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Boston Slip-And-Fall Lawyer

A Brief Summary of the Following Article

  • Comparative Negligence: Massachusetts uses a modified comparative negligence system, allowing slip-and-fall claimants to recover damages if they are 50% or less at fault. However, compensation is reduced by the victim’s percentage of fault.
  • Proving Liability: Successful slip-and-fall claims must establish the property owner’s liability by proving duty of care, breach of duty, timely knowledge of the hazard, causation, and damages.
  • Prevention Tips: Preventative measures include wearing appropriate footwear, staying alert, using handrails, maintaining adequate lighting, keeping walkways clear, and reporting hazards.
  • Legal Process: Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers guides clients through the legal process of slip-and-fall claims, from the investigation and negotiation phases to filing a lawsuit and going to trial if necessary.

If you’ve slipped or tripped and fallen on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to hold them accountable for damages. An experienced Boston slip and fall lawyer at Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers can help you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve. Contact our Boston law offices at 617-391-9001 or fill out our contact form today to arrange your free consultation.

Speaking with an experienced slip and fall attorney is the first step to getting the money you need to move forward.

How An Experienced Boston Slip And Fall Lawyer Can Help You With Your Claim

Injury claims based on slip and fall accidents can be notoriously difficult to prove. In order to recover compensation from a negligent property owner, you have to offer proof of negligence.

That can be hard to come by–especially if you’re recovering from an injury. The property owner might apologize profusely for your injuries.

However, when it comes time to pay your bills, your claim is handed over to an insurance company. Insurance companies have virtually limitless resources–but their overall goal is to pay accident victims the least amount possible.

An ongoing battle with the insurance company can be a daunting prospect when you’re hurt. An experienced Boston slip and fall attorney can step in and help when you need it the most. In fact, it’s possible that the skill of your Boston slip and fall lawyer could make or break your case. You need someone with experience and resources.

At Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, we have over 100 years of combined experience. Our firm benefits from a wide range of legal experience – from the bench to both sides of the negotiating table.

When you hire us, we will:

  • Investigate to identify the cause of your accident
  • Interview witnesses
  • Locate video footage and photos of the property
  • Fight back when the insurance company blames you for falling
  • Negotiate to recover the most compensation possible for you

Ready to take the next step? All you have to do is call to schedule a free consultation.

How Dangerous Are Slip And Fall Accidents?

Slip and fall accidents are extremely costly. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that one in five falls causes a serious injury.

More than 800,000 Americans are hospitalized each year because of fall injuries–and the consequences are even more serious for older adults.

According to the CDC, more than 95% of all hip fractures are caused by falls. As far as accidental injuries go, falls are a leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2018, around 37,455 falls were fatal. Among non-fatal injuries, falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits in the United States each year, with around 8 million visits annually.

Understanding A Property Owner’s Duty Of Care In Suffolk County

Property owners have a duty to maintain their property. That means fixing any known dangers in a reasonable time frame. For business owners, it also means inspecting the premises to find any hidden hazards. If the problem can’t be fixed right away, the property owner has a duty to provide adequate warning to prevent you from getting hurt.

In other words, you shouldn’t have to constantly worry about falling. Property owners, however, should be worried. If they’re negligent in maintaining their property, they can be held liable under Massachusetts premises liability laws.

Common Causes Of Slip And Fall Accidents In Boston, MA

Some falls are purely accidental. You might lose your balance or trip over your own feet. Others are entirely preventable if property owners would properly maintain their premises. Some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents in Boston include:

  • Accumulated snow and ice
  • Uneven pavement or flooring
  • Slick surfaces or wet floors
  • Loose floor mats and carpets
  • Loose cables or wires
  • Broken or crumbling staircases
  • Missing railings
  • Inadequate lighting

Our slip and fall attorneys in Boston, MA, are here to evaluate the circumstances of your injury and help you understand your options for recovering the fair compensation you need. All you have to do is give us a call and tell us what happened.

Slip And Fall Accident Victims Often Suffer Serious, Life-altering Injuries

Slip and fall accident injuries can be tricky to predict. Some injuries could even take days or weeks after an accident to manifest themselves.

