One of the more common personal injury cases is the slip and fall accident. Injuries caused by a slip and fall can be devastating and may require lifelong care. The elderly population is particularly vulnerable to these types of accidents. Further, due to their advanced age, any injury that they suffer may render them permanently disabled.
Poorly maintained property or hazardous conditions are generally the cause of slip and falls. Depending on the extent of your injuries, these cases can pay out anywhere from a few thousand dollars to several hundred thousand dollars – maybe even more. The value of your case is going to largely depend on the circumstances surrounding your slip and fall. While it may be difficult to estimate precisely how much your slip and fall case is worth, the following information will give you a rough idea of how much, if anything, to expect.
Who Is at Fault for a Slip and Fall Incident?
It may sound silly, but not all slip and fall cases are the fault of the property owner. Additionally, it is not uncommon for the victim of a slip and fall to have contributed directly or indirectly to the circumstances which caused the fall. Cases where there is no clear responsible party, or where the victim contributed to their fall, will likely involve a lower payout than those that can clearly be traced back to a responsible party.
Where Did the Fall Take Place?
Slip and fall accidents that occur on a homeowner’s property may be covered by homeowner’s insurance. While many homeowners carry property insurance, some do not. For those homeowners who do not carry insurance, any potential payout from a slip and fall will have to come out of the homeowner’s pocket. Certainly, some homeowners may have the money to pay up, but many do not. For this reason, the ability to secure a judgment from a slip and fall case can depend on the financial standing of that homeowner.
Businesses typically carry some form of insurance coverage to protect against large personal injury lawsuit awards. Many commercial insurance policies offer coverage for injuries sustained by customers who are on the property of the business when the incident occurs. It is not uncommon for these policies to cover more than $1,00,000 in damages. Because of this, you have a better chance of a substantial payout if your slip and fall occurred at a business as opposed to a private residence.
How Bad Are Your Injuries?
Perhaps the most important factor in estimating the value of your slip and fall case is the extent of your injuries. Minor, non-life-threatening injuries will likely be worth less than serious, potentially fatal ones. Additionally, injuries that heal are going to be worthless in compensation than injuries that are permanent. Still, an injury that requires extensive rehabilitation but will ultimately heal may be worth a substantial sum depending on how intensive and lengthy rehabilitation takes. Moreover, any injury that will alter your lifestyle will likely translate into a higher payout.
What Medical Treatment Did You Receive?
Even injuries that will fully heal may be worth large sums in a slip and fall if the medical treatment involved painful or traumatic intervention. Surgeries and intensive rehabilitation can often translate into higher payouts. Any treatment that will involve you being unable to care for yourself for any period of time may prove valuable when it comes time to calculate your damages. Generally speaking, the more life-altering the treatment, the more it may be worth in compensatory damages.
Pre-Existing and Subsequent Injuries
One potential area that may serve to devalue your slip and fall case is any preexisting injuries. While it is certainly possible for a slip and fall to reaggravate past injuries, it will need to be proven in court that the slip and fall was the cause of your injury and not simply an old injury that was never treated or healed properly. Similarly, the longer you wait after your fall to seek treatment for any injuries that you may have sustained, the less likely you will be able to prove that the fall was the ultimate cause of your injury. Defendants in slip and fall cases will use any avenue that they can to limit the scope of your damages, thereby decreasing the value of your claim. For this reason, it is critical that you immediately seek care and follow the recommendations of your treating physician and your attorney in order to secure the maximum payout for your injuries.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is a category of damages for compensating victims who have experienced discomfort and agony in connection with their injuries. The value of pain and suffering damages is extremely difficult to predict. There is no precise formula or guidelines that courts use to come to a figure for pain and suffering. As a general rule, more severe injuries and emotional distress equate to higher pain and suffering awards than do minor, short-lived afflictions. If your case goes to trial, juries have been known to award significant sums of money for injuries that they find to be particularly heart-wrenching or egregious.
Injured in a Slip and Fall? We Can Help
If you are the victim of a slip and fall injury, know that time is of the essence. You have up to 4 years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit for your injuries. Any delay in seeking treatment may decrease the payout that you might receive. Therefore, it is vital that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your right to justice is well protected.
Our attorneys at The Watson Firm, PLLC can assist you with your Florida personal injury case. We have an experienced team of lawyers who will aggressively pursue your case and help ensure that you receive the best compensation possible.