Suffering serious injuries because of slipping and falling while visiting the property of someone else in Pennsylvania can devastate your life. When your injuries were caused by the negligent actions of the property owner, you might wonder how long a claim might take. Slip-and-fall accident claims can be complex, and each case is different. An attorney at DiCindio Law can evaluate your claim and explain its merits to you. We can also explain the process and the length of time that your claim might take to reach a settlement agreement or to go through a trial.
What factors affect the length of the claims process in Pennsylvania?
Many different factors can impact the lengths of the claims process after a slip-and-fall accident in Pennsylvania. The most important factors that can have an impact on the length of the process include the following:
- The severity of your injuries
- How long it will take for you to recover
- The strength of your evidence showing the property owner’s liability
- The willingness of the responsible party to negotiate a settlement agreement
- Whether your negligence also contributed to the accident
Working with a slip-and-fall accident lawyer at DiCindio Law can help you to understand what to expect throughout the claims process. Your lawyer can handle all of the details for you so that you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries.
The extent and severity of injuries in slip-and-fall accidents
Slip-and-fall accidents that lead to extensive and severe injuries can take longer to resolve than accidents that result in minor injuries. Cases involving severe injuries that are expected to last a long time take longer to resolve because of the greater sums of money that will be involved. At-fault parties who stand to have to pay large sums to the victims to compensate them are likelier to vigorously defend against the claims. If your injuries are severe, it might also take more time for you to reach your maximum level of medical improvement or to receive a prognosis. These are necessary for calculating your medical expenses and your future anticipated costs of care.
The consequences of common slip-and-fall accident injuries
While slip-and-fall accidents can result in many different injuries, some types of injuries are common in these accidents. Fractures are a common type of injury that can happen in a slip-and-fall accident because of direct trauma from a hard surface or the victim bracing himself or herself during the fall.
Many victims suffer sprains and strains to their ligaments, muscles, and soft tissues. These types of injuries might require extensive rehabilitation to regain mobility.
Traumatic brain injuries can leave victims with lifelong injuries, depending on their severity. TBIs can range from concussions to major conditions that permanently alter the lives of the victims and their families. Victims can also suffer spinal cord injuries in slip-and-fall accidents. Spinal cord damage can cause permanent partial or total paralysis. If you have suffered these serious types of injuries, your claim might take longer because of the amount of compensation that might be involved.
Understanding premises liability
Slip-and-fall accident claims are negligence claims that involve premises liability. Property owners and operators must maintain their premises in reasonably safe and hazard-free conditions for the people who are lawfully present, including guests, people who are on the premises for business purposes, and customers.
To prove an owner’s premises liability, you will be required to prove that the owner created the dangerous condition that led to your accident. You will also need to prove that the property owner either knew about the condition or should have known about it because of the length of time that it had existed. You will need to show that the property owner failed to take steps to correct the problem or to warn about its existence. Causation is another element of a premises liability claim. You will have to show that the property owner’s breach of the duty of care caused your accident, injuries, and financial harm.
The duty of care is a legal responsibility that commercial, residential, and governmental property owners owe to people who are legally present on their premises. Property owners and operators must keep their premises safe and free of hazards for guests. For example, they must keep their walkways, staircases, and handrails in good condition, promptly clean spills, post warning signs, and proactively inspect their properties to discover any dangerous conditions that might arise.
A breach of the duty of care occurs when a property owner fails to uphold his or her responsibilities. For example, a property owner might breach the duty by putting off repairs or ignoring spills.
Even if you can show that the owner breached the duty of care, you will not be able to recover compensation unless you can show that the breach caused your accident and injuries. Finally, you must show that you suffered actual harm, including injuries and financial losses.
If you have strong evidence linking the actions or inactions of the liable party to your injuries, it will be likelier for you to negotiate a fair settlement before going to trial. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate your claim to help you to build a strong case of liability.
Settling a slip-and-fall accident claim
Many slip-and-fall claims are resolved through settlement agreements without ever going to trial. Your lawyer will work as hard as possible to negotiate a fair settlement for you. Settling your claim is advantageous because it allows you to avoid the risk of trial. When you go to trial, there is no guarantee of what a jury might do. Settling your case also makes the process faster and spares you the expense of a trial.
What damages are recoverable in a slip-and-fall case?
Your lawyer will not be able to give you a precise value until a thorough investigation is completed. Typically, the following types of damages might be recoverable, however:
- Economic losses such as your medical expenses and income losses
- Noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering damages, disfigurement, scarring, disability, and others
Your lawyer at DiCindio Law can help you to understand the value of your claim after investigating it. If we are unable to reach a settlement agreement, we will fight for your rights to compensation through the litigation process.
Get help today
After suffering injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, you need to act quickly to preserve your rights. Contact DiCindio law today to schedule a free consultation by calling us at 610.430.3535.