Just as with other personal injury law suits, slip & falls cases have to go through a number of stages. Below we explore the timeline that you can expect slip and fall lawyers to follow.
Step 1 – The Notice and Claim Process in a Trip and Fall Case
A personal injury lawyer will first put the property owner on notice of the claim. Within two years, if the claim has not settled, the lawyer 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 Defence
The defendant then files their Statement of Defence, which is usually a boilerplate document in which the defendant will deny all responsibility for the accident and the injury.
The Statement of Defence from the defendant is due within 20 days of the Statement of Claim being serviced, but a further time can be secured if the plaintiff’s lawyer agrees.
Step 3 – The Discovery Phase
This phase of a trip and fall personal injury case involves the parties learning as much as they can about the case. To do so, 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 Examinations for Discovery, which is a process where each lawyer has the chance to ask the opposing party questions under oath about how the accident happened, what injuries were suffered, etc.
Step 4 – Pre-trial Conference
Often, the case will settle at some point after the Examinations for Discovery. However, if that does not happen, the case will be set down for trial. In advance of 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 assist in getting the case resolved.
Step 5 – Going to Trial
Once the pre-trial is completed and if the case still has not settled, the trial can take place. Statistically, the vast majority of cases settle without going to trial. However, if the case has to go to trial, a trial date will be scheduled. Depending on how complex the personal injury case is and the judge appointed to the case, the case can take from anywhere between a few days to a few weeks.
The Final Step – Judgment
If you win your case against another party for their negligence that led to your injuries, you will be required to collect your judgment. In the vast majority of cases, the defendant will be insured and therefore the insurance company will pay the judgment.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you have been injured in a fall on another person’s property, our expert team of slip and fall lawyers at Mackesy Smye can assist you with seeking the compensation you may be entitled to. Get in touch for your free consultation.