After a slip and fall due to a hazardous condition on a person’s private or business property, you might consider a lawsuit to cover your medical costs and lost wages. A lawsuit against the property owner helps you secure compensation, but how much would you receive for your slip and fall? Will the insurance company offer what you deserve?
One of the factors you want to consider before taking a settlement or even filing a claim is how much your case is worth and the likelihood you will receive that amount. There is no set dollar value for a slip and fall case, and no two cases are the same. Therefore, it will come down to the unique factors of your slip and fall incident.
Factors That Play a Role in Slip and Fall Settlement Offers in Atlanta, Cumming, and Throughout GA
The amount of money insurance companies or defense attorneys offer during negotiations will vary. Let’s look at some factors that will affect your settlement.
Total Medical Expense Value
When calculating how much your case is worth, the first item your attorney will evaluate is your medical costs. All past and future medical treatments related to the injury will be one of the leading points for determining your case value.
The amount used to calculate medical expenses will include what you have paid out of pocket and what your health insurer has paid. Also, your attorney will calculate future medical costs, such as therapy, surgeries, or medications you may need for the rest of your life because of the accident.
A valid case will be at least worth the total value of your medical expenses; therefore, you can safely assume that you will at least receive the amount you have paid in medical costs.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are not as easily calculated or guaranteed as medical costs.
Instead, it is a highly variable component, and it depends solely on the severity and permanency of the injuries you have from your slip and fall. Your attorney will look at the type of injury and medical costs, then use a multiplier along with past cases to decide what your pain and suffering value will likely be.
Some injuries qualify for a higher pain and suffering value than others. Long-term injuries or those that leave a person permanently disfigured or disabled will have a higher value than injuries you recover from quickly.
For example, say that you fell down a flight of stairs and broke several bones. Because of your injuries, you now permanently walk with a limp and require a cane. In this case, the insurance company would use a higher multiplier because of the long-term suffering you will have. Conversely, let’s say you fell but only sprained your ankle. You made a full recovery and returned to work within a few months. In this case, you would have a lower multiplier, because your injuries are not permanent.
Lost Wage Value
When you miss work because of an injury, you are typically entitled to recover the value of any wages lost. You must verify the amount of wages and time missed from work through your employer and a pay stub. Also, you must show that you had a legitimate reason to lose those hours. If you have recovered from your injury, but remain at home and do not work, the defense can argue that the compensation for those days does not apply.
Loss of Earning Capacity Value
Some injuries from a slip and fall might leave you permanently disabled or unable to return to work as you did before the injury. Whether you cannot work at all, must work part-time, or must take a lesser paying job because of your injuries, you are entitled to compensation for the loss of earning potential.
If you successfully establish your right to collect for a loss of earning potential, you can also receive compensation so that you can be trained or educated in a different field or receive a lump sum for the compensation you will miss.
Your Contribution to the Incident
In a slip and fall case, do not be surprised if the insurer or defense tries to push some of the blame on you. While you might have encountered conditions that caused your slip and fall accident, you must show that you are free from guilt to put 100 percent of the liability on the defendant.
If you are not free from guilt in the accident, then your contribution in the crash is considered when a judge determines how much compensation you should receive.
For example, let’s say that you were 20 percent at-fault for your injuries, but the jury awards you $100,000. In this case, you would have your compensation reduced by your contribution, the 20 percent, which leaves you with $80,000.
Type of Negligence
The kind of negligence that led to your accident also plays a role. Negligence is the property owners disregard for the safety of you and others on their premises and knowingly leaves a dangerous situation in place rather than correcting it to prevent injury.
The critical assessment here is if a reasonable person would have corrected that same issue and how quickly they would have corrected it. For example, the stairwell had broken railings, and the owner knew about the stairwell’s broken railings for over six months. In this case, a reasonable person would have replaced the stairwell or shut it down until the railing was replaced – long before six months came around. Therefore, the owner obviously breached his or her duty of care.
Legal Representation Matters Too
One of the most significant factors in how much compensation you will be offered is the legal representation you have. The more experienced your attorney, the easier it will be to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Let the team at Van Sant Law help you with your slip and fall case. We have experience handling claims just like yours, and we know what it takes to get our clients the compensation they need to pay medical costs, lost wages, and more.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our team today at 404-991-5950 or request more information online.