If you have been injured as a result of a slip and fall accident due to someone else’s negligence on their property, you may be contemplating filing a lawsuit against the respective property owner. While doing so, your biggest hurdle is wondering whether seeking compensation is the right move, and evaluating the amount of money you are likely to receive as settlement in the event that your case proceeds to trial. If your case is legally legitimate, meaning that your accident was more than 50% someone else’s fault, filing a lawsuit is the best move, especially when the defendant’s insurance company is unwilling to offer you a reasonable settlement.
But what defines a reasonable settlement? It depends on a number of factors. First of all, you must be able to prove that more likely than not, you had an accident, it was caused by the negligence of the property owner or his/her staff, and as a result, you sustained injuries. These, coupled with other aspects such as the venue of your litigation and the total medical damages, will be evaluated by a judge or jury to determine the value of your slip and fall claim. There is no default amount of dollars in such an accident. However, there are common determinants that can be used to value your worth, and have you justly compensated.
Factors Considered When Evaluating the Worth of Your Slip & Fall Accident Claim
As we mentioned earlier, there is no standard measure of your claim’s value. On the contrary, the insurance company will have to narrow down a wide array of factors before awarding you a settlement. This is meant to predict what a judge or jury would award at trial. No insurance company or jury will compensate you blindly without looking into the effects of the slip and fall accident. These determinants include:
Total Value of Your Medical Expenses
When evaluating the worth of your claim, the first aspect that the jury will take into account is the total value of your medical expenses. This is inclusive of all past and future medical bills. As such, you will be expected to provide the court with valid medical documents clearly showing the medical service you received, the timeframe over which you received the treatment, and the totals bills. You may also be required to show the amount of money your insurer paid, if any, and the amount paid out of your own pocket.
Based on your area of residence, the amount of the charges on your medical bills will depend on your healthcare providers. Very often, they medical providers are willing to accept much lower amounts than what is actually billed, and it is, therefore, prudent for you to understand which laws apply in your area of jurisdiction. Generally, it is safe to assume that your claim’s worth will be at least the amount you incurred in terms of medical bills for past, present or future surgeries, medications or therapies. So if your total bills are $500 and liability in your case is clear, you are likely to receive that amount for your settlement, if not more..
Pain and Suffering
Damages in terms of pain and suffering are considered non-economic damages, so they are not easily quantified in monetary terms compared to medical expenses. For this reason, it is regarded as a highly variable component, and will be determined based on the permanency and severity of injuries sustained, as well as the attitude of the jurors or judge. There are injuries that qualify for a higher value compared to others. For example, if you sustain injuries such as broken bones and nerve damage, you will receive a higher compensation because the pain and suffering is serious and long term. Conversely, if you fell down a staircase, but only sprained your hand or ankle, and made a full recovery enough to continue with your daily activities, your compensation for pain and suffering will be lower.
Value of Lost Wages
If you were unable to work due to injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident, you are entitled to receive the total value of the lost wages. However, this is not just a matter of saying “I missed work.” On the contrary, the jury will expect you to provide substantial evidence, usually including a pay stub and signature from your employer attesting to your absence from work. A qualified slip and fall accident attorney can help you get the proper documents from your employer.
Most importantly, you must clearly show that you had legitimate reasons to lose your working hours. This means that if you had completely healed from your slip and fall injuries, but remained at home and failed to go to work, the defense can easily deny any lost wage compensation case based on this particular evidence.
On the other hand, if your injuries left you incapable of carrying out your normal activities at work, you stand high chances of getting compensated for the same. This also applies if you are forced to work part-time, or take a lesser paying job due to the injuries.
Your Contribution to the Incident
In your slip and fall accident case, you are likely to witness the defense trying to push some blame on you. Do not be surprised. The Defense will always look for any reason to lower the amount of compensation you receive. While it may be true that you were never responsible for the accident, any evidence that could possibly show that you contributed to the accident will be introduced by the Defendant, and as a result, your value of compensation may be reduced.
For example, if the jury finds you guilty for contributing to the slip and fall accident by 30%, and finds that your damages amount to $1000, the total amount you receive will be reduced by the same margin. This means that the final amount awarded will be $700.
Your Legal Representation Matters
The greatest test towards being compensated in any civil litigation is having a strong and dedicated legal team working for you. Your legal representation is your backbone throughout the case. The more experienced, dedicated and motivated your legal team is, the more likely it is for you to get compensated.
Let our legal team at Lone Star Injury Attorneys win your slip and fall case for you. Our team has the resources and expertise necessary to succeed in litigation for slip and fall cases. Schedule a free consultation with us today.