Slip and Fall Settlements
What is a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall accidents occur when a person falls and sustains an injury while on premises that are owned by another party. These are common in business establishments such as retail stores, shopping malls, and grocery stores. They may also occur in other settings like at the workplace or while on rented property. Slip and fall injuries are common where the flooring of the area is constantly under slick or slippery conditions.
What are Slip and Fall Settlements?
A slip and fall settlement is where the injured party attempts to hold the responsible party liable for their losses or expenses caused by the accident. During the settlement negotiations, the parties will determine how much is owed, if anything, and whether further measures need to be taken (such as repairing or cleaning the floors).
Slip and fall settlements may be conducted in connection with a lawsuit based on negligence or premises liability. The settlement may be a result of the natural progression of the case. For example, the parties may decide early on that continuing with litigation would be too costly or too risky. As a result, they may resort to a settlement in order to avoid the costs associated with a lawsuit.
More commonly, slip and fall settlements are negotiated out-of-court even before a lawsuit is filed. For example, the injured party may approach the owner of the premises and inform them of their injury and resulting losses. Out of court settlements are common for minor claims and in instances where the owner of the premises is clearly at fault.
How much can I Recover in a Settlement?
It is difficult to say how much a person can recover in a slip and fall settlement. The amount of recovery is based on different factors, which may be different for each individual case. Settlements in a slip and fall case will depend on:
- The type of injury: More serious injuries will of course result in a higher payout. Less serious injuries or injuries that were pre-existing will result in a lower recovery amount. Medical documentation may be needed as proof of the harm
- Effects of the injury: The injured person may be entitled to losses that result from the injury, such as lost wages or impaired bodily function in the future
- Degree of fault: If the injured party is partially or fully to blame for their injuries, their recovery may be reduced or even denied. For example, the victim may have acted recklessly by disregarding warning signs.
- Relationship between the parties: Recovery may depend on the relationship between the parties, such as customer-patron, employer-employee, or landlord-tenant. Recovery may also depend on where the accident occurred (i.e., at work vs. at home)
- Interactions with insurance companies: If the injured party has already received compensation from an outside source such as an insurance company, it may limit their amount of recovery (this may vary by jurisdiction). Also, if the injured party has delayed in filing an insurance claim, it may also reflect negatively on the outcome of the settlement.
Finally, it is somewhat common for the defendant in a slip and fall case to refuse to participate in settlement negotiations. This is especially true if they feel that they are not responsible for the slip and fall incident.
Should I hire a Lawyer for help with a Slip and Fall Settlement?
Many people feel that they can handle a slip and fall settlement on their own. However, it is advisable to work with a personal injury lawyer if you will be engaging in negotiations for a slip and fall settlement. Personal injury laws may vary widely according to state and local jurisdiction.
Your attorney can help present your arguments in a way that is both professional and efficient. In any slip and fall case, proving who is at fault is the most important thing. An experienced lawyer will be able to establish whether dangerous floor conditions were the cause of your injuries. Also, a lawyer will help you organize documents, photos, witness testimony, and other evidence that will support your claim.
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Last Modified: 05-06-2011 04:33 PM PDT