Bay Law Accident Attorneys

The Time Limit to File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in Las Vegas?

Slip and Fall Lawsuit

Suppose your trip to beautiful Las Vegas is unexpectedly interrupted by a slip and fall at your hotel or a casino. Or perhaps you live or work in the Las Vegas area and slip or trip while going about your everyday work or errands. In either event, you may have quite a few choices to make in a short period of time.

You might be focused on how seriously you are hurt and whether you need medical attention. As a result, the question of how long do you have to report a slip and fall might be the furthest consideration from your mind. The answer may not seem important at first; however, it can have significant consequences for your legal rights.

Slip and Fall Lawsuits in Nevada

Commercial, industrial, and residential property owners in Nevada owe certain legal obligations to others. The most significant obligations are owed to individuals whom the property owner invites onto their property. 

Social guests and business customers have a legitimate expectation that property owners will take steps to keep them safe when they visit. To meet this legal duty, property owners who invite others onto their property — for whatever purpose — should regularly inspect the area they’re responsible for. 

These owners should be looking for hazards and dangers that could imperil visitors and customers, such as wet floors and broken stairways. Nevada law requires that these property owners identify and fix all reasonably discoverable hazards and dangers.

When a casino, restaurant, hotel, grocery store, or similar establishment fails to fulfill this duty, legal liability can result. A court may declare that an objectively reasonable property owner would have found and fixed the danger before it caused harm to you or another.

In that case, that property owner can be held legally responsible for injuries caused by the hazard. The court could order the owner to pay for your medical bills and lost wages or provide other forms of compensation.

For instance, suppose that you slipped and fell while grocery shopping because the store did not mop up the spill from a leaky cooler. The store’s liability for your injury would hinge on whether a reasonable store owner would have found and cleaned up the spill before you had your accident.

If the court finds that the store is indeed responsible, a judge might require them to cover a range of expenses on your behalf. For instance, they may have to pay for any medical expenses you incurred, the value of the time you missed from work, compensation for your pain and suffering, and other damages. 

Time Limitations in Bringing Legal Actions

Your right to receive compensation after a slip and fall does not exist forever. The threat of litigation can be extremely disruptive for people and businesses alike. A property owner who fears they may be sued for a slip and fall accident may refrain from making purchases or upgrading their property. 

This fear can cause the property owner significant personal distress. In many cases, it dissuades them from taking actions that could be financially beneficial to the entire community.

In addition, legal suits are best resolved when evidence can be easily located and witnesses’ memories are fresh. Placing a time limitation on when people can file lawsuits helps encourage injury victims to file their lawsuits early — when these conditions are most likely to be present. 

Personal Injury Statutes of Limitations

As a result, every state has enacted statutes of limitations that set deadlines for the filing of lawsuits. Every type of lawsuit that can be filed in a state will be governed by one of these statutes of limitations. 

For example, if you are filing a suit based on a breach of contract, there is a certain type of lawsuit. If you are a bank and a borrower defrauds you in some way, a lawsuit based on such conduct would be subject to a different statute of limitations.

The length of these statutes of limitations varies, as each state legislature determines the length of that period. Using the examples above, a lawsuit for a breach of contract should be filed within six years of the date of the breach. Conversely, aggrieved lenders who have been defrauded by a borrower may have as few as three years to file a lawsuit for damages.

Nevada’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

If you are wondering, “How long do you have to report a slip and fall?” Nevada Revised Statute 11.190 has the answer. A slip and fall is a type of personal injury accident, and so it falls under the personal injury statute of limitations. There is a two-year filing deadline under this statute. In other words, a slip and fall lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date your slip and fall occurred.

Statutory Deadline Begins to Run the Date of Your Accident

You have two years, then, the answer to the question, “How long do you have to report a slip and fall?” The applicable statute of limitations begins to count down on the date your accident occurs. 

For example, suppose that you slipped and fell at a restaurant on May 1, 2023. Because there is a two-year statute of limitations, you would have until approximately May 1, 2025, to file your claim for compensation. This is a day-for-day calculation, which means that it encompasses all days within the two-year period, including weekends and holidays.

