Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common reasons behind emergency admissions and hospitalizations throughout the world. In the United States alone, these accidents send approximately eight million people to the hospital every year. These accidents can leave their victims with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages, besides causing significant physical injuries ranging from mild bruises and bleeding to bone fractures, permanent disability, and death.
If you or your loved one got injured in a slip and fall accident, it is natural to wonder whether or not you can pursue legal action against the negligent party responsible. With the help of a skilled slip and fall injury lawyer, you can file a lawsuit against the negligent party to obtain compensation for damages resulting from the accident. Depending on the specifics of your slip and fall case, your lawsuit might proceed to a jury trial in a court of law or get settled out of court.
Slip and Fall Settlements
Slip and fall settlements take place between the plaintiff and the defendant outside the court in the presence of their respective legal teams. Depending on the circumstances of your slip and fall accident, the total settlement amount you receive as compensation might vary. While slip and fall lawsuits tend to take a fairly long time, out-of-court settlements are relatively less tedious affairs.
Slip and Fall Settlement Timeline
A typical slip and fall lawsuit timeline begins within two to three months of the accident. Since all slip and fall accidents are different, the timelines for potential settlements are also different. According to the experienced slip and fall lawyers at Salamati Law, these settlements usually take up to a year or more. All settlements, however, follow a series of similar steps.
After the Accident
Immediately after your slip and fall accident, you should seek medical assistance for your physical injuries, file an official accident complaint and gather physical evidence of your injuries, including photo/video evidence, witness testimonies, etc. One of the foremost things to do while focusing on your recovery is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who will guide you through the legal process. These steps can take up to a month or more.
Initial Investigation & Complaint
Your lawyer will immediately start an investigation into your slip and fall accident and gather all the physical evidence and official documents required for your lawsuit. He/She will then file a formal complaint in court and send a copy of this complaint to the legal team of the defendant. Once the complaint is received by the defendant, they have to respond within twenty days. This response is sent both to the court and your lawyer. This exchange can take up to a month before the process of sending a demand letter can be initiated.
Once you receive the response from the defendant, you will have to send a demand letter to inform the other party of your demands enlisting the compensation you want. The exchange of demand letters between the two parties can take anywhere between one to two months.
Pretrial & Settlement
Before you get a chance to settle with the other party, you will have to go through a pre-trial phase, which involves a series of sworn depositions and testimonies. After this phase, you will get an opportunity to settle your claim, which is a process that can take up to six months until both parties reach a mutual consensus. If both parties fail to reach common ground, the case proceeds to trial in a court of law, where a judge or jury decides compensation of damages.