How Much is Your Slip and Fall Case Worth?
On the surface, it can be difficult to estimate how much a legal case is worth, especially if the case involves a slip and fall. However, if someone is injured in a fall due to a hazard on another person or businesses’ property, it is important that he or she be aware of the factors that can affect filing a lawsuit. For example, all states have a statute of limitations on how long an individual has to file a lawsuit. In Florida, the injured party has four years from the date of the accident to file the lawsuit. If the person does not file within this period of time, he or she can end up barred from any relief.
Here are factors that will determine the value of your slip and fall case:
Medical Expenses: Present and Future
Medical expenses are one of the first things used to calculate damages in a slip and fall case. When meeting with an attorney, bring any and all medical expenses to help the attorney evaluate what types of medical expenses may be outstanding and what may be in the future. Damages can sometimes be the amount the healthcare provider has billed the injured client or the amount the healthcare provider agreed to receive as payment in full, if the healthcare provider agreed to a lesser amount. It helps if the client has reached what is known as “maximum medical improvement,” meaning the doctor has declared that he or she has recovered as fully as he or she is anticipated to recover, and additional medical expenses are not anticipated.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are a category of potential damages in slip and fall cases, although these damages are less common and less predictable in terms of value. When calculating pain and suffering, however, many lawyers and courts will look to the amount of total medical bills to start. A formula or multiplier is often used to calculate the amount of pain and suffering based on the type of injuries sustained, specifically in terms of severity and permanency of the injuries, as well as the amount of medical bills. The multiplier will be calculated against the value of the medical bills to determine a total value for pain and suffering. The more severe and more permanent the injuries are, the higher the multiplier will be. A personal injury attorney can discuss these issues with the client and evaluate whether pain and suffering will be a factor the client’s slip and fall case.
Sometimes the injuries from a slip and fall are so severe the client ends up missing a large amount of time from work. In these situations, the client is entitled to recover the value of these lost wages that he or she would have earned if not for the injury. To prove what the client would be entitled to, he or she will need to supply verification of his or her income as well as the time missed due to the injury. Tax returns or recent paystubs are normally a good proof of income, and the employer will likely need to submit verification in writing what the employee’s typical salary or wage is and the amount of time he or she missed due to the injury. All of this information will be used to calculate what the individual’s lost wages are.
Loss of Earning Capacity
The injuries sustained in a slip and fall can be so severe that the person is no longer able to perform the type of work he or she performed prior to getting injured, which can result in that person not making the salary he or she once did. In these situations, the slip and fall case award can include loss of earning capacity, which is a figure meant to compensate for this loss of income. Normally, the injured client will need to bring in an expert witness to supply testimony regarding the injury and the claim and to give a good estimate for what would adequately compensate the injured person. Compensation can include paying the injured party a lump sum to make up for the loss of earning capacity or paying him or her to be trained or educated in a different but equivalent in terms of income field.
Non-monetary damages are also taken into consideration in slip and fall cases. These type damages include: pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of companionship. In the end, there are a number of factors that go into to determining slip and fall settlements.
As experienced Miami slip and fall accident lawyers, we understand Florida’s slip-and-fall laws and how to hold businesses accountable for our client’s injuries, lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering. If you have suffered a slip and fall at a grocery store, restaurant or retail store in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, The Keys or anywhere in the State of Florida it is critically important for you to consult with an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer who will fight to protect your legal rights. When selecting a lawyer- ask them about their qualifications and experience in claims against grocery stores, retailers and restaurants. Spencer Aronfeld is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer and our firm, Aronfeld Trial Lawyers has successfully represented people and their families in slip and fall claims across the country since 1991. Call us today for a free initial consultation 1-866-597-4529 or email [email protected] and speak with an experienced slip and fall lawyer about your potential claim.