An injury sustained on someone else’s property can lead to substantial costs and losses. You’ll likely have medical bills because you needed treatment for the harm you suffered. Recovering from your injury may also have caused you to miss work, leading to lost income. Because the accident happened on another person’s property, you can seek compensation for damages by filing a personal injury claim. As you see your financial burdens piling up, you may be curious about the amount of time it will take for your case to finish so you can get the recovery you need. Unfortunately, there isn’t a set timeline for premises liability cases. The duration of yours will depend on several factors, such as the extent of your injuries, the strength of the evidence, and the insurance company’s willingness to settle. Time may be added to your case if it has to go to trial.
At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, we leverage our skills to help clients pursue the compensation they need after an accident. To schedule a consultation with our Los Angeles attorneys, please call (800) 462-7160 or submit an online contact form today.
What Is Premises Liability?
If you’re a visitor on someone’s property – whether it’s a home, a business, or government land – the person who owns or has control of the premises has a duty to keep the area safe. That means they must exercise ordinary care to identify and address hazards that could cause danger to others.
“Identifying and addressing hazards” can mean a couple of things. The property owner fixes the dangerous condition, or they post signs warning visitors of their existence. If the property owner fails to do either, they could be considered negligent. The owner may be liable for your injuries if you are injured because of that negligence.
You could file a premises liability claim to recover compensation for damages like the following:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
What Factors May Be Considered in Your Case?
The amount of time your premises liability case will take depends on several factors. The most important will be the extent and severity of your injuries. The more serious the harm you suffered, the more substantial medical care you need. It’s inadvisable to settle a case before receiving all necessary treatment, as the settlement might not be enough to take care of damages.
Another factor is the strength of the evidence in your case. When you file a premises liability claim, you must prove that the property owner owed you a duty of care, was negligent in addressing dangerous conditions, and that negligence was a substantial factor in your resulting harm. The more favorable evidence you have, the greater the possibility of building compelling arguments.
The insurance company’s willingness to agree to a fair settlement may also play a part in the duration of your case. You might have to go through a series of negotiations with the representatives to seek a just amount.
Can You Just Accept the First Offer?
Accepting the insurance company’s first offer might be a way to resolve your case quickly. After all, you will get funds to take care of some of your damages.
Still, taking the first offer might not be the best route. First, it might be made before you have completed your medical treatment. As noted previously, settling a case while still being treated could mean receiving compensation that’s not in your favor. Once you sign on the dotted line, you waive your right to seek any more money from the insurance company, including through a lawsuit.
Also, although a first offer might be tempting, it’s often lower than what the case is worth. Insurance companies often make a lowball first offer for a couple of reasons. The claimant might accept it, relieving the insurance company from paying more than it has to. Or the carrier recognizes that the first offer is a starting point for negotiations.
What If Your Case Goes to Court?
If negotiations with the insurance company do not end favorably, you might have to take your case to court to seek fair compensation. This path extends the amount of time needed for your case.
The matter must be set for trial. It can take several months to a couple of years to get on the court’s calendar. A lot goes into preparing for trial, and once the case goes to court, it could take days or months to complete.
Speak with an Attorney
Receiving fair compensation in a premises liability case is essential. Various factors determine how long it will take to get a just settlement or verdict. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand the different paths your case can take and help you pursue the financial recovery you need and deserve.
Discuss your case with one of our Los Angeles lawyers by contacting Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP at (800) 462-7160.