Available Damages for Slip & Fall Accident Claims
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Find out what you can claim for in a slip-and-fall injury case. Get the money you need to cover your expenses.
Over $50 billion was spent on treating injuries sustained in falls across the United States in 2015.
Forget monetary damages like emotional distress or damaged possessions; this sum doesn’t even account for them.
The medical bills from slip and fall injuries can add up. It’s natural for people who have been injured to worry about whether or not they’ve suffered enough to warrant filing a compensation claim.
Victims of slips and falls can file a claim for financial damages to cover medical costs and time off work. They are entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering and any scarring or disfigurement resulting from the accident.
Injured parties can seek monetary compensation for their suffering through personal injury suits. An injured party should be made “whole” again if an unreasonably or negligently acting party is responsible for such damages.
Compensation must restore victims to their pre-injury financial standing to make them whole.
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Damages Due to a Slip and Fall
No personal injury claim has two main components: culpability and damages.
To be liable means to be legally responsible. A person or company is accountable for damages caused by a slip-and-fall accident they cause.
The term “damages” refers to the material and immaterial losses incurred by a slip and fall accident victim.
A person’s finances might be negatively impacted, for instance, if they had to pay for medical care after a fall. That sum is compensation for a financial loss that would not have occurred without the mishap.
The owner of the premises at fault in a slip and fall case must compensate the injured party for their financial losses.
Of course, money can’t undo a person’s slip and tumble, but it can help ease the financial burden. However, the responsible party might assist in the healing process by paying damages.
Compensation for injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident is variable and is based on the nature and extent of the victim’s losses.
A person does not have a valid claim for damages if they suffer minor injuries from a fall, such as bruising or scrapes, and do not require medical attention. The victim here didn’t lose anything since the incident was so minor.
On the other hand, if you sustained injuries serious enough to necessitate immediate medical attention and continued treatment in the form of physical therapy, you may have a case. Damages caused by a negligent party include the expenses incurred for these services and the emotional distress caused by having to get them.
Damages as Punishment
Punitive damages are awarded to punish wrongdoers and compensate victims for their actual losses.
You might be eligible to seek punitive damages from the court if the party responsible for your injury acted maliciously or recklessly.
Punitive damages are rarely awarded to harm victims and are only applicable in cases involving large corporations. Instead, they’re handed out to discourage the offender and others from repeating the same bad behavior.
Outside of court, you will not be awarded punitive damages. For the most part, insurance companies will not cover punitive damages in injury settlements.
Although punitive damages can be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit, they are often only given in circumstances where the at-fault party’s actions were particularly egregious (such as being intentionally evil, oppressive, deceptive, or careless).
Split-recovery laws exist in several jurisdictions, such as Alaska, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Oregon, and Utah. According to these statutes, the state is entitled to a share of any punitive damage awards rather than having them all go to the victim.
Slip-and-fall Damages and Compensation Options
In contrast to punitive damages, compensatory damages are intended to make the victim whole again. Most people hurt in a fall will seek these amounts in compensation. Injured parties are awarded compensatory damages to “make up for” or “reimburse” them for their financial hardships.
There are two compensatory damages: “special” and “generic” damages.
Special damages, often known as economic damages, are quantifiable in a way that eliminates any room for dispute about liability. Special damages, including medical bills, lost pay, and other costs, are typically sought in cases involving slip and fall accidents.
1. The Cost of Medical Treatment
Regardless of their ability to pay for medical care, slip and fall victims bear an undue financial burden.
Common injuries in slip and fall instances include:
- Broken arms, wrists, or collarbones
- Fractured hips
- Sprained ankles or wrists
- Knee damage
- Injuries to the shoulder Spinal and nerve injury
- Traumatic brain damage
These wounds need medical attention, which may involve emergency care or ongoing rehabilitation. Regardless of the therapy required, the medical care will cost money and result in additional reasonable expenses.
Remember to include all of the necessary visits to the doctor and hospital because of your slip and fall accident when you do the math on how much money you’ve spent on medical bills. You should begin at the time of your injury and continue up to the present.
Consider future medical costs while determining your level of damage.
- Include lab work,
- diagnostic tests,
- hospital stays,
- diagnostic tests,
- physical therapy,
- chiropractic care,
- physical therapy.
2. The Loss of Wages and Income
Some people who suffer injuries in slip and fall accidents cannot return to work immediately, while others are prevented from ever working again. If this is your situation, you can sue for money you lost from not being able to work.
When figuring out how much money you lost, it is important to account for every day you could not work due to your injury.
Calculate the dollar amount you think you’ve lost because you can’t return to your previous job or because you can’t earn as much money as you were before the accident.
Remember to factor in any lost commissions, incentives, or tips due to your time away from the office.
3 Money Spent Personally
In determining the total amount of your slip and fall settlement, you should factor in the cost of any medical treatment you received.
You may have to pay for things like
- Gas, parking, and lodging for getting to and from medical appointments
- Prescription drugs
- Over-the-counter drugs
- Crutches, walkers, slings, wheelchairs, or respirators
- Substitutions for regular household services like cleaning, shopping, child care, and yard work.
All other expenses related to the injury will be covered as well.
Your damage claim should also contain an estimate and value for any future out-of-pocket costs you might reasonably foresee as a result of your injuries.
4. Physical Loss
Restoration costs and the cost of replacing lost possessions are examples of special damages. For instance, if you were injured in a slip and fall and your wedding band was damaged, you should be compensated for the expense of fixing or replacing the ring.
Other instances of property damage include:
- cellular telephones,
- other technological gadgets
- timepieces, eyewear,
- prescription lenses
Non-financial harm is another name for general damages.
