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Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Claims

Posted on 08/28/23

When individuals sustain slip and fall injuries on another person’s property, they may be able to recover compensation for their losses. If the property owner was negligent, then an insurance claim or a civil personal injury lawsuit against the property owner may be necessary. However, just like other types of personal injury lawsuits in New York, slip and fall claims must be filed within a specific amount of time by the injury victim against the defendant.

New York Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

When individuals sustain injuries caused by the negligent actions of others in New York, they must file their claim within three years from the date of the incident. This personal injury statute of limitations applies to slip and fall injury claims as well as most other types of injury incidents, including car accidents, commercial truck accidents, and other types of premises liability incidents.

If individuals fail to file a civil lawsuit against the alleged negligent party within this three-year time frame, the case will almost certainly be dismissed, and the victim will be left unable to recover any compensation for their losses.

In addition to being crucial for any eventual court case, the statute of limitations could play a role in negotiations with insurance carriers of the individual or business that caused you harm. The other party’s insurance carrier could refuse to negotiate with individuals after the statute of limitations has passed because they know that continuing forward in court will not be possible.

Insurance Carrier Deadlines

One aspect that individuals often overlook is deadlines that could be in place with the insurance carriers involved in the claim. With slip and fall cases in New York, victims often end up filing a claim against a property owner’s insurance carrier. This could include homeowners’ insurance or some type of business insurance policy. 

Insurance carriers often have fairly strict reporting deadlines well before the three-year personal injury statute of limitations. Failing to promptly report an injury to an insurance carrier could result in a claim delay or denial.

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

Even though most slip and fall accidents do not result in a death, the reality is that slip and fall injuries could ultimately result in a fatality, depending on their severity. This is particularly true for incidents that lead to traumatic brain injuries.

The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in New York is two years from the date of death, not three years like the personal injury statute of limitations. If you have lost somebody that you love as a result of a slip and fall incident, please keep in mind this two-year deadline for filing the wrongful death claim in civil court.

Working With an Attorney

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a slip and fall accident in the Buffalo area of New York, you need to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled slip and fall accident lawyer will handle every aspect of the claim on your behalf, including investigating the incident and dealing with negotiations with the other party. Ultimately, the goal is to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and any other expenses arising due to the slip and fall incident.