Property owners have legal duties to individuals who visit their property, including the obligation to make sure both their land and buildings are safe. If a property owner fails to perform this duty, personal injuries can be the unfortunate result. When accidents occur because of the property owner’s failures, the injured can file a lawsuit to recover for their injuries. A common question that arises is, what is a slip and fall case worth?
Recovery depends on the type of damages
Every single case, not just in the premises liability area of the law, is different. The circumstances from which the claim arises are different. More importantly, the type and degree of injuries will be different. In some cases there are other types of damages beyond merely compensation for injuries and medical treatment. All of these factors play a role in determining the value of a slip and fall case.
The purpose of personal injury damages is to make the injured person whole. This simply means compensating the victim for whatever was lost as a result of the accident or injury. The only way to do so, is through a monetary recovery. However, it can be very difficult to determine an exact dollar amount. Luckily, there are some forms of compensatory damages that are relatively easy to quantify.
In a typical slip and fall case, injured plaintiffs will seek compensation for the medical treatment they had to receive, as a result of their injuries. This is the main component of damages in a personal injury case. Compensation for medical treatment will likely include reimbursement for treatment already received, as well as compensation for the estimated costs of any medical care that may be needed in the future.
In some cases, the injuries may have an impact on the injured plaintiff’s ability to return to work, either temporarily or permanently. In those situations, compensation may include future income that will be lost as a result of those injuries.
Pain and suffering and emotional distress
Another important component of damages in a slip and fall case is recovery for pain and suffering. If the plaintiff suffered pain and severe discomfort, both during the injury and ongoing pain, which can be attributed to the slip and fall incident, compensation may be available. Similarly, more serious injuries often lead to emotional distress damages for the psychological impact the injuries may have. These types of injuries are often seen in fear, anxiety and sleeplessness.
Loss of enjoyment and loss of consortium
Some other types of damages, which are less concrete and more difficult to quantify than compensatory damages, are for loss of enjoyment in life and loss of consortium. When injuries prevent the injured person from enjoying day-to-day life, they may be entitled to compensation for, what is referred to as, “loss of enjoyment” damages. In some cases, injuries may also have a negative impact on the injured person’s relationship with their spouse. In those cases, damages for “loss of consortium” may be available.
With all of these different types of damages, and the imprecise nature of determining their value, it is nearly impossible to tell a client how much a slip and fall case is worth. However, experienced personal injury attorneys can guide you through litigation of these cases, and assist you in receiving the compensation to which you are entitled.
If you have questions regarding damages, premises liability claims, or any other personal injury concerns, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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