Every slip and fall accident claim is unique, and the amount of time that it can take to resolve yours can range from a few months to a year or longer if you must file a lawsuit against the negligent business or property owner. Having a general idea of the factors that can affect the length of time it may take to settle your case can help you be prepared.
Factors Affecting Your Slip and Fall Settlement
While most slip and fall claims are settled without the need to go to a jury trial, the length of time it takes to accomplish this can vary greatly. Here are some common factors that could make the process take longer:
- Recovery time. You are entitled to both your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in your settlement. You cannot know what medical treatment you will need in the future or how long you will be off work until you reach your maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is the stage where you have fully recovered or your doctor has determined that you have healed as much as you can and will give you a final prognosis. If you suffered serious injuries, you may not reach your MMI for a year or more.
- Value of your claim. You may be able to resolve your claim relatively quickly with the insurance company if you suffered minor injuries and your claim is worth only a few thousand dollars. However, when your injuries are long-term and you need months or years of medical care, the amount you should receive can be $100,000 or more. In these cases, the insurance adjuster will have a greater incentive to deny your claim or argue that it is worth less than you are seeking.
- Disputes. Proving the property owner’s or business’ negligence in causing your fall and the seriousness of your injuries may be harder than you think. If their insurance company raises disputes about either of these issues—which is common—it could take an experienced slip and fall accident attorney longer to convince the insurance adjuster to pay you what you are owed.
- Litigation. If the insurance company refuses to be reasonable or the statute of limitations is approaching, you may need to file a lawsuit. While you will most likely settle your case at some point before your trial, it could be months or longer before this happens.
Contact Us for Help Filing Your Claim
If a family member or you was hurt in a slip and fall accident, take advantage of my offer of a free consultation to find out more about your legal rights under California law and how long it can take for you to resolve your case. You can also download my free book, The Ultimate California Slip and Fall Injury Legal Survival Book, and start learning about these claims. To schedule your appointment, fill out my convenient online form today.