Settling a slip and fall claim can take several months or several years. Ultimately, the length of your proceedings may depend on several factors, including:
- The type of entity against which you are filing a claim
- The volume of evidence that needs to be examined
- The investigations that go into preparing your demands
- The amount of time it takes for the court to review evidence, deliberate their decision, and make their final ruling
- The specific laws and guidelines related to your case.
Although there is no definitive answer when you ask, “how long does it take to settle a slip and fall?”, there are plenty of ways to learn more about slip and fall claims. In fact, speaking with a slip and fall lawyer may help you better understand how the civil court system functions.
Types of Compensation Available in Slip and Fall Cases
Under Georgia law, you may be eligible to receive two types of compensation: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Ultimately, compensatory damages may be your best opportunity to seek justice for your losses – including your physical, mental, and financial hardships.
Examples of recoverable damages include:
- Lost wages and benefits
- Diminished earning capacity
- Relevant medical expenses, including past treatments and ongoing care
- Property damage
- Mental anguish, encompassing loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, psychological trauma and more
- Physical pain
- Appropriate accommodations for long-term disabilities.
Although punitive damages are not unheard of in civil courts, most victims of slip and fall accidents will not qualify for them. That is because the courts have a special purpose for punitive damages: They are meant to punish the egregious offenders. If the offender did not display malice, wantonness, willful misconduct, oppression, or an equally heinous form of misconduct during your accident, the court may not award punitive damages.
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You Can Still be Compensated for an Accident If You were Partially Responsible
According to O.C.G.A. §51-12-33 sharing responsibility for your slip and fall claim does not prevent you from recovering damages. However, you are only eligible for compensation if you were less than 50% liable.
To uphold true justice, the court will carefully examine the involvement of any individual who may have played a role in the accident – including outside parties that have been left out of the claim.
Yet, even if the court finds you liable for a small portion of your accident, your final settlement will be reduced proportionately to the amount of culpability you displayed. To achieve this, your liability will be converted to a percentage.
For example, if the court awards you $20,000 in damages, but you were determined to be 25% liable, the final ruling will reduce your compensation to $15,000.
Calculating the Monetary Value of Your Injuries
Assigning values to the financial, psychological, and physical effects of your injuries may require many different methods. At a base level, you need to gather as much proof as possible for all these losses.
Your financial losses will often be the easiest to determine, as many expenses leave a paper trail. However, determining non-economic damages is much more challenging. To achieve this, you may need to use abstract methods that assign tangible values to your intangible suffering.
Overall, common methods for calculating include:
- Collecting all the receipts, bills, and invoices for your injury-related expenses
- Obtaining proof of your income before the accident, and estimating lost wages for the future
- Gathering victim impact statements that describe how the injuries have affected your relationships, your passions, and your quality of life
- Getting appraisals on the cost of property damage
- Reaching out to relevant experts who can add context and perspective on your intangible suffering.
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Slip and Fall Lawyers Fighting for Victims in Georgia
At Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, we have represented countless slip and fall victims over the years. Along the way, we have helped victims, families, and communities seek justice for their undue trauma.
Although our attorneys cannot provide a definitive answer when you ask, “how long does it take to settle a slip and fall?” we can be there to handle every aspect of your legal proceedings. That includes representing your case in court, gathering evidence to prove liability, assigning values to your losses, and much more.
As you examine your legal options, you should keep in mind that slip and fall claims must be filed within two years of your accident – as described under O.C.G.A §9-3-33. If you fail to file a claim before this deadline, your case may be dismissed.
To learn more about slip and fall cases in Georgia, contact a Bader Scott Injury Lawyers representative today at (404) 888-8888 to receive your free consultation.