Many victims have questions about the slip and fall settlement timeline and what to expect during negotiations. These claims first involve gathering evidence and determining who’s at fault. From there, the victim and at-fault party begin to negotiate a settlement. Sometimes (but not always), this starts with the victim sending a demand letter. If the parties can’t reach an agreement, going to court may become necessary. How long this process takes can change from one case to the next.
At Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC, we have the utmost compassion for those who are hurt in slip and falls. We understand how impactful these accidents can be, often causing someone to experience bruises, broken bones, lacerations, and other injuries. Our team of slip and fall attorneys in Philadelphia supports victims as they recover from their wounds and seek the compensation they deserve under Pennsylvania law.
What Are the Steps in the Slip and Fall Settlement Timeline?
The first step in the slip and fall settlement timeline is to gather evidence about what happened before, during, and after the incident. The next stage is to use this information to determine who is at fault and what led to the incident. Once the parties understand who’s at fault, settlement talks may begin. This may start with the plaintiff sending a demand letter requesting compensation for their injuries. If these talks are unsuccessful, filing a lawsuit may be necessary to reach a resolution.
The first stage of a slip and fall lawsuit is to gather evidence about what happened. For example, this might involve taking photographs of where the incident occurred. Likewise, the victim can get medical records to prove they were hurt and the slip and fall caused it. Part of this process might also include the victim (or their attorney) interviewing witnesses who saw the accident.
Determining Who Is At Fault
The next step in the case is figuring out who is at fault. This may involve determining who owns the property where the incident occurred. Likewise, the victim may need to investigate the circumstances to decide what went wrong and caused their injuries. These details are important because they speak to liability—a key component in the settlement discussions. For example, if an employee fails to guard a dangerous spill, this is essential information for the victim to have. They can point to these details to prove that, for example, the grocery store (rather than the victim) is responsible for the accident.
Settlement Talks Begin
Now that everyone has background information on the slip and fall, settlement talks can begin. The victim can use the evidence to prove that the property owner (e.g., business owner) is to blame for what occurred. They can also use documents such as their medical treatment records to establish what damages they incurred because of the fall.
Sometimes, the victim can start settlement negotiations by sending a demand letter. This document explains what happens, what compensation the victim is asking for, and what will happen if the parties can’t reach an agreement. The victim can help their chances of drafting a successful slip and fall demand letter by talking to a seasoned attorney in Philadelphia.
Filing a Lawsuit
If settlement talks are unsuccessful, a lawsuit may be necessary to protect the victim’s rights. The victim should file a legal claim before the slip and fall statute of limitations expires. In Pennsylvania, this deadline is usually two years from when the incident occurs (unless an exception applies).
During the court case, the parties gather evidence in the discovery process. They then use this information to support their arguments in a trial. Anytime before the trial, however, the victim and the opposing party can resume negotiations to see if they can reach a reasonable settlement.
If they can’t come to an out-of-court agreement, they proceed to trial. At this stage, they present evidence and arguments before a judge or jury. At the end of the trial, the judge or jury makes a final decision about who wins.
How Long Does a Slip and Fall Case Take To Settle in PA?
How long a slip and fall case takes can vary from one situation to the next. For example, complex situations involving multiple possible at-fault parties may take longer to resolve than ones involving one victim and one person who caused the incident. However, the apparent complexity of the claim doesn’t always mean the case will take less time to settle. In some situations, a seemingly straightforward slip and fall claim may take several months or even years to conclude.
Likewise, if the parties can’t settle the case, going to trial may become necessary. If this happens, it may require the parties to gather evidence and prepare for a courtroom battle. In turn, this may add to the amount of time it takes for them to resolve the claim.
How Can I Speed Up the Process of a Slip and Fall Case?
You can speed up the process of a slip and fall case by being as prepared as possible. By doing this, you can help limit how long it takes you to respond to settlement proposals. You can set yourself up for success by working with an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help you gather evidence and present it in a compelling way to the opposing party. They can also help you meet your filing deadlines and steer negotiations with the person or business that caused your accident.
How Many Months Can It Take to Negotiate a Slip and Fall Settlement?
Negotiating a slip and fall settlement can be a time-consuming process, sometimes taking months or years. While this can be a long time for the victim to wait to receive compensation, it may be in their best interest not to rush things too much.
A quick-fix payout may be tempting in the short term, but the victim may lose out on possible benefits. At-fault parties often try to pressure victims into accepting lowball settlements early on. In most cases, these proposals are far below what the victim is entitled to under the law.
Instead of signing away their rights as soon as they receive an offer, it’s best for victims to talk to an attorney. The lawyer can review the proposal and tell the victim if it’s a fair offer or not. They can also help the victim negotiate a higher settlement that fully compensates them for their losses.
Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC: Slip and Fall Attorneys Serving Pennsylvania
Slip and fall accidents can upend someone’s life, causing them to spend time in the hospital, miss family events, and even lose their jobs. Pennsylvania law empowers slip and fall victims to seek legal damages from the person or business that injured them, directly or indirectly. If you are in this position, you may benefit from working with a seasoned lawyer rather than taking on a lawsuit yourself.
Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC, firmly believes in helping mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, grandparents, and everyone in between seek justice when someone else’s negligence hurts them. From the receptionist who answers the phone to the attorney who goes to court for you, our exceptional team is devoted to fighting for the injured. For decades, Lawrence Kalikhman has been trusted by dozens of clients to help them secure a fair settlement after a slip, trip, and fall. Past clients describe our firm as “exceedingly knowledgeable, professional and compassionate.”
If you were hurt in a slip and fall in Pennsylvania, contact us today by calling 267-435-2426 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.