Your life can be turned upside down in an instant after a slip and fall accident.
You'll be in pain from your injuries as you watch your medical bills roll in. And, if you're unable to work, you won't be able to pay for those bills or take care of yourself.
All because of a slip and fall accident.
This can leave you feeling pretty hopeless, wondering how much your slip and fall claim might be worth.
No matter how your slip and fall occurred, whether it happened at work or while you were at the grocery store, your employer or the grocery store owner could be liable for your injuries.
Figuring out how much your accident claim could be worth relies on several factors, like liability and negligence.
And the type and severity of your injuries also has a significant impact on the amount of money you will be able to receive.
So, how is a final settlement amount determined in slip and fall cases?
We'll explore that question and many more in the article below.
Factors Influencing a Slip and Fall Settlement
Three factors weigh heavily on the outcome of a slip and fall settlement.
Those factors are:
- Who is ultimately liable.
- How did the responsible party contribute to the incident?
- Did you cause or contribute to it in any way?
Negligence is the disregard for the safety of others by failing to act reasonably.
Maybe your slip and fall was caused by an unmopped floor, a broken hand railing, or unmarked sidewalks.
The main thing to determine with negligence in a slip and fall is if a reasonable person would be able to identify the situation as dangerous.
It also has to be determined if the liable party had the opportunity to improve the conditions before your accident occurred.
Or, you have to prove that the property owner caused the dangerous situation and that any reasonable person would've been injured due to the situation.
Things like low lighting, poorly marked stairs or sidewalks, and limited visibility are all things that will contribute to determining if a property owner.
As a plaintiff, you will have the responsibility to prove that the negligent party could have done something to prevent the incident but didn't.
You also have to prove that even if there was a good reason for the obstruction to be present, that the justification wasn't valid at the time of your accident, and preventative measures weren't taken to prevent an accident from happening.
The burden of proof will lies with you as the plaintiff. Still, the facts of the case will present the evidence needed to determine the degree of negligence involved.
To prove someone was liable for your injuries, they have to have a legal responsibility for the property and what happens on it.
A property owner will assume liability for an injury that happens on their property unless they have insurance covering them.
If they have insurance, their insurance company will assume liability, and you will file a claim against the insurance company rather than the property owner.
Factors That Influence The Worth of Your Slip and Fall Case
The bills you receive for past and future medical procedures related to your slip and fall will have the biggest influence when calculating your injury damages.
Depending on the state you live in, the amount used to calculate damages may be for the amount billed by your healthcare provider or the amount the healthcare provider agreed to receive as payment in full.
Healthcare providers often agree to receive less than the billed amount, so you should speak to an attorney so you know what the rules are where you live.
If you have a valid slip and fall claim, and you've proved negligence, your claim will at least be worth the value of your medical bills.
However, other things could add to the value of your slip and fall injury claim, such as pain and suffering.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is the least predictable component of your claim. There's no black and white rule used to calculate the value of someone's pain and suffering.
A typical starting point when calculating pain and suffering is the value of your medical bills.
Depending on the types of injuries you sustained, and how severe they are, the adjusters or lawyers working on your case will determine an appropriate multiplier to use.
That means if the insurance adjuster decided that a good multiplier for you is 5, then your pain and suffering will be five times the value of your medical bills.
A multiplier as high as five is used in extreme cases, like when your slip and fall has left you with permanent damage or disability.
If your injuries weren't severe, and you're able to make a quick recovery, your multiplier might only be 0.5.
Also, keep in mind that some injuries don't show up right away. It could take hours or days for you to begin to show symptoms of an injury.
That's why it's important to see a medical professional as soon as possible and for your personal injury lawyer to negotiate the amount of your slip and fall claim with future injuries in mind.
If you were forced to miss work due to the injuries caused by your slip and fall injuries, you should be entitled to recover the value of the wages you would have earned if you weren't injured.
You and your lawyer will have to verify the amount you earn and the hours you have missed using a pay stub.
Your employer will likely have to verify the amount of time you have missed and will miss due to injury.
How Slip and Fall Settlements Are Calculated
Slip and fall settlements are determined during a series of negotiations between the involved parties.
Each party will discuss what they are willing to settle for and try to resolve the case.
A slip and fall claim calculation isn't necessarily a typical calculation that can be solved with an equation.
Instead, it is just a negotiation between the injured the negligent party.
To decide how to approach settlement talks, you need to contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
They will help you negotiate with the insurance companies, and they'll make sure you get what you are owed.
Slip and Fall Lawsuit Calculation
Before you start negotiating with your lawyer, they will have a good idea of what your settlement will be worth and have a number in mind that they are willing to settle for.
To get to this number, they will investigate your case and think of all the ways you've suffered losses and damages.
Any medical expenses can be factored in, such as the cost of doctor’s appointments, bills for medical devices like wheelchairs, and the cost of prescription medicine.
And don't forget about things like physical therapy, mental health services, and the cost of travel to and from appointments.
Once you and your lawyer have calculated your financial losses, both current and into the future, they will calculate your pain and suffering.
You Need The Help Of An Experienced Slip and Fall Settlement Attorney
Perhaps the most critical part of your slip and fall case, aside from the calculations, is knowing when to accept a slip and fall settlement.
You also need to be sure the settlement you are offered is in your best interest.
An experienced personal injury lawyer experienced in slip and fall cases will provide you with the guidance you need to be sure your settlement truly represents what you deserve.
With an attorney, you can be confident that your slip and fall settlement will be appropriately determined.
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