Can I sue my college for a fall that I took almost 2 years ago?
Question Details: I'm a doctoral candidate living in graduate housing. The building was brand new when I moved in and at the time I was a supervisor working part-time for a delivery company. One evening shortly after move in, I threw on some flip flops and too the elevator to the lobby, exiting to the trash room with my bag of garbage. It had been rainin, and on entering the lobby from having dropped my trash, I slipped on the hard, wet floor or surface where there were no floor mats. The fall landed me on my hip, which was already damaged due to service connected VA disability. Following the fall I've been unable to work and had lost the job I had following the end of short term disability. There is a camera in the lobby that probably caught the fall; within days there were floor mats in the lobby. I have always suspected that they were installed either due to my slip or someone else's. I honestly was more worried about being able to complete my degree program and not having the money for consultation or retainer, have depended on VA disability as my sole income ever since. Do I still have legal recourse or did I wait too long to start suit?
In your state, you have only two (2) years to file or start a lawsuit for personal injury, so depending on the exact time frame, you may still be in time--but running out of time if it was "almost 2 years ago." If you want to purse a claim, speak with an attorney NOW and get the case filed before more time passes.
Note that it is not a given that you will win: you write that it had been raining, so it is natural that the floor would be wet (no fault in it being wet); and you also write that you were wearing flip flops, which provide less traction and can be a tripping hazard. While that fact that they later put down mats *suggests* that there *may* be fault in not having had them, under the circumstances, a court could conclude that you falling had less to do with whether or not there were mats and more with you wearing flip flops whle it was raining. You could win, but the facts do not make for a certain case.
Also, you write that your hip was already damaged--even if you sue and win, you can only win compensation for the extent to which your hip was *further* damaged by this fall: to the extent your problems (e.g. inability to work) stem from the service-connected injury, the college is not liable or responsible for them.