How Long Does A Slip & Fall Case Take To Settle?

Last updated:
Published by CalculateMyCase.com

Most slip and fall cases settle within 6 to 12 months. However, claims that go to trial often take longer (between 1 and 2 years). It’s important to note that each slip and fall case is unique, and how long a case takes to settle depends on many factors.

Factors That Affect How Long A Slip And Fall Case Takes

1. Severity of injuries: More severe injuries usually require extensive medical treatment and recovery time, which can prolong the case as the full extent of damages needs to be assessed.

🛈 Example: A person who sustains a minor sprain might recover and provide medical documentation within a few weeks. In contrast, a person with a severe spinal injury might need several surgeries and months of rehabilitation before their medical condition stabilizes enough to assess long-term damages, delaying the case resolution.

2. Liability dispute: If the property owner disputes liability, it can lengthen the case. Establishing fault through evidence such as witness statements, surveillance footage, and expert testimony can take time.

🛈 Example: If a store owner admits fault immediately and offers a settlement, the case could be resolved quickly. However, if the store owner denies responsibility and claims the injured person was careless, it could take months or years to gather evidence and prove liability.

3. Complexity of the case: Cases involving multiple parties, complicated facts, or legal issues typically take longer to resolve.

🛈 Example: A simple case where a person slipped on a wet floor with clear evidence might be resolved swiftly. Conversely, a case involving multiple parties (e.g., a subcontractor responsible for maintenance and a property management company) with ambiguous evidence can be significantly more complex and time-consuming.

4. Settlement negotiations: The willingness of both parties to negotiate and reach a fair 4. settlement can influence the timeline. Lengthy negotiations or mediation sessions can extend the process.

🛈 Example: If both parties are willing to negotiate and come to an agreement quickly, the case might settle within a few months. However, if there are several rounds of offers and counteroffers, or if mediation is required, the negotiation process can drag on for a year or more.

5. Pre-Litigation procedures: The investigation, gathering of evidence, and filing of claims before a lawsuit is officially filed can take several months.

🛈 Example: If all necessary evidence (e.g., medical records, witness statements) is readily available, the pre-litigation phase might be brief. However, if obtaining this evidence is challenging or delayed, it could take several months before the case is ready to proceed to litigation.

6. Court schedules: The court’s docket and schedule can affect the timeline. Busy court calendars can result in longer wait times for trial dates.

🛈 Example: In a jurisdiction with a relatively light caseload, a trial date might be set within a few months. In a busy jurisdiction, it might take over a year just to get a court date, significantly extending the case timeline.

7. Insurance company involvement: The responsiveness and cooperation of the insurance company in processing and negotiating the claim can impact the duration.

🛈 Example: If the insurance company promptly processes the claim and is cooperative, the case might settle quickly. If the insurance company is unresponsive or disputes the claim, it could take months of additional correspondence and legal pressure to reach a settlement.

8. Medical evaluations & expert testimonies: Obtaining thorough medical evaluations and expert testimonies to support the claim can be time-consuming.

🛈 Example: If a doctor can quickly provide a comprehensive evaluation and expert witnesses are readily available, this phase might be quick. However, if multiple medical evaluations are needed or expert witnesses have busy schedules, it could take several months.

9. Discovery process: The process of exchanging information between parties, including depositions, interrogatories, and document requests, can be lengthy.

🛈 Example: In a straightforward case, the discovery process might involve only a few depositions and document requests, taking a few months. In a more complex case with extensive evidence, numerous depositions, and contentious interrogatories, the discovery process can take over a year.

10. Trial preparation & duration: If the case goes to trial, preparation and the trial itself can add significant time, especially if there are appeals involved.

🛈 Example: If the case is well-documented and both parties are prepared, the trial might last only a few days. However, if the case is complex, with numerous witnesses and experts, the trial could last several weeks or even months, especially if there are pre-trial motions and delays.

11. Settlement offers: Initial settlement offers and the decision-making process regarding accepting or rejecting offers can impact how quickly a resolution is reached.

🛈 Example: If the initial settlement offer is reasonable and accepted, the case could resolve quickly. However, if the initial offers are low and require significant negotiation or if there are multiple settlement conferences, this can extend the timeline by several months.

Common Case Factors That Delay Slip & Fall Cases

1. Gathering evidence & establishing case facts: If there is no clear evidence such as surveillance footage or eyewitnesses, gathering sufficient proof to establish liability can be challenging. This might involve hiring investigators, obtaining maintenance records, or reconstructing the scene. If these pieces of evidence are hard to come by or disputed by the defendant, it can significantly delay the settlement process.

2. Medical treatment: For cases involving severe injuries, the claimant may need extensive and ongoing medical treatment, including surgeries, physical therapy, and specialist consultations. The full extent of the injuries and long-term prognosis must be clear before a fair settlement can be determined. Delays in medical treatment, waiting for medical records, or complications in recovery can all extend the duration of the case.

3. Case value: Accurately how much a slip and fall settlement is worth involves calculating not just immediate medical expenses, but also long-term costs such as future medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If there is significant disagreement between the parties about the value of these damages, extensive negotiations or additional expert evaluations might be required, delaying the settlement.

4. Statute of limitations: In some cases, claimants might wait until the statute of limitations is near expiration before filing a lawsuit. This can rush the process and add pressure to gather evidence and assess damages quickly. If the statute of limitations is not carefully monitored, it can also lead to last-minute legal maneuvering, further complicating and delaying the case.

5. Insurance company involvement: The insurance company handling the claim might use delaying tactics, such as slow responses, low initial offers, or requesting additional unnecessary information, to prolong the process. This can force the claimant into a protracted negotiation phase or even litigation, delaying the final settlement.

Get Help With Your Claim From An Experienced Slip & Fall Attorney

It’s important to note that each slip and fall claim is unique, and how long your slip and fall case takes to resolve will depend on the unique circumstances and variables of your case. Consulting with a slip and fall attorney can help you better understand the timeline of your claim, and help you recover fair compensation.

Getting started with your slip and fall case is easy. Just request a free case evaluation online, and a legal team in our network will reach out to you regarding your case. Our network of attorneys includes a team of over 250+ legal professionals throughout the United States with over $1 billion recovered for clients, including individuals who have suffered injuries as a result of a slip and fall accident.

⚖️ All of our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no upfront legal fees or costs — you only pay if you win.

About

We use settlement calculators to help individuals estimate how much compensation they may receive from their personal injury claim. We partner with law firms throughout the United States to help produce the most accurate results. Our content and calculators are created with the help of top-rated attorneys and legal professionals.

Find out if you're eligible to recover compensation.

Free Case Evaluation →

⚖️ All of our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no upfront legal fees or costs — you only pay if you win.