How long will it take to settle my slip and fall claim?
The time period it can take to resolve a slip and fall case can vary dramatically, and it is important to understand how long it may be at the beginning when you file your claim. This can help you avoid becoming impatient and making the mistake of settling your claim too quickly for less than it is worth.
Factors That Affect the Time Frame for Settling a Slip and Fall Claim
Slip and fall cases can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to settle depending on the circumstances in a particular case. Here are some factors that can determine how long this process will be:
Your medical condition. In a slip and fall case, you are entitled to be compensated for both your past and future medical expenses, wage losses, and pain and suffering. You cannot know what your future expenses will be until you reach your maximum medical improvement. This is the stage where you fully recover, recover as much as you will or your doctor can provide a final prognosis. It can take months or longer for you to reach this point.
Severity of your injuries. When your injuries are serious, this increases the value of your claim. The insurance company will most likely investigate your claim longer and fight harder to deny or reduce your claim if this is your situation.
Disputes. If the insurance company is disputing who was at fault in causing your fall or the severity of your injuries, this could delay settlement of your claim. Your lawyer may need to hire an expert witness or obtain additional documents to resolve the issue and convince the insurance adjuster to be reasonable.
Litigation. If the insurance company refuses to settle your claim, your lawyer will file a civil lawsuit against the negligent business or property owner. The process of filing a complaint, receiving an answer from the owner, conducting discovery, and taking other steps prior to trial can take a year or longer to accomplish. Fortunately, most cases settle at some point in the litigation process, and hopefully yours will too.
While you do not have control over many of these factors that could delay your settlement, one way that you can help the process move faster is to cooperate with your attorney and provide him with the information he requests promptly. To discuss your situation and get a sense of the time frame for settling your claim, call our office to schedule a free consultation with a member of our slip and fall accident legal team.