The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that more than 800,000 people are hospitalized each year as a result of a fall. Slip and fall lawsuit settlements amounts are calculated based on the costs incurred for treatment. Your attorney may also account for other indirect costs.
These include the costs of long-term effects like lost time from work, disability, and dependence on others. Slip and fall lawsuit settlement amounts may, for example, add up to $30,000 for hospital bills alone. The cost of treatment is more expensive for older patients than for younger ones.
Millions of people over 65 years are treated for falls annually.
Most of these patients suffer a head injury or a broken hip. Treating slip and fall injuries are among the most expensive conditions to treat. Injuries caused by falls cost approximately $13 to $14 million each year.
Slips and falls that happen at the workplace should be compensated for by the employer.
Keep on reading to learn more!
Different Types of Injuries
Slip and fall lawsuit settlement amounts are awarded for different categories of injuries. Some injuries might be minor, causing small bruises and bumps. Other injuries can be fatal, causing permanent disabilities. Some of the common injuries are as follows:
Neck and Back Injuries
Slips and falls can lead to dislocated disks in the spinal column or along the lower neck. It may also lead to chronic pain that can only be treated through surgery. In extreme cases, neck and back injuries can result in debilitation, rendering a person physically incapacitated.
One of the reasons slip and fall lawsuit settlement amounts can be high is if the fall causes brain damage. Head injuries can cause concussions and trauma. Where there’s brain damage, the patient may develop problems with memory and mobility.
Head injuries fall into different categories. If the skull cracks or breaks, that is referred to as a penetrating head injury. Internal head injuries are more difficult to diagnose, especially if the skull is not damaged.
Closed head injuries occur from high impact or blow. The brain is very delicate, and damage that arises from a fall can last a lifetime. Loss of bodily functions and motor skills can create personality disorders like quick-to-anger responses.
Any person who suffers a traumatic brain injury as a result of a fall should seek compensation. This is because it may take them many years of therapy and treatment to recover. The factors mentioned are some that’ll determine the slip and fall lawsuit settlement amounts a patient gets.
Most of the slip and fall cases revolve around the elderly. They, therefore, result in broken bones in the pelvic area. Most of the patients also end up with broken hips. The injuries usually require invasive surgery and may call for an extended stay in a nursing home.
Tendons and Ligaments Breakages
The first response of any falling person is to try to catch themselves. This type of jerking can prevent a fall, or make injuries worse. When the knees or elbows suddenly move out of their normal range of motion, a tendon or ligament could tear.
Torn ligaments or tendons don’t easily heal unless they are treated with surgery and physical therapy. In extreme cases, a graft or replacement tendon must be used to hold the joint together. Recovery takes longer, and the patient may suffer life-long consequences.
What Determines Slip and Fall Lawsuit Settlement Amounts?
When suing for a slip and all injury, the case will only make sense if its value is high enough. The jury will have to make enough consideration whether the slip and fall lawsuit settlement amounts will be beneficial to you. How much remains after paying the attorney and does it justify the long court process?
A lawsuit is filed when a plaintiff and the defendant can’t reach a settlement agreement. Some of the reasons for failure to agree are high lawsuit settlement amounts demanded by the plaintiff. On the other hand, the defendant’s insurance company may not want to offer a reasonable price.
Lack of agreement may see the plaintiff go to court for settlement. The situation is risky for both parties as one might win while the other loses. Here are some factors that determine slip and fall lawsuit settlement amounts.
Negligence is a disregard for the safety of other people. It arises when a person fails to act reasonably or as expected of them. The jury assesses whether or not a reasonable person would have been able to identify the dangerous situation and improve it to avert injuries.
If the response is in the positive, the liable party is considered negligent.
Alternatively, the jury may also determine if the liable party is responsible for the risky situation. Conditions like poor lighting, inhibited visibility, and lack of justification all contribute to negligence. The burden lies on the plaintiff to prove that the liable party could have taken specific action to prevent the accident.
The complainant must also provide proof that if the obstruction was justified, no preventive measures had been put in place. The facts presented will be the basis of the affirmations necessary to determine the degree of negligence.
Liability in a slip and fall case occurs only if the defendant has legal responsibility for the property. They’re also responsible for all the occurrences that happen on the property. In most cases, a property owner assumes liability unless they have insurance that absolves them from that liability.
In a case where an insurance company is involved, the plaintiff sues against the company and not against the insured.
Some conditions might pre-exist before a slip and all accident. The plaintiff must be found guilt-free from any of those conditions. If the plaintiff is found to be party to the conditions that caused the injury, a portion of the liability is ascribed to them.
This, therefore, means that the property owner can’t assume full responsibility for the injury. In some states, the jury won’t award a settlement to a plaintiff who’s partially responsible. Such states operate under contributory fault laws.
Contributory negligence refers to behavior that poses an unreasonable risk to the self. The law holds that every person has a responsibility to act reasonably. Failure to do so in the case of an accident will means that liability is transferred to the plaintiff, partially or entirely.
During the lawsuit, the defendant can assert a contributory negligence claim against the injured. If the defendant can prove the plaintiff’s liability, the jury may bar the plaintiff from recovering full damages. As a plaintiff, therefore, ensure you’ve got no involvement whatsoever in the cause of the slip and fall accident.
Once the jury has proven that the plaintiff should be compensated, compensatory damages are awarded. The type of award the court settles for are deemed non-monetary, and they include
- Mental anxiety
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
Where the injured person incurs monetary expenses, special compensatory damages are awarded. This is to make the plaintiff restore or regain their financial situation before the accident happened. Some of the costs covered in the award are attorney fees, medical bills, household bills, and future medical bills.
All in all, the above factors must first be established before the award is issued.
What to Do in a Slip and Fall Accident
If you want to increase your chances of being compensated after a slip and fall accident take action immediately. You’ll be better placed if you report the incident to the property owner directly. Record it in the accident book and take photographs of the area if possible.
If there are witnesses present, take their details. Make sure to notify the health and safety representative of your workplace. All the receipts you obtain for the expenses you incur in treatment-related costs should be well preserved.
Remember there’s a strict timeline for all types of compensation claims. You should begin the claim process within three years after the slip and fall accident. To ensure you don’t delay, you can contact an attorney to kick-start the process or you.
Remember that the details of the slip and fall accident aren’t always as straightforward as you think. Give the attorney enough time to do their due diligence before they can take up your case.
Slip and fall accidents can be fatal. If you don’t suffer minor accidents, you may sustain long-term complications. Whatever the impact of the fall, your life will be disrupted in one way or another.
When seeking compensation for the damages, it’s ideal to have an attorney represent you. An attorney will ensure you get the appropriate slip and fall lawsuit settlement amounts. Long before your case gets to court, an attorney can advise you on the right procedure.
Before you go the court way, check to see that you’re not at fault in any way. In some cases, if you’re found liable for the accident, you won’t be awarded any compensation amount. Whether you’re at the workplace or anywhere else, stay safe to prevent slip and fall accidents.
If you have any question, feel free to contact us.