One of the most common types of negligence litigation is the “slip and fall” case. Although these may have gotten some bad press from the media trying to malign those who bring such suits, the victims of slip and fall cases are often legitimately injured and deserving of compensation for their pain and suffering. But one of the hardest things to try to gauge is exactly how much compensation a person can receive for such a lawsuit. Here are some general guidelines that will put this into some perspective and help you to realize what you may be entitled to.
In general, there are four categories that are included in calculating compensation in a slip and fall case. These include: medical expenses, pain/suffering, lost income, and lost earning potential. Let’s look at these individually:
- Medical Expenses—Medical expenses are calculated to include all of the past bills related to your fall as well as all potential future medical bills. This will vary depending on the severity of your injury, where you live, and the amount that your healthcare provider bills for and/or settles for. However, medical expenses are often considered to be a “no-brainer” in such cases and are the bare minimum that are covered in such claims. Future medical bills, however, will require medical testimony to show that you will need future medical attention to rehabilitate or treat your injury.
- Pain/Suffering—Now let’s go from the easiest of the categories to quantify to the most difficult. Pain and suffering can be the hardest to put a dollar value on. However, insurance adjusters and attorneys do work to create a formula based on a number of factors. The most common of these is the extent of your physical injury. For instance, if a person slips, falls, and is left paralyzed for the rest of his/her life, then this component will be much higher than, say, a person who slips and sprains an ankle that is healed in six weeks.
- Lost Wages—Here is another relatively easy one to calculate. If you are injured and cannot work for four weeks, then you are entitled to compensation equivalent to the wages that you would have earned in those four weeks. In other words, if your average weekly income is $500 and you are out of work due to the injury for four weeks, then your damages in this would be $2000. This can be proven by keeping copies of your paycheck stubs, tax returns, and copies of your work schedule from your employer.
- Lost Earning Potential—This is another one that is harder to quantify. You will once again need expert testimony to properly quantify this component. This will involve a medical expert who will testify that you will never be able to work again because of your injury. Then, the court will assess compensation based on how much you were projected to have earned in your lifetime.
Slip and fall cases may be a common type of negligent injury case, but that does not diminish the severity of these injuries or the plaintiff’s deserving of compensation. If you have been injured in such an accident, contact the attorneys of Wolf & Pravato to schedule an evaluation of your case. They can help you assess just how much compensation you may be owed and help guide you through the paperwork and expert testimony to prove your case.
Article updated 8/15/2017
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