Slip and fall accidents in Mississippi are unfortunately common, resulting in injury and even death. Property owners have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for those who visit their property and must take the necessary precautions such as clearing away clutter or wet spots, ensuring steps and handrails are in good condition, and other steps to ensure visitors’ safety. If they fail to make sure their property is safe and someone is injured as a result, they may be held liable for damages.
Mississippi Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the amount of time an individual has to file a claim to seek financial compensation for harm caused by another person’s negligence. For most personal injury claims in Mississippi, including slip and fall cases, the deadline is three years from the date of injury.
It is important to act within this timeframe or you will forfeit your rights to pursue a claim in the future. The deadline is the same for property damage incurred as well.
Three years is a long time, but it’s better to initiate a claim sooner rather than later. As time passes, evidence can disappear or become unattainable, and witnesses may be difficult to locate or forget what happened.
Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations Exceptions
There are several exceptions that can extend or reduce that timeframe. The following are the most common examples:
Injured Party is Disabled: When the injured party has a disability, the limitations period begins to run once their disability is considered lifted. However, the time period can never extend beyond 21 years.
Defendant Leaves The State: Another exception exists when the defendant has gone into hiding or left the state prior to the plaintiff filing a lawsuit against them. In this case, the clock starts to run when the defendant returns to Mississippi.
Government Entity Exception: When an individual has been injured by a government entity, the injured party must present notice of claim to that entity before they can file a lawsuit. The deadline to file a lawsuit is within one year of the incident.
Discovery Rule: If an individual’s injuries weren’t discovered – and could not have reasonably been discovered – until later than three years from the date of their accident, they may still be able to file suit against the responsible party.
Why Does the Statute of Limitations Exist?
By imposing a timeline by which cases must be filed, the statute of limitations encourages those affected by an injury to pursue their claims in a timely manner, thus protecting the integrity of any related evidence.
When a considerable amount of time passes before initiating legal action following a slip and fall, evidence can be unattainable or lost. As a result, it becomes challenging for the parties to present an effective case and for the accused to mount an effective defense. Implementing a deadline ensures that this doesn’t happen and leads to more equitable outcomes.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall in Mississippi, you should always speak to a lawyer right away to determine if you have a case and what the deadline is. If you need help, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our Mississippi slip and fall attorneys.