How Long Does It Take to Settle a Slip and Fall Case?

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Slip and Fall Case?

Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut time frame for when a slip and fall case will settle. The time it takes to settle depends on several factors. An attorney must determine the case’s complexity, how cooperative the parties are, and whether there’s an agreement between both parties on a monetary value for the case.  

When people refuse to negotiate, the case could go to trial, which could delay compensation. Slip and fall cases generally settle in a few months, but some cases can take several years. Our Los Angeles slip and fall injury attorney can help you build a strong case and fight for the maximum compensation possible. 

Settlement Versus Verdict 

The word settlement is often used synonymously with compensation, but there is a slight difference. There are two main ways to get compensation for a slip-and-fall case: settlement and verdict. 

A settlement is a type of compensation you receive after filing a claim. It’s a voluntary agreement reached outside of court, while a verdict is a decision made by a judge or jury after a trial. A verdict may or may not result in compensation. 

Settlements allow the people involved to control the outcome and avoid the uncertainty and costs associated with a trial. Choosing a settlement also allows both parties to keep some details about the case private, which becomes difficult once the case goes to trial. 

The General Process for Filing a Slip and Fall Injury Claim 

Every case is different, and no one solution fits all scenarios. Still, you can expect your case to follow this general pattern. Along each step, you may encounter obstacles that affect how quickly you receive compensation.

Medical Treatment

Always seek medical attention after bodily injury due to slips and falls. Even minor injuries could spiral into something worse if left untreated. Failure to see a doctor could also make you liable for the worsening of the injuries while the negligent party remains liable for the initial incident. A doctor may determine if you need additional treatment and whether you must take some time off from work or other activities. 

Common injuries after a slip and fall accident include: 

  • Fractured or broken bones 
  • Sprains and strains 
  • Bruises and cuts 
  • Head injuries 
  • Investigation and Medical Treatment

Both sides will investigate the incident and gather evidence to support their claims. This may involve collecting accident reports, photographs, witness statements, and other relevant documentation. This stage can take weeks or months. Disagreements about evidence or its interpretation can add extra time.

Demand Letter and Negotiations

Your slip and fall personal injury attorney may send a demand letter outlining the details of your case and the expected compensation. The other party’s insurance company will review the letter and may respond with a settlement offer.  

Negotiations can go back and forth as both parties try to reach a mutually acceptable settlement. Sometimes, the negligent party or their insurance company might attempt to stall or give a lowball offer, which can drag out negotiations.

Filing a Slip and Fall Injury Lawsuit

If negotiations aren’t successful, your attorney might suggest going to court. Initiating a lawsuit involves drafting and filing a complaint with the appropriate court. The court will then issue a summons to notify the defendant. The time it takes to move from negotiations to filing a lawsuit depends on the case’s specific circumstances.

Discovery and Pretrial Motions

During the discovery phase, both parties exchange information and evidence. This process can involve depositions, interrogatories, and requests for documents. Additionally, either party may file pretrial motions to resolve specific legal issues. The discovery and pretrial motions phase can take several months to complete. 

Mediation or Settlement Conference

Slip and fall cases are often resolved through mediation or settlement conferences, where a neutral third party facilitates negotiations. This can be a faster and less adversarial way to reach a resolution. The duration of this phase depends on the availability and cooperativeness of the parties involved. 

Trial

If the case does not settle through negotiation, mediation, or settlement conferences, it may proceed to trial. Trials can be lengthy, often taking months or even years to complete. If the court has a backlog of cases, it could take time to get to yours. Both parties may still settle even with a trial underway. If a settlement isn’t reached, the court may issue a verdict. 

Why You Need a Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer for Your Case 

California uses comparative negligence when handling personal injury lawsuits. The negligent party will likely try to shift some blame to you or your loved one so that they can reduce or avoid payment. Our experienced attorneys are familiar with these and other tactics and can take steps to counteract them. We also assist with filing the necessary paperwork, tracking deadlines, negotiating, and helping your case to progress as smoothly as possible.  

Are you ready to see how our team can help with your slip and fall case? Schedule your consultation with our California Injury Lawyers at Ellis Law Firm today.