After a painful fall, it is perfectly natural to wonder how much compensation you can receive. After all, your medical bills are probably much higher than you could imagine, and you might not be able to work while you recover.
There is no simple way to calculate possible slip and fall settlements. However, at RMD Law, we look at a few different factors.
How Much Money Has Your Injuries Cost You?
When someone else’s negligence causes you to fall, you can hold them responsible for all of the economic losses you have suffered as a result. For example, you might have incurred expenses for the following:
● Medical care
● Prescription drugs
● Prosthetics, like crutches or a wheelchair
● Lost wages
● Property damage, such as breaking your watch or glasses
Hold onto bills, receipts, and repair estimates and stuff them away in a folder. In slip and fall cases, you can usually receive full reimbursement for these expenses. So if your economic losses are $15,000, then you can receive $15,000 from the defendant.
How Extreme is Your Pain and Suffering?
Slip and fall victims can also receive compensation for intangible harms that fall under the rubric “pain and suffering.” This category includes things like:
● The physical pain you feel
● The emotional distress or mental pain of being injured
● Loss of enjoyment of life
● Permanent disability
● Grief or depression
There is no simple way to calculate pain and suffering, though we can rely on our experience to roughly estimate an amount. For example, someone who has suffered permanent scarring on a body part could suffer extreme embarrassment and social withdrawal, which is probably worth a lot of money. Likewise, someone permanently paralyzed has suffered extreme suffering and the loss of enjoyment of life.
By contrast, if your shoulder sprain and dislocated joint cleared up in a couple months, then you will probably receive less compensation for pain and suffering.
To get a rough estimate of how much you can receive in pain and suffering, multiply your economic losses (lost wages, medical care, etc.) by 1 to 5. If your injuries are permanent, use 5; if they are temporary and relative minor, use 1 or 2. Then add this amount to your economic losses to estimate full compensation.
For example, Michael might have suffered a permanent partial loss of sensation in his legs after a fall. If his economic losses are $200,000, then he could receive $1,000,000 in pain and suffering.
Conversely, Carla might have sprained her ankle and badly bruised her shoulder, both of which cleared up after a month. If her medical bills cost $1,500, she might receive only another $3,000 in pain and suffering.
Are You Partly to Blame for Your Injuries?
In slip and fall cases, victims sometimes contributed to their injuries. For example, they did not look where they were walking, their nose pressed to a phone as they read a text message. In this situation, it is hard to avoid some responsibility for not seeing the spilled liquid on the floor that you ultimately slipped on.
California law recognizes comparative negligence. If your own negligence substantially contributed to your fall, you can still receive compensation. But the amount you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if you are 50% responsible for your injuries, you will only receive half of what you normally could. If your economic losses and pain and suffering total $30,000, then you would only receive $15,000 because you are equally at fault for your injuries.
Other Limitations on Slip and Fall Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
Many factors go into estimating the amount of compensation, such as:
● The strength of evidence. If it is obvious that the property owner was negligent, then you can receive more than if it is unclear whether they are really to blame.
● The amount of the defendant’s insurance policy. If you slip in a store, then you can make a claim on their business liability coverage. If you fall on private property, you can make a claim on someone’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. It is hard to receive more than the maximum amount of the policy, regardless of your injuries.
Speak to RMD Law Today
After a slip and fall, you need to act fast. Evidence can quickly disappear, and it becomes harder to get the compensation you deserve. Contact RMD Law today.
One of our Orange County slip and fall lawyers can meet with you to discuss your case. We have deep experience with slip and fall settlements. Please call or send us an online message. We offer free, no obligation initial consultations. Call or contact us online today.