One of the most frequently asked questions is: How long does a slip and fall case take to resolve?
The amount of time it will take to resolve a slip and fall case is fact-specific.
Generally, slip and fall cases are very difficult because liability is always contested. Aside from establishing knowledge on the part of a property owner, manager and/or occupier, the injured person also has to prove that the thing that caused him or her to fall was a dangerous condition and not a trivial defect.
Under California law, a property owner is not required to fix all defects. He or she is required to fix and/or warn customers of only defects that pose some type of a hazard. Since there are so many issues that need to be examined (such as lighting, condition of the surface, the type of shoes worn by the injured person, the type of substance that cause the fall, knowledge of the dangerous condition, the lack of attentiveness on the part of the victim, etc…), it takes more time for attorneys to build the case against the property owner and/or operator.
Aside from establishing liability, a slip and fall case, generally, should not be resolved until the injured person has fully recovered or there is a clear understanding as to the victim’s medical prognosis and cost of future medical treatment.
If the slip and fall has resulted in serious injury such as brain damage or will require some type of surgical intervention, the case will be heavily litigated. Each side will hire a team of expert witnesses on both liability and damages.
BOTTOM LINE: Cases that are filed in court generally take twelve to eighteen months to resolve. Other cases that involve soft tissue injury (i.e., no broken bones) generally take three to six months to resolve.