Visitor Question

How long do I have to file an injury claim after a fall?

Submitted By: Jennifer (Akron, Ohio, Summit Co)

I slipped on ice in the parking lot of a major restaurant chain last night. My knee is swelled up and bloody. How long do I have to file a claim? What should I do? Thanks.

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.

Answer

Dear Jennifer,

If you have a claim you generally have two years within which to either settle it or file a law suit. Check your state’s statute of limitations. It is a big “if” because you would have to establish liability first. Since this happened in a public place, you would be looking at a premises liability claim which requires all the elements of a negligence claim in order to establish a cause of action.

Therefore you would need to show that the establishment owed you a duty which is typically not hard to do. But you would need to also show that they breached the duty and that such breach was the actual and proximate cause of your damages.

This is a much taller hurdle because ice in the parking lot may be seen as an act of God, i.e. something for which they had no control, and therefore no liability would exist. You should also know that if this is governmental property (for example, a parking lot owned by a city, you have 6 months within which to submit an administrative claim, not 2 years).

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: January 4, 2011

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One thought on “How long do I have to file an injury claim after a fall?

  1. If you have a claim you have two years within which to either settle it or file a law suit. It is a big “if” because you would have to establish liability first. Since this happened in a public place, you would be looking at a premises liability claim which requires all the elements of a negligence claim in order to establish a cause of action.

    Therefore you would need to show that the establishment owed you a duty which is typically not hard to do. But you would need to also show that they breached the duty and that such breach was the actual and proximate cause of your damages.

    This is a much taller hurdle because ice in the parking lot may be seen as an act of God, i.e. something for which they had no control, and therefore no liability would exist. You should also know that if this is governmental property (for example, a parking lot owned by a city, you have 6 months within which to submit an administrative claim, not 2 years).

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