how long do you have to report a slip and fall injury

You slip and fall and experience injuries. When should you file your legal claim? Can you wait? Find out what to do from Mullen & Mullen.

Is the law written against you? Are timeframes unreasonable for filing a slip-and-fall claim in Texas?

While Texas law in general favors big companies over ordinary citizens and employees, time limits for slip-and-fall claims/lawsuits don’t get completely out of control.

If you slip-and-fall at a government or city building, for example, you will need to file a “Notice of Claim” within a specified period of time. Legally, the time limit you have to file a lawsuit on a slip-and-fall case is called the “Statute of Limitations,” which varies by state.

Take a look at how this works in Texas:

Never Wait to File Your Claim…Here’s Why

Depending on your injuries, you’ll feel able to file your claim and work through the legal process faster in some cases.

As soon as you feel able, file your slip and fall injury claim.

Why? Here are several reasons:

  • Some Texas government jurisdictions limit the time you have to file your claim to as little as 14 days!
  • Your credibility is much higher when you file your claim quickly.
  • You can recover financial damages for future medical expenses, so you don’t have to wait and let your medical bills pile up.
  • Some personal injury lawyers work with medical professionals happy to delay billing until the settlement of your claim. Why accumulate more medical bills (and stress) than you can pay first?

In Most Cases, You Have 2 Full Years to File A Lawsuit If Your Claim Isn’t Settled

If you are a private citizen on private property, you have 2 years to file a lawsuit. Most slip-and-falls happen on private commercial (store) property.

Wait longer than two years, and your case will be thrown out if you file.

The Rules Change When You Slip and Fall on Government Property

Think businesses don’t like to pay for slip-and-fall accidents? Texas government entities have written themselves special rules that cap the amounts they have to pay you and reduce the time you have to file your claim.

Depending on your jurisdiction’s rules, you could have as little as 6 months or even just 14 days to file a “Notice of Claim” which is a document showing you intend to sue before you actually do so.

What Happens When You Slip and Fall at Work?

This gets tricky. Depending on how your injury happened, you may have a personal injury claim or workers’ compensation claim.

Texas does not require employers to carry workers’ comp. But some choose to do so because it limits what they have to pay out (personal injury claims do not have limits).

If your injuries qualify as “workers’ comp” injuries, you have just 30 days to report your injury and 1 year to file your claim.

Always Act Fast

The point here is to act fast if you believe you have slipped and fallen because of the negligence of a property owner or manager. At worst, you find you don’t have a claim after all, and nothing happens.

Fail to act within the appropriate timeframe, however, and you could cost yourself thousands of dollars you need to make it through a tough time while you recover from your injuries.