How Long Does a Slip and Fall Case Take To Settle: What To Expect
Many victims ask the same question after a slip and fall accident: “How long does a slip and fall case take to settle?” By knowing the answer, you may feel like you have more control over your post-accident life. The best slip and fall attorneys may not be able to give you the exact number of days, weeks, or months, but by contacting them with information about your situation, they may be able to shed light on a likely timeline. It might look a little something like this:
1-3 Weeks: After-Accident Organization
Within one to three weeks after your accident, much of your time and effort will likely go to organizing your plan of action. You may be seeking medical care, which is recommended, and you may be gathering evidence such as photos, videos, and witness statements. It may be worthwhile contacting a slip and fall attorney and making a formal report to the company in charge of the premises in which you suffered your accident.
1+ Months: Complaint Filing
With the help of your chosen slip and fall lawyer, you can begin the complaint filing process. This can take several weeks to a month or more, depending on how much information you need to gather to produce an accurate claim and file it with the correct court. The liable party must also be served during this time. Once you file a complaint, the opposing side has 20 to 30 days to hire an attorney and prepare their response. This can add additional days to the timeline.
3-4 Weeks: Compensation Demands
Upon receiving a response to your complaint, your lawyer may recommend sending a demand letter that outlines what you seek from the defendant to settle the case. This letter generally outlines the details of why you are requesting the amount you are. With a response to your letter, there may be some negotiating. This can see the timeline for this step extended by around three to four weeks, or even longer.
2+ Months: Pre-Trial Discovery and Preparation
When both parties have outlined their position, your lawyer can help you prepare your case. This might involve bringing experts on board and talking to witnesses. During the discovery phase, you may also ask the defendant questions under oath.
2+ Months: Settlement Discussions
After spending upwards of two months building your case in great detail, it may be time to look at settling. Your attorney and that of the defendant typically enter informal discussions. However, you can also join formal settlement discussions. If you would like to bring some matters to the attention of the courts, you can file pre-trial motions for a ruling. Otherwise, you can transition towards a resolution with the defendant or move to trial.
With each step of a claims process taking days, weeks, or months, it can be challenging to determine an exact timeline. However, as a general rule, the more straightforward a case is, the quicker it can be resolved. These loose timeframes above may prove helpful for those considering making a claim. Request a free consultation from a slip and fall attorney today to find out more.