Of course, that’s why it’s important to seek medical treatment quickly after a fall. At Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, we’re here to help in any way we can. We’ve successfully helped clients who have suffered injuries.

This includes:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Concussions
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Hip fractures
  • Joint injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Bruising and lacerations
  • Chest injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Catastrophic injuries
  • Wrongful death

Slip and fall accident injuries are often much more serious than most people think. Some people, including the elderly, are especially vulnerable to being seriously hurt in a fall. That doesn’t let the property owner off the hook for negligent property maintenance.

If you’re interested in learning more about your legal rights after a Boston slip and fall, give our law offices a call today. We’d be happy to arrange a free consultation.

We Handle All Types Of Slip, Trip, And Fall Accident Cases In Boston

You have the right to expect to feel reasonably safe when you’re on someone else’s property. The reality is a slip and fall can happen anywhere. When the root cause is negligent property maintenance, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Our personal injury attorneys often help clients who have been hurt in falls at a Boston:

  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Grocery store
  • Big box store
  • Hospital
  • Nursing home
  • Apartment building
  • College Campus
  • Hotel
  • Sports arena
  • Entertainment complex

Property owners have a duty to maintain their premises–both inside and outside. You can have a legitimate claim for damages even if you’ve fallen in a parking lot or store walkway. To learn more about protecting your legal rights, call the Boston slip and fall lawyers at Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers for a free case review today.

Who Can Be Held Legally Responsible For Damages In A Massachusetts Slip And Fall Case?

All property owners are legally responsible for maintaining their property in a reasonably safe condition for lawful visitors. That means any property owner can be held responsible for your injuries as long as you weren’t trespassing.

Responsible parties may include:

  • Business owners
  • Landlords
  • Restaurant owners
  • Private property owners
  • Government agencies
  • Homeowners

You can recover compensation from a private homeowner who fails to provide adequate warning about hidden dangers on the property. As a licensee, you should expect that friends and family will take reasonable steps to keep you safe.

In reality, most homeowners’ insurance policies cover the cost of these injuries. If you have questions about holding a business owner or homeowner responsible for your slip and fall injuries, give our Boston slip and fall attorneys a call today.

What Type of Evidence Should I Gather for a Slip and Fall Claim?

As a slip and fall accident victim, it is the responsibility of you and your personal injury attorney to provide evidence that proves your injuries. This ranges from evidence gathered at the accident scene to proof of your injuries, such as medical statements.

The following are common types of vital evidence used to strengthen slip and fall claims:

Testimony From Eyewitnesses

Witnesses to your slip and fall can provide valuable details that corroborate your story. Because your employer will have their own account of the events, it is best to have access to neutral witnesses whose accounts can serve as valuable evidence. Speak to anyone who witnessed your accident and ask for their name and contact information if you need to talk to them later for their testimony.

A Copy of the Premises’ Incident Reports

In many businesses, it is part of their policy to write a report anytime someone is injured. You may have even been asked to fill out an incident report requesting information about the accident, such as what happened and if you were injured. If your slip and fall occurred in a business, store, or restaurant, you might be able to ask a supervisor or manager for a copy of your report for your records.

Video From Surveillance Devices

Many people and businesses have security cameras or other surveillance devices on site. These devices may have captured the incident. If you can obtain a copy of the video recording, you may be able to use it to strengthen your claim. Look around for any nearby cameras that may have recorded your accident and try to get a copy of the footage.

Photos of the Accident Scene

Photos of the scene of the accident can give others a better understanding of how your accident occurred and prove that the property owner was not properly maintaining their premises. You should take photos of the area clearly showing whatever caused your slip and fall. Ensure you do this quickly afterward before the scene is cleaned up or otherwise taken care of and the evidence is gone.

Medical Records Related to Your Injuries

Even if you don’t think you are seriously injured, you should seek medical attention soon after your slip and fall. Your injuries could be more severe than you think. Also, by seeking medical attention, you are creating a tangible record of the severity of your injuries. You can use copies of your medical reports to prove the severity of your injuries and invoices to keep track of the medical expenses you have incurred because of your accident.

