There is no simple way to predict when you can expect to get paid from your premises liability claim. While some cases can settle in a matter of days or weeks, others will play out over the course of months or years.
Many different factors will combine to determine how long your case takes to resolve. While every case is different, your attorney could provide you with an understanding of what to expect at the start of your case. By carefully reviewing the facts of your case, they could estimate not only whether your case is likely to settle or not but also how long it might take to resolve.
Factors that Can Delay a Premises Liability Case
Understanding the factors that can delay a premises liability case can help you form a reasonable idea of what to expect from your circumstances. It may be impossible to pinpoint how long your case might take, but reviewing all of the factors involved in your claim could prepare you for the most likely outcomes.
When you pursue a premises liability case, you can expect the property owner or occupier to have an insurance company in their corner. These insurers are ultimately responsible for the claims against the property owner, and they have little incentive to move quickly. They understand that you need this money more than they do, and any delay likely works in their favor.
For that reason, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to drag their feet whenever possible. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf when the insurer proves difficult.
Your ongoing medical care could delay the process of settling your premises liability case. This is because your attorney might advise you not to settle your case until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is the point where no amount of additional medical care will improve your condition following a serious injury.
The reason behind this delay is simple. If you settle your case before you have exhausted your medical options, you might require additional medical care not provided for in your settlement. You only get one shot to settle your claim. If you accrue additional medical bills after you resolve your case, you will be left paying for them on your own. In these cases, a delay could work in your favor.
One of the primary reasons you might not immediately resolve your premises liability case is if the property owner refuses to take responsibility. A contested claim can increase the likelihood of a trial and is a primary factor in delaying—or even preventing—reasonable settlement offers.
Building a strong case for negligence is helpful in these situations. In Georgia, liability for property owners is addressed by statute at OCGA §51-3-1. According to this statute, both owners and occupiers of land owe a duty of care to their invited guests. This is true if the invitation was express or implied (explicitly stated to you or not).
The same protections are not extended to trespassers, although they are protected against intentional acts of harm. A strong case for liability could result in a quick resolution of your claim.
Failure to Consider the Statute of Limitations Could Limit Your Recovery
While some circumstances can speed up or delay the resolution of your injury claim, others can end your opportunity to recover compensation entirely. The statute of limitations is one of those circumstances.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations is governed by OCGA §9-3-33. The statute of limitations serves as a deadline for your premises liability lawsuit. If you do not file your case before the statute expires, you will lose out on your ability to pursue your claim in the future. Typically, the statute of limitations for these cases is two years.
Your attorney could work with you to ensure that your case complies with the statute of limitations. In limited circumstances, they could also advise you regarding the rare cases where an exception might allow you to file suit even if the statute of limitations has expired.
Talk to Your Attorney About Your Premises Liability Case
The best time to learn about when you can expect to get paid from your premises liability claim is during your initial consultation. When you meet with the team for a potential attorney for the first time, you could learn about the issues that could delay your resolution, as well as any factors that might push a favorable settlement along.
At Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, we understand the value of your initial consultation. That is why every consultation with us is free. To take advantage of your free, no-obligation consultation, dial (404) 888-8888.