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For a personal injury case, what is the the average time frame to settle and what kind of settlement could I expect to get?

Buffalo, NY |

I'm suing my apt landlord for negligence. I slipped on loose carpeting on the stairs (they didn't tighten them after they cleaned them). I grabbed the rail to help brace my fall but it came out the wall and I went down with it. prior to us moving in they replaced the arm rail but didn't anchor it correctly. I hurt my neck and shoulder. Neck got better with PT but my shoulder got worse. Now I have to have surgery on it and its on a 50/50 it will get "better" I currently have to take pain medication & muscle relaxers daily to help with the pain. I am not looking for an exact amount just a guesstimate on what I may get from it to see if going thru the suit is even worth the hassle.

Attorney Answers 8

  1. Every case is different. It depends on how fast discovery is done and if the defendant cooperates or plays games and whether there is any motion practice, which can slow things down. As for the value, someone would have to fully analyze both the strength of your case and the damages. This is what your lawyer is for.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

  2. It sounds as though you have an attorney who is handling your case. I suggest you ask that person this question. My guess is that when you do, he will tell you that it is impossible to tell you time or amount at this point. Especially if you are still contemplating getting a shoulder surgery.

    The most important thing for you to remember is this: BE PATIENT. It sounds as if you have a case with good liability against the homeowner and what may amount to significant damages. If you trust your attorney, let them handle the case. You will be rewarded for the patience.

    If you do not trust your attorney, you should think about retaining new counsel. Good luck.

    The aforementioned opinion does not constitute legal advice and is for general informational purposes only. See an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction for competent legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through the within legal question and answer session.

  3. Much as you try, you wont find many attorneys in this forum giving you numbers for the settlement value of a case, That is because there are too many variables, most of which will only be fully and accurately perceived by the attorney who represents you. You have case that's worth pursuing. Beyond that... how you testify at a deposition, how you recover from your surgery, the need for future medical treatment, your age, the identity of the defendant's insurance company, the identity of the insurance adjuster, the amount of insurance coverage, the venue ( county) of the lawsuit, your willingness to try the case, the existence of degenerative conidio

    This communication does not create an attorney/client relationship.

  4. There is no such thing a generic answer for what you are seeking. If you find an attorney on this site giving you the kind of specific information you are looking for without having examined all the available documents, etc. needed to give a proper answer, that is one piece of advice you would not want to follow.

  5. I advise my clients there case may take anywhere from two to five years to reach resolution. Every case is different and there is no way to predict the cases lifeline except to ensure your attorney diligently prosecutes the case. I have had cases resolve the same day I was hired and I have had cases go through trial and an appeal taking 6 or 7 years to reach a resolution. Your health will also dictate where any potential settlement discussions go because you want to have the best picture of your injury before trying to place a value on the case.

  6. In Michigan you can expect to get to trial in around two years. Different States have different time lines for that. Some attorneys try to settle the case pre-litigation, so whatever time it is not filed, that does not count towards the two years. If you had a surgery I would certainly pursue litigation. If you have a good lawyer it should be worth the hassle. Good luck to you!

    You should consult an attorney in your State at once.

  7. If the liability is how you say it is it's a 6 figure case. You are crazy to not follow up on this as that is what landlords have insurance for. When you say if it is "worth the hassle," is it worth it to retain a lawyer and spend 6 - 12 hours dealing with this over the course of a few years to at the end of the day have a tax free check written to you for between $100,000 - $300,000. I think so.

  8. A lot of my clients ask me this question. I always tell my client that first we must fully understand your injury. If you get surgery, we need to see how you heal and need to know the findings of that surgery. If there is no surgery, then we need to have an orthopedist examine you so that you know what type of damage you have, at which point we will try to settle the case. Remember that the doctor must confirm the injury.
    The defendant may want to question you and your medical history. This is called a deposition. If your lawyer acts quick, you can get to a deposition in about 6-8 months.

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