What is the Statute of Limitations for a Slip and Fall Case in California?

Slip and fall accidents are very common and can occur in establishments such as grocery stores, restaurants, bars, and malls. These incidents can result in injuries like fractures and concussions among others. In the wake of these incidents, it is advisable to contact a skilled attorney who can help you get fair compensation for any damages you have sustained.

Victims and casualties who have been harmed by someone else’s actions or inactions are entitled to reimbursement for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, reduced quality of life, and emotional distress among others. However, for a case to be successful, the lawsuit against the liable party must be filed within the respective state’s statute of limitations.

This time frame refers to the legal deadline by which a plaintiff can file a lawsuit in court. If the plaintiff submits the lawsuit after the deadline, the court can dismiss the suit, regardless of how much evidence exists or how severely the plaintiff was hurt by the defendant. Moreover, lawsuits cannot be filed immediately because there needs to be a lot of preparation for the case before it is ready for filing. Therefore, it is important to hire a skilled and experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

Statute of limitations in California

In the state of California, you have only 2 years from the time of the incident to file a civil lawsuit. If you fail to file the lawsuit within the stipulated period, you will lose the chance to seek recovery for your damages.

Exceptions to the rule

In many instances, the courts in California will not hear any cases that have been filed after the deadline. Moreover, even if the court allows your claim to proceed, the defendant may use the expired time frame to deny liability. However, there are exceptions to the legal deadline rule that could either pause or shorten the deadline. These exceptions may include:

Delayed discovery of injuries

The discovery rule allows you to pause the period until the time you discover your wounds and injuries.

The victim is a minor

If the victim is under the age of 18, the deadline will be delayed, and the time clock will begin after the minor turns 18 years old.

The defendant is a federal entity

If you want to file a claim against a government entity, you only have a time frame of 6 months to file the initial claim with the entity that is liable.

Physical and mental incapacitation of the individual

An individual may be unable to file a claim because they are physically incapacitated, such as being in a coma or too injured to testify against the defendant. Moreover, an individual may be suffering from emotional injury, mental disorder, or a psychological issue that prevents them from thinking clearly, thus making them unable to provide a reliable account of the incident.


In order to avoid filing a suit after the deadline, you should partner with knowledgeable attorneys who can handle all the paperwork for you, give you legal counsel, and take you through the case professionally.