A slip and fall accident is truly a horrible experience. While any accident is unexpected, slip and falls seem to come out of nowhere. You are walking along and suddenly find yourself sprawled on the ground writhing in pain. Then you are saddled with medical bills, missing work and losing wages, and possibly your ability to work at all.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, you may find you can no longer participate in many of the activities you love, or even necessary activities such as household duties or taking your children to school and their activities. You may wish to seek compensation and wonder how many slip and fall accidents go to trial.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a slip and fall accident in Pompano Beach, Florida, contact an attorney immediately. A slip and fall lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact LJW Legal today for a free case evaluation.
How Long Do Slip and Fall Cases Usually Take?
The length of a slip and fall case depends on many factors. The case can take a few months up to a couple of years. It depends on the circumstances of your slip and fall accident. As the victim of a slip and fall accident, there are some ways you can control the length of the trial. There are some things you can do to shorten the timeline, however, there are many things to consider during the case.
Immediately After Your Accident
After the accident, immediately seek medical care, even if you think your injuries aren’t that bad. This goes for any type of accident. Often, you may not realize how badly you’ve been injured. Also, during a slip and fall, adrenaline kicks in, so you may not feel the full effects until later. The longer you delay seeking medical attention and getting treatment for your injuries, the weaker your case will be.
You should also preserve as much evidence as you can. Take pictures of the area and your injuries. Get contact information from any witnesses, and if your accident happens at a business, file an accident complaint with the business or their representatives. Also, keep copies of all medical bills, including doctor visits, physical therapy, and medications.
This process can take a few days up to a few weeks.
Filing Your Complaint
The next thing to do is to file your complaint. This means getting all your information together. It is essential that your complaint covers all your ground for seeking compensation and is technically accurate. It could take several weeks or even months to get all the information together, but once you have done so, you must file your claim with the court. In addition, you must formally notify the other party so that you are making a claim. This means serving them with paperwork that details your claim.
Filing the complaint can take about a month or longer.
Answer to Your Complaint
Once you file your complaint, the opposing side must reply in 20 days. Their written response must be formally filed with the court and they must provide you with a copy.
Answering the complaint should take about a month.
Sending the Demand Letter
After you, or your attorney, receives the other side’s answer, it is common practice to send a demand letter. This letter lays out what you are asking for from the opposing side to resolve your case. It should contain detailed reasons why you think your claim is legally justified. The opposing side may respond, and there are often some negotiations at this stage.
This stage may take a few weeks.
Case Preparation and Pretrial Discovery
Once both you and the other side have stated your positions, it’s time to prepare your case. Even though you’ve preserved the evidence and stated your position, it’s time to really get into the details. Your lawyer may pull in occupational and medical experts. This is where all your documentation and saved medical bills will come in handy. You or your lawyer may need to make contact with witnesses and get their statements.
Formal discovery may include asking the opposing party questions under oath or in a deposition. Depositions are often used in the discovery process. It is crucial to work with your lawyer to find out what you need to present a strong case and develop a strategy with the necessary evidence to be successful.
Case preparation and pretrial discovery can take up to several months.
Pretrial Motions and Settlement Talks
Once you examine all the evidence and develop your case strategy, you can explore the possibility of a settlement. These can be informal talks between lawyers or a more formal mediation session.
You may also need to notify the court of some issues. Your lawyer may decide to file pretrial motions to get the court to rule on preliminary matters. If you reach a settlement, you move to collect the agreed-upon amount. If not, you head to court.
Pretrial motions and settlement talks can take several months.
If You Go to Trial
If you choose to go to trial, the court sets the date. In the majority of cases, the date of trial is selected months in advance. This gives you and your lawyer time to gather evidence, prepare arguments, and summon witnesses. At the trial, your lawyer will present the evidence and argue your case. The jury then deliberates and comes to a decision.
Preparation and trial usually take several months.
Collecting Your Judgment
If the jury decides in your favor, the opposing party has approximately ten days to pay the awarded amount. If either side disagrees with the verdict and judgment, they may appeal. If either side appeals, then the case continues.
Your judgment is usually paid in a couple of weeks. An appeal may take several months.
How Many Slip and Fall Cases Go to Trial?
What percentage of slip and fall cases go to trial? Approximately 2%. Most slip and fall cases do not go to trial. Many people worry about filing a personal injury case because they worry about testifying in a courtroom. It can be nerve-wracking to testify. But, this rarely happens. The majority of these cases settle out of court.
You play an active role in your case and the settlement process. You have some control over whether you settle or go to trial. Your lawyer will help you decide if your case is one that is likely to go to trial. They will also help you negotiate the best settlement.
How Long Do Slip and Fall Cases Take to Settle?
It may take anywhere from several months to a few years to reach a slip and fall settlement. In some cases, settlement negotiations break down, and you head to court. A slip and fall claim hinges on many variables, so predicting exactly how long a case will take is difficult. How severe were your injuries? Does the other side dispute liability? Are you and the other side willing to negotiate a settlement? All of these things factor into how long a slip and fall case takes to settle.
How Much Do Slip and Fall Cases Pay?
What amount to expect from a slip and fall settlement is a difficult question to answer. The short answer is: it depends. Every case is different. Here are some factors to be considered when determining what to ask for as a settlement.
Present and Future Medical Expenses
Your medical expenses for past and future treatments related to your accident will be a factor in how much your settlement might be. A valid slip and fall claim is usually worth the value of your medical expenses.
Pain and Suffering in a Slip and Fall Claim
You may be eligible for pain and suffering compensation. However, this is one of the least predictable amounts, as there are no definitive rules for calculating the amount. Your medical bills are typically the starting point. The severity and permanency of your injuries is another factor. Keep in mind that the extent of your injuries may not show up until well after the accident. For this reason, you should negotiate the amount of your settlement with future injuries in mind.
If you miss work because of your injuries, you can most likely recover the value of your wages. You will need to verify the time you missed and the amount of wages.
Loss of Earning Capacity
If your injuries are so severe that you can no longer do the type of work you did before the accident, and this affects your ability to make as much as you did, you may be able to negotiate an amount for “lost earning capacity.”
An expert will have to give testimony to support your claim, after a detailed evaluation of your injuries, your occupation, and your ability to work in the future.
You may incur other expenses due to your injury, such as spending more on gas each month as you go to doctor’s appointments. You may be able to receive compensation for these expenses, however, you will need to prove the connection between the extra expense and your injuries.
Find the Right Slip and Fall Lawyer in Pompano Beach, FL
Finding the right personal injury lawyer makes all the difference in the outcome of your case. If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, and are considering making a claim, contact a slip and fall attorney in Pompano Beach right away. LJW Legal will work tirelessly to get the settlement you deserve.