Slipping and falling can be fatal. You might be thinking – “What’s the big deal? We’ve been slipping and falling since we started walking.”
But not all falls allow you to dust yourself and walk away like nothing happened.
Here’s three shocking statistics about the impact of slips and falls:
- Over one million people have to be hospitalized because of slip and fall accidents in the US every year.
- One out of five falls leads to serious injuries like head trauma and multiple fractures.
- The average cost of recovering from a slip and fall accident is between $30,000 to $40,000.
The sad part is most of these falls could’ve been avoided.
How did you trip? Was it because of a wet floor, uncovered wiring, loose tiling, damaged steps, or some other dangerous obstruction?
If yes, then you’re suffering for someone’s negligence – the owners of the property whose duty it was to keep it safe.
And you have the legal right to seek compensation for your injuries from them. An Atlanta slip and fall accident attorney with Monge & Associates may be able to help.
Liability in Slip and Fall Settlements
Slip and fall accidents are governed by premises liability laws. These laws hold owners accountable for keeping their property safe for visitors.
If you slipped and fell on someone’s property, you must successfully prove that it was the owner’s negligence that led to your accident. It’s possible that commercial tenants, property managers, employers, and even you may be liable for the slip and fall.
Georgia abides by a modified comparative negligence standard, which compensates you based on your degree of liability.
Let’s say the court awards you $100,000 as part of your settlement. But if the judge rules that you were 20% at fault, you’ll only get 80% of the amount = $80,000.
You won’t be able to seek any compensation if your share of fault is 50% or more.
Factors Affecting Slip and Fall Settlement Amounts
Let’s take a look at the three major factors that could affect your slip and fall case settlement:
1. Severity of Injuries and Losses
Serious injuries require serious treatment. Broken bones, blood clots, concussions, internal bleeding, and other severe injuries can take several weeks or months to recover from.
Injuries that require surgery can blow a massive hole through your savings if your insurance claim doesn’t come through smoothly. However, it does not necessarily determine the amount of compensation that can be sought.
While you’re helplessly lying on your bed, your medical bills will keep piling up. You may even lose a big chunk of your earnings.
2. Degree of Liability
Your claim is only as strong as the defendant’s liability. There are a lot of questions you need to ask yourself while building your slip and fall case, such as:
- Were you legally allowed to be present on the property where you slipped and fell?
- Did the property have poor maintenance and safety hazards like spilled liquids, broken railings, damaged floors, and uneven steps?
- Did the owner fail to leave any clearly visible warning signs about these hazards?
- Was the owner aware of these safety issues and willfully chose to ignore them?
- Did the owner fail to meet proper property building and maintenance regulations?
- Did you take all possible precautions to conduct yourself safely in the space where the accident happened?
- Did you seek medical attention immediately after the fall?
If the answer to all these questions is YES, then yes, you do have a chance for better compensation!
3. Clarity of Evidence
It’s not just the moment you file the case that gathering evidence comes into play. Your case is on the moment you hit the floor after slipping. The more evidence you gather, the bigger your compensation will be.
Here are some key pieces of evidence that’ll really help your case:
- All the receipts of your economic and non-economic damages linked to your slip and fall. It includes everything from medical appointments, medication, surgery, rehab, and any other miscellaneous costs.
- Photographs of the slippery floor, uneven surface, or any other construction or maintenance defect that caused your fall.
- Photos and surveillance footage showing the incident and lack of measures taken by the owner to warn the victim.
- Recording the report of your accident with the property owner or manager.
- Copies of the property’s safety inspections and maintenance records.
Negotiating a Settlement or Going to Trial
Did you know only 3-4% of personal injury cases go to trial?
The truth is court proceedings can often suck up a lot of time and money for both parties before a resolution is reached.
You may end up winning a solid settlement to cover your urgent medical costs and lost wages instead of waiting for several years for a verdict.
It doesn’t mean you should jump at the first sight of a settlement they offer you to close the matter. They could be taking advantage of your legal ignorance and lowballing you.
Sometimes, taking your case is what you need when liable parties keep manipulating you to walk away.
The Importance of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
The key is to hire an experienced slip and fall injury lawyer who will fight your case like it’s going to trial.
The strength of your legal representation is one of the secret factors that can deeply affect your compensation.
Strive for the best lawyers for your case and they’ll get you the best possible settlement.
Here’s how a great personal injury lawyer will help you win your slip and fall settlement:
- Gathering all the evidence needed to establish clear liability.
- Taking all the burden of insurance and legal paperwork on their shoulders so that you can peacefully recover.
- Understanding the tricks of insurers along with the legal complexities of premises liability and personal injury laws to negotiate a fair settlement.
- Leading a thorough investigation to dig up more evidence, getting eyewitness testimonies, and contacting accident reconstruction experts.
- Take your case to trial if necessary.
- Settling their payment only after winning your case.
Average Slip and Fall Settlement Amounts
There’s no universal standard for slip and fall settlements. As we have seen, your settlement amount depends on three key factors – severity of damages, degree of liability, and clarity of evidence (and the secret fourth factor – the strength of your legal representation).
Most slip and fall settlements range from $10,000 to $50,000. Feel free to reach out to our team of experienced personal injury lawyers here at Monge & Associates.
We’ll be happy to give you a FREE case review to let you know what your case is worth.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
The short answer is – anywhere from 3 to 18 months. It’s important to note that a faster settlement may not always be in your best interest.
For instance, you may not know how permanent your injuries are or how long it’ll take you to recover after surgery.
So you may end up losing out on your long-term security by accepting a lowball offer. It takes time for your lawyer to conduct an investigation, gather evidence, negotiate a settlement, and fight your case in court if needed.