How long does a slip and fall case take?
Slip and fall cases can take months, or even years, to settle, and no two slip and fall cases are the same. This is because slip and fall cases can happen anywhere, under a range of conditions, and with minor to fatal consequences.
Some factors that influence the duration of a slip and fall case in Florida are:
- Is the other side ready to settle?
- Does the other side dispute liability?
- How severe are the victim’s injuries?
- Are multiple parties involved?
In general, most slip and fall cases will settle outside of court. However, if neither side is able to agree on a settlement amount, a slip and fall case may go to trial, which adds more time to the case duration.
Below is the basic process for settling a slip and fall case:
- Once your attorney has taken your slip and fall case, he or she will begin the process by investigating the scene of your accident and obtaining your medical records. This phase includes gathering all of the evidence needed to prove premise liability negligence.
- Then, your case enters the maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is the period of recovery where your attorney waits to see if you plateau in your treatment process. This is an important part of the slip and fall settlement process because it helps your attorney and the opposing insurance company estimate the extent of your injuries, medical care, and lifelong damages.
- After you have reached your MMI, the next step is for your attorney to send a demand to the opposing party’s insurance company outlining the property owner’s negligence, the extent of your injuries, the cost of your medical bills, the kind of pain and suffering that you have endured, and the amount of compensation that you are requesting. Usually, once your attorney sends a demand, this opens a negotiation phase between sides that can either result in a settlement or lead to litigation.
- If a settlement cannot be reached during the negotiation phase, your attorney will take your slip and fall case to trial. This is the final step in the settlement process. According to the facts of your case, you may either participate in a bench trial or a jury trial. In a bench trial, a judge will give the verdict and decide a settlement value. In a jury trial, a judge will determine which laws apply to your case, but a jury will decide the ultimate outcome. Given the subjectivity of jury trials, it is difficult to predict how a slip and fall case will be settled.