How Long Will My Slip And Fall Settlement Take?
Slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of serious physical injuries and death in the United States. These accidents can leave victims with thousands of dollars in medical bills and significant physical and emotional trauma. While most slip and fall injuries culminate in full recovery, some cases are not so fortunate. In rare cases, slip and fall accidents can lead to temporary or permanent physical disability and even death.
If you or your loved one got injured in a slip and fall accident at someone’s property, you have a right to pursue legal action against the property owner to recover damages. Since each slip and fall accident is different, the timeline of each lawsuit varies. Despite the differences in their timelines, all slip and fall cases follow a similar chronology. Depending on your slip and fall accident, the lawsuit may proceed to a jury trial or end in a settlement outside the court.
A Typical Slip and Fall Lawsuit Timeline
If your slip and fall accident resulted from the negligence of the property owner, you can pursue legal action through a lawsuit. An experienced lawyer can help you obtain fair financial compensation for your damages through the lawsuit and significantly increase your chances of winning the case. Since no two slip and fall accidents are the same, the time they take to completely get resolved is also not the same. Typically, there is a predetermined time on how long slip and fall settlements can take. Although that can change depending on the complexity of your lawsuit. Each slip and fall lawsuit follows a similar set of steps, some of which are mentioned below.
After the Accident
Immediately after the accident, some of the most important steps to take are seeking medical attention for your injuries, filing an official report of the accident with the property owner, and obtaining photographic evidence of your injuries and the site of the slip and fall accident for future reference. These steps can take up to a month, and this is the period where you will typically focus on getting better from your injuries.
Hiring a Lawyer
After you obtain sufficient medical treatment for your injuries, you should contact a reputable law firm immediately and consult a lawyer who deals in slip and fall lawsuits. Hiring an experienced lawyer is essential to protect your legal rights and increase your chances of obtaining financial compensation for your physical and monetary damages.
Initial Investigation and Complaint
After you contact a lawyer, he/she will gather all the written records and evidence to support your case and start forming a legal strategy. Your lawyer will then file an official complaint in a court of law. A copy of this complaint will also be sent to the other party to inform them of the lawsuit. Once the other party receives this complaint, they can respond to it within the next twenty days. The answer to the complaint is submitted to the court, and a copy is sent to your lawyer. This process can take a month to complete before the demand letter can be sent.
After your complaint has been answered, a demand letter will be sent to the other party to let them know your demands regarding compensation of your damages. All your demands stated in the letter must be legally justifiable. Sending a demand letter and waiting for an answer can take up to a month or more.
Pretrial, Settlement, and Trial
Before the lawsuit moves ahead to a trial, there is a pretrial phase which is essentially another investigative phase involving sworn testimonies and depositions. You have the option to settle outside the court by negotiating your demand with the other party. In case an agreement is not made between the two parties, the lawsuit proceeds to a trial where both parties present their cases in front of a judge and jury.
A slip and fall accident lawsuit can take up to one year or more to resolve completely. The duration of the legal process is determined by the complexity and specifics of your slip and fall accident, and whether or not a settlement is reached outside the court. Cases that culminate in settlements can take less than a year to resolve.