A Detailed Record of Your Losses

In addition to your medical records, keeping a detailed record of your daily losses and experiences following your slip and fall accident is beneficial. You should keep track of paperwork that proves losses like travel costs, times you’ve missed work, and your daily pain and suffering. This record will aid in developing your slip and fall claim and can be used to calculate the value of your claim.

What Types Of Damages Can Slip And Fall Accident Victims In Boston Recover?

What seems like a simple fall could dramatically impact your life. When someone else is to blame, you’re entitled to reimbursement for all past and future costs associated with the injury. You also have the right to compensation for your pain and suffering. At Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, our Boston slip and fall lawyers know what it takes to get the full compensation you need.

We’ll fight to recover compensation for the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost future earning potential
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Diminished quality of life

In the rare case that a slip and fall accident is fatal, we can also help you recover damages for the wrongful death of your loved one.

What Happens If The Insurance Company Blames Me For The Fall?

Slip and fall claims can get messy without solid proof. You might file a claim only to have the insurance company turn around and blame you for being clumsy. Don’t panic if this happens–insurance companies routinely use the “blame the victim” strategy to avoid paying what’s fair.

Understanding the law is key to protecting your rights. Massachusetts follows a modified comparative negligence law. That means you can recover financial compensation as long as you weren’t mostly responsible. In other words, if you’re found to be 51% responsible, your recovery will be barred entirely.

Is comparative negligence an issue in your slip and fall case? Call an experienced Boston slip and fall attorney in Boston who can work to minimize your role in the accident.

What’s The Deadline For Filing A Slip And Fall Accident Claim In Massachusetts?

Every state imposes time limits on accident victims’ right to sue for damages. This is called the statute of limitations. In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is three years.

In some cases, time could be even more limited. If your slip and fall happened on government property, you only have 30 days to notify the city of Boston that you plan to ask for compensation.

How Does Comparative Negligence Impact Slip-And-Fall Claims in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, the legal principle of “modified comparative negligence” plays a critical role in slip-and-fall cases. This rule allows for the distribution of fault among all involved parties. If you are found to be partially responsible for the accident, you can still pursue compensation. However, the damages you may be eligible to recover will be adjusted according to your percentage of the fault. A judge or jury will examine the evidence, including witness statements, accident reports, and expert assessments, to ascertain the degree of fault for each party involved.

It is essential to note Massachusetts has a 50% threshold for these cases. This means if you are found to be 50% or less responsible for the incident, you are still eligible to recover compensation. However, the total amount you receive will be proportionally reduced by your percentage of fault. 

For example, if you were entitled to $100,000 in damages but were found to be 20% at fault, your compensation would decrease by $20,000, resulting in a final amount of $80,000. Understanding this legal concept is vital for anyone involved in a slip-and-fall accident in Massachusetts, as it directly affects the potential compensation for damages incurred.

Proving Liability in a Slip-And-Fall Accident Case

To successfully establish liability and recover compensation for your injuries, you must first prove that the property owner or landlord is responsible for your losses. Your attorney will investigate your case and work to build a claim containing the following essential elements of negligence:

Duty of Care

Property owners in Massachusetts owe visitors a duty of care to maintain a reasonable level of safety on their premises to prevent accidents. Property owners can be liable for injuries that occur on their property unless the injured person was trespassing.

Breach of Duty

If a property owner fails to address known hazards, they have breached their duty of care. Proving breach of duty involves establishing the owner knew about the hazard but did not take appropriate actions to mitigate it.

Timely Knowledge

A property owner’s liability for an injury depends on their awareness of the hazard and their response time. If they knew about the danger and did not act quickly to correct it, they could be held liable for damages.

Causation

For a damage claim to succeed, your attorney must prove that your injury was a direct result of the owner’s negligence.

Damages

Damages may include medical costs, pain, suffering, lost wages, and other losses due to the accident. Victims should seek immediate medical attention and document all injuries and treatments related to the incident.

