If you sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident on another party’s property, you likely have questions about who will pay for your injuries and other damages. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you might have a legal claim against the property owner, business, caretaker, etc. However, pursuing a claim can be complicated. If you’re searching for information on how to file a slip and fall claim in CA, contact Silva Injury Law today.

Determining Fault in a Slip and Fall Claim

Slip and fall claims fall under premises liability law. Not every accident will lead to a premises liability lawsuit. To successfully pursue a claim for damages, you must show evidence of negligence. A property owner or landlord can be held liable when there is a dangerous condition on their property that they knew about or should’ve known about and they didn’t take the appropriate steps to remedy the hazard or warn visitors.

Statute of Limitations in California for a Slip & Fall Lawsuit

Before filing a slip & fall lawsuit, you need to ensure your claim falls within the legal deadline. Like other personal injury claims, you have only a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit in California. California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1 says you have two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit for a trip & fall or slip and fall accident.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

There could be some exceptions to this rule. It’s essential to hire an experienced California lawyer who can assist you. Should you miss the filing deadline for a premises liability lawsuit, the court could dismiss your case entirely, and you would be ineligible to collect any compensation.

Should your case involve property owned by a government agency, the deadline to file a claim could be as short as six months. Your claim would need to go through an administrative hearing process first. Deadlines and rules involving the government are very rigid. Don’t risk losing your right to pursue compensation because you didn’t know the rules or filing deadlines.

If the plaintiff is a minor, the court would extend the deadline to two years after their 18th birthday. A parent or guardian can typically file a claim beforehand on their behalf. Parents should discuss any claims involving a minor with a skilled lawyer who can advise them on the best course of legal action.

Several other exceptions could “toll” the statute of limitations for a slip & fall lawsuit. This exception is reserved for someone who is physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to file before the deadline. These are particular circumstances and will involve doctors’ diagnoses. For example, someone in a coma at the time the statute runs is incapacitated and unable to file.

Further Explanation on How to File a Slip and Fall Claim in CA

Filing a premises liability claim isn’t necessarily complicated, but it’s best to have a legal advocate on your side. You need someone who can protect your rights and fight for the maximum compensation possible.

Following a slip and fall accident, you need to report the incident to the property owner or tenant as soon as possible. For example, if you fell in a grocery store, you would want to report it to the highest management level possible. Even if you don’t believe your injuries to be severe, it’s crucial to report the accident. Many businesses have procedures and accident report forms that you must fill out. 

Be sure to get witness contact information and take scene photos, if possible. Witness statements and photos of the scene could be crucial evidence during a liability investigation.

If you don’t require emergency transport from the scene to the hospital, you should still seek treatment as soon as possible. Do not wait to see a doctor; otherwise, the defendant’s insurance company will try to use that against you. The claims adjuster may allege that your injuries weren’t that severe or that some other event caused your injuries.

When the defendant’s insurance company contacts you, do not agree to provide a recorded statement without your attorney. The adjuster hopes that you will say something they can use against you as a reason to deny your claim or offer you less than your claim is worth. Please don’t give them added ammunition in a trip & fall claim or any other personal injury claim.

Contact our California Lawyers

If you sustained injuries in a slip and fall or trip & fall accident, you don’t have to navigate the confusing legal process alone. Instead, let the skilled legal team at Silva Injury Law help. We can help you file a premises liability lawsuit after a slip and fall accident and will be there every step of the way. We understand this is a stressful time for you and your family. You need to concentrate on recovering from your injuries, not arguing with the insurance company.

Contact Silva Injury Law today to schedule an initial consultation. We are committed to helping you recover the maximum compensation possible. Let us review your case and help you determine the best course of legal action.