If you were injured in a slip and fall accident in Arizona, you could suffer life-altering injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, back and spinal injuries, and serious fractures. When deciding whether to pursue your claim with the negligent business or property owner, you need to know the value of your slip and fall accident claim and how long it could take to reach a settlement with the insurance company.
Unfortunately, every case is unique. While some claims settle within a few months, others can take a year or longer to be resolved. Understanding the factors that can affect the length of time it could take to settle a slip and fall claim can give you a sense of how long it will take to settle your claim.
Factor #1: Your Medical Recovery
You should not settle your claim until you reach your maximum medical recovery. This is the stage in your medical treatment where you have fully recovered from your injuries or recovered as much as you will, and your doctor can give you a final prognosis.
Why is this important? Under Arizona law, you are entitled to your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the insurance company. You cannot know how much your future medical costs will be or how long you will be off work—if you can return to your job at all—until you reach this stage of your medical treatment.
If you suffered less severe injuries, you might be able to resolve your claim quickly. However, if your injuries are long-term, it could take longer to settle with the insurance company.
Factor #2: Disputes With the Insurance Company
Even if you have a solid case against the negligent property or business owner, their insurance company may raise disputes to deny your claim or try to pay you less than the full amount you are entitled to under Arizona law.
Common Disputes That the Insurance Company Might Raise
- You were fully or partially to blame for your fall.
- Another incident caused your injuries.
- Your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
- Another party’s negligence was the cause of your fall.
If the insurance company raises these or other disputes, it could take longer to settle your claim. You may need to collect additional evidence or hire an expert witness to refute the insurance adjuster’s arguments.
Factor #3: Seriousness of Your Injuries
How severely you were injured will directly impact how long it could take to settle your case. If you suffered more severe injuries that will take longer to heal or are permanent, the value of your claim would be higher. It is much more likely that the insurance company would try harder to deny your claim or pay you less than you deserve.
Factor #4: Litigation of Your Claim
While many slip and fall accident claims are settled out of court, not all are. If the statute of limitations, which is the time limit you have to file a lawsuit, will expire soon or the insurance company refuses to be reasonable, you may have to file a civil complaint and litigate your claim.
You would most likely still be able to reach a settlement before your case goes to a jury trial. However, it could take months or longer before this happens.
Were you or a family member injured in a slip and fall accident in Flagstaff or northern Arizona? It may be complicated to settle your claim with the insurance company for the at-fault business or property owner.
At Griffen & Stevens Law Firm, PLLC, we handle these cases on a contingency fee basis so that you only owe us attorney fees if we settle your claim. To learn more about how we can assist you, call our Flagstaff office at 928-226-0165 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today. We also invite you to order our free book, Injured in Northern Arizona: What Happens Next Is Up to You, to start learning about your rights.