How to Avoid Slip-And-Fall Accidents in Massachusetts

Slips, trips, and falls can cause life-altering injuries, making it essential to avoid these accidents altogether when possible. Following the steps below can help you take preventative measures to protect yourself, including the following:

Wear Proper Footwear

Appropriate footwear can significantly reduce the risk of slipping and falling. Opt for shoes with non-slip soles and adequate tread, particularly in Massachusetts’ rainy or snowy conditions. This is crucial in preventing slips, especially in environments like grocery stores or outdoor areas prone to slippery conditions.

Stay Alert

Ensuring you are aware of your environment is essential to preventing injuries. Always be on the lookout for potential hazards such as icy patches, wet floors, or cluttered pathways. Avoid distractions like using your phone while walking, especially in areas where the risk of slipping is high.

Use Handrails

Handrails are a critical safety feature in many areas, particularly on stairs and ramps. Make a habit of holding onto handrails whenever they are available, as they can provide stability and support, preventing falls especially in slippery conditions.

Maintain Adequate Lighting

Proper lighting at home or in your personal workspace can help you identify and avoid slip-and-fall hazards. Ensure that your home, workplace, and any public areas you frequent are well-lit. This includes installing sufficient lighting in entranceways, staircases, and hallways.

Keep Walkways Clear

Regular maintenance of walkways in your home is essential to prevent accidents. Ensure that floors and paths are free of spills, debris, and any obstacles that could cause a slip or trip. If you are in charge of cleaning or maintaining your workplace, implementing regular cleaning schedules can help you clear clutter that accumulates in walkways.

Report Hazards

If you encounter a spill or unsafe condition in a public area or at your workplace, report it immediately to the responsible party. Timely reporting can prevent not only your accident but accidents that might happen to others.

What Is the Legal Process for Slip-And-Fall Claims in Massachusetts?

After suffering a slip-and-fall, you likely have several questions about what the legal process entails and what to expect moving forward. At Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, our attorneys dedicate themselves to helping our clients fully understand the intricate claims process, empowering them to make informed decisions about their futures. Slip-and-fall claims in Massachusetts typically progress through the following well-defined stages:

Investigation Phase

After you partner with one of our skilled attorneys, we conduct a thorough investigation of your accident. This process involves collecting critical evidence such as photographs, video footage, police reports, and statements from witnesses to accurately determine fault and the extent of your losses. This phase also includes organizing your medical records and other related expenses to determine the total value of your damages.

Demand and Negotiation Phase

Once we have a complete understanding of your losses, your attorney will draft a demand letter to the insurance company of the at-fault party. Insurance companies often attempt to minimize their payouts and typically do not have your best interests in mind. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurer to reach a settlement that fairly compensates you for your injuries.

Filing a Lawsuit

If the negotiation phase does not result in a satisfactory settlement, your attorney will proceed to file a lawsuit. It is critical to remember that this step must occur within three years of the accident, according to the Massachusetts statute of limitations, to ensure you retain your right to recover compensation for your losses.

Discovery Phase

Once the lawsuit is filed, the discovery phase begins. During this stage, both parties exchange evidence and detailed information, including testimony from expert witnesses. Each party is given 30 days to respond to these requests for evidence, in compliance with Massachusetts law.

Mediation Phase

Before continuing to trial, there is another opportunity to resolve the case during the mediation phase. During this stage, attorneys from both sides meet with a neutral mediator to attempt another round of negotiation to reach a favorable settlement.

Trial

If a settlement is not reached through mediation, the case will proceed to trial, where each side presents its evidence to a jury. The jury will then make the final decision based on the information presented. The length of the trial phase can vary widely, from a few hours to several months, depending on the complexity of the case. 

While most personal injury cases are settled out of court, the skilled attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers are fully prepared to take your case to trial to ensure your interests are skillfully defended.

How Are Slip-And-Fall Cases Different From Other Types of Personal Injury Claims?

