Being injured in a slip-and-fall accident on the property of someone else might leave you with injuries. You might wonder whether you should file a lawsuit against the owner of the property and how much your claim might be worth. The value of your slip-and-fall claim will depend on several different factors. An experienced premises liability lawyer at DiCindio Law can assess your claim’s legal merits and provide you with a range of values within which you might expect a reasonable offer of settlement to fall. Here are some of the factors that might influence the value of your slip-and-fall accident claim.
The medical expenses that you have incurred now and in the future
The medical bills that you have already incurred as well as your expected future medical expenses related to treating your slip-and-fall accident injuries are among the most important factors influencing the value of your claim. Your attorney can help you figure out how much your medical expenses are and what you might expect to pay for your care in the future.
Normally, a slip-and-fall case will be worth at least the total of your medical expenses. You will likely be entitled to recover other damages beyond your medical bills, however.
Past lost wages
If your injuries from your slip-and-fall accident were serious, you may have been forced to miss work. If you missed work and lost pay, you will likely be entitled to recover the amount of the wages that you would have earned if you had not been injured in your accident. You will need to provide documentation of the time that you missed and the normal amount that you earn. Normally, this documentation might include your pay stubs and tax returns. You can also ask your employer to verify the amount of time that you missed from your job because of your injury along with your regular hourly rate.
Lost capacity to earn an income
If you suffered extensive injuries that prevent you from returning to the job that you had before your accident and are no longer able to earn the same amount of money that you previously did, you might be entitled to recover compensation for your lost capacity to earn an income. Your attorney might retain a vocational rehabilitation expert to testify about your reduced earnings capacity to support your claim. The expert might complete an evaluation of your injuries, your future job prospects, and your occupation to provide evidence for your claim.
If you and your lawyer can establish that your earning capacity has been reduced because of your accident injuries, the court might require the property owner to compensate you by paying a lump sum for your reduced capacity to earn an income or by paying for you to receive education or training in a new field.
Your incidental expenses
If you have incurred incidental expenses because of your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation to pay for them. For example, if your gas bill went up because of traveling to medical appointments by $100 per month, you might be compensated for those expenses. You will need to be able to show a connection between your injury and the incidental expenses, however.
Pain and suffering damages in slip-and-fall claims
Calculating the value of your pain and suffering damages can be difficult. While there isn’t a strict rule about how to calculate these types of damages, your medical bills are typically used as a measuring stick.
Some injuries from slip-and-fall accidents do not show symptoms until weeks after your accident. You should keep this in mind when you are negotiating your claim amount with the insurance company. If you hire an experienced attorney at DiCindio Law, your lawyer can handle the negotiations for you while you work on your recovery.
Value of slip-and-fall settlements versus trial verdicts
The vast majority of slip-and-fall claims settle outside of court. In some cases, a settlement agreement might be reached before a formal lawsuit is filed. Reaching a settlement agreement is normally mutually beneficial to both the injured victims and the insurance companies. While a reasonable settlement offer might be slightly less than what your case might be worth at trial, you will not have to risk a trial and the possibility of losing. The insurance company might pay more than it might want when it settles a claim. However, the company might also want to avoid a trial because of the possibility of losing and being forced to pay more. Settlements benefit both sides because juries are unpredictable, and it is never possible to figure out exactly what a jury might decide.
If your case does go to trial and you receive a verdict award in your favor, the insurance company can also file an appeal. If it does, your case may take a substantially longer time to complete before you receive your compensation.
Normally, your lawyer will only file a lawsuit if you and the insurance company cannot reach a fair settlement agreement. In some cases, the insurance company will refuse to make a reasonable offer. After a formal lawsuit is filed, most cases will eventually reach a resolution before trial, however.
Get help from DiCindio Law
Suffering serious injuries in a slip-and-fall accident because of the negligence of the property owner can be devastating. Michael DiCindio at DiCindio Law can help you to figure out your legal options and the potential value of your claim. Contact us today to schedule a consultation by calling 610.430.3535.
The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes to the law that may be relevant. The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments or the most complete legal issues for all cases These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended solely for informational purposes.