If you have a slip-and-fall accident in Kentucky and want to make a claim, you should act immediately. The state operates a statute of limitations, meaning that victims only have a short window of opportunity to get the compensation they deserve. Missing it could mean that courts refuse to hear your case.
We want to help you better understand the statute of limitations in Kentucky, including how long you have to bring your case, exceptions to the state’s statute of limitations, and why you should act quickly in the aftermath of an accident.
Understanding Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a legal device that caps the time you can wait to initiate a lawsuit after a specific event or action causes harm. Once the statute of limitations expires, you may lose your legal right to bring your case.
Statutes of limitations can vary by state and the type of legal claim. For instance, claims regarding auto collisions may have a longer statute of limitations than for slip-and-fall accidents.
Statutes of limitations exist to promote fairness and efficiency in the legal system. Victims must pursue lawsuits promptly to ensure that memories of events remain fresh, evidence is available, and stakeholders resolve their legal disputes promptly.
Because of this, individuals must be aware of statutes of limitations and how they affect their lawsuits. Missing a deadline could result in the courts dismissing your case.
Kentucky’s Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Claims
The Kentucky statute of limitations sets a one-year limit for most personal injury lawsuits, including slip-and-fall accidents. That means you have 12 months to claim if the damages were caused by someone else.
In Kentucky, the same statute of limitations applies to negligence and so-called “intentional torts.” Even if someone did something deliberately to cause the injury, you still only have one year to make a claim.
Car accident injury lawsuits are an exception. Here, Kentucky law permits a two-year statute of limitations. This lets you pursue claims against the at-fault driver in addition to a standard no-fault car insurance claim.
In personal injury and car accident lawsuits, the statute of limitations time frame begins from the accident date, also called the “discovery of harm.” That is, you have one year to claim the date you incur the injury.
Because the clock starts ticking immediately, you should bring your case to the attention of a trusted attorney as soon as you can. Getting the process started early assists with evidence gathering and strengthens your case.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in Kentucky
Missing the deadline for the statute of limitations in Kentucky will usually result in the defendant asking the court to dismiss your case. However, you may benefit from various exceptions that let you extend the time available to file a lawsuit beyond the standard one or two years.
Being An Infant Or Of Unsound Mind
For example, the Kentucky Revised Statutes section 413.170 lets you extend the statute of limitation if you were under 18 when the accident occurred or were legally incapacitated in some way. In this case, the statute of limitations clock starts ticking after the removal of the incapacity (such as turning 18 or overcoming a medical condition that caused an “unsound mind”).
Absence Or Avoidance Of The Defendant
Courts may also agree to extend the statute of limitations if the person who harmed you is absent from the state after the event but before you can file a lawsuit. This action could be circumstantial or deliberate in the case where the defendant intentionally conceals themselves from the state. During this period, courts usually pause the statute of limitation clock and restart it only when the proper legal process resumes.
Why It Is Essential to Act Quickly
Even though the Kentucky statute of limitations gives you one year to file, you shouldn’t wait to open a claim. Getting the process going as soon as possible is always beneficial.
Failing to filea claim within the statutes of limitations may lead to courts dismissing your case entirely. Leaving it too late could mean you never get paid money owed by the party that caused you harm.
Waiting can also potentially weaken your claim. For example, witnesses of the event may have fading memories and be less able to recall what happened. You might also experience diminished evidence, where certain documents or recordings become less reliable, or people can’t remember what they saw as accurately.
Finally, there might be causation issues. It could be harder for slip-and-fall attorneys to prove a link between the injuries sustained and the event in question.
Therefore, if you’ve been injured and you believe you might have a claim, you should do the following:
- Seek immediate medical attention
- Document everything, including the event itself and your medical treatment
- Report the incident to the authorities, citing where it occurred
- Do not provide any detailed statements or provide documents until you speak to a lawyer
- Consult a slip-and-fall attorney about your case
Seeking Legal Advice
When it comes to slip-and-fall cases, working with personal injury attorneys is essential. Their experience enables them to navigate the complex legal landscape with finesse and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Regarding statutes of limitations, lawyers can ensure you meet all deadlines while putting your best foot forward. Experienced legal representatives can quickly put your case together and ensure you go to court in a timely fashion.
In summary, you must initiate your slip-and-fall claim within one year of the event that caused you harm. Ideally, though, you should act well before this to preserve evidence and maximize the chances of success.
Call a Louisville slip and fall attorney to get help for your case and win the compensation owed to you.