Q: When a person sustains an injury by falling in a retail store, how long does that person have to file a claim against the business? Does the time limit start to run when the medical treatment has been completed, or as soon as the accident happens?
A: When dealing with issues of fault arising out of acts of negligence, the time limit for commencing a law suit extends for three years from the date of the accident in Washington State. There is a shorter time limit when the incident producing injury is an intentional act. When the person who has sustained the injury is a minor, the three year statute of limitations does not begin to run until that person reaches the age of 18, and would expire on their 21st birthday. Often, when dealing with incidents of negligence in a retail establishment, it is extremely important to determine the detailed condition that led up to the injury. It is important to be able to contact and interview eye witnesses and to be able to go and inspect the premises before the conditions may be changed. Such investigative efforts often require the assistance of an attorney. Learn more about workers’ compensation claims.