Personal injury claims, including premises liability claims, may take months or years to reach the point at which you receive compensation. The parties in most premises liability claims settle before the case ever goes to court. However, depending on the claim’s circumstances, a case that goes to court may take much longer to resolve.
As a result, when you can expect to get paid from your premises liability claim in Los Angeles varies according to each case. Many factors can affect the length of a premises liability case and the stages of the claim that you must go through to get compensation for your injuries. These factors may include the extent of your injuries and timeline for recovery, the strength of the evidence supporting your claim, and whether you must file a lawsuit in court.
How Your Injuries Can Affect the Resolution of Your Claim
The extent of the injuries that you suffer in a premises liability can directly impact
when you can expect to get paid from your premises liability claim in Los Angeles. For instance, you likely will find it much easier to settle a premises liability claim involving a sprained ankle than one involving a broken neck.
When you have a sprained ankle, you likely will not stay in the hospital, have surgery, or suffer significant medical expenses. You also are unlikely to lose much income since you might be off work only a week or two. In the long-term, your ankle will likely heal and not cause you a permanent disability that affects your life in the future.
On the other hand, a broken neck is more likely to require you to stay in the hospital and an inpatient rehabilitation facility for days, weeks, or even months, which will substantially increase your medical expenses. A broken neck can cause permanent paralysis and prevent you from ever returning to work. As a result, you might be unable to support yourself and your family or enjoy regular activities.
How the Evidence Can Affect the Timeline of Your Claim
Premises liability claims, like most personal injury claims, depend on proof of negligence. California Civil Code (CIV) §1714 outlines the legal standard for proving negligence in a premises liability case. Under this law, property owners are liable for injuries to others that occur on their property if their failure to take care of the property led to the injuries. Property owners have the same legal duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others that an ordinary person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances.
Some premises liability claims have stronger evidence than others. For example, if a grocery store owner knows the ceiling leaks and causes a big puddle on the floor when it rains, but makes no effort to fix the roof, post warning signs, or contain the water in a bucket placed under the leak, the owner may very well be liable for any slip and fall injuries that occur.
However, if the ceiling has never leaked before, the owner and the employees are unaware of the leak, and the puddle formed only five minutes before a customer slipped and fell, then holding the owner liable for the injuries to the customer could be much more challenging.
Settling Your Claim or Litigating Your Claim in Court
California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1 establishes the statute of limitations, or a time limit, for filing a personal injury lawsuit in court. In most cases, with a few exceptions, you have two years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit in court.
You could spend a full two years negotiating with an insurance company. However, you risk running out the clock on the time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court if you do. An attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf during the negotiations process with an insurer. This allows you another way to pursue compensation in case negotiation talks stall, break down, or result in an unfair settlement.
If the insurance company determines that you do not have a valid claim or evidence to prove your case, then it might not be willing to settle your claim until you file a lawsuit in court. Lengthy negotiations could extend how long it takes to get paid for your injuries. Either way, you can pursue compensation if your lawsuit is filed by California’s statute of limitations deadline.
Get an Evaluation of Your Case Today
Various factors can increase or decrease how long it takes for you to obtain compensation for injuries in a premises liability claim. The severity of your injuries, the strength of your evidence, and whether your claim must go to court all affect the duration of your claim.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will evaluate your case at no cost to you upfront. You will not pay for legal services unless you receive compensation for your injuries. You can reach us at (800) 223-5115 to get more information about your potential premises liability claim. Call us to schedule a free case evaluation today.