Slip and Fall Cases Can Be a Lengthy Process
It is a question that slip and fall accident lawyers get all the time: How long is my case going to take? There are two honest answers to this question. Unfortunately, the answers aren’t satisfying:
- There is a lot of uncertainty regarding length. The time it takes to settle California slip and fall accident claims vary; and
- Most slip and fall accident cases take quite a long time to settle. Many take more than a year in litigation.
There is no way around it. The personal injury claims process, particularly for slip and fall accident cases, is not fast. Further, insurance companies fight these types of claims. This can lead to a long and drawn out settlement process. Most slip and fall cases are not settled in pre-litigation. Instead, someone must file a complaint in court to get the ball rolling.
Understanding the Slip and Fall Accident Claims Process
Liability Must Be Proven
California Code dictates that businesses and property owners have a legal duty to protect guests. This means taking all reasonable efforts to remove property defects. When a property owner fails to live up to this legal duty, they are liable for any resulting damages. Of course, property owners, especially commercial businesses carry insurance policies. This means that insurers will usually be handling the case on their behalf.
Insurers Fight Hard to Limit Payouts
The big insurance companies do not make their money by paying out full and fair settlement offers. The law compels them to make fair payments. However, they will try to use tactics and strategies to limit their liability. In California slip and fall accident cases the property owner controls much of the evidence. Usually one needs this information to make a claim. .
Legal Tools are Available to Obtain Key Evidence
Plaintiffs have a right to access any relevant evidence. However, the only way to get information from the defense is to file a lawsuit and use the power of discovery in litigation. You’ll need to the following:
- Maintenance records
- Insurance information
- Employee Names
- Other Relevant Information
This requires quite a bit of discovery once your attorney files a case. The process may include interrogatories, depositions, securing expert testimony, and create legal documents as necessary.
Patience Often Pays Off
Slip and fall cases are some of the most litigated cases out there,. While it is not unusual for cases to go to trial, plaintiffs who stick through the process are often very happy with the results. The bottom line is simple: Insurance companies want you to give up. If you drop your claim, or settle your case for pennies on the dollar, the insurance company wins big. The injury compensation that you deserved goes right into their profits. Please do not let this happen to you. Even though the slip and fall accident claims process can take some time, you should always keep fighting.