The timeline for a slip and fall accident case can range from several weeks to several years, depending on the extent of injuries, how the fall occurred, and if the case goes to court.
Factors in a Slip and Fall Case
Slip and fall accidents are handled as personal injury cases. When injuries occur, a slip and fall attorney can file a lawsuit in court to recover damages. In most cases, an injury victim can recover damages for medical costs, lost wages, and therapy or rehabilitation costs. If another person’s negligence caused the injuries, the victim can also recover damages for pain and suffering.
In slip and fall cases, facts related to the cause of the accident and the severity of injuries impact how the case is resolved. The timeline may last several weeks, months, and even years in complex cases. The court examines all case facts, as well as what the injury victim endured due to negligent actions. All injury facts must be supported by medical evidence from a licensed medical professional.
Once the court trial begins, the case handled by a personal injury attorney near me goes through several stages that impact the timeline:
During the discovery phase, each party investigates the other side’s legal claims and defenses and sends interrogatories (questions) and document requests. Depositions are taken from the injury victim (plaintiff) and the party who caused the accident (defendant), as well as other relevant parties, including witnesses. Depending on case complexity, the discovery phase may last 1 to 6 months.
Mediation and Negotiation
As the discovery phase concludes, the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s attorneys begin settlement discussions. Slip and fall accidents are commonly settled out of court to avoid lengthy court trials. In some cases, the settlement process is conducted by a neutral third party (a mediator) instead of presiding attorneys. The timeline for mediation and negotiation usually lasts between 1 and 6 months.
When a case proceeds to trial, the timeline for resolution is usually longer. Trial dates hinge on judges’ schedules and court availability. Some courts only schedule trials for half a day, so judges and attorneys have time for other obligations. Cases that only involve a judge usually close faster than court cases with jurors. Court trials may last from 2-3 months up to 1-2 years, depending on the court’s agenda and complexities of individual cases.