While slips-and-falls and other types of accidents fall under the same legal umbrella of personal injury, there are several factors that make slip-and-fall accident cases unique, including the following:

Delayed Impact of Negligence

In contrast to many personal injury cases where negligence results in immediate harm, slip-and-fall incidents often have a delayed impact for victims. Unlike car accidents where negligence causes immediate collisions, dangerous property conditions can take hours, days, or even weeks to lead to an accident. Whether it’s a sudden fall due to a wet floor or a gradual deterioration like crumbling steps, victims are equally entitled to seek compensation for their losses.

Distinct Claim Types

Determining where the incident occurred is crucial in understanding the type of compensation claim you may pursue. Falling at a store or restaurant may involve a personal injury claim, while a fall at work may warrant a workers’ compensation claim. Understanding the differences between these claims is essential for maximizing your compensation.

Legal Distinctions for Visitors

Slip-and-fall cases involve unique legal distinctions based on the visitor’s status on the premises. The law categorizes individuals as “invitees,” “licensees,” or “trespassers,” each with varying degrees of legal protection. Invitees, such as shoppers, typically have the highest level of protection, while trespassers may have limited or no legal recourse in a slip-and-fall claim.

Steps to Protect Your Rights After a Slip-And-Fall Accident in Massachusetts

Seeking Medical Attention

It’s crucial to seek prompt medical attention after a slip-and-fall incident, even for minor injuries. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a thorough evaluation by a medical professional can help identify and address them. This step ensures your safety and proper documentation that is crucial for any legal claims.

Gathering Evidence

Collecting evidence from the scene of the accident can significantly strengthen your case. Take detailed photographs of the area, including any hazards or conditions contributing to the fall, and gather witness statements. If immediate evidence collection is not possible due to your injuries, return as soon as possible to gather as much evidence as you can.

Communicating Cautiously With Insurance Companies

While it is essential to notify your insurance company about the accident, avoid discussing details with adjusters. Insurance companies often seek to minimize payouts, and anything said could be used against you. Consider hiring a skilled attorney from Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers to handle communicating with the insurance company, protecting your rights and the value of your case.

Avoiding Social Media

Refrain from posting about the accident or your recovery on social media platforms to avoid compromising your claim. Insurance companies and their legal teams may monitor your social media activity, to try to dispute the legitimacy of your claim.

Partnering With a Skilled Attorney

Navigating slip-and-fall claim complexities can be daunting, especially when dealing with physical and emotional aftermath. Partnering with an experienced attorney from Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers ensures your rights are protected as you seek fair compensation for your losses. We can handle every aspect of your claim, allowing you to focus on recovery while pursuing justice on your behalf.

The Importance of Documenting Your Injuries After a Slip-And-Fall Accident

Preserving evidence is crucial when it comes to slip-and-fall accidents. Evidence such as photographs, police reports, and medical records plays a vital role in strengthening your case. Additionally, maintaining a detailed injury diary is essential for managing your recovery and supporting the validity of your claim.

Keeping a detailed injury diary can support your claim and recovery in the following ways:

Monitoring Your Injuries

Keep a record of specific details about your injuries in your diary, including their location, severity, and ongoing symptoms. Regular entries can help monitor changes and improvements, helping your healthcare provider create an effective treatment plan.

Establishing a Timeline

You may be able to use your diary to establish a clear timeline from the time of the accident, noting dates, times, and locations. Document related treatments, medical appointments, and any work absences. This information will be invaluable for your attorney in building your case and determining the compensation you are owed.

Demonstrating the Severity of Your Losses

Your injury diary can provide evidence of the extent of your injuries, their impact on daily activities, and associated expenses. It can also demonstrate the steps you have been taking to recover, supporting the validity of your claim.

Strengthening Your Case

Insurance adjusters and opposing lawyers may attempt to minimize your injuries to reduce your compensation. An organized injury diary may be able to counter these efforts by offering a detailed, day-by-day account of the effects on your life, enhancing the credibility and strength of your claim.

5 Questions to Ask Your Slip-And-Fall Accident Attorney

When hiring a slip-and-fall accident lawyer, asking the right questions is crucial to ensure you receive the legal support you need. Before retaining their services, consider asking your potential attorney the following questions:

What Is Your Experience and Success Rate?

