What is the Statute of Limitations for a Premises Liability Claim in California?

man injured in stairwell

Unfortunately, whether you’re in a store, at a restaurant, or visiting someone else’s house, there is a chance that you may be injured in an accident that can change your life in an instant due to the property owner’s negligence. In California, people are afforded the right to expect the places they visit to be free of danger. However, this isn’t always the case. When a property is insufficiently maintained, serious slip, trip, and fall accidents can occur due to hazardous premises conditions. If another party’s negligence causes your injuries, you can pursue legal action against them to recover the compensation you need. However, it’s crucial to understand that you don’t have unlimited time to file your claim. The Golden State statute of limitations sets a strict deadline for an injured party to file a legal claim. Please continue reading to learn how long you must file a premises liability claim and how a seasoned Santa Clara County Slip and Fall Accident Attorney can help protect your legal rights.

What is California’s Statute of Limitations for a Slip and Fall Claim?

The statute of limitations is a law mandated by each state that sets a firm timeframe for a person’s right to file a lawsuit in civil court. The statute of limitations in California for a premises liability claim is two years. This means you have exactly two years from the date of the injury to initiate your legal claim. It’s crucial to understand that this doesn’t mean you have to resolve your claim within this timeline. However, you must start the process within this prescribed time.

Moreover, this two-year timeline only applies to cases involving private defendants. If you were injured on government property, you would have much less time to act. This is because filing a legal claim against a municipality requires a Notice of Claim. A Notice of Claim provides the government agency, before the commencement of an actual lawsuit, that it may be subject to a claim for damages. This gives the public entity time to investigate the merits of the claim. A Notice of Claim must be filed within six months of the accident date.

What Happens If I Miss the Deadline to File a Premises Liability Claim?

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, taking the necessary steps to safeguard your legal rights is essential. One of the most critical steps to protect your rights is to file your claim within this two-year deadline. Failure to file your premises liability claim within the legally prescribed time limit means you relinquish your right to take legal action for your damages. Essentially, you will face the absolute bar of recovery. Even if the responsible parties’ negligence is apparent, they can file a motion with the court to dismiss the case.

At the Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady, we are prepared to help you understand your legal options and fight for the compensation you need to get your life back on track. Don’t navigate these challenging times alone. Contact our adept legal team today to discuss your case.