How Long Do You Have to Report a Slip and Fall?

How Long Do You Have to Report a Slip and Fall?

It is imperative for the success of your case to report a slip and fall incident as soon as possible. Failure to do so can make it much harder to prove your claim.  

Under California law, property owners must exercise “reasonable care” in keeping their premises “reasonably” safe. If the owner is negligent in maintaining the premises to a reasonable standard, they may prove liable in a personal injury lawsuit.  

An Ellis Law Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer can evaluate your case and fight for you. Our attorneys have recovered more than $350 million in settlements and verdicts for clients. Our track record is second to none.  

Reporting a Slip and Fall Accident

Just how the slip and fall accident is reported depends on the nature of the accident. If seriously injured, call 911. The first responders will have a record of the event.  

Report the incident to the owner or manager of the property. Many supermarkets, Big Box, and other stores have reporting forms available.  If you cannot report the incident at once, do so as soon as you can.  

Seek prompt medical attention  

Along with prompt reporting of the slip and fall, it is critical to seek medical attention right away. That is true even if you do not think you were badly hurt. Always let the healthcare provider know you slipped and fell.  

Many of the common injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents are not immediately apparent. A concussion, which is a mild traumatic brain injury, may not become obvious for 24 hours or more. The same holds true for many strains and sprains.  

Waiting to consult a healthcare provider means the insurance company will question the seriousness of the injury, and whether it resulted from the slip and fall. From a health standpoint, it is vital to receive diagnosis and treatment before the injury worsens.  

California statute of limitations 

In California, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit following a slip and fall is two years from the date of the accident. After that time period, the case cannot proceed in court.  

If the plaintiff is pursuing compensation for property damage, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the incident. For instance, the slip and fall may have caused glasses to break.  

However, if the incident occurred on public property, the statute of limitations is just six months from the incident date. You must file your injury claim within that period with the government entity in question. Some people may experience a slip and fall and not realize the property is government-owned. The regulations regarding filing claims against the government are quite strict.  

Slip & fall attorneys know that their clients should recover from their injuries or have a firm prognosis before filing a personal injury lawsuit. If the lawsuit is filed too early after a serious injury, the long-term effects of the impairment are not necessarily known. What looks like an injury that should fully heal may turn out a permanent disability. 

However, it is crucial to contact an attorney quickly so investigation of the claim may begin.  

Collecting evidence 

Start collecting evidence at the scene, if possible. That means taking photos of the area and the hazard you encountered. For example, if a wet floor sent you flying and caused injuries, try to take photos of it. Wet floors in commercial establishments need warning signs posted or the area cordoned off.  

If there are witnesses, get their contact information. If you can, record or write down your recollections of how the incident occurred. 

Keep the clothes and footwear worn. Try not to clean them before speaking with a slip and fall lawyer. The attorney will advise you on how to treat these items.  

Reach out to a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer  

If you or someone you know suffered a slip and fall injury because of a property owner’s negligence, contact a knowledgeable Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law as soon as possible. Because the evidence in slip and fall cases can disappear quickly, time is of the essence in obtaining legal representation. 

Schedule a free consultation by completing our online form or calling or texting 24/7. We will determine whether you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit and advise you accordingly. All work is performed on a contingency basis. You pay no fee unless you receive compensation.