Ask about the attorney’s experience with slip-and-fall cases and their success rate in achieving favorable outcomes for clients. Understanding their track record can help you gauge their ability to handle your case effectively and secure fair compensation.

How Will You Communicate With Me During My Case?

Clear and regular communication is vital for a strong attorney-client relationship. Ask how the lawyer prefers to communicate – whether through emails, phone calls, or face-to-face meetings – to ensure you remain well-informed about your case’s progress and can make informed decisions about your future.

What Is the Potential Value of My Case?

During the initial consultation, be sure to provide the attorney with a comprehensive overview of your accident, including injuries and losses. While exact compensation amounts cannot be predicted, an experienced attorney can offer an informed estimate based on similar cases. This step helps set realistic expectations regarding the value of your claim.

How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Case?

Personal injury cases vary in duration, influenced by the details and laws surrounding your case. While an exact timeline cannot be guaranteed, your attorney should provide a general time frame based on their experience and the complexity of your case. Understanding this estimate can help you prepare for the legal process ahead.

How Are Your Fees Structured?

Understanding how the attorney charges for their services is essential. Most personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only receive payment if they win your case, typically as a percentage of the settlement they recover on your behalf. Clarifying the fee structure and discussing any potential additional expenses upfront can help ensure a clear understanding and a strong attorney-client relationship.

What Sets Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers Apart?

Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers excels in handling slip-and-fall claims with a client-focused and thorough approach. We set ourselves apart in the following ways:

  • Extensive Experience: Our attorneys utilize over 45 years of experience in slip-and-fall accidents to provide unparalleled representation to every client.
  • We Handle Every Aspect of Your Case: From initial consultation to potentially going to trial, we manage every detail of your case as you focus on healing.
  • No Upfront Fees: Our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means clients only pay if we win the case.
  • Aggressive Representation: We are prepared to face powerful defendants in court to ensure our clients’ rights are protected.
  • Maximizing Compensation: Our goal is to secure the maximum compensation possible for our clients’ injuries and related losses so they can move forward after the accident. 
  • Comprehensive Client Support: Throughout the claims process, we guide our clients, helping them understand their rights and the details of their cases.

Our dedication to achieving favorable outcomes is matched by our commitment to supporting our clients through every step of the legal process, ensuring they feel informed and cared for throughout the process.

Call A Knowledgeable Boston Slip And Fall Lawyer For Help With Your Injury Claim Today

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you already have a lot on your plate. An experienced slip and fall accident lawyer at Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers can handle all of the legal aspects of your injury claim to fight for the compensation you deserve. Our highly skilled legal team includes legal professionals like Attorney Matthieu J. Parenteau, a Boston personal injury lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping people injured by the negligence of others and has recovered millions of dollars in resolutions for his clients and senior partner and trial lawyer Bradley M. Henry who has over thirty years of experience in civil litigation and has handled some of New England’s highest-profile cases, including personal injury.

For a free consultation, fill out our contact form whenever you’re ready or give us a call at 617-391-9001. We work on a contingency basis, which means you only pay attorneys’ fees if we recover compensation for your family.


Frequently Asked Questions About Slip and Fall in Boston

How do I get compensation for a slip and fall accident?

To obtain compensation for a slip and fall accident, you should gather evidence such as medical records and witness statements, report the incident to the property owner, and consider consulting a slip and fall attorney in Boston to navigate the legal process.

Under what conditions is a property owner responsible for a slip and fall accident in Boston, MA?

In Boston, property owners can be held responsible for slip and fall accidents if they were aware or should have been aware of a hazardous condition on their premises, failed to address it, and if the injured party had a lawful reason for being on the property.

How long does it take to settle a slip and fall case?

The duration to settle a slip and fall case in Boston, Massachusetts, can vary widely based on factors such as the complexity of the case, severity of injuries, negotiations with insurance companies, and potential litigation. Some cases may be resolved within a few months through negotiation, while others might take several years if they go to trial.

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