If you have suffered a slip and fall accident, you may be unable to work and required to undergo extensive medical treatments in order to heal. During the healing process, you may be concerned that you cannot meet your financial obligations while you are unable to work. The stress from worrying can actually slow your healing process, but there may be a way to receive lost wages, your medical expenses as well as pain and suffering.
A premises liability claim may be the answer, but if the person responsible for your slip and fall will not agree to a settlement, you may be forced to file a lawsuit. When this happens, you may question how to value a slip & fall injury lawsuit in order to be sure your expenses will be covered.
There are several factors that go into valuing a slip and fall injury.
In the majority of slip and fall cases, a settlement between the injured and responsible person is reached, avoiding the need for a lawsuit. This may not happen for several reasons. You may have been demanding a higher amount of money than the responsible person could pay or their insurance company was willing to pay.
In other cases, the insurance company may simply be trying to get by without paying what they are required to pay. If the case results in a lawsuit, the decision will be up to a jury and this can be risky for both the plaintiff and the defendant.
If your case goes to trial, the jury will be tasked with valuing your injury. In the case of lost wages and medical bills, it is usually easy to determine an amount that you should receive. If the plaintiff is found liable, you will receive the amount you presented to the court which may include past medical payments and those you will incur due to future treatment.
Pain and suffering is a little harder to value, however. They are often educated guesses and, because each jury is different, can vary greatly. Disfigurement, amputations and other injuries often receive larger pain and suffering awards as they are permanent injuries that will not improve over time. Less obvious injuries, such as back, neck or muscle strain, may receive a lesser award as they are not visible to the jury.
Your award may be reduced if the jury feels you contributed in any way to the accident. If your slip and fall was due to negligence on the part of the defendant, such as a loose floor tile that had been that way for months, the jury may decide on a higher award.
If you slipped and fell because you were not paying attention, ignoring warning signs of a hazard, your award could be lowered, or the jury could decide not to provide you with pain and suffering compensation at all.
The jury will also factor in how your injury impacted your life. If you fall and break your wrist, leaving you with permanent damage, the jury will award you more if they feel the damage has significantly impacted your life. If you make your living using a keyboard, for example, or are an avid softball player. If your employment or hobbies do not require you to have full movement of your wrist, the jury may not award you as much. Whether you can work is another factor that the jury will use. A broken wrist, even one that causes permanent damage, should not cause you to be totally disabled, but a broken neck that causes full or partial paralysis may.
If you have been injured and want more information on how to value a slip & fall injury lawsuit, contact Lundy Law today. You can arrange for an initial consultation by calling us at 1-800-Lundy Law or completing the form online.