Wet floor sign in the entryway of a building

On average, a straightforward slip and fall case in New York City may take anywhere from six months to three years to resolve. However, this timeline is only a general estimate. The length of time it will take your case to resolve depends on multiple factors– such as the complexity of the case, how long discovery takes, and whether you decide to accept a settlement offer– or have your personal injury lawyer litigate it in court.

At Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C., we understand the serious consequences of this type of accident. Our New York City slip and fall lawyer will make every effort to accelerate the legal timeline so that you can access the funds you need for your recovery. There are multiple stages to a slip and fall lawsuit, and the overall timeline will depend on how quickly each stage proceeds.

The initial case review

The process begins when you meet with our team. At Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C., this initial consultation is free of charge. We will review your case and all available documentation before advising you on avenues for pursuing legal recourse.

If you decide to move forward with a lawsuit, we will take a deeper dive into the available evidence to establish liability for the incident. Your attorney may interview eyewitnesses, if available, subpoena surveillance camera footage, and request access to your medical records. This process may take a matter of weeks.

The filing of the lawsuit

After thoroughly reviewing all available evidence and questioning you closely about the incident and your injuries, your lawyer will prepare the legal complaint and file it. Under New York law, plaintiffs have up to three years to file a lawsuit after a slip and fall incident. However, the sooner an attorney takes on the case, the more likely it is that substantiating evidence will be uncovered. Over time, evidence may disappear, and memories can fade. It’s often preferable to file sooner rather than later.

Once the lawsuit is filed, the defendant will be served with a summons. In most cases, they will have up to 30 days to respond.

The process of discovery

Discovery is the process where both sides, in a legal matter, get as much information about the case as possible. It includes the exchange of documents, the deposition of involved individuals, and requests for admissions (verification, denial, or objection to written factual statements).

The discovery timeline in New York can vary quite a bit. In simple, straightforward cases, it may only take several months to complete discovery. In complex cases, discovery may take many months or perhaps even longer than a year. Much of the timing also depends on the Court’s availability to hear related motions and hold conferences.

Settlement negotiations or litigation

Settlement negotiations often take place after the process of discovery. The defendant may offer a sum of money in exchange for your agreement to drop the lawsuit. At that point, your New York City slip and fall lawyer will negotiate with the defendant in an attempt to increase the amount.

It’s your decision whether to accept the settlement offer and drop the lawsuit or pursue justice in court. If you accept the settlement, your case can be resolved relatively quickly. If you decide to go to trial, the trial will likely be scheduled several months in advance. The trial itself may take up to a few weeks, depending on the case’s complexity and the number of witnesses. The vast majority of slip and fall cases are resolved with settlements.

How Will My Medical Treatment Influence My Settlement Timeline 

Your injury, your course of treatment, and your recovery will partially dictate your settlement timeline. Typically, your lawyer will need to wait to settle until you’ve recovered –or the nature of your injury is fully understood.  

Your compensation is based on a few important factors: pain and suffering, future medical expenses, lost income, and permanent health limitations, among others. If you are still being treated and your condition is improving, your doctor is unlikely to give your attorney the information they need to earn you the maximum possible settlement.  

If you’ve suffered relatively minor injuries, your lawyer may be able to settle on a comparatively short timeline. For example, if you’ve suffered a minor wrist fracture that will heal completely in six weeks, you may be able to settle shortly after your recovery. On the other hand, it may take over a year to fully understand the permanent or long-term repercussions if you’ve suffered a brain injury. Therefore, the settlement timeline will be longer than a less impactful injury.  

If you have suffered a serious injury, you will not receive the compensation you deserve if you settle your case before these details are understood. For example, you will earn a significantly larger settlement if your injury is permanent, causing a decreased quality of life and lowered income potential. However, if you are still in rehab and a full (or partial) recovery is still possible, your lawyer will not be able to claim that you suffered permanent injuries.  

Overall, the more severe and life-altering your injury is, the longer it will take to reach a settlement. Once treatment (such as surgeries or physical therapy) is completed, your doctor and lawyer will better understand how your injuries will affect your life now and in the future. This will allow your lawyer to earn you the maximum possible compensation package.  

Contact us for a free consultation

A slip and fall incident can result in costly medical treatments and a prolonged recovery period that prevents you from working. If you’ve been injured, you need legal representation you can count on. Contact us at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. We have secured millions in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our injured clients. Call today to request your free consultation. We never charge a fee unless we win.