How Long Do You Have to File a Slip and Fall Claim?
You slip, fall, get injured, and think it’s someone else’s fault. How long do you have to file your accident claim? It depends.
How Much Time Do You Have To File A Slip and Fall Injury Claim?
You slip. You fall. You’re injured.
How long do you have to take action on that if you want to file a premises liability claim?
It depends on where you fell.
Procrastination Jeopardizes Your Settlement
Regardless of where you fall in Texas, it’s not something you want to procrastinate on. You don’t want to wait to pile up all your medical bills first. You can successfully negotiate a settlement for all future damages via a settlement now.
It’s a scary process too. But, you’re only going to harm your slip and fall case if you wait. Judges and juries think that honest premises liability injury victims act quickly. If you delay, that harms your credibility. It could harm it to the point where you don’t recover as much damages, or possibly aren’t able to recover any damages at all.
Take a look at different places slip and fall accidents might occur, and the time limit you have to file an injury claim:
Scenario #1: You Slip and Fall at a Grocery Store
Say you have the stereotypical slip and fall accident at a grocery store. In that case, you have 2 years from your date of injury to file your claim. Wait just a day longer than that, and the court will throw your claim out if you try to file it. Statutes of limitations vary by state, with some giving you as many as 6 years. But for now, in Texas, you have only 2.
You can learn more about this statute of limitations, and others, here.
Scenario #2: You Slip and Fall on Government Property
Here’s where things get not only messy for your personal recovery, but messy from a legal standpoint. If businesses don’t like to pay for a slip and fall, government institutions like to pay even less. They have lower caps on the amounts they pay out for personal injury claims. The idea behind this is to keep lawsuit costs down, and therefore taxes also.
Not very fair to you as a private citizen, but that’s the way it works in Texas now. For government agencies, you generally have 6 months to file your claim – although government entities and/or municipalities can vary. You also have to file papers showing you have an intent to sue before actually bringing forth your premises liability claim. This is typically called filing a Notice of Claim. If you have been injured on government or city property you should contact an injury attorney immediately. In fact, some entities require that a Notice of Claim be filed in as little as 30 days!
Avvo has an excellent resource that details personal injury on government property in Texas.
Scenario #3: You Slip and Fall at Work
When you slip and fall at work, you may have a personal injury claim or workers’ compensation claim, depending on how your injury happened. Texas employers are not required to carry workers’ comp, although they might because it limits what they can pay out (while a personal injury claim does not).
If your injury is in fact a “workers’ comp” claim, you have just 30 days to report your injury and 1 year to file your claim. Needless to say, employers don’t like to pay out if they don’t have to.
Remarkably, the State of Texas actually has a reasonably clear and concise resource on this.
Today’s Takeaway Advice: Act Fast, No Matter How Your Injury Happened
As always, it’s important to act fast once you’ve been injured and suspect someone else’s negligence caused your injury. Make sure you have a lawyer experienced with your type of case who will treat you in a non-judgmental way, as they have their interests in getting you the most money you deserve.
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Shane V. Mullen is an attorney licensed by the State of Texas for the general practice of law, and the Managing Partner at Mullen & Mullen Law Firm in Dallas, TX. His firm focuses exclusively on personal injury law and has been in business for 40 years. Before becoming a lawyer, Shane worked for his father as an accident injury claims investigator.