How Long Do Slip and Fall Settlements Take in New York?
How long a slip and fall settlement takes in New York depends on various factors, but primarily the severity of the injury. Even one that heals well and does not incapacitate the victim might take months to settle, while a serious injury may take years.
The New York City slip and fall lawyers at Douglas and London can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our dedicated attorneys have recovered more than $4 billion for our clients in settlements and verdicts.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Property owners in New York have a duty of care to keep their premises safe. If a person slips and falls, they may pursue a personal injury lawsuit. The majority of these accidents involve soft tissue injuries that may cost a person medical expenses and wages lost from work. However, some cause long-term or permanent damage. These may include:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injury
Maximum Medical Recovery
When a person is severely injured, a settlement usually does not take place until they reach maximum medical recovery. This term means the patient is not expected to improve significantly beyond this point. This generally occurs within a year but may take more time. The doctor will determine the medical impairment rating, which reflects the percentage of reduced bodily function due to the injury. This percentage affects the claim, as someone with a 70 percent rating is more seriously affected than a person receiving a 40 percent rating.
In negotiations with the insurance company, the lawyer knows a reasonable settlement amount for this particular case, based on the person’s ongoing medical issues, ability to return to work, lost earnings, necessary equipment or home modification, and other ongoing factors.
Slip and Fall Lawsuit
In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is three years. The timeline for filing a lawsuit starts long before, usually within two to three months from the accident. The lawyers begin an investigation as soon as they are hired to represent the plaintiff. It includes discovering who is responsible for the conditions relating to the slip and fall. Often, more than one party is liable.
Within six months, if the injury is not catastrophic, medical records should prove available. If the person has recuperated, the attorney will attempt to resolve the case. This is true if all medical treatments are completed, and care is no longer ongoing.
For the next six months to one year, the personal injury lawyer will negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company to come up with a fair settlement offer. If negotiations are not fruitful within this time frame, then a personal injury lawsuit is filed, and the case may go to trial.
The initial steps in filing a lawsuit may take several weeks, as the defendant must usually respond to the complaint within 20 business days. The next step, the discovery process, in which both sides question each other and find out what evidence the other side possesses, may take weeks or months.
However, once each side knows what type of evidence the other side has, there is a new opportunity to negotiate a settlement. This may take place during a mandatory mediation conference. If, after numerous meetings, a settlement is not agreed upon, the case then goes to trial. The outcome is then up to a judge and jury.
Contact us at Douglas and London today
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury in a slip and fall due to another party’s negligence, you need the services of our experienced New York City personal injury lawyers at Douglas and London. Submit our online contact form or call or text us 24/7 to schedule a free consultation. After reviewing your case, we will advise you of your options. While most cases are settled, we do not hesitate to take a case to trial when necessary.