We are always asked by prospective clients how much their slip and fall case is worth. It is a valid question because they need to plan financially and understand what they are facing. They likely have significant medical bills and have missed some work time. The value of a slip and fall case depends on a number of factors. In the end, your compensation is based on your own damages and how much that you have suffered from the injury. In addition, the value of your case also depends on how well you negotiate with the insurance company and push for your own interests. One certainty is that you are not in the best position to value your own claim, which is why you need a slip and fall lawyer. A Texas slip and fall lawyer can meet with you and help you place a value on your case after learning more about your injuries and damages.
What’s In This Guide:
- Factors That Determine the Value of Texas Slip and Fall Injury Cases
- Factors That Contribute to the Outcome of a Slip and Fall Accident Case
- Is There an Average Slip and Fall Settlement in Texas?
- Premises Liability Law
- What Evidence Is Most Critical in a Texas Slip and Fall Case?
There are a number of things that will impact the size of your settlement. In order to understand case value, you should know more about the individual components of a slip and fall settlement check. Of course, the extent of your injuries will dictate how much money you can get. Some people may suffer significant physical harm from a fall. The name “slip and fall” sounds less harmful than it really is. What follows are three major things that you are paid for after your accident.
The Amount of Medical Bills
All of your medical expenses are paid for as part of your case, both in the past and future. Bills include things like hospital stays, doctor’s office visits, medications, and medical equipment.
The defendant and their insurance company must compensate you for all of the warnings that you lost, including the time that you missed from work and any reduction in your earnings capacity because you cannot do the type of work that you used to before the accident.
Pain And Suffering
You can also be paid for your experience after the accident, including the physical and psychological pain that you have endured. Pain and suffering is often one of the largest parts of your settlement.
Expected Future Monetary Damages
One of the major challenges when you are trying to figure out how much your slip and fall case is worth is understanding your damages in the future. Your slip and fall injury could cause you issues years into the future. You may never be the same again physically after the accident, and things that you enjoyed may no longer be possible. If you have a physical job, you may never be able to earn the same amount in the future. You may be wondering how you are expected to see into the future. This challenge is something that an Corpus Christi slip and fall lawyer can help you with, especially when you have suffered serious injuries.
The mere fact that you were injured in a fall is not enough on its own to get you a check for your injuries. An insurance company or jury would consider a number of things when deciding whether you should receive financial compensation, including:
- Proving liability – It is up to you to show that someone else was responsible for your injuries. You must bring the necessary evidence. If you do not meet the burden of proof in the case, you will not receive financial compensation.
- Whether the property owner was negligent – Not every fall is reason enough for compensation. Instead, you must show that the defendant acted unreasonably under the circumstances. Proving such could mean that they themselves were responsible for the dangerous condition, or they waited too long to fix it when someone else caused the problem.
- Your own actions – Insurance companies love to make it all your fault, meaning that you would receive less or no compensation. If you are at fault for your own injuries because you were being careless, you may not be able to recover. As much as proving someone else responsible, you must also defend against allegations that you were negligent yourself.
You should not really be thinking about your slip and fall settlement in terms of what other people get for their injuries. Instead, you should be thinking about your own case. Focusing too much on an average could lead you to accept less than you legally deserve because you were focused on something that had little or nothing to do with you. What another person has gotten will not pay your own bills when you miss work and have significant expenses.
Some people have reported that the average settlement in a slip and fall case could reach up to $50,000. However, if you have suffered a severe back injury that requires surgery and keeps you out of work for a year, the chances are that your case will be worth far more than the average. The important thing is that you speak with an attorney about the value of your case and go into the legal process without any firm ideas in your head because that could keep you from making the right decisions. We can help you value your case and come up with a number that you should aim for in your case.
Slip and fall cases are the most common example of premises liability claims. These refer to injuries that you suffer when you are on someone else’s property. The property owner does not have an unlimited ability to do whatever they want on their own property when they open it to others. Instead, they owe a duty of care to others who are on their property (assuming these people are not trespassers). Here is what you need to know about that duty and how a court would determine whether someone else has violated it (and would owe you money as a result).
The Owner of Property Has a Duty to Keep the Area Safe
The property owner is not a guarantor of everyone else’s safety. There are sometimes where accidents really do happen on their property. Having said that, they must keep their property reasonably safe. The word “reasonable” means that the property owner is not necessarily in the business of injury prevention. They must act as a reasonable property owner would when they invite guests onto their property. The same rule is true whether you are dealing with a homeowner who invited social guests or a store owner who opens up their business to customers.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Common reasons why slip and fall accidents occur (and may result in finding liability on the part of the owner) include:
- Someone knocks a jar off a store shelf, and another customer slips on the liquids that have spilled onto the floor.
- A property owner leaves work equipment in a common area, and someone trips on it.
- A pedestrian falls because a private property owner or a city fails to maintain the sidewalk in reasonably good condition.
- The property owner fails to notice that there are loose strings on the carpet and those strings cause someone to trip.
- There are loose floorboards or broken banisters in common areas of an apartment building.
Reasonable Person Standard Is Used in a Fall Case
Again, the legal standard is not that the property owner must prevent all accidents. It is that they must act as a reasonable property owner. You could not expect a reasonable property owner to be on their hands and knees 24 hours of each day, looking for loose strings in the carpet or broken floorboards.
There are different standards for when the property owner themselves caused the danger versus when someone else did. The property owner is usually responsible when they create the condition unless it is very open and obvious. When someone or something else causes the danger, the property owner must fix the defect or place clear warnings around it within a reasonable amount of time. They cannot act like they did not know about it, nor can they let the condition continue for too long of a time without doing something. What is reasonable depends on the individual case.
Remedial Measures by the Property Owner
There are generally two things that the property owner can do to relieve themselves of potential liability for a slip and fall accident:
- They can fix or remedy the danger. In the example of the spill in the store, it means cleaning up the spill. In an apartment building, it means fixing the damaged floorboards or carpet.
- They can clearly warn the public. Doing so could involve placing a very obvious sign and perhaps roping off the area that has the danger, such that it would be very apparent to anyone who walks by that area.
Slip and fall cases are not always the easiest to prove. You must show what the conditions were like at the time of the fall and what the property owner could and should have done. Combine this burden of proof with the fact that insurance companies are always skeptical of slip and fall cases, and you have your work cut out for you, which is why you need a lawyer when you are making a slip and fall claim. Possible evidence that could persuade an insurance company or jury that someone else acted unreasonably and is to blame for your accident includes:
- Eyewitness testimony from people who saw your accident
- Maintenance logs that show when the property owner inspected the property and what they may have done to fix problems
- Security camera footage that shows either your fall or what the property looked like at the time of your fall
- Photographs of the accident scene from the time of your accident or very shortly afterward
- An incident report that you filled out at the time of your fall
- Your medical records that prove the extent of your injury
Contact a Texas Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a fall on someone else’s property or on a public sidewalk, you need to contact an attorney right after your accident. Slip and fall cases require immediate investigation before you lose evidence that can prove your claim, which is where an experienced Corpus Christi slip and fall lawyer can help you. Proving your case is not always easier, but hiring an attorney will make the insurance company take you seriously. Call the Patel Law Firm at (361) 400-2036 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation. When it comes to a slip and fall claim, time really is of the essence.