Lawsuits involving slip and fall accidentes are among one of the most common types of personal injury claims. Californians specializing in this type of claim should be familiar with multiple legal issues, both common and extraordinary, related to representing this type of case, including the defenses that a defendant may attempt to use against a plaintiff. One of the defenses raised in a slip and fall action is the statute of limitations.
What is a statute of limitations?
In general, a statute of limitations is a legal timeframe within which a plaintiff can successfully file a claim in court. If a plaintiff waits too much time to file their claim, the claim may be dismissed by the court, regardless of the quality of the plaintiff’s evidence or the severity of the damages caused by the defendant’s willful or negligent actions.
This is why it is important for claimants to contact an attorney immediately after an injury occurs. Lawsuits can rarely be filed immediately. Instead, there is a lot of preparation that goes into a case before it is even ready to be filed, meaning there is little time to waste.
Your slip and fall case
California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1 applies a two-year time limit to slip and fall cases. In a broader sense, this term applies to an action for “injury or death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another.” There are some exceptions to this two-year rule, but they are only available in very rare circumstances. To see if any exceptions apply to your case, contact a slip and fall attorney.
While you can likely settle in all but the most egregious cases, the pressure on a defendant to settle all but disappears once the statute of limitations has expired. Most slip and fall actions end up settling rather than going to trial. However, potential plaintiffs should not let this create a false sense of security regarding the urgency of retaining an attorney and getting their case resolved as soon as possible.