It is hard to say how long slip and fall settlements take as it is case specific, but there are a few factors that often influence the timeframe:
- The severity of your injuries
- Whether the other party is disputing liability
- How long the investigation takes
- The insurer’s initial settlement offer
- Your own decision to settle or file a lawsuit
The Severity of Your Injuries
A claim for a simple, mild slip and fall injury might settle in a few weeks or months. If your injuries are more severe and require long-term medical care, it might take longer to get your settlement as you need to obtain a prognosis to determine just how much your injuries will cost you.
And because more severe injuries often cost more, you can expect the other party’s insurer to offer you a settlement that is much less than you need or do everything it can to pin the blame on you.
If the other party disputes liability, this will lengthen the process. For example, say the store manager from the example above claims that you should have seen the torn carpet, but you were texting while walking. Our team and the store’s insurer might have to go back and forth for weeks or months arguing liability.
How Long It Takes to Investigate the Accident
In some cases, the investigation of an accident scene takes no time at all. For example, say you slipped and fell in a puddle at the grocery store. We might be able to watch the surveillance video and determine that an employee saw the puddle, ignored it, and failed to place any warning signs near the hazard.
In other cases, we might need to investigate the scene, determine the store’s policies for remedying hazards, interview eyewitnesses, or even discuss your case with an accident reconstruction team.
The Insurer’s First Offer
In most cases, the other party’s insurer will offer a settlement that is far too low. To get the settlement you deserve, we will need to enter a counter demand. We might end up going through rounds of settlement negotiations to get the money you need. If this occurs, this can lengthen the time it takes to get your settlement.
Whether You Decide to Settle or Take Your Case to Court
While most cases settle before court, insurers sometimes refuse to give injured parties the compensation they deserve.
In this case, we might suggest you take your case to court. If this is the route you choose, this can lengthen the process. We will need to gather evidence and might need to discuss your case with specialists and experts. And if the court docket is full, we might end up waiting weeks or months to get your date in court.
Should I Accept an Early Settlement to Get My Money Quicker?
In most cases, no. You will not want to accept an early settlement just to get your money quicker. These early settlements are often much lower than what you might require for your injuries. While it can be tempting to accept any settlement offer you receive, especially while those bills are piling up, you will want to run these offers by an attorney first.
If you are worried about how you will be able to pay for bills while you wait, we may be able to discuss your situation with bill collectors to avoid collection calls and liens.
How Long Do I Have to File a Slip and Fall Claim?
Per Georgia law, you have two years to settle your claim or file a lawsuit. If you do not settle or file within that time, you may be unable to recover any compensation.
And it pays to start early. You might end up having to wait a year or more to determine how your injuries will continue to affect you, leaving little time to investigate your accident and prove negligence.