What Determines Slip and Fall Settlement Amounts?
Slip and fall injuries can happen just about anywhere. A wet bathroom floor at the mall, an icy store sidewalk or a slick grocery store aisle where something has spilled. Maybe you’ve been injured in a similar scenario and are considering a slip and fall lawsuit. If so, it can be tough to decide whether you should pursue a case or not.
Your first question may be, “What are average slip and fall settlement amounts?” While each slip and fall case is unique, there are certain factors that go into deciding a settlement.
The first thing to consider is if you should settle out of court. It is the easiest and least expensive way to cover your damages, but you may not get as much as you deserve. If it is not possible to come to an agreement or aren’t sure if your offer is fair, it’s a good idea to look into retaining a reputable personal injury attorney.
It is not possible to determine how much your case will be worth upfront because a jury makes that final decision. Every slip and fall case and its jury are different and unique, so it’s not really possible to predict a range of compensatory damages. Slip and fall cases run the gamut. For example, a New Jersey man sued Perkins Restaurant when he slipped on ice and fell in the parking lot in 2007. In 2011, according to The New Jersey Herald, he was awarded $1.9 million for that injury. This was just one particular situation where the victim was very badly injured and had $250,000 in medical bills, but it shows these cases can sometimes be very serious and it’s best to speak with a lawyer right away.
Your medical bills are a fairly objective starting point for your claim because they are easily calculated. So this is where any settlement would begin. It takes into consideration not only past medical bills, but current and future expenses (such as physical therapy) you are faced with as a result of your accident.
Pain and Suffering
This is a highly subjective area which makes it impossible to pin down to actual figures. It usually begins with the amount of your medical bills. From there, the jury may be asked to consider a wide variety of other elements. For example, if you were a competitive horseback rider prior to your accident and now you can no longer ride, you have lost more quality of life than a person who is more sedentary. This would be considered pain and suffering and impact your slip and fall settlement.
Lost Income (Past and Future)
If your injury caused you to miss work, those numbers are easy to calculate into your settlement. But what if your injury prevents you from returning to the same type of work? Then the jury needs to take into consideration the cost of new job training as well as any changes to your future income.
It really is impossible to even give a range of what slip and fall settlements might win. You must take into consideration how much your medical bills are, how much work you’ve lost and how the injury will impact your future quality of life, and then decide if your case is worth pursuing. Consulting a reputable personal injury attorney is an excellent way to find out if your case is something that should go to court.