Top 11 Factors That Could Affect Your Slip and Fall Case

Graphic of a man slipping and falling

Slip and fall accidents are fairly common, but the injuries can vary. Some can be your own fault or partially your fault while some falls are entirely the fault of someone else. If you have sustained injuries in a slip or trip and fall, and wish to pursue a claim against the at-fault party, it is advised that you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who can offer guidance as to your legal options. There are a number of factors that could potentially affect your claim, and seeking the advice of an attorney may be helpful in determining how to proceed.

1. Comparative Fault

The concept of comparative fault claims that multiple parties can be at fault, and the blame is relative. Thus, the damages must be equally distributed too. Two or more parties can be liable for damages in any lawsuit. In a slip and fall accident, the service providing company may be liable for not warning people of a slippery floor, but the victim may also be partially liable for not exercising their duty of care and being negligent to the surrounding environment. If the victim is also found to have been partially responsible for the fault, then according to the Doctrine of Comparative Fault, the compensation will be reduced by the claimant’s percentage of fault.

2. The Severity of the Injuries

The seriousness of the injuries defines the amount of pain a person is in and also dictates the treatment costs. Injuries are not always only physical. An accident may have left the victim physically unharmed but emotionally damages, but the courts don’t give the same importance to each. It is observed, unfortunately, that courts often do not much weight on emotional injuries and less severe physical injuries. If you simply broke your arm during a fall, the value of your lawsuit will be much lower than that of a person who retained brain damage as a result of the fall.

3. Insurance Company

Insurance companies can often also determine the value of the case. Smaller insurance companies are often miserly and refuse to pay up, making the parties agree to lower settlement amounts.

4. Likeability

The factor of likeability of both the plaintiff and the defendant is crucial in determining the value of the case. The more likable you are, the easier it will be for the jurors to empathize with you and your story. However, it is important that the jury likes you more than the defendant. Sometimes it so happens that the defendant is a generally ‘bad’ person, who has a record of negligent and criminal behavior.

In such cases, the juries unanimously side with you, but often the guilty party is someone who made an honest mistake and is regretful. The jury can be torn between siding with either party, and this could often bring down the settlement amount.

5. Lost Wages and Income

Due to the injuries caused by the slip and fall accident, many people may not be able to return to their workplaces until they recover, causing them to miss out on their monthly income. Some, who are more severely or permanently injured may never be able to work in the same capacity and for the same income again.

This constitutes a major part of the settlement amount and is calculated by the personal injury lawyer. The calculations of these are pretty simple; every day of missed work and income as a result of the injuries must be compensated by the at-fault party.

6. Medical Expenses and Bills

Common injuries as a result of a slip and fall include fractured bones, spinal cord injury, neck injuries, and head injuries. The treatment of these may vary according to the severity of the injury and the nature of the injuries – the more complicated the injuries, the more costly the treatment. With severe injuries, medical bills can be substantial. With the costs of hospital stays, surgeries or operations, medication, follow-up hospital visits, and rehabilitation and therapy expenses, the bills could be incredibly costly. As such, it is the responsibility of the at-fault party to pay off the medical expenses in their entirety.

7. Property Damage in Collision

Injuries can be unexpected in slips and falls. Depending on the nature of the fall, the angle, the height, and many other factors, falls can be extremely mild or even fatal. Sometimes during a fall, the person may be injured, but no other belongings may be broken or damaged, which, though unreasonable enough, leads jurors and judges to believe the fall wasn’t too serious, thus lowering the value of the case.

8. Quality of Medical Information

Medical information includes hospital reports, narrative reports, a doctor’s note, a nurse’s note, and office notes. These documents record your injuries from immediately after your slip and fall accident and offer details explanations and insight into the severity of the injuries and probable consequences. These also contain the treatment being provided to the patient and the results of said treatments.

These medical reports are invaluable to the court case and must be presented to the court as evidence of the losses you have borne.

9. The State Laws

Each state has different laws. In some states, personal injury cases are not given as much significance, and the damages awarded to these cases are generally low, while other states can be very rigid in providing high settlement to personal injury sufferers. Where your case is seated may dictate how much damages you acquire from the case. Research and keep information handy because the opposing party is going to make an offer accordingly.

10. Time

The Statute of Limitations exists for one reason: to make people file their claims as soon as possible. The simple explanation for that is that once enough time has elapsed, the court, jurors, and even you will not take the case as seriously as you once did. Your injuries will have healed by the time you get to court and your trauma will most likely have passed, which could make the courts seem less empathetic to your case, especially when there are so many new cases to hear.

11. Quality of Witnesses

Your case is only ever as good as its witnesses. If you are in the condition to, you must always try to get your own pieces of evidence to present in court. Take pictures of the surface you fell on, why you fell, if there was a warning sign present nearby, and of your own injuries if possible. Talk to people present nearby who saw the incident and get their statements, or their contact numbers at the very least, so they can testify in your favor in court.

Free Consultation with Frankl & Kominsky

If you tripped, slipped and fell and sustained injuries, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party and recover damages from them for your losses with the help of good personal injury lawyers.

Frankl & Kominsky has a team of attorneys who can assist you in filing your claim and strive to get you a fair settlement. Our firm is available 24-7, and our attorneys are willing to offer you an initial consolation entirely free of cost, so you can get started on filing your car accident lawsuit.

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