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Can the Statute of Limitations Be Extended or Tolled?

Do You Need to Reach A Settlement Immediately? Contact Our Trusted Los Angeles Attorney

Slip or trip and fall accidents can be devastating, as it takes a toll on your body and your finances. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls account for more than 8 million emergency visits. The report for direct slip and fall accidents was more than 1 million visits. While you never expect to get injured on public or private grounds, owners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions, to prevent an accident from happening.

If you were recently involved in a slip and fall accident, there’s ample opportunity to pursue legal action against the negligent party. Whether you have an abundance of evidence for a lawsuit, consult with our Los Angeles personal injury attorney. Doing so will ensure you file a claim and reach a settlement before the government mandated time restriction runs out. These types of personal injury cases are challenging, as the victim must prove three critical pieces of information.

  1. The accident occurred due to the negligence of someone else.
  2. Defendant’s actions caused the injury directly.
  3. The injuries itself caused significant damages.


Across state lines, there are specific conditions that must be met before the plaintiff requests extending the statute of limitations. In California, it is granted under the following circumstances:

  • The defendant fled after committing the negligent act.
  •  The plaintiff(s) involved were younger than 18.
  • The plaintiff(s) were mentally ill.
  • The plaintiff(s) were disabled after a severe slip and fall accident.

For example, a common issue the court may be faced with are lawsuits involving minors. In California, the statute of limitations would be tolled (suspended), until he or she is no longer a minor and 21 years old. When the tolling period ends, the statute of limitations would resume. Cases that require an extension, or involve one of the conditions listed above, are complicated. It is recommended that victims seek legal advice from personal injury law firms to determine the best strategy to sue, without risk of running out of time.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury?

The statute of limitations is essentially the deadline for filing a lawsuit for all facets of personal injury, criminal, or civil suits. It dictates the maximum amount of time the plaintiff would have to initiate the legal proceeding from the date of the accident. The length of time varies depending on the offense and jurisdiction.

California-Based Statute of Limitation Rulings

In California, the plaintiff has two years from the date of the injury to go to court and take legal action against the defendant under the Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1:

Within two years: An action for assault, battery, or injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.”

However, if you or a loved one fell on government property and were thinking of filing a claim against the city, county, or state – you can also do so. But they limit the statute of limitations to six months. When going against any administration or “government entity” it is strongly advised that you retain a Los Angeles trip and fall lawyer that is knowledgeable in personal injury law basics. Time can range from a few months to more than 10 years, depending on the circumstances per state.

There May Not Be A Chance for Compensation When the Statute of Limitations Expires

Although two years can seem like a long time from the initial date of your accident, it can pass instantly from the moment you file a claim. When you get hurt, your slip and fall accident can result in costly medical bills, therapy, and lost wages, for example. It is well within your rights to consult with a Los Angeles lawyer for slip and fall disputes to help negotiate with the opposing party and insurance adjusters. Why? Trying to juggle between healing and going at this alone would take ample time that you might not have before getting back up on your feet. Additionally, insurance adjusters that know you do not have the legal experience or knowledge pertaining to your rights, will offer the (lowest) settlement. Victims often take it because of the immediate financial assistance.

If you do not file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, you will not have the chance to sue the defendant for maximum compensation. The statute does not protect negligent person(s). Instead, it maintains a sense of balance and order – preventing prolonged lawsuits with no results. If you try to file after the expiration date, the court will dismiss the case and you may be fined. Legal professionals advise all prospective and current clients to retain a Los Angeles falling accident lawyer to negotiate with the opposing party, insurance and handle all legal complexities to avoid this from happening.

The Exception to the Statute of Limitations

There is one exception to the statute of limitations in a personal injury case. After a slip and fall accident, the victim is likely to experience minor to severe injuries with no underlying symptoms. A common example is a concussion. If undiagnosed after emergency treatment, it can take a detrimental toll on one’s health. Though, a delay in taking legal action may not be held against you.

The “discovery” rule would extend the statute of limitations for plaintiffs that did not know about the injury or the defendant’s actions, which caused it to happen. Personal injury cases have a two-year limit, but not until two conditions are met:

  • the plaintiff knew that he/she was injured, and
  • the plaintiff knew of the cause of the harm.

We hope this article provided you with a better understanding of how the statute of limitations works for personal injury cases. At Grey Law, our trusted attorney for slip and fall accidents is always available for a free consultation and case review. We won’t stop until you get the compensation you deserve.

About Grey Law

“When it comes to getting you more, I won’t settle for less.” – David Grey

When you or a loved one are injured due to negligence, carelessness, or wrongful acts of another person, David Grey is ready to help. Seeking compensation or negotiating with insurance companies can be stressful, especially while recovering. Let us do that for you. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are well-versed in several practice areas:

Why do you need a lawyer for accident compensation? With thousands of lawyers in California, we understand it can be difficult to choose the right legal representation. We have 35+ years of experience and secured millions for our clients. From the time you retain our firm, we build your case. For a free case evaluation and consultation, reach out to us at (323) 857-9500 or email 

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