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How Long Does a Slip and Fall Case Take to Settle?

Posted on June 3, 2022 in

Slip and fall accidents happen every year in Portland, resulting in serious injuries and losses to the victims. If someone else’s actions are responsible for the accident, the victims have the right to pursue compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit.

If you are filing a slip and fall claim, you may wonder how long it will take to reach a settlement. The answer can vary depending on a number of factors such as injury severity, liability questions, and the involvement of an insurance company.

Slip and Fall Insurance Claims versus Lawsuits

Generally, slip and fall insurance claims settle faster than lawsuits. During this process, an adjuster will review your claim and determine whether or not you qualify for a settlement. Your case could take as little as a few weeks to as long as a few months to reach a conclusion.

Personal injury lawsuits involve more steps and typically take longer to conclude. Depending on the complexity of your case and whether or not you were able to reach an agreement before entering the courtroom, your case could take as long as a year or more to reach a settlement. 

While insurance claims are faster, there are some situations where filing a personal injury lawsuit is more in your best interest. It is important to consult with an attorney about your legal options and identify the best pathway for you.

Factors That Can Influence Your Slip and Fall Case Timeline

There are several factors that could lengthen the timeline of your slip and fall claim.

  • The Severity of Your Injuries: Generally, the more severe your injuries are, the longer it will take for you to recover. Your attorney will want you to reach maximum medical improvement before filing your claim so you have a clearer picture of your losses. People with more severe injuries also tend to have higher amounts of damages, so an insurance company or defendant may be more likely to push back against a settlement.
  • Unclear Liability: If it is unclear who caused the accident, your case may take longer. You may need more time to investigate the circumstances surrounding your slip and fall and gather the evidence necessary to prove the defendant’s fault. Additionally, the defendant may try to place some of the blame on you in order to reduce his or her financial liability. You will need to prepare to defend yourself against these accusations.
  • Going to Trial: Slip and fall claims settled during the insurance process or during negotiations or mediation before trial. Going to the courtroom can take a lot of time and money, so if you do end up going to trial, your case will likely take longer to settle.

Should You Accept the First Slip and Fall Settlement?

Early on in your case, the at-fault party’s insurance company or defense attorney may offer you a settlement. However, you should not accept this offer. 

Because the settlement is offered so early, you do not have a clear picture of your damages yet. It likely isn’t enough to pay for your medical care. Lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. Before accepting any settlement agreement, you should always consult with a Portland slip & fall lawyer.

A slip and fall attorney can carefully evaluate any offers you receive and determine whether or not they are sufficient to meet your needs. Speak to a lawyer as soon as possible following your accident to discuss your next steps.