After being injured by a slip and fall on poorly-maintained property, you need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to begin the legal process. There are several stages that your case will go through before going to trial, and your lawyer will need time to prepare and plan for each one.
The five major stages of a slip and fall case are:
- Preliminary motions
- Discovery phase
- Pre-trial motions
- Settlement conference or mediation
The preliminary motions in any lawsuit involve the basic claims that each party is making. In this case, it begins with you filing a claim explaining who the principals in the case are, how you injured yourself, why the property owner is at fault, and how much you believe you are owed. The defendant will then be allowed to answer your charges, which is generally done with a simple “yes” or “no” answer for each charge.
Once the preliminary motions have concluded, the case enters its discovery phase. As the name suggests, both parties in the lawsuit try to discover as much about the case as possible. They generally do this by requesting evidence, in the form of documents, written testimony, and other things connected to the case. The length of the discovery phase depends on the complexity of the legal claim.
Before going to trial, one or both lawyers may file motions with the court. These can be attempts to dismiss a case, compel evidence, or even to render an immediate judgment without going to trial. If the case is less adversarial, the sides may meet to come to a settlement, which in some cases can be the best option for all parties involved.
If the relevant motions fail and no agreement can be reached, the case goes to trial.
Each of these steps can take time and requires careful preparation, so the sooner you contact a qualified slip and fall lawyer in the Long Beach area, the less time it will take to receive compensation for your injuries. Attorneys at Kirtland & Packard, LLP have the experience and talent to handle your case. Call them at 310-536-1000 for a free initial consultation.