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

Slip and fall accidents often occur because negligent landlords and property owners fail to provide adequate maintenance, leading to hazardous property conditions.  When a person or company is negligent, meaning they don’t take normal measures to prevent or repair a hazard, they may be held liable for the victim’s injuries.  In this situation, the accident victim may be able to get compensated by filing a claim, or, if no settlement is reached, a personal injury lawsuit.  If you were seriously injured after falling on another person’s property, you should contact a slip and fall lawyer right away to discuss your legal options.

How Long Should I Wait to Seek Medical Treatment After Being Injured?

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It’s extremely important that you do not delay getting medical treatment after being injured in an accident for which you were not at fault.  If you’re the type who normally procrastinates, make it a point to see a physician as soon as possible.  Ideally, you should see a doctor within 72 hours of sustaining a slip and fall injury.  It’s crucial to see a doctor promptly for two reasons:

  1. First and foremost, taking care of your health is the number one priority. You may have sustained a serious injury, and the sooner you get diagnosed, the sooner you can start being treated and making a recovery.
  2. If you wait to get medical care in hopes that your injuries will go away by themselves, the insurance company may use the delay against you, questioning why you waited if the injuries were really as serious and disabling as you claim.

Warning signs that you’ve been seriously injured include:

  • Confusion or grogginess
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue/exhaustion
  • High fever
  • Losing focus or forgetting information
  • Mood swings
  • Pale or clammy skin
  • Persistent coughing or wheezing
  • Weakness/dizziness
  • The injured area feels warm or hard
  • The injured area is stiff, rigid, or less flexible than it normally is

If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms, you should seek medical care immediately.  Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), bone fractures, back injuries, spinal cord injuries (SCI), sprains (torn ligaments), strains (torn muscle fibers), lacerations, contusions, and other soft tissue injuries are all common outcomes of slip and fall accidents, particularly among children and elderly individuals.  In particular, hip fractures (pelvic fractures) are a huge concern in adults aged 65 or older.  Falls are responsible for more than 95% of all hip fractures in this age group.

What is the Expected Time to Settle a Slip and Fall Accident Claim?

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No two slip and fall cases are exactly alike, so unfortunately, it’s impossible to make a definitive statement about how long your matter will take to resolve.  If settlement negotiations go smoothly, it may only take a few months.

Many, but not all, slip and fall claims are resolved through a settlement.  However, if settlement negotiations fail to bring about an acceptable outcome, a trial may become necessary.  Instead of working out a mutual arrangement as they would in a settlement, the plaintiff and defendant become opposing parties, with each side trying to make the most compelling argument in court about how and why the accident occurred.

If litigation (a lawsuit) becomes necessary, the case may take up to several years to resolve completely.  However, the timeline may be much shorter in other cases.  It depends on factors like the quantity and strength of the evidence, the severity of your injuries, and the complexity of the accident that occurred.

After sustaining an injury, your first task should be seeing a doctor and getting the rest you need.  However, it’s in your best interest to act as quickly as possible following a trip and fall accident.  There is a firm deadline to file a lawsuit, known as the “statute of limitations.”  If the statute runs out of time, you will lose much of your legal recourse, because your claim will be unable to proceed through Utah’s court system.  The Utah personal injury statute of limitations is four years, beginning from the date the injury was sustained.

Contact an Injury Attorney in Utah for Help With Your Case

Four years is a long time, and it may seem unnecessary to get immediate legal help.  But the benefit of contacting a Utah personal injury attorney sooner rather than later is that it will maximize the amount of time your attorney has to build a strong case on your behalf.  Getting an early start and staying ahead of the defense is key to making a recovery.

If you were injured after falling on another person’s property in Utah, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, income losses, and other expenses.  Call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143 to set up a free legal consultation.  Attorney Darwin Overson has over 33 years of experience helping injury victims fight for accident compensation.  Darwin serves clients throughout Salt Lake County, including Salt Lake City, West Valley City, South Jordan, West Jordan, Draper, Riverton, and more.

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