What is the slip and fall settlement process?
Settling slip and fall cases in Tampa can be challenging and can take months, or even years, to reach a verdict. While no two slip and fall accidents are the same, most premise liability cases are settled outside of court and follow the below basic process:
Your attorney will begin the slip and fall settlement process by first investigating the conditions of your accident. He or she will gather evidence from the accident scene, obtain your medical records and bills, communicate with the at-fault party’s attorney or insurance company, and evaluate the strength and value of your injury claim.
2. Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
During this phase of the slip and fall settlement process, MMI is determined. MMI refers to an injured person’s treatment plateau where his or her injury status is not expected to improve. This is an important part of the slip and fall settlement process because it helps your attorney and the opposing insurance company estimate the extent of your injuries, medical care, and lifelong damages.
Once your attorney has thoroughly investigated your slip and fall accident and you have reached your MMI, the next step is for your attorney to send a demand to the opposing party’s insurance company outlining the property owner’s negligence, the extent of your injuries, the cost of your medical bills, the kind of pain and suffering that you have endured, and the amount of compensation that you are requesting. Usually, once your attorney sends a demand, this opens a negotiation phase between sides that can either result in a settlement or lead to litigation.
If a settlement cannot be reached during the negotiation phase, your attorney will take your slip and fall case to trial. This is the final step in the settlement process. According to the facts of your case, you may either participate in a bench trial or a jury trial. In a bench trial, a judge will give the verdict and decide a settlement value. In a jury trial, a judge will determine which laws apply to your case, but a jury will decide the ultimate outcome. Given the subjectivity of jury trials, it is difficult to predict how a slip and fall case will be settled.