Victims of Premises Liability do not have an indefinite amount of time to file civil lawsuits for monetary compensation against at fault parties. Jurisdictions place time limits otherwise known as statute of limitations on a victims right to file a claim. Failure to file a claim within the statutorily allotted time period will eliminated a victims right to recovery via the legal system. The statute of limitations against property owners in a premises liability lawsuit depends on several factors including the location (jurisdiction) where the accident took place, the status of the person injured, the status of the at fault liable defendant, and whether any exceptions to the statute of limitations would apply to their case in the even the statute of limitations for their claim has passed.
Premises Liability Claims Against Private (non-governmental) Property OwnersEvery jurisdiction has a different statutes regarding the time limits to filing a claim. Below is a list of all jurisdictions in the United States and their respective statute of limitations regarding personal injury lawsuits against property owners. In the state of California a plaintiff has two years from the date of the injury to file a claim in the court of law.
Premises Liability Claims Against Government Owens AgenciesTraditionally, government agencies have sovereign immunity meaning individuals that have suffered injury did not have a right to seek legal remedy. In recent years government agencies have waived their immunity to liability from injured parties but have placed very limited time restrictions for filing. For example in California an injured party must first file a claim with the government agency which operates the facility within 6 months from the date of the injury. If and when the government agency rejects the claim the plaintiff will have two years from the date of the accident to files the claim in a civil court.
Under Age Status of the Injured PartyIn California minors under the age of 18 are given the right to extend the deadline for filing a lawsuit for personal injury. A minor has two years from the date of their 18th birthday to file a claim in the court of law.
Tolling of the Statute of Limitations – ExceptionsIn certain instances courts will allow for a halting or tolling of the statute of limitations for individual who seek a legal remedy against liable parties. Some of the most common situations where courts have granted a tolling of a statute of limitations include
- Mental incapacitation of the victim due to injuries sustained or otherwise
- Physical incapacitation of the injured party
- The injury did not manifest itself until after the statute of limitations has run its course
- Fraud or deception the part of the defendant to deny a plaintiff the ability to file a lawsuit in time