While some slip and fall cases settle in a matter of weeks, others can drag on for years. By hiring a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, you can maximize your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve without delay.
The consequences of an injury from a slip and fall accident can alter your life instantly. From one moment to the next, you could go from maintaining employment and meeting your own daily needs to requiring assistance with simple tasks while unable to work. The repercussions of an injury can be immediate, but financial relief from a California slip and fall claim can take time.
If you have suffered injuries from a slip and fall, you no doubt have questions about your legal options. During a free consultation with attorney Sean Salamati you will learn about the factors that could speed up or slow down your claim. We discuss some of those factors below.
While no two California slip and fall injury claims are the same, each of them follows a similar timeline. The first step your attorney will make when they receive your case is to carefully review the circumstances and investigate the cause. The investigation of a slip and fall claim can take some time, especially if the facts are complex.
Once the attorney has developed a theory of the case and determined your damages, they will make a demand for settlement from the at-fault party. This comes in the form of a demand letter that offers not to file an injury claim in exchange for a monetary settlement. Many claims settle at this stage, long before a lawsuit is ever filed.
If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, a lawsuit may become necessary. In a typical case, it can take 1-2 months to file the lawsuit and obtain service of process on the defendant. In some cases, it can take longer. Once the defendant is served, they can file an answer denying your allegations.
Once the initial pleadings are filed, the case will proceed to discovery. This phase of the case involves both parties exchanging the evidence they intend to use at trial. This can be done in writing or through the use of depositions. In some cases, discovery can take six months or longer.
Once discovery is completed, it is time for trial. However, depending on the backlog of cases, the trial might not happen for more than a year after the accident took place. In some cases, it can take substantially longer.
There a number of factors that could slow your case down to a crawl. In fact, that is often the goal of insurance companies when defending injury claims. These companies have the resources to drag a court case out for years. They also know most injury victims are in need of financial help immediately. By dragging cases out, they can often settle claims for a fraction of their true value.
An experienced Los Angeles slip and fall attorney can help you avoid these delays by aggressively pursuing your injury claim. Cases are more likely to languish when the plaintiff fails to take active steps to keep it moving. By moving quickly into discovery and aggressively pushing for a trial date, your legal counsel could avoid crippling delays and potentially resolve your injury claim in short order.
Outside of intentional delay tactics, there are other factors that can slow a case down. Those include:
These general guidelines can give you a rough idea of what to expect from your slip and fall injury claim. To learn more about the length of your potential injury claim, schedule a free consultation with Salamati Law immediately.