When most people have a slip and fall, they’re just embarrassed. But sometimes, there are injuries associated with a “slip and fall” accident. Some of those injuries can be severe, even debilitating.
But any lawyer who gives you a set dollar amount for your “typical slip & fall” case may not be telling the whole story. There are numerous factors to consider before an attorney can give you a specific dollar amount.
If you’re faced with injuries that may not heal because of someone else’s negligence while you’re on their property, you may be considering a lawsuit, and wondering if it’s worth it. Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier has been helping injured people just like you for over 26 years. We may be able to help you recover from your injuries, too.
Retail stores and other public-frequented places of business have a duty to keep them realistically safe. This includes identifying and remedying unsafe conditions, such as a wet or slick floor, removing trip or other hazards or using preventative measures to keep patrons safe.
Never assume that your injury will lead to a “big payout” because you were hurt in a retail store, especially a big one. Many cases that have gone to trial offered no compensation whatsoever to injured parties. Customers and visitors are also required to exercise reasonable caution to keep themselves safe from harm and injury. If an impediment was “open and obvious,” and you chose to ignore it, a jury could find in favor of the defendant because you failed to pay attention.
Every case is different. You may know a friend or relative who received a set amount of money for “the same thing,” but your case isn’t going to be exactly the same. Previous verdicts and associated settlements are really no indication of what your case could settle for. It really comes down to all the facts of the case.
It’s difficult to give an exact dollar amount on any type of injury. There are some variables to address that are used to calculate a slip & fall settlement.
- The other party’s negligence
- The severity of your injuries
- If any part of your injury was caused by the accident, or was a pre-existing condition
- If you will recover from your injuries, or be permanently disabled
- How much and what type of medical treatment you’ve received
- If you will need more medical treatment in the future to become “whole” again
- Your age, occupation and your pre-accident physical condition
- Lost wages and/or income
- How your injuries from this accident have impacted your life
- Any out-of-pocket medical services you’ve received
You may be ruled partly at fault if you contributed to your accident. This is called “comparative negligence,” and can be used to reduce or eliminate any settlements or compensation you might receive. This is true of both cases that settle out of court and proceed to a jury trial.
For instance: if you are awarded $20,000 for your case, you may be found to be 20% at fault because you ignored the “Use Caution” floor signs placed around the water puddle on the floor. Therefore, your $20,000 settlement will be reduced by 20% to $16,000.
Your attorney will investigate every aspect of your case to either refute or substantiate the other party’s claim to comparative negligence.
The Defendant’s Available Insurance
Your slip and fall case could be worth a lot of money. But if the other party’s insurance policy isn’t big enough to cover it, you’ll be restricted by the policy’s payout limits. An attorney will uncover what kind of resources the other party has, including insurance for their premises liability.
A large, multinational company may be able to handle a high-dollar financial settlement, but a corner bodega likely won’t. Your attorney will explain this to you when he or she has a better handle on all the facts.
In both cases, the defendant’s insurance company has the goal of making sure your claim is paid the least amount of money they can convince you to accept. Working with a slip and fall attorney will make sure you won’t leave money on the table, no matter how much it is.
The Clock Is Ticking—Call Today
New York imposes a three-year statute of limitations on filing claims and suits related to a slip and fall accident from a private business. The sooner you get started, the more leverage you’ll have with an insurance company.
If your claim involves a public entity, like a subway, bus, the NYCTA, NYCHA, etc., you only have 90 days to file a claim and a report, so you need to act quickly.
In both cases, the clock starts ticking on the day of the accident. Call us today at (212) 777-9400 for a free consultation. We’ll let you know if we believe you have a case, and how to proceed. Our contingency fee arrangement means you won’t have to pay anything until you receive a settlement. We’ll fight for you and make sure any settlement you receive is fair and take care of what you need.