Filing a lawsuit for a slip and fall accident can take quite a long while. Delays in communication, long-term medical treatment, and more can add a substantial amount of time to your case’s progress. There is a wide variety of important key factors that determine the timeline of each individual slip and fall case. No two cases are alike.
How a Slip and Fall Lawsuit Unfolds
Slip and fall claims all proceed according to the same fundamental timeline. (Although, certain cases may deviate from the general expectation, depending on the details of the case.) You can expect your case to unfold in the following manner:
- Filing the lawsuit. After the accident, you will have gathered all the core documentation to begin building your claim against the property owner, and so should proceed in filing a claim. (This process is best done with an experienced slip and fall lawyer’s help). On average, this takes about 1-2 months to complete.
- Note: The defendant has 20-60 days to respond to your lawsuit, so be sure to factor this into your expectation for this step. You will also be required to submit a demand letter following their response, adding a few additional weeks onto this phase.
- Discovery. Your lawyer will thoroughly investigate your slip and fall accident and request all necessary documents to develop an effective defense. Depending on your case’s details, this stage can take anywhere from a few months to several years.
- Pretrial motions and settlement. The defendant’s team will offer you a settlement. If you cannot agree on an appropriate amount, your case will enter the trial phase. This stage may persist for just a few months. Before trial, however, there will be an opportunity to “motion” for the following:
- Dismiss: The defendant may attempt to have the case dismissed.
- Compel: Either party can request that the court orders the other to comply with a specific request, such as turning over critical pieces of evidence like video footage or documents.
- Summary Judgment: This could be the final deciding factor in your case if the judge grants it. A summary judgment is typically requested when one party believes the other has no facts to support their argument.
- Limine: Either party can request to exclude specific types of evidence to prevent biases from arising.
- Trial: These are often scheduled far in advance, adding several months onto your standard timeline. The trial itself should take only about 2-5 days, however.
These details represent the average timelines that slip and fall accidents typically follow. Keep in mind that the unique aspects of your case will play a direct role in how long your lawsuit takes to resolve.
Hire a Slip and Fall Lawyer to Help Your Case Succeed
Slip and fall accidents, though seemingly simple, can take quite a long time to resolve. The timeline depends on several factors, not all of which are under your control. To streamline the process of filing and settling a slip and fall lawsuit, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. They will ensure that all steps are completed quickly and efficiently, without compromising your chances of receiving compensation.
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