The process for a slip and fall case can vary from case to case and could be resolved by a trial or a settlement before reaching trial. A slip and fall case undergoes a number of stages before it gets resolved. Below is a timeline that most of slip and fall cases follow. It is best to contact a personal injury attorney to help you through the process.
Step 1 – The Notice and Claim Process
The property owner will first have to be given notice of your claim by your attorney. After two years, if the claim has not been settled, the attorney will prepare a document known as a Statement of Claim and have it issued in the court. That will then protect the limitation period. The Statement of Claim names the parties to the lawsuit sets out the nature of the claim and describes the injuries suffered. Once issued, the Statement of Claim will then be served on the defendant(s).
Step 2 – The Defendant’s Statement of Defense
A Statement of Defense will be then filed by the defendant, which is usually a standardized document in which the defendant will deny all responsibility for the accident and the injury. The Statement of Defense from the defendant is due within 20 days of the Statement of Claim being serviced but can be extended if the plaintiff’s lawyer agrees.
Step 3 – The Discovery Phase
This phase of a slip and fall case involves the parties learning as much as they can about the case. Each party’s lawyer will prepare an Affidavit of Documents, which sets out the relevant documents in the party’s possession. This will include such things as medical records, employment files, tax returns, property inspection and maintenance reports, etc. Next, the lawyers will schedule an Examinations for Discovery, which is a process where lawyers from each part will have the chance to ask the opposing party questions regarding the accident.
Step 4 – Pre-trial Conference
The case may be settled at some point after the Examinations for Discovery. If that does not happen, the case will be set down for trial. Before the trial, the court will schedule a pre-trial conference, which is a process where the lawyers and their clients attend before a Superior Court judge to see whether the judge can help in getting the case resolved.
Step 5 – Going to Trial
If the case still has not settled after a pre-trial conference, the trial can take place. The vast majority of cases usually settle without going to trial. However, if the case has to go to trial, a trial date will be scheduled. The case can take from anywhere between a few days to a few weeks depending on its complexity and on the judge appointed to the case.
The Final Step – Judgment
If you win your case against another party for their negligence that resulted in your injuries, you will be required to collect your judgment. Most of the time, the defendant will be insured, and therefore the insurance company will pay the judgment.