How Long Do Slip and Fall Lawsuits Take in Pennsylvania?
If you were the victim of a serious injury because of a slip and fall, you might be dealing with extensive medical bills. Additionally, your career and personal life may be drastically affected if your injury was severe. These problems may leave you wondering how long it will take to file and adjudicate your slip and fall case. If you or a family member was seriously injured in a slip and fall, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer. The legal team at The Reiff Law Firm can help you fight your slip and fall case. Our lawyers explain how long slip and fall cases generally take in Pennsylvania.
What is a Slip and Fall?
A “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” is when a person slips on an unforeseen property defect and suffers an injury. Slip and falls claims may also be referred to as premises liability cases. A premises liability case deals with the duty of care that a property owner owes to visitors. A slip and fall can occur virtually anywhere if a property owner neglects to maintain their property. Examples of dangerous conditions that can cause a slip and fall accident include:
- Cracked, icy, or uneven sidewalks;
- Parking lots or walkways with dim lighting;
- Unstable or rotting stairwells; and
- Wet floors in a person’s home or business.
A property owner has a duty to correct hazardous conditions on their property or at least warn visitors of the existence of a hazardous condition. In some circumstances, a property owner may even have a duty to avoid recklessly or purposely injuring trespassers.
If you need to know more about the grounds for filing a slip and fall lawsuit, you should speak with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer.
Factors that Could Impact the Length of Your Slip and Fall Lawsuit
There are various factors that may impact the time it takes to adjudicate your slip and fall lawsuit. It is understandable to want your case handled as quickly as possible, but it is important to recognize issues that may expedite or impede your case. Rushing through a lawsuit is likely to lead to an unwanted legal outcome.
One issue that must be considered when estimating the length of your slip and fall claim is the severity of your injuries. If you suffered injuries that could have long-term or permanent complications, it might be difficult to determine the monetary compensation needed to cover your medical expenses, requiring additional research and calculations by financial experts. Common injuries that you can sustain because of a slip and fall include:
- Fractures or broken bones (usually in the arm, wrists, or hips),
- Spinal cord injuries, and
- Traumatic brain injuries.
This is not an exhaustive list, and there are many other injuries that may result from a slip and fall accident.
Sometimes, the victim of a slip and fall may suffer an injury that does not exhibit any signs or symptoms for a period of time. For example, if you suffered a nerve injury after tripping and falling, you may not know it for several days or weeks. This could lead to asking for compensation that does not cover all of your medical expenses. Prior to filing your slip and fall claim, you should ensure that you receive extensive medical treatment to diagnose any latent injuries.
Another issue that could affect the length of your claim is determining who is responsible for your injuries. The potential at-fault parties may owe you different standards of care based on your relationship to them. An individual who was injured while trespassing may have a difficult time showing that the property owner was trying to recklessly or maliciously injure them, making the case take longer. Alternatively, a person who can prove they were invited onto the property may have an easier time showing they were not made aware of any dangerous conditions.
One way to possibly expedite your case is to document the accident and your injuries thoroughly. While Pennsylvania allows you two years to file your slip and fall claim with the court, it would be a wise decision to file sooner. Filing your case early will make it easier to gather evidence for your case. For example, if you tripped on a portion of cracked pavement but failed to photograph the site of the accident, the property owner may correct the hazardous condition before you can document it. While this does not mean that you cannot prevail in your case, it may impede the evidence gathering process and your case as a whole. Once a case is filed, a judge can help protect evidence from destruction or order evidence be brought to court, such as security camera footage of the incident.
Philadelphia Premises Liability Attorneys Are Here for You
If you or a family member was injured in a slip and fall accident, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia premises liability attorney today. With over four decades of personal injury experience, the attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm are prepared to help you litigate your slip and fall claim. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (215) 246-9000.