After an injury on someone else’s property in Georgia, it’s common to wonder how long a premises liability claim takes to settle. The truth is, the answer to this inquiry is not straightforward. The amount of time it takes to reach a settlement depends on several different circumstances, including your damages, how the insurance company responds, and the expertise of your lawyer.
In many situations, a premises liability case does not take an unnecessarily long amount of time. Plus, if you work with an experienced premises liability lawyer in Georgia, you’ll reach a resolution much faster. If you need help with your case, contact John Foy & Associates today for a FREE consultation at (404) 400-4000.
Factors That Determine How Long a Premises Liability Claim Takes to Settle
Although every premises liability case is different (and thus, the times to settle vary), the same types of factors typically dictate how long the case will take. Here are the key elements that impact your case and how they fit into the overall timeline.
Your Medical Treatment and Timeline
It’s usually not smart to file a premises liability claim with the insurance company until your medical treatment is complete. That’s because you will want to get a good idea of your full medical expenses, including any ongoing or future medical costs you’ll have.
Your medical treatment timeline is the biggest factor in how long it takes your premises liability claim to settle. It may take just a few weeks, or you might need treatment for years. It will depend on the extent of your injuries and the prognosis from your doctor, although most injury victims are done with treatment after a few months.
A good premises liability lawyer will want to get the best idea of your full medical costs so that they don’t make a demand for compensation that is too low. You and your lawyer will also need to keep the statute of limitations in mind, which is usually two years from the date of your accident (Georgia Code § 9-3-33).
Getting Medical Records
After you’re done with treatment, your lawyer will need to request your medical record from the hospital where you received treatment. This can take 45-60 days, depending on the provider.
After that, your lawyer can begin preparing your demand letter to the insurance company.
Preparing for the Demand
From the beginning, your lawyer will be gathering information and evidence to use in your claim. This includes looking at insurance policy limits, interviewing witnesses, calculating all of your damages, and preparing your demand letter to be sent to the insurance company.
Again, in Georgia, this will need to be sent to the insurer within two years from the date of the accident.
Negotiation with the Insurance Company
After the demand is sent, your lawyer will wait for a response from the property owner’s insurance company. Most of the time, the insurer will send a counteroffer to your claim. This amount is almost always a lowball that will in no way cover all your damages.
Your lawyer will begin negotiating with the insurance company. If both parties are able to agree on a fair amount, you will receive the agreed-upon settlement. This can take some time, and it really varies from case to case. If a settlement is reached, your case will be settled at that point.
When a Lawsuit Needs to Be Filed
In rare cases, a settlement that satisfies both sides cannot be reached. If that happens, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and the premises liability case will proceed to trial. In Georgia, this usually happens at least a year from the date you filed your claim, although it can sometimes happen sooner. It can also take about 30 days to prepare a lawsuit.
There are many stages you will go through before actually going to trial, and there will be further chances to reach a settlement during these stages. During discovery, both sides will exchange documents and questions and take depositions. Many times after a lawsuit is filed, a settlement is agreed upon during the stages leading up to trial.
If the case does go to trial, a judge or jury will look at the evidence from both sides. They will then determine where liability lies and the amount of damages (if any) you should be awarded.
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A Quick Settlement Is Not Always Better
Although we understand that a premises liability case is stressful—especially when you have mounting medical bills and are unable to continue working during treatment—a fast settlement is not always the best. Sometimes, settling quickly will produce a poor outcome for you.
An experienced lawyer will know when it’s appropriate to file your claim and how far you should negotiate. Often, waiting long enough to get a clear understanding of your total damages is the most advantageous to you. Thankfully, most cases still settle well before they need to go to trial, which saves you a lot of time and money.
Get an Estimate of Your Premises Liability Claim Timeline
Since the timeline for a premises liability case can vary so much from person to person, you’ll want to speak with a lawyer who is very experienced in these types of cases. Based on the details of your particular situation, they can provide an estimate of how long your case may take to settle.
Talk to a Georgia Premises Liability Lawyer for Free Today
John Foy & Associates has been helping injury victims win their premises liability cases for more than 20 years. We can give you an idea of how your case will progress and how we can help. It’s risk-free to work with us because we don’t take a fee unless we win you money.
We’d love to give you a FREE consultation and case evaluation today. Call us 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started with your FREE consultation.