You were walking along, minding your own business. All of a sudden, you found yourself taking a tumble. Now you are contemplating a lawsuit and wondering if it is the right thing to do. One of the things that will certainly help you make up your mind is knowing what your claim may be worth. There is no one answer to this question.
Each slip and fall case is unique. Each jurisdiction is different. There are, though, several considerations that may help you get a feel for what you can reasonably expect to be awarded in a lawsuit. In writing this blog, we are assuming that you have a valid case. To be sure that you do, it is always best to consult an attorney who is experienced in slip and fall accidents.
One of the issues that will be used to calculate your award are your medical bills. The judge will consider what you have already paid as a result of your injury and what you may be expected to pay in the future. Depending on the jurisdiction, the amount may be lessened because your healthcare provider agreed to accept less than they would normally. This is typical, particularly when people are paying with insurance.
A slip and fall claim that is successful at least pays out the value of medical bills that have already been incurred. You can assume that you will be awarded the amount that you can show you paid. In addition to these payments, you may be entitled to pain and suffering as well.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages can be difficult to predict. There are no hard rules when it comes to determining what someone will be awarded for pain and suffering, as there is for medical bills. In most cases, when people are awarded pain and suffering, the amount they are awarded depends on the injuries they sustained and how long those injuries persisted.
Most attorneys will negotiate an award for you that takes future injuries into account. This is because it can be difficult to determine whether injuries will appear weeks or months from the time of your initial injury. You may also be entitled to lost wages if your injury causes you to miss work.
You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages if your injuries caused you to miss work for a day or more. You will be awarded the amount that you would have earned for the time that you missed. Your employer will typically have to verify that you missed work because of your injury, the amount of time that you missed, and the wages you would have earned had you been able to work.
Loss of Earning Capacity
Sometimes, injuries are so severe that they prevent victims from returning to work at all. Other times, they prevent people from returning to their current job because of its physical demands. After a slip and fall injury, you may not be able to perform jobs that you once could, and you may lose income. When you are not able to earn as much as you did before your fall, you are said to have lost your “earning capacity.”
When you file your lawsuit, your attorney will find an expert that can testify on your behalf if this is the case. Your attorney may find a vocational rehabilitation specialist or another professional who can support your claim. If you are successful in proving that your capacity to earn has been lessened due to your accident, you may be compensated in different ways. First, you may be compensated for training or education in a different field. Alternatively, you may be compensated in a lump sum calculated based on your reduced earning capacity.
There are often additional expenses incurred as the result of a slip and fall injury. For example, you may have to put gas in your car to travel to and from doctor’s appointments. You may have other commuting expenses as a result of your accident and injury. You may need to pay for childcare so you can attend therapy sessions. You could be compensated for these expenses, but you will have to prove that there is a reasonable connection between the expenses and your injuries.
If you or someone you love has been hurt and needs an Orlando slip and fall lawyer, call our office today. A member of our team will help you schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. During your evaluation, we will discuss the details of your accident and injury. We will also advise you of your options going forward. Call our office for assistance today or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.