Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries and trauma. In addition to creating significant medical bills, these incidents can leave victims unable to work for months or even years. Even while dealing with your injuries in the aftermath, it’s critical to keep the timeline for filing a slip and fall lawsuit in mind.
Under CVP § 214, New York limits the amount of time you have to take civil action against the person or entity responsible for your injuries. Meanwhile, there are several steps you must take to prepare, many of which require significant time and energy. These steps include investigating and gathering evidence, calculating the damages you suffered, and building a strong case. This timeline may also include settlement negotiations, which can last several weeks or months.
Why Can Slip and Fall Accident Cases Take So Long to Resolve?
There is no set timeline for any lawsuit. The reason is that many variables are involved. Perhaps the biggest of all these variables is the nature of your injuries. If your injuries are very serious, it could take several months or years to calculate the full cost of your recovery.
The other variable here is how reasonable the party you’re seeking damages from will be in negotiating a settlement. The sad truth is, they know you’re dealing with medical bills and lost wages. That means the longer they can drag out the case, the more likely it becomes that you’ll settle for less than you deserve.
The legal process can be intensely frustrating and time-consuming. That’s because even after you’ve figured out the potential damages in your case, the legal process itself still needs to take place. With that said, having solid legal representation can go a long way towards getting your case resolved as quickly as possible.
What Are the Best- and Worst-Case Timelines for a Slip and Fall Accident Case?
Generally, your attorney may try to avoid the legal process entirely by summarizing your injuries and sending a demand letter to whoever is liable for your accident. In a perfect world, the other party will accept liability and make a reasonable settlement offer. If that happens, your slip and fall case can resolve in a matter of weeks or months.
However, if no settlement can be reached or seeking a settlement is not the best option for your case, the next step is filing a lawsuit. Sadly, that can drag the process out for a lot longer. After that, the discovery process and the trial itself can take between two and four years to play out.
Other Variables That Could Delay the Case
Even if you go through a lawsuit and win the case, the losing party has the right to appeal the judgment, which could add several more years to the resolution of your case. That’s why it is so hard to put a set timeline on how long a slip and fall accident case can take to resolve.
That’s also why it’s a better idea for you to focus less on bringing a speedy end to your case and spend more time looking at the big picture—getting a proper resolution that makes you whole again.
Potential Damages in Slip and Fall Accident Cases
Victims are entitled to seek damages after any accident. These damages aim to compensate them for expenses and losses the accident and their injuries caused.
Examples of the recoverable damages you may collect after a slip and fall include the following:
- Short-Term Medical Expenses (e.g., ambulance bill, post-accident hospitalization)
- Long-Term Medical Expenses (e.g., physical therapy, in-home care)
- Lost Wages
It’s not unheard of for slip and fall accidents to cause paralysis or other permanent injuries. In addition to medical expenses, this often requires accident victims to retrofit their homes to make them more accessible. These victims also face a permanent loss of quality of life. Trauma like that is hard to put a dollar value on, but it’s critical to do so.
That’s why you shouldn’t rush into filing a lawsuit (or accepting a settlement) before the full extent of the damages in your case is known. If you settle your case too early, the amount you receive may not be enough to cover your damages.
What You Could Do to Speed Up the Process
The good news is that you’re not just a spectator in your slip and fall accident case. You can take proactive steps to move your case along more quickly. The first—and perhaps most important—step you can take is to hire the right lawyer. A strongly worded demand letter from a law firm with a solid reputation can motivate even the most hardened insurance company to make a reasonable settlement offer.
The Right Lawyer Can Keep Your Case Moving Forward
The Law Office of Cohen and Jaffe, LLP, might be exactly what you need. Our slip and fall attorneys have a record of winning personal injury cases in courtrooms all over the New York area. We pride ourselves on our unwavering commitment to client service and willingness to fight for you for as long as it takes.
Best of all, we take cases on contingency, and the initial consultation with our office is free. If you’re suffering from pain and stressing out about medical bills over a slip and fall accident, just pick up the phone and call the Law Office of Cohen and Jaffe, LLP. We’re ready, willing, and able to help you get through difficult situations like slip and fall accidents. Let us get started today: (516) 358-6900.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and may not be applicable in your jurisdiction.