How Long After a Slip and Fall Case Can You Sue?
You are always free to file a lawsuit at any time after your slip and fall injury. The important questions are how long you have to file and whether you are ready to file your lawsuit.
The most important consideration with timing is the statute of limitations in your case. In South Carolina, you have three years from the time that you suffered the injury to file the lawsuit, and only two years if the suit is against a government entity. This is a longer statute of limitations than in most states, and it usually gives you plenty of time to bring your case. Many lawyers will tell you that you need to file your lawsuit yesterday to avoid missing the statute of limitations.
Act Quickly, or You Can Lose Evidence
With such a long time period, there are other considerations that would prompt you to file a lawsuit sooner. Specifically, much of the evidence can be lost before you get to submit your complaint. Then, you would not be able to prove your case. You should sue while you still have the ability to get witness testimony and other documentary evidence because slip and fall cases are all about having something to back up your side of the story. Also, the lawsuit process can take years, so you do not want to wait to begin nearly three years after your injury.
On the flip side of the ledger, you do not want to file your case too soon. Your attorney needs time to gather the evidence that you need. You should receive complete medical treatment to establish your diagnosis and prognosis. Otherwise, you may have a vague claim for damages not backed up by anything specific. If you file a lawsuit too soon, your case could be at risk of dismissal. You should take the time to hire the right attorney to develop your case.
In addition, you should try to file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company to try to settle the case without needing to file a lawsuit. Doing so would enable you to get your money more quickly without having to take the risk of going to the jury. Many cases will settle at the claims stage, even if it takes some time to negotiate a settlement. You should at least explore the insurance company claims process since the process is how most claims are resolved.
Suing at the right time is a matter of tactics and strategy. Your attorney is your guide to the process and will know when is the right time to negotiate and when you need to sue. Your hope is that your case does not take long to resolve, but you should temper your expectations because the personal injury claims and lawsuit process can be slow.
Experienced Charleston Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, call the attorneys at The Hopkins Law Firm at (843) 314-4202 or contact us online. We can review your legal rights and get you in the best position to file a claim or lawsuit.
How does your attorney investigate your slip and fall case?
They will visit the scene of your accident, review video footage, and speak with witnesses.
When is the best time to file your slip and fall claim?
You should act quickly before you lose evidence, but not before you have assembled a strong claim.
How do I know what strategy to use in filing my case?
Your personal injury attorney has the experience necessary to know the best way to file your claim.