General damages are more challenging to compute than special damages because no bill or receipt is associated with them.
However, they are typically part of a claim for injuries sustained in a fall. The facts of your slip and fall lawsuit will determine the number of general damages you can claim.
- The term “pain and suffering” can describe both the physical pain you felt at the scene of the accident and the mental anguish you felt as a result of the injury and its treatment.
- Physical impairment or disability, such as being unable to care for yourself after a brain injury or not being able to walk independently due to a spinal injury:
- Mental Anguish, including Compensation for Feelings of Distress, Fear, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, or Grief;
- Loss of Consolation as a Result of Disfigurement or Scarring;
- Physical Impairment or Disability;
- Loss of Consolation as a Result of Physical Impairment or Disability;
There is a rough ratio of 2 to 4 for the value of general damages to the value of particular damages suffered by a victim.
An Illustration of Damages for a Slip-and-Fall Accident
Rose slipped on the newly washed restroom floor at the neighborhood movie theater. The wetness of the floor was not indicated to her in any way.
Because of the tumble, she suffered a broken kneecap and had to undergo many surgical procedures.
Rose had intensive physical therapy and was out of commission for six months. She couldn’t continue bowling and missed her niece’s wedding because of the injury a month later.
With the aid of her injury lawyer, Rose calculated the following non-economic losses:
- Medical costs,
- including those for surgery and physical treatment.
- Six months of lost pay;
- travel expenditures; crutches and pain medication out of pocket; broken spectacles;
- property damage
Her non-economic losses consisted of
- Expenses related to her inability to perform normal activities.
- At the same time, she recovered from her injuries (including pain and suffering), surgeries, physical therapy,
- and overall rehabilitation.
She missed her niece’s wedding and had to quit her bowling league as a result of her injuries, causing her to suffer a loss of enjoyment and loss of consortium.
Particular losses sustained by Rose totaled $175,000. Her attorney secured a $437,000 settlement with the movie theater’s insurance carrier (which included compensation for both special and general damages).
Part of the reason she could get compensated fairly for her injuries was that she itemized and provided documentation for all the damages she claimed.
Damages Proving Worthiness for Compensation
One cannot just claim damages after a slip and fall and have the insurance company pay up. To collect damages from an insured property owner, the injured party must prove that the owner was responsible for their injury.
Victims need to show that:
- there existed a hazard that caused their injury
- the property owner was negligent by failing to fix the hazard
- they experienced actual, verifiable damages.
Your burden of proof in a slip-and-fall lawsuit is “preponderance of the evidence.” There ought to be proof that what you’re saying is probably true. Put it another way; you need to demonstrate that more than half of the available evidence supports your position.
Specific Damages Exhibited
Claiming special damages, such as medical bills, time off work, and other expenses, is typically a breeze with the help of copies of relevant records and documents.
Always keep receipts and bills from medical services and procedures you pay for out of pockets, such as doctor visits, medications, medical supplies, and chiropractic adjustments.
You can establish your lost earnings with documents such as pay stubs and tax returns. A letter from your employer can verify the amount of lost income and be used to calculate the amount of compensation due to you from the party at fault.
- Your regular hourly rate,
- The number of workdays you missed,
- The overall amount of money you lost due to injury are all things that should be included in the employment letter.
Suppose you were eligible for overtime but missed out due to an injury. In that case, you should provide a statement in your letter of employment detailing the overtime you missed out on and any paid vacation or sick leave you took as a result of the incident.
If you’ve been unable to earn money due to an accident, you may be entitled to compensation even if you’re self-employed.
You may require tax returns, profit and loss statements, and proof of lost assignments following your injury to prove your financial losses.
Any proof can bolster your claim for compensation following a slip and fall that you had financial losses due to the accident.
Keeping track of your out-of-pocket costs for repairs or replacements is essential if your property has been harmed.
The Problem with Proving Indirect Damages
It can be more challenging to prove general damages because there may be no tangible evidence of their existence. Since there is no way to quantify emotional misery or physical pain, insurance adjusters are naturally skeptical of generic damages.
The importance of general damages in a slip and fall lawsuit is comparable to that of special damages. It may be more challenging for victims to recover from the effects of general damages than it would have been to deal with particular losses.
Your testimony or remarks, or those of relevant third parties, are common sources of evidence for non-specific damages.
- your treating doctor,
- a mental health professional,
- and people who knew you before the accident could all testify in favor of your overall damages.
Your medical records may potentially serve as proof, depending on the type of general damages you need to prove.
Getting adequate compensation for general damages often requires pointing to other cases that are comparable to your own as examples. You can look for jury decisions in your state or county at the County Clerk’s office or online.
As a beginning point in settlement negotiations with an insurance adjuster, it might be useful to show what victims of similar accidents and injuries receive for their overall damages.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Compensation After a Fall
It may not seem worthwhile at first to hire a personal injury attorney to help you get compensation for your injuries. However, having legal representation is one of the most surefire methods to increase the money you receive for a slip and fall accident.
By hiring legal representation, you can rest assured that your claim will include all of your specific and general damages. Your lawyer will know the necessary steps to prove your damages and any alternative strategies to increase your compensation.
Some people who sustain minor injuries from slip and fall accidents choose to represent themselves in court. You owe it to yourself to see an attorney if your injuries are severe or if you have any doubts regarding the value of your claim.
Consultations with competent personal injury lawyers are typically gratis. Almost all of them won’t ask for money upfront if you decide to hire them. They get paid just if they are successful. Lawyers who take cases on a contingency basis expect to be paid a certain percentage of whatever money they recover for their clients.
Here, you won’t have to stress about how you’ll pay for the legal representation you need. Considering your choices won’t eat into your money.
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