Some exceptions could delay the start date of the statute of limitations period. However, a court will ultimately decide when the statutory period commences and when it ends. Although you are free to commence your lawsuit at any time within that two-year window, you do not get to decide when that period starts to run.

What Happens if You File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit More than Two Years Later?

You may not believe that the consequences of filing your lawsuit beyond the two-year deadline are that serious. After all, if more than two years pass from the date you are hurt in your slip and fall, there will not be any formal notification of the fact. You will not receive any letter in the mail telling you the statute of limitations has run on your claim. 

Moreover, the court will not bar you from filing a slip and fall lawsuit. You or your attorney will be permitted to bring your lawsuit paperwork to the courthouse and file it with the court clerk. You will even get a court date. 

In other words, there is not any immediate difference if you file your slip and fall lawsuit after the statute of limitations has passed. However, the negligent party whom you are suing can file an answer to your lawsuit with the court. 

In this answer, they can bring up the fact that your lawsuit was filed after the statute of limitations has run and is therefore barred. If a court agrees, it will enter an order dismissing your lawsuit and most likely prohibiting you from trying to refile it. 

This order of dismissal will be entered no matter how serious your injuries might be or how clear the case against the negligent party is. Therefore, violating the statute of limitations has severe negative consequences in that it can lead to a summary dismissal of your claim.

Satisfying the Statute of Limitations’ Demands

Complying with the statute of limitations involves filing your lawsuit with the court within the two-year period. The primary documents you must file to initiate a lawsuit are a complaint and a summons. The complaint is a legal document in which you set out the basic allegations of your claim, including:

  • Where the slip and fall took place
  • How the slip and fall occurred
  • In what ways the property owner violated their duty of care toward you
  • The injuries you sustained in your slip and fall accident
  • The monetary damages you are seeking as a result of your injuries 

The summons is an order directed to the negligent party or defendant. It outlines the date by which they must either file a written response to your complaint or appear in court. 

Just as the court will enforce the statute of limitations, a defendant who fails to respond in the time allotted by the court may face adverse consequences. These consequences can include the entry of a default judgment against them and in your favor.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

In most cases, there are no extensions or enlargements of the statutory period within which to file your case. However, in a limited set of circumstances, you may be able to convince a court that the statutory period should begin to run on a date after your injury happened. 

First, under Nevada’s discovery rule, you may be able to enlarge the statutory period within which to file your claim if you did not know you were injured. When it applies, this discovery postpones the commencement of the statute of limitations until the day you should have learned you were injured. 

For this rule to apply, you must have taken reasonable steps after your accident to determine your injuries. For instance, suppose that you hit your head during your slip and fall and go to a hospital, where you undergo medical imaging but are told there is nothing wrong. 

After that visit, you continue to experience headaches. Thus, after several doctors’ visits, you return to the hospital on your physician’s advice and receive new images. This time, your treatment team finds evidence of a traumatic brain injury. 

A situation like this could impact your statute of limitations. A court may find that the statutory period does not begin to run until the date you receive your second set of images and true diagnosis.

The statute of limitations may also be paused for periods where you are physically or mentally incapable of understanding your legal rights and taking action on them. However, it is never paused simply because you forgot the deadline, initially decided not to talk with an attorney, or chose not to be medically evaluated.

The Effect of Reporting Your Slip and Fall Accident

Following your slip and fall, you should report the matter to the property manager or the manager on duty. This action informs the property owner of your injury and can facilitate the negotiation process. The property owner may even reach out to you shortly after the accident and attempt to negotiate a settlement with you. 

You should be aware, though, that reporting your accident to the property owner or another individual is not the same as filing a lawsuit. Even if you tell the property owner of your intent to sue them, you do not meet the statute of limitations until you have filed your complaint and summons with the court.

Have Questions? Call Bay Law Today for Help

So how long do you have to report a slip and fall? Not long at all: two years from the time of the accident. If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident, you should take steps now to protect your legal rights. 

Call Bay Law and ask to speak with our slip and fall legal team about your next steps and learn how to file your lawsuit. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. Make them pay with Bay.

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