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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

Florida personal injury lawyers



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    How Long Does It Take to Settle a Trip or Slip and Fall Case?

    Speak to a Miami trip and fall lawyer if you or someone you know needs help after sustaining an injury from a slip or trip and fall. We can help you estimate how long your case will take and what you can expect when you bring a claim.

    Slip and trip and fall cases are the most common personal injury claims because they happen so often. 

    Whether the accident occurs in the lobby of a hotel, on a wet cruise ship floor, or the wrinkled carpet in a dark restaurant, business owners have a duty of care to provide safe environments for employees, guests, and other visitors. 

    Were you a victim of a trip and fall accident, and do you believe there was negligence? Then, find a Miami trip and fall and slip and fall lawyer to help you pursue a claim to cover medical costs associated with your recovery. 

    One of the biggest concerns we get in trip and fall cases is the timeline. People, understandably, want to know when the issue will resolve, and they can receive compensation for their injuries. 

    Let’s look at typical trip and fall case timelines and what you can expect. 

    Why People Are Concerned With Timelines

    At best, a slip and fall injury is a minor inconvenience. Same with a trip and fall. However, in many cases, falls can lead to significant and serious injuries that can affect the rest of a victim’s life.

    Unfortunately, people who suffer trip and fall and slip and fall injuries are often too quick to brush them off. Falling in front of other people can sometimes be embarrassing, so people hurriedly brush off what happened and they incorrectly try to move on. 

    Even in the face of serious injury, people are quick to blame themselves. They say it was their fault, or they weren’t paying attention when it was negligence on the part of a property owner or business that led to them falling. 

    Whatever the case may be, trip and fall and slip and fall injuries lead to broken hips, broken legs, fractured feet, torn ligaments, concussions, sprains and sometimes even death. Sustaining a fall is no small matter, which is why the law places so much emphasis on a property owner’s responsibility to create a safe environment and strictly follow their duty of care. 

    After sustaining an injury in a slip and fall or trip and fall, the physical, mental and financial affects on someone. They can range from:

    • Lost income from work
    • Medical appointments
    • Physical therapy
    • Lost opportunities
    • Decreased mobility
    • Medical equipment (walkers, cane, crutches, etc.)

    The bills add up. Not only are you dealing with the medical costs of emergency and ongoing care, but what about the lost job opportunities and missed income? Plus the uncertainly in the future? These all must be factored into a slip and fall and trip and fall settlement or trial. 

    A Miami Trip and Fall Lawyer Will Help You Know What to Expect

    In a perfect world, your trip and fall and slip and fall case could resolve within months from the fall. With the right Miami trip and fall and slip and fall lawyer, you’ll have the evidence and experience you need to negotiate money damages that will cover your expenses and pain and suffering successfully. 

    This, however, is not a perfect world, and companies, property owners, and insurance companies aren’t in a rush to settle unless the dollar amount favors them.

    Here are some things to keep in mind:

    Be Wary of Quick Settlement Offers

    No one wants to unnecessarily drag the settlement process out, but the other side knows the stress you’re under. They know that you’re likely under financial strain tied to your recovery. So they’re going to come at you with a low offer designed to make you think about it. 

    They Have Lawyers Too

    Remember, the other side has lawyers too. So you need the right Miami slip and trip and fall lawyer who will tell you when to reject a low compensation offer based on their experience. 

    They’ve Done This Before

    Companies hire law firms that represent other slip and fall, case defendants. They have resources and get settlements down to a science. They know how much you’re likely to accept and won’t give a dollar more without a fight. That’s why you need an experienced lawyer on your side as well who knows the ins and outs of handling slip and fall and trip and fall claims and cases. 

    Filing Your Claim – Time Requirements

    Typically, a slip and fall accident victim generally has two years from the time of the injury to file a claim. We know that filing a personal injury claim isn’t the first thing on someone’s mind when they fall and break their hip. But two years passes quickly and it takes some time to investigate and prepare a case before it is filed so do not wait!

    It also takes time to understand the full impact of injuries. For example, people with concussions regularly have no idea they have a concussion until days or weeks after the incident. The four-year statute helps people assess their condition fully before deciding to take legal action. 

    But remember – time is of the essence in determining whether a claim should be brought. That way evidence is preserved, witnesses are locked down and the condition that caused the slip and fall or trip and fall isn’t changed, altered or modified in any way.

    You need to do two main things between the time of your incident and when you decide to file a claim. 

    Say the Right Things & Avoid Saying the Wrong Things

    Have you ever been in a car accident? Then, you usually get out of the car, swap insurance information, perhaps wait for the police to arrive, and make a record. 

    You get phone calls from the other person’s insurance company when you get home. They are super friendly over the phone, and they tell you in a relaxed way that they just want to get your version of the events.

    You don’t know, though, that your statements build a narrative of what happened. If you offer up different details in the future, it can discount your claim and lead to increased liability. 

    The same goes for slip and fall and trip and fall accidents. What you say after an incident, whether you filed your claim yet or not, has a significant impact on your case. 

    Even something like saying, “I’m OK,” or, “I’m fine” after you fall can diminish your claim. 

    Don’t speak to anyone from the defendant’s side without your lawyer present. The right Miami slip and fall lawyer will help you know what to say and what not to say to protect your case. 

    Gathering Evidence

    Building a case means gathering evidence to prove negligence existed and that the defendant breached their duty of care. We know it’s probably not on your mind while you’re feeling the pain of falling, but anything you can recollect or record about the environment and what happened will help your case. 

    Additionally, working with an experienced Miami trip and fall attorney will help you along the way. They will know how to gather:

    • Photographs
    • Video Records
    • Witness Statements
    • Police Records
    • Past Judgments
    • Changes to the property
    • & Other Relevant Documents

    The evidence gathering doesn’t end when you file a claim, but it’s good to start as early as possible. 

    Damages for Injuries Now & in the Future – Talk to a Miami Trip and Fall Lawyer

    You don’t know what’s going to happen down the road. Yes, your head hurts after a fall, but what does that mean for you twenty or thirty years from now? Is your injury going to impact your cognitive performance long-term? Will your broken bones increase your chance of getting arthritis in your old age?

    It’s easy to focus on the “now” after an injury. What you should really do, though, is think about the future as well. 

    An experienced Miami trip and fall lawyer will know how to project the costs of your recovery now and the implications of the injury in the future. 

    This can often extend the length of settlement negotiations because your lawyer will go back and forth with the defendant’s representatives on the long-term effects and what they should pay. 

    Waiting, though, is usually worth it. It means they are taking your long-term costs into account and negotiating something more appropriate than just covering the costs of your hospital stay. 

    Leighton Panoff Law is the Preferred Miami Trip and Fall Lawyer

    The team at Leighton Panoff Law has successfully negotiated record settlements for victims of slip and fall injuries, car accidents, medical negligence, and other personal injury cases. 

    We have a team of attorneys with years of experience dealing with all kinds of cases, and we’re confident we can help you win the damages you deserve after a fall. 

    We offer free, no-obligation consultations to hear the details of your injuries and help you plan the best next steps in your case. 

    Remember, don’t speak to any insurance companies, other people’s lawyers, or any other third party without a lawyer present. Our team will help you know what to say and how to protect your interests best. 

    If you or someone you know is involved in a slip and fall injury, talk to us today to schedule a consultation.

    Article by:

    John Leighton

    A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite


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