How much is a slip and fall injury worth? In most cases, the average award for an injury ranges from $10,000 to $50,000. However, how the injury occurred, the severity of the injury, and the amount of medical care required have a significant impact on how much a slip and fall injury is worth.
Common Injuries From Slip and Fall Accidents
When a slip and fall accident occurs, injuries can range from minor to severe depending on how the injury victim fell, what type of surface broke the fall, and what part of the body took the brunt of the impact. Falls onto hard services, like concrete, stone, tile, wet floors, and icy pavement, and falls from heights usually cause the most severe injuries. Common slip and fall injuries include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Muscle and ligament sprains
- Broken bones
- Dislocated spinal discs
- Nerve damage
- Head trauma
According to the National Safety Council, slips, trips, and falls injure millions of people each year in the home and in the workplace. Slip and fall accidents are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths in the United States. Slip and falls typically happen suddenly, leaving the victim helpless to stop the fall. Fortunately, most slip and falls are preventable by making fall safety at home and at work a top priority.
What Damages Are Recoverable in Slip and Fall Injury Claims?
The value of slip and fall claims vary greatly, depending on how the accident occurred, the severity of the victim’s injuries, necessary medical care, and who’s liable for the accident. In general, recoverable damages include compensation for medical expenses, lost income, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Because slip and fall injuries can vary significantly from person to person, it is best for injury victims to seek help from an attorney who handles these types of claims and understands the legal process required for recovering compensation. While some falls may be simple accidents caused by the victim, others may be the result of another person’s negligent actions.
Many falls that occur in the workplace and in public places like stores, restaurants, shopping malls, and office buildings are caused by slippery floors, uneven walking surfaces, damaged stairs, inadequate lighting, and lack of proper maintenance. Claims that involve negligence and lack of duty of care require a Chicago premises liability attorney who has experience with premises liability cases.
In such cases, the property owner has a legal duty of care to keep people on the property safe from harm. In premises liability cases, the property owner can be held responsible for all damages suffered by injury victims caused by negligence. An attorney can file a civil lawsuit against the property owner to recover compensation for damages. When calculating damages, premises liability claims often have a big impact on how much is a slip and fall injury worth.
How Is the Settlement for a Slip and Fall Claim Calculated?
Generally, a slip and fall claim settlement is calculated based on the type and severity of the injury the victim suffers, the medical expenses the victim incurs, and the victim’s loss of income caused by the injury. Calculated compensation falls into two categories: 1) Tangible economic damages and 2) Non-economic damages.
Tangible economic damages include the following:
- Medical expenses for present and future care
- Medical expenses for rehabilitation and therapy
- Loss of present and future wages
- Expenses for prescription medications
- Expenses for long-term care or home health care
- Disability for long-term or permanent injuries
Severe slip and fall injuries resulting from traumatic brain injuries frequently cause physical and cognitive problems that impact a victim’s ability to work or perform simple everyday tasks. If an injury results in limb amputations, severe burns, or spinal cord damage, the victim may be permanently disabled, require multiple surgical procedures, require a wheelchair and walking aids, or need permanent in-home care.
Non-economic damages are calculated to cover less obvious physical injuries. Non-economic damages cover things that are difficult to measure, such as physical pain and suffering, emotional pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of self-esteem.
When calculating non-economic damages, the injury victim’s physical and emotional pain is often linked to behavior issues like anxiety and depression, insomnia, and mood changes that can last for months or years. In cases that involve fatal slip and fall accidents, family members, spouses, and partners of the victim can seek compensation for pain and suffering caused by the death of a loved one.
Proof of Damages
When calculating both economic and non-economic damages in slip and fall cases, the outcome relies heavily on evidence of the victim’s losses. This is especially true in cases that involve slip and falls and other common premises liability claims. The required evidence may include photos of the accident scene, security camera footage, medical reports, medical treatment records, and eyewitness testimonies.
How Much Is My Slip and Fall Injury Worth?
The potential value of a slip and fall injury has many variables. Every case is different depending on the injuries a victim suffers and who is liable for the fall. Slip and fall cases are usually resolved either through a civil lawsuit in court with an attorney or a settlement agreement between the injury victim’s attorney and an insurance company.
While the court or juries decide damages in a civil lawsuit in court, insurance companies typically calculate damages in settlement agreements. Insurers factor in the average verdict and the average range for damages for similar cases in the same jurisdiction to determine an amount to offer.
Some insurance companies use a common multiplier between 1.5 and 5 to calculate the tangible economic damages. They typically use lower numbers for less severe injuries that cause less pain and suffering, while they apply higher numbers to more severe injuries. Catastrophic injuries that result in permanent disabilities, loss of the ability to work, and the need for long-term care are often calculated at 5, the highest multiplier.