After being injured at a business warehouse store, is there a time limit on reporting the incident?

UPDATED: Mar 1, 2012

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After being injured at a business warehouse store, is there a time limit on reporting the incident?

My daughter was injured at a warehouse store 9 months ago (an employee from the meat department stepped on her toe, causing the toe nail to be pulled up). The employee reported the incident to his supervisor. Originally I planned on taking care of the medical charges and did not report the incident myself. Now I’m having second thoughts as the charges are much higher than I expected. Is it too late to report the incident to the store, just for medical expenses?

Asked on March 1, 2012 under Personal Injury, Arizona


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Since the employee reported the incident to his supervisor, there should be a record of it.  Although it is not too late for you to report the incident, it may be difficult to prove it happened at that store nine months ago if there isn't any written record of the employee reporting it to the supervisor.

If the reporting problems are resolved, you could file a personal injury claim on behalf of your daughter (I assume she is a minor) with the store's insurance carrier.  When your daughter completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor, obtain her medical bills and medical reports.  Her personal injury claim filed with the store's insurance carrier should include these items.  If she is employed, her claim should also include documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your daughter's injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the store's insurance company, reject  the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the store on behalf of your daughter.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit for negligence against the store on behalf of your daughter because a minor cannot file a lawsuit herself.    The store (employer) is liable for the negligence of an employee which occurs during the course and scope of employment.  If the case is settled with the store's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the store's insurance carrier, you will need to file the lawsuit on behalf of your daughter prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your daughter will lose her rights forever in the matter.  Arizona has a two year statute of limiations in personal injury cases which means the lawsuit must be filed prior to the two year anniversary of the incident.  Since nine months have elapsed since the incident, there is still ample time to file the lawsuit if the case is NOT settled with the store's insurance carrier.  


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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