Slip and fall cases typically happen after someone has an accident on private or public property. Because all property is owned by someone, that owner has an expectation to maintain walkways and accessible areas. If the owner is negligent, such as in the case of not cleaning up a liquid spill in a reasonable amount of time, a person who suffers personal injury or property damage may file a lawsuit with the help of legal counsel.
However, time is of the essence in recovering damages in any slip and fall incident. In Virginia, injured parties or families of loved ones who died due to a slip and fall event, have two years to submit a court complaint. The two years begins at the date the slip and fall occurred, which means the clock begins ticking immediately. For this reason, anyone who has been hurt, or who’s loved one was killed due to a slip and fall should start the process as soon as they can. Otherwise, they may miss important deadlines.
Statute of Limitations
Many people assume that the two-year timeframe gives them enough time to file a personal injury lawsuit post-slip and fall incident. What they may not realize is that the initial slip and fall complaint will take time to prepare. Although the complaint does not need to lay out every single aspect of the case, it must carry some details about the event. In other words, it needs to be a thoroughly researched and prepared document, not one that has been rushed to meet the two-year time limit.
Two years can also pass rapidly if someone is trying to recover from very serious slip and fall injuries. One type of injury that can occur during a slip and fall is a traumatic brain injury, such as concussion. An individual suffering from a concussion may present a myriad of debilitating symptoms, including memory loss, chronic severe headaches, trouble concentrating, difficulty problem-solving, and dramatic personal change.
These side effects and symptoms of concussion can lead to the loss of a job to connections with family members. Under those circumstances, two years can rush by as everyone tries to deal with the slip and fall accident victim’s new normal. Consequently, retaining the services of a slip and fall lawyer eases the burden of the injured party to move the process along.
Other Slip and Fall Timeframe Considerations
In addition to the two-year time limit to submit a personal injury complaint, victims also have a five-year time limit to submit a separate complaint requesting damages related to significant property that was ruined or marred during the slip and fall, such as expensive jewelry, clothing, bags, devices, and other personal items. This type of property damage will likely come up during the initial consultation with a slip and fall attorney.
Once a lawsuit has started its way through the courts, it may take months or even years to reach a settlement or a court decision. Again, injured victims and their immediate relatives need to take this in stride. Though it seems like a slow-moving process, it ensures that all parties have their voices heard and their sides considered.
Our Virginia Beach Slip and Fall Lawyers Advocate for Victims Injured in Slip and Fall Accidents
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, contact a Virginia Beach slip and fall lawyer today. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us at 757-352-2237 or fill out an online form. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.