If you have injured yourself by slipping and falling because of a dangerous condition on someone’s property, you may be thinking about suing the property owner. The main factor to consider when contemplating filing suit for a slip and fall case is if the lawsuit will be worth it. There is no guaranteed amount for recovery in a slip and fall case. Recovery depends on whether you have a valid claim of negligence against another party, the extent of your injuries, the cost of treating these injuries, and other economic harm suffered by the injured party according to a personal injury lawyer with our friends at the Brandy Austin Law Firm.
Valid Claim Of Negligence
The first step in potentially recovering in a slip and fall case (also referred to as premises liability case) is determining who is responsible for your damages. Often, premises will be covered under liability insurance, so the insurance company works to settle your case instead of the company located on the premises. Next, it is essential to note how the at fault party contributed to your accident. Some common themes of at-fault party’s negligence in slip and fall cases include poor lighting, lack of warning, limited visibility, etc. Finally, even if there are clear conditions that caused you to slip and fall, if you contributed to the accident in any way, this could affect the value of your case.
It is impossible to estimate the value of your case without having investigated the event. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help you estimate what type of recovery you may be looking at. A personal injury attorney can also help you get a better settlement for your case by successfully negotiating with insurance companies.
A valid slip and fall case is generally worth at least your medical bills and expenses. Typically, your bills for past and predicted future medical expenses related to your fall will be reimbursed through a settlement. Medical bills include emergency room services, treatment at a doctor’s office, physical and rehabilitative therapy, surgeries, specialist visits, prescriptions, and x-ray services. A personal injury claimant generally must prove that the medical expenses incurred were “reasonable.” This is typically done through affidavits by the medical provider.
Experts can examine an individual’s injuries and estimate future medical treatment costs included in recoverable damages. While an expert is not required, it is typically helpful to have an expert’s testimony about future medical expenses, especially if the case is going to trial.
If you miss work because of an injury, you generally can recover your regular wages for the time you missed. Lost wages can also include any bonuses or commissions that you could have received and overtime. To prove lost wages, you typically need to provide a tax return or pay stub as documentation for the amount of money you receive from your job. Sometimes a letter from the company you work for that states your position, the hours you regularly work, your salary, and how much time you missed will suffice.
Loss Of Earning Capacity
Sometimes, people are injured so severely that they can no longer perform the type of work they did before their injury. If this is the case, you may be able to recover more from your slip and fall case based on compensation for your “lost earning capacity.” Loss of earning capacity can be recovered for past earning and future earnings. Loss of past earning capacity is the diminished capacity to earn a living from the day of the injury to the trial day. Loss of future earning capacity is the diminished capacity to earn a living after the trial.
To prove lost earning capacity, usually, an expert is retained to fully evaluate your injuries, occupation, and ability to perform that job based on your injuries. If an individual earned a good income and had many working years ahead, but after the injury is no longer able to work in the same field or earn the same income, damages could include the difference between what the individual would have made without the injury, and what they will earn after the injury.
Pain And Suffering
Suffering from severe injuries can impact an individual’s quality of life because of physical injuries and emotional anguish. Unlike medical bills and lost wages, damages for pain and suffering are much more unpredictable in terms of potential compensation. The amount of pain and suffering depends on the type of injury. For example, in a slip and fall case involving permanent severe injuries, the potential pain and suffering damages will be greater than when there were no permanent injuries from the fall. The amount may also be higher if the person suffered disfigurement or physical impairment due to the slip and fall.
A typical starting point for calculating pain and suffering is looking at your total medical expenses. Adjustors or lawyers working on your case will often determine what “multiplier” to use based on your case’s severity. The multiplier range usually goes from 0.5-5.0. In effect, if your case is severe enough to use the multiplier of 5, that means your pain and suffering would equal five times the amount of your medical expenses.
Additionally, pain and suffering does not just include physical pain; it also encompasses mental and emotional suffering such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, grief, and the loss of enjoyment of life. The loss of enjoyment of life regarding pain and suffering can also include damages for not doing things you used to do and enjoy before the accident, such as playing sports, playing instruments, or other recreational activities.
Slip and fall cases are premises liability or personal injury actions. If an individual who suffers from a slip and fall case can prove the other party’s liability, they can potentially recover damages such as lost wages, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Recovering from a slip and fall case is a task in itself. Hiring an attorney can help ease the recovery by keeping your case organized and negotiating or going to court to recover your damages.
A personal injury attorney will request, collect, and organize your medical bills and expenses to calculate your total medical expenses. Additionally, personal injury attorneys can help you calculate your lost wages. Personal injury attorneys know how to hire a qualified expert to estimate any additional damages you may be entitled to.