How Long Do Slip And Fall Cases Take: Trial And Settlements
Trip, Slip and fall cases can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. It can cause severe injuries and even permanent disability. Typical trip, slip and fall accidents can occur in places like grocery stores, parking lots, a building lobby or even someone’s home.
If you have suffered a trip/slip and fall accident injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages. This article will discuss how long a trip and fall or slip and fall case takes to possibly obtain a settlement or go to trial.
Grounds for Trip and Fall or Slip and Fall Case
A trip/slip and fall case can occur when someone slips, trips, or falls due to hazardous conditions on someone else’s property. In such cases, the property owner, store owner or manager may be held liable for the injuries that resulted from the accident.
To win a trip/slip-and-fall case, certain elements must be met. The plaintiff must be able to prove that the defendant, by its employees, knew or should have known about the dangerous and unsafe condition and once knowing, failed to take reasonable action to remedy it. Also, if the dangerous and unsafe condition existed for a certain amount of time and the owner of the premises did not do anything to remedy the condition, they may be held liable as well. Negligent property owners can be held liable for an injury if they created the dangerous condition which caused the trip/slip and fall.
Personal Injury Lawyer Consultation
If you have been injured in a trip/slip-and-fall accident, the first step is to consult a personal injury attorney at a reputable law firm. An experienced lawyer can help determine if you have a valid case and guide you through the legal process. They can also help you gather evidence and negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s insurance company.
Factors That Affect Trip and Fall and Slip and Fall Case Timeline
The time it takes for a trip/slip-and-fall case to reach trial or settlement depends on several factors. These include the amount of potential defendants, the time to get through litigation, how backed up are the Courts to actually get a jury for trial. A case can settle at any time. However, these type of cases usually do not settle until a large amount of discovery and investigation has taken place.
Cost of Medical Treatment
The amount of medical care and treatment that the injured person needs can significantly impact the time it takes for a trip/slip-and-fall case to reach a settlement or go to trial. If the plaintiff has suffered severe injuries that require ongoing medical treatment, settlement negotiations could not begin until treatment is near completed and therefore it may take longer to reach a settlement or go to trial. The plaintiff’s lawyer may need to wait until the plaintiff has reached maximum medical improvement before negotiating a settlement.
Litigation & Settlement Negotiation
The time it takes for a trip/slip-and-fall case to reach a settlement or trial can also depend on how long it takes to negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s insurance company. If the defendant’s insurance company refuses to settle, the case may go to trial, which can take longer to resolve. Many claims are able to avoid trial and go through a mediation process where a mediator works together with the parties to try and negotiate a settlement.
Collecting and Presenting Evidence
The time it takes to collect and present evidence (also called the discovery phase) in a trip/slip-and-fall case can also affect how long it takes to reach a settlement or trial. Evidence that can be collected includes photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, medical records, and other documentation of the plaintiff’s injuries, including medical attention costs and costs for emotional anguish. It may take some time to gather all this evidence, which can delay the process.
Pre-Trial Discovery Stage and Motion
The pre-trial discovery phase is where both sides gather evidence and information from each other. During this stage, both parties may submit motions, such as a motion to dismiss or a motion for summary judgment.
The time it takes to reach trial or settlement can be impacted by how long the discovery process takes and how many motions are submitted. This timeline will also depend on a trial date set by the courts, months in advance.
Trip and Fall and Slip and Fall Case Trial Timeline
If a slip-and-fall case goes to trial, it can take several months or even years to resolve. The trial length depends on several factors, such as the case’s complexity, the number of witnesses, and how many issues need to be resolved. Mostly, the Courts in the City of New York are very back-logged with thousands of cases waiting to go to trial. So the Court calendar is a big reason for delays in trial.
At trial, both sides will present evidence and arguments to a judge or jury during the trial, with a jury ultimately deciding on the case’s outcome. The trial may involve expert witnesses, such as doctors or engineers, who will provide testimony on the plaintiff’s injuries or the condition of the property where the accident occurred.
The trial length can also be affected by how many days are allocated for the trial, as the court may have a limited number of available days to hear the case. Additionally, there may be delays in scheduling the trial due to court backlog or the availability of witnesses or attorneys.
Once the trial is over, the judge or jury will deliver a verdict. If the plaintiff wins, they will be awarded damages based on the severity of their injuries and any other damages incurred due to the accident. If the defendant wins, the plaintiff will not be awarded any damages.
Trip/Slip and Fall Case Settlement Timeline
Many trip/slip-and-fall cases are settled outside of court. Settlement negotiations can take several months and involve both sides negotiating a settlement amount that is agreeable to both parties. If a settlement is reached, the plaintiff will receive compensation for their injuries and other damages incurred due to the accident.
The time it takes to settle can depend on several factors. If the plaintiff’s injuries are severe, the plaintiff’s lawyer may wait until the plaintiff has reached maximum medical improvement before negotiating a settlement. This can delay the process as the plaintiff’s medical care may take months or even years.
Additionally, the liable party’s insurance company may be unwilling to offer a fair settlement amount. In this case, negotiations may be drawn out, and the plaintiff’s lawyer may need to file a personal injury lawsuit and continue with litigation to encourage the defendant to offer a more reasonable settlement.
The timeline for trip/slip and fall cases can vary greatly depending on several factors. The cost of medical care, the complexity of the case, the number of witnesses, and how many issues need to be resolved can all impact the length of time it takes to resolve.
If you have suffered an injury from a trip and fall or a slip and fall accident, it’s essential to consult with a personal injury lawyer to help guide you through the legal process and obtain the compensation you deserve. Although a case may eventually settle or have to actually go to trial, it is best to get legal advice from experienced attorneys to receive compensatory damages..