How are Slip and Fall Settlements Determined?
Slip and Fall Settlements
When you’re injured in a slip and fall accident, your life is disrupted. You’re in pain, may have limited energy and mobility, and your medical bills go up with each doctor appointment or physio session. When you can’t work, it compounds the stress because you have no way of paying your bills and supporting your family.
These concerns likely have you wondering about the settlement value of your slip and fall case. Is there a rough figure you can reasonably expect to receive?
Every Slip and Fall Case is Unique
As a general rule, slip and fall settlements are determined by the severity of your injury as well as factors such as:
- What the defendant is willing to pay
- What you’re willing to accept
- The likely outcome if the case were to go before a jury
In this blog, the experienced personal injury team at The Derrick Law office explains how slip and fall settlements in SC work and what you can expect during the negotiation process.
Factors That Affect Slip and Fall Settlements in SC
Generally, the greater the victim’s financial and emotional harm, the larger the settlement in a slip and fall case. Below are some settlement considerations that address your losses and the strength of your claim.
Slip and fall accidents can be caused by a wide range of hazards, including unmopped water, uneven floors, debris, and poor lighting.
If your injury was entirely due to the fault or negligence of another party, such as a property owner or manager, you may be entitled to 100% of your damages. However, defendants in these cases rarely if ever passively accept fault. They usually try to reduce their liability by arguing that you were wearing improper footwear for the environment, reading your texts while walking, etc.
If you are found partially at fault for the slip and fall, your settlement will be reduced accordingly. For example, if you are deemed to be 10% at fault, you will be entitled to recover 90% of your assessed damages.
What you need to be aware of is that South Carolina’s negligence laws, which are a variation of comparative negligence, determine your ability to recover damages. In essence, you can only recover damages from a slip and fall accident if your assigned share of fault is 50% or less. This is one of the reasons why you need a slip and fall lawyer to advocate for you when a defendant attempts to blame you for your own injuries.
Type of Injuries Suffered
Your settlement will also depend on the type and extent of your injuries. With some slip and fall accidents, you’ll have comparatively minor injuries that heal quickly. Others result in life-changing conditions like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and permanent disability. With these injuries, you’re more likely to claim noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering.
In most instances, your pain and suffering award is proportional to the severity of your injuries. When you suffer extreme, long-term injuries, your pain and suffering damages can be up to five times your medical losses. In less severe cases, your pain and suffering may equal your medical bills. The average calculation is one or 1.5 times the victim’s medical bills.
How Your Injuries Impact Employment
If you miss time at work, you can pursue compensation for loss of income. Should your injuries leave you permanently unable to work, you may also be entitled to compensation for loss of earning capacity. The value will depend on factors such as:
- Your prognosis for recovery. When will you be able to work again, if ever?
- How much you are reasonably expected to have earned if the accident had not occurred.
- Whether your injuries have left you unable to pursue a different type of employment.
Your Future Care and Treatment Needs
A serious or debilitating injury may require prescription medications, support equipment, ongoing rehabilitation, and/or assistance with housekeeping and personal care. Settlements for slip and fall injuries must include all reasonable expenses you expect to incur for your future treatment and support.
When is a Settlement in Your Best Interests?
There are several reasons why settling your slip and fall case out of court is in your best interests. For example:
- Settlements are usually accomplished more quickly. They typically take between three and six months to complete while trials could last twice as long. Compared to trials, settlements are usually more efficient, less expensive, and less stressful.
- When it comes to settlement negotiations, you are in control. It is up to you and your personal injury attorney to accept or refuse any offer. You are also free to negotiate for a better settlement. With a trial, you must accept the verdict of the judge or jury.
While a trial may be necessary when the other side refuses to make a reasonable settlement offer, reaching an agreement through negotiation is the ideal outcome.
How an Experienced Slip And Fall Settlement Attorney Can Help
In general, the settlement you receive will depend on how well you present your claim. A good personal injury lawyer knows how to put together a strong case, supported by evidence and legal precedent, for maximum compensation.
Unless you have a background in personal injury law, it’s hard to know when you’re receiving a fair offer for your claim. A slip and fall lawyer will recognize when an offer is in your best interests and refuse to accept anything less than what you need to cover past and foreseeable losses.
In addition, negotiating slip and fall settlements in SC can be a lengthy process. Personal injury lawyers work tirelessly to ensure that their clients are fairly compensated, and, more importantly, that they recover as quickly and smoothly as possible. They will investigate, advocate, and, if necessary, litigate on your behalf during the recovery process.
Contact a Slip and Fall Lawyer at The Derrick Law Firm
Are you wondering how your slip and fall settlement will be determined? Are you worried about getting the money you need to pay your medical bills and take care of your loved ones? The experienced personal injury attorneys at The Derrick Law Firm can help.
When you work with us, we let you know what to expect by answering your questions and helping you understand the value of your case. Then we work aggressively to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. We won’t let a pushy defendant or insurance company get away with a substandard offer; every time we negotiate, we make it clear that we’ll take your case to trial if necessary.
We have over three decades of experience fighting for injured clients- let us use it on your behalf while you recover. To learn more or schedule a case review, please get in touch with our experienced personal injury attorneys today by calling 843-488-5360 or contacting us online.