NYC Slip and Fall Settlements

Scales of justice on a wooden table

Mounting medical bills and lost time off work compounds the pain of a slip and fall accident. Location matters if you’ve been seriously hurt. If you were at work, your employer could be held liable for failure to maintain safe premises. If you were at a commercial building, the business owner might be responsible for failing to warn of a known risk. Contact Douglas and London NYC slip and fall lawyers after your accident to explore the possibility of collecting compensation from a third party. More often than not, you’ll receive money through a slip and fall settlement.

What is an NYC Slip and Fall Settlement?

NYC slip and fall settlements arise when a property owner’s negligence causes a person to slip and fall on their premises. NYC landlords, homeowners, and commercial business owners must inspect and maintain their properties, keeping them reasonably free from hazards. Failure to do so can result in a premises liability lawsuit, sometimes called a slip and fall lawsuit. Most of these cases will resolve in a slip and fall settlement without ever going to court.

Why Do Most NYC Slip and Fall Cases Ultimately Settle?

Sometimes the injury is serious, and the evidence is irrefutable, so the other party offers a settlement right away– rather than deal with the expense of prolonged negotiations. A settlement is not always an admission of guilt. A defendant may opt to settle to prevent the negative publicity that often comes with a public trial.

A truly skilled legal team knows when to accept a settlement offer and push for a trial. If a case wins in court, the award can be much higher, as lawyers typically account for their own expenses in making a case for maximum compensation before a judge and jury.

How Long Do Slip and Fall Accident Settlements Take To Resolve?

Slip and fall accident settlements can happen in six months, or the process can take three to six years.

Factors in a slip and fall accident timeline include:

  • How long the plaintiff waits to file. (The sooner, the better!)
  • Whether the plaintiff has reached maximum medical recovery yet. (You may need to wait and see.)
  • How cooperative the defendant(s) is in providing requested documents.
  • How busy the local mediators and courts are.

Generally, it takes 60 to 90 days to notify all the parties involved and bring them to the table. Your attorney may need to comb through insurance policies to see what kind of coverage exists. Sometimes a soft tissue injury requires a bit of time to determine the nature and extent of damage that yields an accurate prognosis.

By six months, your lawyer will have investigated the root cause of the accident and assembled all necessary medical records to build a case. If it doesn’t settle right away, it could take six to 12 months to reach a resolution, as both parties make their offers and counter-offers.

What Happens If I Do or Don’t Accept a Slip and Fall Settlement Offer?

Slip and fall settlementsare designed to resolve the victim’s loss due to another party’s negligence. When you accept a settlement offer, you waive the future right to sue for damages, so you’ll want to make sure the initial offer you take is sufficient to cover all your expenses. Insurance companies can be quick to offer a low settlement to evade maximum liability. It is always wise to have a New York City personal injury lawyer working for you.

If an agreement cannot be reached, a personal injury lawsuit is filed, and the case may go before the judge and jury. The discovery process alone can take one to two years, even before waiting for a trial date. Three years is a fair estimate of the time it may take from filing the lawsuit to resolution through NYC courts. However, the pandemic created a backlog of personal injury court cases, so NYC slip and fall settlementsmay presently take twice as long to resolve.

Not surprisingly, most plaintiffs and their counsel push for early slip and fall settlementswhen fair offers are on the table. At Douglas and London, we typically file the lawsuit right away, even as we attempt to negotiate the settlement, so you’re not left waiting six to 12 months more. Filing the lawsuit also adds pressure to offer a settlement for slip and fall cases.

Types of Compensation in Slip and Fall Accident Settlements

Slip and fall accident settlementsmay compensate you for some or all of the following:

  • Related medical expenses
  • Lost wages, vocational retraining costs, and loss of future earning capacity
  • An estimated amount for pain, suffering, emotional distress, and PTSD
  • Home modifications to accommodate a disability

An accident resulting in a fatality can give rise to a wrongful death suit filed by a spouse or dependent. Losses may include: funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship or guidance, and loss of potential inheritance.

Determining the Value of NYC Slip and Fall Settlements

Proof of liability is one of the most essential factors in the value of a slip and fall settlement. If you can’t prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached that duty of care, and directly caused your injuries, then you don’t have a valid claim. Hiring an experienced attorney will help in that regard.

Other factors for the settlement value include:

  • The type and severity of your injuries – Broken bones, scars, and chronic pain will garner a higher settlement value than soft tissue injuries and bruising likely to heal fully within a few weeks.
  • Medical care rendered – You’ll receive more if you sought immediate medical attention or if you required an ambulance to the ER. Injuries requiring surgery, physical therapy, and specialist care are often worth a greater amount than an injury that mostly heals on its own with time.
  • Occupation and lifestyle – How much did the injury affect your quality of life? If you can no longer work or participate in lifelong hobbies, the “pain and suffering” part of the settlement may be higher.
  • Fault – If the defendant can prove you were partially to blame for the accident, the total settlement value can be reduced based on the percentage of liability ascribed to you. For instance, if you are to receive $100,000, but it’s determined you were 25% at fault, you can only collect $75,000.
  • Property type – A well-insured commercial property can afford to pay more than a privately owned property. 

Get Legal Help for Your Slip and Fall Lawsuit in New York City

Contact slip and fall lawyers in NYC for a free consultation. When you work with Douglas and London, you only pay a legal fee upon the successful resolution of your case. There are no out-of-pocket expenses for plaintiffs who wish to pursue a personal injury settlement or lawsuit. However, there are time limitations to consider, so a lawyer should be the first person you call after seeking medical attention.