If you have been injured in an NYC slip and fall accident, you may have questions about the slip and fall settlement process and unsure what steps to take. Let our compassionate attorneys review your options during a free consultation. The time it takes to reach a slip and fall settlement is not always a quick process as it could go for months or years, even when a claim appears to be relatively straightforward.
The attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can help you understand what to expect at every step in the slip and fall settlement process. We are a small law firm based in Manhattan, and our attorneys and staff take pride in providing personal attention to clients. We have handled many NYC slip and fall settlements. We will investigate your accident and gather the evidence needed to build a solid case. We provide compassionate and responsive legal guidance to people struggling to recover from serious injuries.
Slip and Fall Settlement Timeline
The information below describes the slip and fall settlement timeline, and what you should expect from the court process of slip and fall claims.
Step 1: Investigating the Slip and Fall Accident
Your attorney at David Resnick & Associates will investigate the accident and determine who is potentially liable for your injuries. The attorney will identify the types of insurance available to provide compensation and evaluate your losses related to the slip and fall accident. The attorney will submit a demand letter to the insurance companies seeking full compensation for your losses.
Step 2: Filing a Complaint
The timing of the filing of the complaint will be determined by you and your attorney. A slip and fall claim may be filed with the court within weeks of the injury. In many instances, an effort may be made to negotiate a settlement before slip and fall litigation is begun. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is three years from the date of the accident, per New York Civil Practice Law and Rules Section 214. Delays in filing may mean that evidence has been destroyed and could result in a delayed slip and fall settlement in New York.
Step 3: Waiting for an Answer from the Defendant
Once you have filed a slip and fall complaint in civil court in New York, the defendant has a limited amount of time to respond to the complaint. As explained at NewYorkCourts.gov, the defendant normally has 20 days, exclusive of the day they are served, to appear in court and answer a complaint. If the summons is served outside of the city of New York, then the defendant will have 30 days to answer.
Step 4: Discovery
The next step in a slip and fall case is the discovery phase. Both parties are given the opportunity to question the other side and learn as much about the case as possible, including what evidence the other side has. The amount of time that the discovery process takes varies significantly on a case-by-case basis, depending on the number of defendants.
While some discoveries may only take a few weeks or a few months in some cases, others can take many months, or even more than a year. The more complex your case is, the more severe your injuries are, or the more defendants who are named, the longer discovery will likely take.
The discovery process provides a clear picture of the evidence each side has. After the process, there may be an opportunity to negotiate a settlement of your case.
Step 5: Mandatory Settlement
After the discovery process is complete, the next step will likely be a court-ordered mandatory settlement conference or mediation. The purpose of mediation is to attempt to resolve your case out of court, resulting in a slip and fall settlement without litigation.
How long a settlement conference or mediation will take to schedule can vary. In many cases, insurance companies are dealing with multiple cases. Insurers believe that if they drag out a case, a plaintiff may be more willing to accept a lower settlement to resolve the claim. Your mediation or settlement talks may be scheduled weeks in advance.
In some cases, a settlement may be agreed to in a single meeting. In other cases, settlement negotiations can be lengthy, and the team may have multiple negotiating sessions. Once mediation is underway, the length of time required to reach a settlement may depend greatly on the negotiation skills of your attorney. The New York City personal injury attorneys at David Resnick & Associates are skilled negotiators who have successfully resolved many slip and fall settlements to the advantage of our clients.
Step 6: Going to Trial
Unfortunately, there are situations in which an out-of-court slip and fall settlement cannot be reached. In some cases, neither side is willing to budge on the amount of money needed to finalize a settlement. If this is the case, then the slip and fall lawsuit will go to trial. Keep in mind that it is still possible for a settlement to be reached during the trial process. Not all trials end with a jury verdict.
Getting your case on the court docket can be a hassle. Your trial date may not be scheduled for several months. The good news is that once you do have a scheduled trial date, it is likely that you will not be in court for more than a few days, unless your slip and fall case is unusually complex.
Step 7: Collecting Your Settlement
The final step in the process is collecting the money that you are owed at the conclusion of your case. You will not be a given a check on the day that the settlement is reached or that a jury reaches a verdict about the amount of money you are owed. Typically, a defendant is given up to 60 days to pay a judgment, although this can vary. If the defendant does not pay within the required time, you may need to take legal action to force payment.
The answer to the question, “How long does a lawsuit for a slip and fall injury take?” depends on the specific facts of accident and the number of potentially liable parties. Slip and fall cases involving hazardous property conditions, which are also known as premises liability cases, are very fact specific. It may be possible to resolve a claim in a few months. But cases that require court litigation may take two to three years to complete.
Do Most Slip and Fall Cases Settle Out of Court?
Our attorneys at David Resnick & Associates are seasoned negotiators. Our legal team is successful in reaching settlements in most cases involving hazardous property conditions without a trial. That allows our clients to receive the compensation they need more quickly and without the risks of a trial.
However, sometimes insurance companies refuse to agree to a reasonable settlement and the cases do proceed to trial. How long does a slip and fall case take? For cases that go to trial in NYC, the timeline is two to three years to go through discovery and get a trial date. Factors that affect the timeline include the number of defendants, the number of insurance companies involved and the backlog of cases awaiting trial in the appropriate court.
It is important to work with a NYC attorney who has trial experience and understands all the steps necessary to prepare a successful claim and who has the resources to see your case through to completion. Our attorneys can prepare and present your case to a New York jury if necessary.
Based in Manhattan, David Resnick & Associates serves clients throughout New York City, including Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx. Our knowledgeable staff speaks English and Spanish, so we can discuss your slip and fall injury and legal options in the language you are most comfortable discussing legal matters. Reach out to one of our New York City slip and fall injury lawyers to learn how we can help. There is no charge for the initial consultation and no legal fee unless we secure compensation for you.
Recent Slip and Fall Settlements and Awards
At David Resnick & Associates, we work hard to achieve a successful resolution of each case we handle. While every injury case has its own set of facts, we are proud of the slip and fall case results we have achieved for clients. The results reflect our extensive experience in handling these types of cases.
Let us review your injury and discuss how we may assist you.
Contact Our Slip and Fall Lawyers Today!
Whether you wish to settle or you want your day in court, David Resnick & Associates, P.C., is here for you. We are experienced negotiators and skilled litigators. We will do everything possible to get the maximum compensation for your fall injuries. Call or contact us online today to learn more.
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