Visitor Question

Can I pursue an old insurance claim?

Submitted By: Lee (Los Angeles)

I fell in the mall parking lot early in the morning while walking to the bus stop. I slipped on something similar to a bottle top and broke my knee. The insurance company said the mall was not liable for my injury since they were not negligent.

I didn’t pursue the claim, but I think they are liable. Since my personal injury claim was filed in 2009 and declined in 2010, is it too late to pursue this further? DO you have any ideas on what I can do?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Lee,

The state of California has what is called a Statute of Limitations period in which a claim must be settled or a lawsuit filed. If the claim is not settled within that period of time, the injured party loses their legal right to file suit against the person or entity which they believe caused the injuries.

In your case it may not be too late to file a personal injury claim against the mall. It depends though on several factors…

First, your injury would have had to occur after July 26th, 2009, or two years from the date of your question. If you meet that time period you will have to move on to the next qualification. The date your claim was denied by the mall is irrelevant. It is the date of the injury which controls.

Next, to have a claim you must have “Damages”. Damages are the costs you incurred as a result of the injury. They include medical bills, out of pocket expenses such as any prescriptions, bandages, or the like you purchased to treat the injury.

Also included may be an amount for any wages you may have lost while being treated and recovering from the injury.

Breaking your knee or knee cap is very serious, and is usually quite painful.

As a result you must have incurred substantial medical bills, out of pocket expenses, and possibly some lost wages. Those amounts are recoverable in a lawsuit. In addition to those amounts you may be able to ask the Court to award you substantial additional amounts for your pain and suffering, especially as a result of the mall being so callous about your injury and their liability.

Because calculating the exact date of the Statute of Limitations will expire in your case we suggest you contact a skilled Personal Injury Attorney at the earliest possible time. Missing the time period, even by one day may cause you to lose all of your rights to sue. Most Personal Injury Attorneys will not charge you any fee for an initial office consultation.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: July 22, 2011

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