When you are injured, you often have a limited amount of time to sue for your injuries. If you wait too long to file a case against the responsible parties, New York’s statute of limitations for slip and fall cases may block your case entirely. Because of this, it is important to talk to an attorney as soon as you can and get your slip and fall injury case started. For a free consultation on your case and to learn more about your time limits, talk to one of the Queens slip and fall lawyers at Sullivan and Galleshaw today.
How Long Do I Have to File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in NY?
A slip and fall lawsuit is a type of personal of personal injury suit. Even if you broke your phone or another piece of property during fall on someone else’s property, the focus of the case is on your bodily injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. As a type of personal injury case, a slip and fall case has the same deadlines as other injury cases, like car accident lawsuits.
If you were injured in a slip and fall, New York’s laws give you up to 3 years to file your lawsuit. The law setting the time limit is known as a “statute of limitations.” Statutes of limitations apply in nearly every court case, civil or criminal. It is important to file your case within the deadline dictated by the statute of limitations, or you may lose the chance to file.
The 3-year statute of limitations begins to run from the date of the accident. That means you have some time to recover from your injuries, gather evidence, and consult with an attorney before getting your case filed. Still, you should move quickly and consult an attorney as soon as possible.
This time limit is merely the time limit to get your case filed with the court. Filing your complaint with the court is the first step of a lawsuit, and as long as that is completed within 3 years of the accident, you should be okay. The entire case does not need to be completed by the 3-year deadline – just the first step. This gives you additional time to discover evidence, research the facts of the case, and actually try the case in court.
What Happens if I Miss the Deadline for a Slip and Fall Case in New York?
Filing your case too late can mean losing your case. The statute of limitations only authorizes lawsuits within the time limit, meaning that a case filed after the 3-year deadline may be blocked. The defendant can raise the statute of limitations as a defense against your initial complaint. If your case was filed after the 3-year limitations period, the court will be forced to dismiss the accusations.
If you file your case within the deadline, but later find out that there are additional parties you want to add to the lawsuit or additional complaints of negligence you want to join in the same case, you may not be able to add these pieces. The statute of limitations applies to each count of negligence, and to each defendant in the case. This means that if you sue a tenant of a building for a slip and fall within the time limit, then later decide to join their building owner, it may be too late to add the building owner to the lawsuit.
This highlights why it is important to talk to an attorney early in your case. Even if you might have years, it may take time to research your case, exchange evidence with the other side, and finalize your claims before going to trial. If your attorney realizes another party was involved or a different version of the same charges works better, it may be too late to add new elements if the statute of limitations period has run.
Extending the Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Cases
In rare situations, you may be able to get an extension on the statute of limitations. More specifically, the statute of limitations is paused or “tolled,” which allows you additional time to file your case.
If you are underaged or mentally “insane” when the injury occurs, you may get an extension. Parents and guardians can file lawsuits on behalf of their children or their wards, but the individuals also get an extension. Because a child or someone with a severe mental handicap may not be able to appreciate their chance at a lawsuit, the law gives you 3 years from the date your condition is cured to sue. That means 3 years from a minor’s 18th birthday or 3 years from when the person becomes “sane” again.
Queens Slip and Fall Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important to watch how long you have to file the case. In New York, you only have 3 years to get your case together and file a lawsuit for slip and fall injuries. Because of this, it is important that you talk to a Queens personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. For a free consultation on your case, contact the slip and fall lawyers at Sullivan and Galleshaw today at (718) 843-0300.