• June 5, 2021

Slip And Fall Lawsuit Timeline

When considering a slip and fall lawsuit, you may wonder about the duration of the case. Based on several factors, such a case can take months or even years to resolve. Slip and fall lawsuits, like other civil lawsuits, go through some distinct stages. This article will discuss the timeline of a typical slip and fall lawsuit.

The complaint in a slip and fall case

This document is prepared by the lawyer, and it explains the nature of your claim. The amount of details required in a complaint differs in each state. Some state laws instruct plaintiffs to provide a detailed factual summary. Other states do not require the plaintiff to put much detail on the complaint to bring the defendant on notice.

Overall, the complainant will have to add the following information:

  • Parties involved in the incident
  • A description of the occurrence of the fall
  • The person allegedly responsible
  • The amount you want the responsible party to pay you as a compensation

You have to file the complaint in the court where you are bringing your lawsuit, and you have to serve it to the party you are suing. The defendants will be ordered to file a response to the complaint within a fixed time limit.

The defendant’s answer

The defendant will file a document in response to your complaint, and that will be the formal answer. This answer will not contain the details you had added to your document. Instead, an answer is an admittance or denial of the complaint.

Moreover, an answer states affirmative defenses. These legal doctrines tend to reduce the defendant’s liability in the case. As mentioned above, the defendant’s answer must come within the next 20 days of the complaint. However, the defendant can get 20 days more by agreeing to give up on a few legal defenses.

The discovery phase of the lawsuit

In this phase of the case, parties learn about the case as much as possible. It is done by going through a written discovery phase, involving interrogatories and production requests. Interrogatories are essentially the questions you have to answer under oath. Requests for production refer to the requests to produce documents and things related to the claim.

A discovery phase may last three months to a few years, depending on the case complexity, duration of the medical treatment, and court’s schedule.

Pre-trial motions

Parties may choose to file certain motions with the court before trial to resolve things. They usually file pre-trial motions during the phase of the recovery. The following are the most common pre-trial motions.

  • Motion to dismiss
  • Motion to compel
  • Motion for summary judgment
  • Motion in Limine

Mediation/mandatory settlement conference

It is usually the utmost priority of parties to get their case resolved without a trial. Two common methods to get it done are mediation and settlement conferences. Both these methods are similar in terms of their style. One significant difference between the both is that parties consider mediation on their own with a mediator, while a settlement conference is ordered by the court. Your judge will govern the settlement conference.

In case the slip and fall lawsuit goes to trial

The trial occurs after the closing of discovery. After that, your case will be put on a schedule with the court. The court will hear the case on that schedule. Since a slip and fall case is not very complicated, you may get a verdict within five days.

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