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How long does it take to settle slip-and-fall cases?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2023 | Slip/Trip & Fall Accidents

Far from being harmless incidents, slips and falls can significantly impact a person’s life. At a minimum, the injured party deals with immediate physical discomfort, but these accidents could also bring lasting consequences that require continual medical care. Even worse, older individuals have a higher risk of death from falls.

Therefore, when someone’s carelessness leads to another’s slip and fall, the negligent individual usually has to cover the damages. However, the process can take time, so an injured person likely wonders how long it takes to complete a case and receive compensation.

Initial factors that affect the duration of a slip-and-fall claim

The beginning stages of the legal process can either prolong or expedite the duration of a slip-and-fall claim. If an injured person delays collecting evidence and getting medical treatment, the individual could lose valuable evidence.

The injured party must also file a claim with an insurer or initiate legal proceedings promptly. A plaintiff has up to three years to file a personal injury case in New York. However, a person must file a claim against a public entity within 90 days.

The discovery process also affects the length of a trial. Both sides attempt to gather as much pertinent information as possible, which can take many months. Timing also varies by the court’s schedule for hearing motions and other conferences.

How a settlement compares to the trial process

Many individuals opt for an out-of-court settlement over a trial because the process can be faster and less costly. In this scenario, the involved parties negotiate and agree on a compensation amount without as much involvement with the courts.

In contrast, choosing to go to trial requires more preparation and less control over the scheduling. Depending on the complexity and number of witnesses, trials can extend far beyond what a settlement could take.

How medical treatment affects the process

The New York State Department of Health finds that fall-related injuries are the leading cause of hospitalizations for children under 14 and adults over 25. For people over 45, falls cause the most unintentional injury deaths. As a result, medical treatment can be extensive.

The resolution process requires a comprehensive understanding of the injury’s impact on the injured individual’s present and future life. More substantial injuries often require more time to calculate the total cost of damages. Consequently, these severe wounds result in larger payouts. On the other hand, a minor injury, such as a short-term fracture, could lead to a quicker but smaller settlement.

Clearly, multiple elements affect how long it takes for an injured person to receive compensation for a slip-and-fall accident. However, prompt action can speed up the process.