How Long do Slip and Fall Settlements Take?
A slippery floor, an unsafe staircase, a misplaced piece of construction equipment; any of these can lead to a slip and fall accident. If you are injured on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to recover for your damages. Typically, both the injured party and the responsible party will want to resolve the matter out of court rather than take the matter all the way to trial. Settlements expedite the recovery process, but they do not happen immediately.
A talented Pasadena slip and fall attorney can help you negotiate your settlement as expeditiously as possible while still fighting for the best recovery for you and your family. Continue reading for a discussion of the timeline for a slip and fall settlement.
Statute of limitations
If you do file a lawsuit, you must do so within the “statute of limitations,” which is the legal time limit for bringing a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for a slip and fall lawsuit is generally two years from the date of the accident, although that date may be extended based on certain exceptions to the general rule.
Factors affecting settlement timeline
Pursuing a slip and fall case can take anywhere from a few months to a few years depending on the circumstances. After the injury and initial medical treatment, and a discussion with your personal injury attorney, you may then choose to file a lawsuit against the defendant, kicking off the legal process. The goal of any plaintiff and their attorney should be to maximize the recovery available in the shortest time possible, and there are a couple of factors that will affect how long the process will take.
Establishing liability is the first legal hurdle, and it may take time before the defendant is willing to admit fault. You and your attorney must demonstrate that the defendant is responsible for your injury, typically by establishing that they were actually negligent and that their negligence led to your accident. If you slipped on a spill that had only been present for a minute, the store may not be liable. If, on the other hand, you fell through stairs that were improperly reinforced, then the issue of liability will be very straightforward. Whether the case is clear-cut or more nuanced on the issue of liability can add weeks or months to the process as your attorneys collect and present evidence, retain experts where necessary, and argue over fault and responsibility. You may need to utilize a court process to collect evidence, obtain motion rulings on certain issues, and otherwise further the case before the defendant concedes liability. The more both parties rely on court proceedings to further the case, the longer the process is likely to take.
Determining damages will likely extend the settlement process. It is common for the parties to disagree as to how much damage was actually caused by the accident, and arguing over the total amount of damages may end up being the majority of your negotiations. The parties may each retain experts such as medical professionals to determine the severity and likely duration of an injury and the associated costs, and they may retain financial advisors to determine the likely amount of lost wages or lost opportunities associated with a serious injury. If heavy damages are at stake, negotiating over damages can add months to the process.
Call Pasadena Premises Liability Lawyer Andrew Ritholz
If you’ve been injured in a California slip and fall accident, consult with an attorney who understands your rights and can represent your claim for damages thoroughly and expertly. Contact Pasadena slip and fall lawyer Andrew Ritholz for a free case evaluation at 626-844-7102.