How Are Settlements Determined for a Slip and Fall?
It’s been snowing and sleeting off and on for the past few days. Your apartment complex manager hasn’t kept up with keeping the stairwells clear.
One blustery winter morning, as you walk to your car, you slip on an icy patch on the stairs. You fall down the stairs, breaking your hip.
Since it was your apartment manager’s responsibility to clear the stairwell, you decide that you are going to sue the complex for your slip and fall. The insurance company offers a settlement to the claim. But how do you know if it’s a fair amount Precisely how are settlements determined for a slip and fall case?
Factors in a Slip and Fall Settlement
There are three main factors the insurance company takes into consideration when deciding on the outcome of a slip and fall claim:
- Who is the party responsible for your accident? In the scenario above, premises liability law states that the property owner and its managers are responsible for keeping the property free of hazards. Since the manager failed to do so, he is the responsible party for your accident.
- Was the responsible party negligent or contributed to the accident? The answer is yes, the manager failed in his duty of care, and his negligence caused the accident.
- Did the injured party contribute to the accident? Were you horsing around on the stairwell at the time of the accident? Was it possible that you could have avoided the patch of ice? These are all questions the court will take into consideration before issuing a settlement.
Is the Slip and Fall Settlement Fair?
Before agreeing to the insurance company’s settlement, you need to know if that proposed offer will cover all your expenses. Take these conditions into account when considering a settlement for your case. Will the settlement cover the following costs?
- Medical expenses. Add up all your current and future medical bills, even those that you didn’t pay out of pocket.
- Lost earnings. Did you miss time at work because of your injuries? Add up all your lost income. Don’t forget to add any future lost income you will lose because of ongoing treatment.
- A multiplier for general damages. This multiplier is used to estimate any non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Remember, the more serious the injuries are, the higher the multiplier is (generally between 1.5 and 5).
It can be difficult to calculate precisely how much your settlement should be worth. That’s why you should always speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney to see if a settlement offer is fair.
For 30 years, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has been helping New Jersey slip and fall clients get the best possible settlement for their injuries. With aggressive and relentless representation, we’ll make sure you’re appropriately compensated for your claim.