in your lawsuit
  • The discovery rule

Read on to discover how these factors could lengthen or shorten the time you have available to file a lawsuit.

Statutes of Limitations

A crucial factor determining the time available for a slip and fall lawsuit is the statute of limitations in your state, which sets a specific time limit for filing a suit. The time limit varies by state and generally ranges from one to six years.

However, in many states, the statute of limitations for slip and fall claims is at least two years, meaning you would have two years from the date of your slip and fall accident to file a lawsuit.

If you fail to file your claim within your state’s statute of limitations, you could lose your right to compensation, even if you have a strong case. Since some states give victims only one year to file a claim, consider seeking legal advice from an experienced slip and fall lawyer in your state as soon as possible.

Maximum Medical Improvement

The second factor that can impact the timing for filing a slip and fall claim is maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI means that you have recovered fully from your injuries or, in the case of severe or disabling conditions, your medical condition has stabilized, and no further improvement is expected. Waiting until you reach MMI before filing your slip and fall claim ensures that you know the full extent of your injuries and any future costs associated with your recovery.

On the other hand, if you file a claim too soon, you may not be able to accurately estimate the full extent of your damages, which could lead to missing out on compensation for future medical expenses or lost wages.

Morgan & Morgan’s slip and fall lawyers can guide you through this process. Once you reach MMI, we can liaise with your medical providers to accurately assess your claim’s worth and negotiate a fair settlement with the defendant or file a lawsuit if necessary.

The Defendants in Your Lawsuit

How long you can file a slip and fall lawsuit depends on the defendants in your claim. Some states may require you to notify the property owner or occupier within a particular time frame after your accident. Moreover, if your slip and fall occurred on government-owned property, you could face additional requirements and time limits for filing a slip and fall lawsuit.

The Discovery Rule

Some states have a discovery rule that could increase the time available to file a suit. For example, if you slipped and fell in a store and a doctor discovers an accident-related head injury months later, the statute may start to run from the date your doctor diagnosed the injury, giving you more time to file a slip and fall lawsuit.

A Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Determine the Best Possible Timing

Identifying the ideal timeframe for filing your slip and fall claim can be complex and depend on many facts. Therefore, consider working with a slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible. Morgan & Morgan never settles for less, and neither should you. Our determined slip and fall attorneys can identify the best timing for your lawsuit, giving you the best chance of discovering the compensation you truly deserve for your injuries and financial losses.

Protecting Your Slip and Fall Claim

To protect your slip and fall claim and ensure that you have enough time to file a lawsuit for compensation, consider taking the following steps:

  1. Seek medical attention: If you suffered harm in a slip and fall, seek medical attention immediately. Not only is it essential for your health, but it will also create documentation of your injuries that can support your claim.
  2. Document the accident: Take photos of the accident scene, including any hazards that may have caused your slip and fall. Get the names and contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident.
  3. File an accident report: Ask the property owner or supervisor to complete an accident report. A report formally documents your fall and can be crucial evidence in your lawsuit.
  4. Contact an attorney: Consult with our experienced slip and fall lawyers as soon as possible to protect your rights and ensure you meet all the necessary deadlines for filing your lawsuit.
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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • Which Factors Can Lengthen the Time Available to File a Lawsuit?

    Sometimes, the clock on the statute of limitations can be "tolled" or paused, which means the time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit is temporarily stopped from running. Depending on state laws, circumstances stopping the clock can include:

    • The individual affected is a minor or has a mental disability and may not have been able to file within the regular time limit.
    • The person intending to pursue compensation is serving in the military or is incarcerated and unable to file a slip and fall lawsuit within the statute of limitations.
    • The individual who caused the harm left the state or country, making it impossible for the victim to file a lawsuit within the regular time limit.
    • The slip and fall injury was not immediately apparent and discovered much later, leaving the victim unable to file a lawsuit within the statute.

    In these rare situations, the injured person may have more time to file a lawsuit.

  • How Long Do I Have to File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit Against the Government?

    Understanding the unique rules and time limits can be essential when filing a lawsuit against the government. While regulations vary from state to state, most slip-and-fall claimants need to first file a notice of claim with the appropriate government agency before they can file a lawsuit. The time limit for filing such a notice can vary depending on your state but could be as short as 60 or 90 days.

    Once you have filed a notice with the government, the agency has a certain amount of time to respond. You can typically file a lawsuit if the government denies your claim or fails to respond within the specified period.

    Missing the deadline for filing your claim against a government agency could cause you to lose your right to sue altogether. Therefore, talk to our slip and fall lawyers as soon as possible to ensure compliance with all regulations. Morgan & Morgan’s dedicated attorneys can help you file a notice of claim and handle your legal case from start to finish.

  • How Can a Morgan & Morgan Slip and Fall Lawyer Help Me Win Compensation?

    A slip and fall attorney at Morgan & Morgan can help you navigate the legal process and give you the best chance of winning fair compensation for your injuries. Here are some ways we can help you:

    Provide Legal Expertise

    Our attorneys can provide legal expertise and guidance throughout the process, from filing a claim to negotiating a settlement or going to court.

    Investigate Your Accident

    Our slip and fall lawyers can gather evidence to determine the cause of your slip and fall, such as faulty flooring, inadequate lighting, or unmarked hazards.

    Assess Your Damages

    Your attorney can calculate the damages and future estimated payments to which you are entitled, such as:

    • Healthcare expenses
    • Income losses
    • Pain and anguish
    • Emotional distress
    • Disability

    Negotiate With Insurance Companies

    Morgan & Morgan’s slip and fall lawyers can handle negotiations with insurance companies and the responsible property owner’s legal team helping you receive fair compensation.

    Represent You Powerfully in Court

    If necessary, we can present your case strongly in court, tirelessly fighting for maximum compensation on your behalf.

  • What if I Run Out of Time to File a Lawsuit During Settlement Negotiations?

    If you are worried about missing the statute of limitations, a slip and fall lawyer can help you determine your options. For example, you could file a lawsuit during negotiations for an out-of-court settlement.

    When an insurance company is dragging out the settlement process, bringing you close to the end of the statute of limitations, filing a lawsuit can be a smart move that protects your rights. On the other hand, filing a lawsuit too soon could escalate the situation and make settling with the defendant and insurance company more challenging.

    Ultimately, the decision to file a lawsuit while negotiating a settlement will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, the strength of your evidence, and your goals for the outcome. Morgan & Morgan’s dedicated slip and fall lawyers can help you understand the consequences of filing a lawsuit on your settlement negotiations.

  • Our Slip and Fall Lawyers Have Your Back

    When Morgan & Morgan takes your case, you won’t have to worry about missing any deadlines. Our tenacious slip and fall attorneys can handle your claim from beginning to end, ensuring all paperwork is filed correctly and on time. Our results speak for themselves, having recovered over $20 billion in damages for our clients to date.

    Let Morgan & Morgan help you get through a stressful and challenging time and move forward with your life. We want to give you the best shot of recovering the compensation you deserve.

    Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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