No set time frame will determine how long a premises liability claim will take to settle on Long Island. This is because every premises liability claim is unique, with its own set of variables and conditions that can all impact a settlement.f
Some premises liability cases may be settled during out-of-court negotiations between the defendant’s insurance company and the plaintiff. In other instances, a case may require a lawsuit filing that may lead to a trial. After a complaint is filed with Long Island’s civil courts, the New York Courts explain that defendants typically have up to 20 days from the date in which they were served to respond to the complaint and thus appear in court.
Steps to Filing a Premises Liability Claim on Long Island
There are several steps involved in the process of filing a premises liability claim on Long Island. However, your unique case may not require every facet of these steps, such as suing the defendant in court.
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Obtain Evidence of Fault, Liability, and Negligence
Regardless of whether your premises liability claim results in an insurance settlement or a lawsuit, you must conduct an investigation into the accident. Your investigation should lead you to obtain evidence that builds your case against the defendant.
The evidence must not only prove that the defendant was at-fault in causing your injury but that they are liable for your injuries. As stated by the American Bar Association (ABA), a defendant can be held liable during injury claims if evidence shows they acted negligently.
A property owner’s conduct may be deemed negligent “when it falls below a legally recognized standard of taking reasonable care under the circumstances to protect others from harm,” as summarized by the American Bar Association.
Evidence that may support your premises liability claim includes, but is not limited to:
- Photographs (of injuries, hazards within the property, property damage, etc.)
- Property deeds
- Surveillance video
- Police reports
- Any official accident-related reports
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical bills and documentation
- Pay stubs (proving lost wages from the accident)
- Property damage documentation
Negotiate an Insurance Settlement
An insurance claim could allow you to avoid a lawsuit and subsequent trial, both of which could increase the life of your premises liability case. After obtaining evidence, the plaintiff and the defendant’s insurance company can negotiate a settlement offer. The settlement could include a financial award that would cover financial, physical, or emotional losses and out-of-pocket expenses.
However, many variables could impact negotiations for a settlement. For instance, the plaintiff may be partially at-fault in causing the accident. This is known as comparative negligence, which is defined under New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §1411.
File a Premises Liability Lawsuit and Trial
If an insurance claim does not lead to a complete resolution of the premises liability case, the plaintiff may choose to file a lawsuit in court against the defendant. Lawsuits will require a complete discovery phase. The discovery phase allows both parties to further investigate the accident or communicate with one another to learn about the evidence.
From here, mediation will take place. Both parties will once again work towards settling before trial. Once the trial starts, both parties could still reach an out-of-court settlement, which would close the case completely. If a settlement is never reached, the premises liability claim will boil down to a judicial verdict.
Additionally, you must schedule your trial date. Because the courts may already be booked with cases, the trial may not begin for several months after mediation.
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How Long You Have to File a Premises Liability Lawsuit on Long Island
When filing a lawsuit with Long Island’s civil courts for premises liability, CVP §214 states that claimants generally have three years to file a lawsuit from the date of their underlying accident.
This is known as the statute of limitations, and it can impact a claimant from seeking legal recourse should they file beyond the three-year limit. There are several exceptions to Long Island’s premises liability statute of limitations, such as if the claimant is a minor under the age of 18 at the time of the accident. CVP §208 states a claim cannot arise until the party is of legal age.
Call Us to Learn More About Filing a Premises Liability Claim
After being injured on some other person’s property on Long Island, you may have many questions regarding your legal recourse rights. Additionally, you may be struggling with the damages you have incurred from the injury, such as medical bills, lost wages, property damages, and more.
The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP can walk you through Long Island’s premises liability laws following a free consultation. Our firm can also determine fair compensation for your claim, which can become the basis of negotiations during an insurance claim. To learn more, call us today at (516) 358-6900.