How long after I slip and fall in a store do I have to sue?
If you’re injured in a slip and fall accident, any filing deadlines for a lawsuit will be dictated by the personal injury statute of limitations in your state. These laws place a time limit on the amount of time you have to go to the local branch of your state’s civil court and get a personal injury lawsuit started. Every state’s deadline is different, but most states allow at least two years’ leeway between the injury and the filing of any lawsuit.
It’s crucial to understand the statute of limitations in your state, because if you don’t get your injury lawsuit filed before the time window closes, you can bet that the court will throw your case out as time-barred once you do decide to file it.
Keep in mind that the statute of limitations is merely a deadline for getting your case started in the civil court system -- filing the initial complaint, in other words. Your case doesn’t need to be resolved before the deadline.
So, if you’re anywhere close to the filing deadline as set out in your state’s laws, but injury settlement talks are still taking place, it’s a good idea to file the lawsuit anyway, as a way of keeping your options open and protecting your rights. You can still participate in injury settlement negotiations and work toward getting your slip and fall case resolved outside of court. But you’ll also have the fallback option of letting the court resolve the matter if settlement talks stall.