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If I fall in a retail store, how long do I have to file suit?

No matter how careful a property owner might be, grocery stores throughout California may present hazardous conditions for an unsuspecting customer. Water sprayed on vegetables to keep them fresh, or bottles of liquids that fall from a shelf in an aisle and break, can create a wet floor and the risk of slip-and-fall accidents.

An individual who suffers a bone fracture or a head injury while on someone else's property, is not expected to immediately begin thinking about the statute of limitations in California, but it is something that should be discussed with an attorney sooner rather than later. The statute of limitations is the time within which an accident victim must file a lawsuit for compensation for personal injuries.

Statues of limitations vary from state to state. In Orange County, California, someone who trips and falls on a wet floor or who trips on a stairway because of inadequate lighting might have a claim against the property owner. A lawsuit against a negligent property owner for compensation for personal injuries must be filed within two years from the date of the injury.

An exception to the two year statute of limitations is in cases in which the victim is not immediately aware of the injury. In those cases, the victim has one year from the discovery of the injury.

Failing to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations can cause an injured person to lose his or her right to compensation against a retail store, shopping mall or other property owner where a dangerous property condition existed. Regardless of the seriousness of a person's injuries or the overwhelming amount of evidence available to prove premises liability, once the deadline of the statute of limitations expires, the right to sue can be lost.

The complexity of the issues involved in applying and calculating the statute of limitations is beyond the scope of an overview blog such as this one. If you have been the victim of a trip-and-fall accident, a personal injury attorney is your best source for legal advice.

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Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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