Since every slip and fall injury is different, there is no simple answer for how much your case is worth. The amount of compensation you are entitled to will depend on many factors unique to your accident.
The higher your financial losses related to the slip and fall accident, the more money you have the right to recover. The losses that victims are commonly reimbursed for, include:
- Medical Expenses: The costs for any medical treatment you needed following the accident, as well as any ongoing care you will require in the future.
- Property Damage: Compensation for the repairs to or replacement of any of your property damaged in the slip and fall (e.g., phone, clothing, laptop, any other personal items)
- Lost Wages: Any income or benefits you have lost while recovering and unable to work, as well as the amount you expect to lose in the future. Your claim can include diminished earning capacity if you have suffered a permanent impairment that will impact your ability to earn an income at the same level as before the accident.
- Punitive Damages: This type of compensation is only awarded in cases involving a property owner who exhibited an extreme disregard for the safety of visitors.
Recovering these types of damages will require thorough documentation to prove your injuries were a direct result of the slip and fall and receipts or bills for the related expenses. If you did not seek medical care immediately following the accident, that can significantly impact your compensation. The insurance company will likely try to fight you on causation, claiming that the slip and fall did not cause your injuries or that they are not as severe as you say. That’s why it’s important to consult with a West Palm Beach slip and fall attorney for help navigating the process.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is another form of damages that most victims have the right to. The more severe your injuries and their impact on your daily life, the more valuable your claim. It is compensation for the physical and psychological harm you have endured and will in the future. Assigning a figure to pain and suffering can be challenging since they are subjective losses. Attorneys and insurance companies typically come up with this sum by using a multiplier method. This method multiplies your actual financial losses (e.g., medical bills, lost income, property damage, etc.) by a number, typically between 1.5 to 5, chosen based on injury severity. For example, a multiplier of 1.5 may be applied to a case involving a broken arm that heals within six weeks. In contrast, a multiplier of 5 may be used in a case where the victim suffered paralysis from the waist down.
Under Florida’s pure comparative negligence law, each party will be assigned a percentage of fault based on their contribution to the accident. That percentage will then be deducted from their awarded compensation. For instance, if you are awarded $100,000 but found 40% at fault for texting while walking before your slip and fall, you will only receive 60% of your compensation or $60,000. As long as you can provide concrete evidence of the property owner’s liability and limit yours, the more compensation you will wind up with.
Insurance Policy Limits
The at-fault party’s insurance policy can play a surprising role in your case’s worth. If your damages exceed the property owner’s policy limits, their insurer is not required to pay you beyond the policy’s maximum amounts. As a result, you may be forced to search for alternative options to recover the difference. That may involve suing the at-fault party personally, but whether it will be worth it or not will hinge on the property owner’s assets.