Every slip and fall case is different. However, by considering the factors that led to the accident and the extent of your injuries, you can estimate your case’s monetary worth.
No Proof of Causation
If you’re unable to prove negligence by the defendant in your case, the damages you recover will be minor, regardless of the extent of your injuries.
For example, consider a case where an individual falls and breaks their ankle at work. There’s no evidence that a spill, object, or clutter caused the accident. The surface of the floor contains a coating designed to prevent falls. Of the hundreds of people who walk along the same surface daily, no one else has tripped or experienced an injury.
This example shows no evidence that the owner has failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent an accident. The floor is clean and even contains a non-slip coating. Even though the plaintiff experienced a severe injury, the defendant does not appear to have acted negligently.
The plaintiff may be able to recover a small settlement, but it will likely be less than $10,000.
Proof of Causation With Minor Injuries
Sometimes, there’s clear-cut evidence of negligence on the part of the defendant, but the plaintiff incurs injuries that aren’t serious. In such a case, the plaintiff may receive a larger settlement, but damages will be limited.
Consider a claim where a homeowner has failed to replace deteriorated flooring on a wood deck. They decide to have a barbecue and invite multiple friends to their house. While at the party, one friend steps on a rotten wood panel and falls through the deck.
Fortunately, they sustain only mild injuries, including cuts and scrapes and slightly strained ankle muscles. The friend decides to sue the homeowner for their injuries, and as evidence, the plaintiff keeps the rotten wood and shares pictures of their injuries with the homeowner’s insurance company. However, they recover completely in two weeks.
In this case, the victim can prove causation, but their injuries are too minor to result in a significant monetary award. They may be able to recover a settlement of $10,000-$15,000, but because minor injuries can vary so broadly, this number could be much lower or higher.
Proof of Causation With Major Injuries
A legal claim where the victim has suffered significant injuries and can prove causation has the best chance of a large legal settlement. In such a case, insurance companies are more likely to agree to greater monetary compensation to prevent the claim from going to court.
Consider the example of a grocery store owner who fails to clear the sidewalk directly outside the store’s entrance following a snowstorm. The store owner is well aware of the slippery ice but does nothing to protect visitors or employees from falling on it.
An older adult decides to visit the grocery store to purchase some essentials. As they enter the store, they slip on a patch of ice and fall, breaking their hip and sustaining a concussion. The plaintiff’s doctor predicts they will not ever recover from the accident and will require extensive surgery, a wheelchair, and ongoing physical therapy treatment.
Here, the victim could recover at least $50,000 from their settlement. The need for ongoing medical care, loss of quality of life, and clear evidence of negligence on the store owner’s part provides a compelling case for damages.
In addition, the store owner likely carries a comprehensive insurance policy with high liability limits. Their high coverage allows a lawyer more room to negotiate a considerable settlement.