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Posted in Slip and Fall Accidents on April 10, 2023
How long does it take to settle a slip and fall case? That depends on many different factors, and there is no “one size fits all” answer. The general answer is anywhere from a few months to a few years, but closer to a few months in most cases. Some slip and fall victims resolve their cases in only a few weeks.
Slip and fall claims usually take place within the context of premises liability law. The owner of real property owes guests an obligation to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition. As a result, the owner can bear liability for an unreasonably dangerous condition that injures someone on the property. Under certain circumstances, an owner can even be held liable to a trespasser.
A slip and fall accident might be nobody’s fault. On the other hand, it might be the victim’s fault— such as if they climbed a ladder while intoxicated. Sometimes, however, a slip and fall accident is the owner’s fault.
Such an accident might occur, for example, because an employee failed to erect a “Wet Floor” sign after mopping stairs. The owner would then bear liability on behalf of their employee under a theory of vicarious liability.
How long do slip and fall settlements take? Several factors influence the length of time it takes to settle a slip and fall claim, including those described below.
Maximum Medical Improvement, or MMI, is the point in your recovery at which your medical condition is unlikely to improve any further. This might mean a full recovery. If so, great. It might also mean long-term disability that could come with expenses and losses.
Imagine waiting months for your medical condition to stabilize before you can determine the exact amount of your medical expenses and lost earnings. Ultimately, you might have to give up obtaining an exact figure for medical expenses and lost wages and simply estimate them. To do this, you will probably need a financial expert to spend weeks developing a realistic claim amount.
If you anticipate long-term impairment, it’s worth the wait. If you underestimate the amount of money you will need to compensate for your future losses, you could run out of money 10 years from now. By then, it will be too late to come back and demand more money. You’ve simply got to get it right the first time. Of course, none of this will matter if you recover quickly enough to file a claim without the need to estimate future losses.
The truth only matters to the extent that you can prove it with admissible evidence. The stronger your evidence is, the more quickly the opposing party (the defendant or the insurance company) will be willing to settle with you. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you gather admissible evidence.
This shouldn’t matter, but it does. Negotiating skills can make a huge difference in the value of a slip and fall claim. You can be sure that an insurance company will assign a skilled negotiator to settle your claim. If you doubt your own negotiation skills, seek out the services of an experienced slip and fall lawyer to do the negotiating on your behalf.
How long does a slip and fall lawsuit take? If you’re using it as a tool for settlement, it probably won’t take nearly as long as it would take if you were seeking a trial verdict. The main usefulness of filing a lawsuit, besides its psychological impact, is that it grants both sides access to the pretrial discovery process for evidence collection.
The court enforces the discovery process. Consequently, you can use the court’s authority to pressure the defendant to hand over the evidence you demand. Once new evidence sufficiently strengthens your case, you can offer to withdraw your lawsuit in exchange for an adequate settlement. This strategy could add weeks or months to the total time it takes to settle your claim. It could also add a lot of money.
The decision to hire a competent and experienced personal injury lawyer can help you meet two desirable goals that are often in tension with each other. First, it can help you expedite your claim. Second, it can help you win more compensation than you probably would have won if you had represented yourself.
If you need legal assistance, contact the New York City slip and fall accident lawyers at Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.
We have two convenient locations in New York:
Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #1605
New York, NY 10123
Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242