How Much Are Slip and Fall Settlements Worth?
According to the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, less than four percent of personal injury cases go to trial. That means the vast majority of cases settle out of court. In order for a case to settle, both sides have to have a clear idea of how much a settlement should be. Here’s how to value your slip and fall settlement:
Look at Your Injuries
Figuring out the right amount of a slip and fall settlement starts by looking at the victim’s injuries. A few scrapes that require a brief trip to urgent care isn’t going to settle for the same amount as a case where a victim has catastrophic injuries that last a lifetime. Not only do more serious injuries cost more to treat, but serious injuries also bring more pain and suffering. Determining the extent of the injuries is the first step in determining a slip and fall settlement.
Consider Your Treatment
Once you’ve looked at the extent of your injuries, the next step is to calculate your medical bills.
- If you had to go to the emergency room or urgent care, your slip and fall settlements should include the cost of those treatments. But that’s just the beginning.
- Your settlement should also include follow up care, medical devices that aid your mobility, physical therapy, and mental health treatment. If you’re not fully recovered when it’s time to settle your case, you need to work with your physicians and other medical experts to estimate the cost of your future medical bills. These costs should all be included in a slip and fall settlement.
When you suffer a slip and fall accident, your physical injuries are only part of your damages. You likely have pain and suffering and emotional devastation from the fact that you can’t live your life as you did before your slip and fall. There are different methods to evaluate pain and suffering in order to determine a settlement.
- In some cases, victims use a multiplier of medical damages. For example, if medical damages are $10,000, you might value pain and suffering at 1.5 times your medical damages. In that case, your damages are $15,000 for pain and suffering and $10,000 for economic damages including medical bills.
- In other cases, you may assign a dollar value to each day that you have to live with your injuries. You can add all of these things together in order to determine how much to add to your settlement for emotional damages.
Other Factors to Consider
How an injury occurs may play a role in the value of a slip and fall settlement. In cases of extremely bad conduct on the part of the person or company responsible, punitive damages may be in play. The rules for punitive damages vary from state to state. However, they’re available in many states as part of a slip and fall settlement where the other side willfully or recklessly caused your injuries. In most cases, punitive damages may apply only when the other party is a corporation.
The Settlement Process
Ultimately, a slip and fall settlement is what the other side agrees to pay unless a jury awards a settlement in a lawsuit. If you can convince the other side that you have a great case and you’re likely to win if you go to trial, they may be more likely to offer you a high settlement. In other cases, they might want to offer you a settlement in order to resolve the case as quickly as possible. A settlement in a slip and fall case is usually a carefully negotiated amount based on how both parties assess the strengths and weaknesses of the case.
An experienced attorney, like a personal injury lawyer Memphis TN relies on, can provide more information about the potential value of your slip and fall case.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Patterson Bray for their insight into personal injury and slip and fall practice.