What’s the Statute of Limitations on a Slip and Fall in California?
In over 25 years of representing Southern Californians, our slip and fall attorneys at Ellis Injury Law have seen firsthand that these accidents can cause serious – and sometimes even life-threatening – injuries. The victims of these accidents and their loved ones experience a drastic and completely unexpected hardship in their lives that may not ever fully resolve itself. While it may seem like time comes to a screeching halt for these people, it is crucial to remember the details and the significance of the Statute of Limitations.
What is the significance of the statute of limitations?
California Code of Civil Procedure 335.1 tells us that the Statute of Limitations on a slip and fall case in the Golden State is generally two years, but might be as little as six months in certain cases. What this means is that, if your lawsuit is not filed within the specified period, then your case could be completely dismissed no matter how egregiously the defendant acted or how seriously you were injured.
Delays can cost you
Our attorneys at Ellis Injury Law strongly recommend that you hire an experienced Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. While you do not need to actually file your lawsuit until right before the deadline, the reality is that these lawsuits take time to file, so waiting until the last minute could be costly.
How do I know how long I have to file my lawsuit?
For private defendants, such as a residential or commercial property owner, the Statute of Limitations is two years. For example, if there is a large spill at a grocery store that takes place three hours before you even arrive at the store, and you slip and fall due to that dangerous condition because it still had not been cleaned up, blocked off, or clearly warned about, then you would have two years from the date of the accident in which to file your slip and fall lawsuit. Similarly, if you attend a pool party at a friend’s house and the pool deck is still extra slippery because everyone had been horseplaying around five hours ago, you would have two years in which to file your slip and fall lawsuit if you were injured after slipping and falling on the slippery deck that had not been dried off, blocked off, or clearly advised about.
Are public entities treated differently?
If your slip and fall injury occurs while you are on a government-controlled property, such as public schools, parks, or government buildings, then the Statute of Limitations is much shorter. In these cases, you only have six months from the date of the accident in which to file a claim with the government. If the government rejects your claim, then you will have another six months in which to file your lawsuit.
Are there any exceptions?
There are exceptions to this rule, and an experienced attorney can explain them in detail to you. One exception is the “Discovery of Harm” rule. This exception applies in accidents where the full extent of your injuries is not identified until a period of time has elapsed. In these cases, which often involve internal injuries, the clock for the Statute of Limitations does not start to run until you either knew or reasonably should have known about the injury.
Another exception is if the victim is a minor. In that case, the Statute of Limitations does not “toll,” or start to run, until the minor turns 18. Once the minor turns 18, the applicable Statute of Limitations would go into effect based on where the accident occured.
A track record we’re proud of
At Ellis Injury Law, we have earned more than $350 Million on behalf of our clients in settlements and jury verdicts. We work tirelessly to support our clients and want to work to help you.
Call Ellis Injury Law 24/7
If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall accident, call Ellis Injury Law 24 hours a day to schedule your free consultation with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. You will not receive a bill for anything unless you win your case.