How Long Do I Have to File a Slip and Fall Claim?
Last winter, you had slipped on a wet door mat just inside the local convenience store. You fell hard on your back. You were a little dazed but didn’t think you were too injured. Months go by and your back has gotten more and more painful. When you go to the doctor, you learn that you have a herniated disc in your back. The cause of the injury? That slip and fall back in February. But that happened months ago! Can you still sue?
This is a common question we get from our clients. After the shock of an accident, you may not realize just how injured you really are. It may take days, weeks, or even months to learn just how injured you really were after such an accident. So, knowing that the injury was caused by the long ago accident, what are your next steps?
Time Limits for a Slip and Fall Claim
Every state has a statute of limitations. For New Jersey, you have up to two years after the accident to file a lawsuit. So even if you discover an injury a year from now, you still have a chance to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. If you miss the time limit, then the court system will likely refuse to hear your slip and fall claim (unless there is an exception).
It’s important to note that the statute of limitations is only a deadline you need to meet to get your case started, which involves filing the initial complaint. The time limit has nothing to do with the resolution of the matter. So this may mean your slip and fall claim could be resolved before you even step into a courtroom.
But let’s say you are discussing a settlement before even filing the complaint. Does this statute still apply to your case? Yes, it does. Even if you’re discussing a settlement, you should file a lawsuit anyway to protect your rights. That way, if the settlement talks fall through, you still have the option to pursue legal action against the negligent party. This doesn’t mean you have to end your settlement negotiation — it just means you have an Option B in case things break down.
Had a Slip and Fall Accident? We Can Help
If you had a slip and fall accident in New Jersey, you’re going to want an experienced personal injury attorney to help you with your case. For almost 30 years, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has been helping clients with their personal injury claims. Contact us today for a free consultation.