I fell on another’s property but did not file a report, and now I am feeling the injuries, can I still file a claim?
Symptoms of some injuries might take longer to manifest than others. Some accident victims who feel fine immediately after the accident might choose not to inform the property owner or file a report. You’ll still be allowed to file the report later. Reports aren’t necessarily mandatory, but can help establish important facts.
Importance of Filing a Report after an Injury on Someone Else’s Property
Failing to file an accident report with a property owner can look suspicious. If the property owner isn’t aware of the accident, he or she might assume that you are blaming the establishment for an injury that had nothing to do with an accident on the property. This is one reason it’s important to not only file a report, but do so right away.
When you file a report, the property owner (or others such as a manager or supervisor) will provide all the important details that could come in handy later on if you later decide to pursue a claim. It will note the date and time of the injury and what happened. It may even include complaints of symptoms, such as back pain.
Keep in mind that even if the owner takes a report, you should document the same information in your own files or ask for a copy of the report and keep it in a safe place. You may even request that relevant information be added to it, such as the fact the flooring was wet at the time of the accident.
Finally, not filing a report allows the property owner to change, clean up or repair the conditions that caused the accident by the time you decide to pursue a claim after a slip and fall or other accident on the property. At this point, there may not be any proof of the incident. One exception might be obtaining video footage of the accident if it is available.
Impact of Statute of Limitations When Pursuing a Premises Liability Claim
It’s not uncommon for symptoms of an injury to take time to manifest. Someone might slip on a wet substance in a grocery store, falling onto his or her backside and not experience any discomfort. Yet several days later, this person might start to feel various aches and pains.
Just because you don’t feel any discomfort doesn’t mean you shouldn’t report the incident to the property owner and seek a medical evaluation. The evaluation could identify injuries of which you’re unaware. This can also protect a future claim by establishing that you sought medical care shortly after the accident, rather than waiting weeks or months.
Although timeliness of filing a report is an important component of this type of case, so is filing a claim on time. The statute of limitations to file a premises liability claim in Colorado is two years from the date of injury.
As you pursue your case, get help from an attorney. D.J. Banovitz helps accident victims in and around Aurora establish a property owner’s liability for your accident. Call (303) 300-5060 to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.