Slip and fall accident settlements are the results of negotiations between the victim, the defendant, the defendant’s insurance company, and the attorneys. Fair slip and fall accident settlements typically consider the type of injury, the defendant’s conduct, and the pain and suffering the victim endured.
Most slip and fall cases settle out of court because a court trial involves significantly higher expenses and longer time frames to reach a verdict. Pursuing slip and fall settlements instead affords the parties predictability and control in the process and outcome. A jury trial, by contrast, involves a variety of variables outside of everyone’s control and usually lasts longer than a settlement takes.
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Slip and Fall Accident Settlements
Slip and fall accidents cause a large percentage of personal injuries. In the United States, slip and falls account for 8 million injuries each year. These send at least 1 million people to the hospital emergency room with serious injuries, including:
- Torn ligaments,
- Broken bones,
- Neck and back injuries, and
- Head trauma often results in brain damage.
Although slip and falls are a leading cause of accidents in the home, workplace, and outdoors, cases are often difficult to win in court. Slip and fall lawyers must prove these important factors:
- The accident was caused by another party’s negligent actions
- The accident caused the plaintiff’s injuries
- The accident resulted in injuries and related expenses for the plaintiff
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
In cases where another party’s negligence is proven to cause injuries, a premises liability lawsuit can be filed by slip and fall lawyers. However, insurance adjusters may raise complex issues that question proof of negligence and prolong the timeline of the case.
In 95% of slip and fall cases that go to court, juries find that plaintiffs are at least partially at fault for their own accidents and injuries. Even with the best legal representation, jury trials can be difficult to win. To save money, time, and stress-related to a court trial, many plaintiffs opt to let their slip and fall lawyers negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the defendant’s lawyer.
Proof of negligence is necessary to win most slip and fall cases, so many cases that don’t involve work-related injuries are settled out of court. The plaintiff’s slip and fall lawyer often negotiates a settlement for damages with the defendant’s lawyer and insurance company instead of filing a personal injury lawsuit in court.
Average Slip and Fall Settlements
Depending on the nature and severity of a person’s injuries, an average slip and fall settlement can range from $5,000 to $75,000. In most cases, injury victims receive compensation for their medical expenses, rehabilitation or therapy costs, lost wages, and physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by injuries.
Slip and fall lawsuit settlements vary depending on many factors, such as:
- The likelihood that the victim will recover
- The amount of the victim’s lost wages and lost earning capacity
- The circumstances leading to the slip and fall accident
- The applicable law
- The conduct of the defendant caused the slip and fall
- The victim’s contribution of fault to the accident
- The money damages that victims have received in similar cases
Types of Personal Injury Damages in Slip and Fall Settlements
There are three basic types of personal injury damages in a slip and fall case: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages compensate the victim for the financial losses associated with the slip and fall accident. These include medical expenses, lost wages, and transportation costs.
Non-economic damages compensate victims for the mental, social, and psychological costs of an injury. These costs include pain and suffering, loss of a relationship, and loss of consortium.
If the defendant’s conduct was intentional, reckless, or egregious, then punitive damages may be appropriate. Punitive damages serve to punish the wrongdoer and deter wrongdoers from committing the same or similar acts in the future. Very few victims receive an award of punitive damages.