Slips and falls can happen at any time and to anyone. However, most accidents tend to occur in the workplace or at business establishments. The latter includes shopping centers, along with restaurants and other commercial stores. If the injured party files a lawsuit — with an attorney — against the establishment, he or she may accept an out-of-court counteroffer or slip and fall injury settlement.
A slip and fall injury settlement can result in two outcomes for most lawsuits. This includes personal injury lawsuits that are resolved when both parties reach an initial settlement. The other is when the injured party accepts less than what they think their case is worth.
Slip and fall injury settlement cases are never easy for victims and attorneys. After all, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to bring the defendant to justice. However, this only pertains to a financial settlement — one that will pay for emotional duress, job loss, loss of income, and physical pain factors caused by the injuries sustained. Slips and falls can occur due to negligence on the part of home and business owners as well. This includes not mopping up spills on floors, as well as cracks on the sidewalks, uneven curbs, or hazardous materials placed in the way of walking paths. Most instances occur at stores when shoppers/customers fall due to employees not cleaning up messes or spills in the aisles.
Valuing a Slip and Fall Settlement
Valuing a slip and fall settlement is important for both plaintiff and attorney. In fact, most of these cases tend to settle with an amount that may be less or exceed claims. Some cases even settle before going to a court or the lawsuit being filed. These instances, however, are mutually agreeable outcomes and should not be overlooked when pursuing damages. You and your lawyer can also estimate injury settlements to get the most payout possible. Similarly, your attorney will gather all the proof and evidence, including witness testimonies, camera surveillance, medical reports, and first-hand accounts of these mishaps by victims and/or their families or friends if they were present.
As mentioned earlier, personal injury lawsuits over slip and fall injuries are filed when both parties cannot reach a settlement. It can also happen when the injured party is demanding too much money or the property — business owner does not return a reasonable settlement offer. In most cases, the defendant will have an attorney and a representative of his or her insurance company present. This is to protect the defendant’s legal rights in these cases but also to reach mutual settlements — especially injury cases.
Understanding Damages in Slip and Fall Cases
In legal terms, damages caused by injuries include physical and emotional impact. However, the term extends to cover medical bills, loss of income, job loss, and physical — mental impairments. Pain and suffering may also contribute to receiving a fair in-court or out-of-court settlement. Since every case is different, it will be up to the judge or jury to determine settlement amounts for mental and physical anguish.
Again, your attorney will try his or her best to seek a fair settlement but this may not be an amount that you are looking for.
With insurance companies and attorneys involved, getting a proper settlement can take weeks or months. There is also attorney fees should you win your case or receive a settlement offer from the defendant.
Subjective damages can be harder to achieve in these cases. This essentially sees the plaintiff and defendant’s attorneys disagreeing with each other in terms of a fair and expedited payout. Both attorneys may also disagree on the values of the case and how the rights of their clients are being trampled on. In these matters, the presiding jury or judge may decide on smaller claim settlements that are in a reasonable range of mutual agreement.