If you slip and fall at Target, the amount of settlement you may be entitled to will depend on several factors. First, because there is no standard settlement for this incident, it is advisable to avoid attorneys who promise a certain settlement without reviewing the facts of your case. It is virtually impossible to determine the true value of a case without examining the facts.
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What are the Factors That Determine the Settlement Amount After a Slip and Fall in Target?
The amount of settlement you may be able to recover will depend on several factors, as discussed below.
The Nature of Your Injuries
The kind of injuries you suffered from the accident will determine the amount of compensation you may be eligible for. In most cases, the severity of the injuries will also influence your claim. However, it is important to note that severe injuries do not necessarily mean higher compensation.
We will discuss this shortly.
To begin with, the nature of your injuries is usually the first thing an experienced slip and fall attorney will consider in such a situation. For example, if you suffered spinal cord injuries and require multiple surgeries, this could significantly influence your claim.
It is common knowledge that surgeries require a lot of money. However, the same cannot be said if you only suffered minor bruises. You will still need medical attention, but the medical bills will likely not be as high as the cost of surgery for spinal cord injuries.
The Details of the Slip and Fall Incident
Now here comes the tricky part.
Earlier, we mentioned that suffering serious injuries does not necessarily mean that you will receive a higher settlement. On the contrary, the specific details of the slip and fall injury will also help determine the amount of compensation you may be able to receive.
In most cases, if the injury occurred due to negligence on Target's side, they will likely be liable for your injuries. This means they will be 100% responsible for compensating you for the injuries.
For instance, say you slipped and fell after stepping on a wet floor. In most cases, you may be able to file a claim against Target. But filing a claim may not be enough.
For Target to be liable for your injuries, the slippery substance on the floor, such as a pool of water, must have stayed there for a considerable amount of time. In addition, to prove liability, you must also demonstrate that Target knew or should have known about the slippery floor but did nothing to rectify the situation.
Assume that a customer reported the dangerous condition (the wet floor in this case) to Target, but they did nothing about it. In that case, if you slipped and fell after stepping on the wet floor, Target might be liable for your injuries.
It is also important to note that the store might still be responsible even if no one reported the incident. This is because stores have attendants who routinely patrol the aisle to assist customers and ensure everything runs smoothly. Therefore, you expect them to spot the wet floor and do something about it within a reasonable amount of time. So if they fail to do anything about it, this could be a form of negligence.
If you slipped and fell immediately after the dangerous condition came into existence, you may not have a valid claim. To prove negligence, the dangerous condition must have existed for a significant amount of time. As a result, any reasonable person would have noticed it.
Let's say someone spills cooking oil at one of the aisles, and then you slip and fall after stepping on it seconds later. In that case, it might be difficult to prove that you slipped and fell due to Target's negligence. This is because any reasonable person would not have been able to clean up the spillage within seconds.
Your Contribution to the Slip and Fall Incident
When you contact an experienced slip and fall attorney to review your claim, they will want to know what you did before getting injured. This piece of information can influence the amount of compensation you may be able to recover for the injuries. To fully understand the circumstances that led to your injuries, it is important that you be honest with your attorney.
Remember, the attorney will be fighting for your rights. It is nearly impossible for such an attorney to help you obtain favorable results if you do not provide factual information about the incident.
For example, suppose you live in a pure contributory negligence state like North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Alabama, or Washington D.C. In that case, you may not recover any compensation if you contributed to the injury in any form. In pure contributory negligence states, the plaintiff cannot recover damages if they contributed to the injury, even by 1%.
Using Target as an example, assume you were skateboarding inside the store when you slipped and fell on the spilled cooking oil and suffered several injuries. In that case, the retail company could argue that skateboarding inside the store is not allowed.
Skateboarding in a store puts you and other shoppers in the store in danger. As a result, if you decide to file a lawsuit against Target, the judge might still rule that the store was 80% negligent for leaving spilled cooking oil on the floor for hours. But, on the other hand, the judge might also find you 20% negligent for skateboarding inside the store, increasing your chances of getting injured.
But then, this all depends on the state where such a claim or lawsuit is filed.
For example, states like New York and California follow the pure comparative negligence rule. This legal doctrine states that the settlement the plaintiff can recover will depend on their contribution to the accident. Unlike pure contributory negligence, comparative negligence allows the plaintiff to recover damages per their contribution to the accident.
Using the example above, if the incident happened at a Target store in California and the judge rules that the store was 80% negligent, you could only recover 20% of the damages. So let's say your injuries were worth $100,000. You may only be able to recover $20,000.
The Nature of Negligence
If the court determines that the store was flagrantly negligent, the judge might award you punitive damages. This award is usually issued to punish the defendant for their gross negligence. It also acts as a warning to other parties. In most cases, punitive damages are higher than compensatory damages.
Your Actions After the Slip and Fall Incident
The steps you take after a slip and fall incident can make or break your claim. For example, not seeking medical attention could jeopardize your claim.
This explains why slip and fall attorneys recommend seeking medical attention right after the accident. This applies even if you do not feel any pain or discomfort right after the accident. Your body might not be able to process pain the first few hours after the incident because it is still in shock.
In addition, injuries such as whiplash and traumatic brain damage usually take time to show. Therefore, seeking medical attention is one of the best ways to discover the true extent of your injuries. This simple decision can save your life because internal injuries can lead to a slow, painless death.
You might jeopardize your claim if you do not follow your doctor's instructions. The other party could claim that you were not injured in the first place. Therefore, it is essential to follow everything your doctors tell you to do.
Do not skip your medical appointments. If you have to, ensure you have a valid reason, and your doctor is informed well in advance. These simple steps are often overlooked until it is too late.
It is also important to remember that Target and their insurance provider will watch out for certain mistakes, especially if your injury involves significant compensation. For example, if you told everyone that you felt fine after the slip and fall incident, you might have a rough time proving that you actually got injured. Rather, the company's legal representatives will likely claim that you got injured elsewhere, not in their client's store.
The same applies if you take too long to report the injury. In that case, you might have a rough time explaining the gap between the date of injury and the date of reporting. In their defense, the other party could accuse you of insurance fraud (even though they do not have facts) just because you took too long to report the incident.
Did you call 911 when you got injured at the store? Failure to do so could also count against you, especially if you suffered significant injuries. The store's representatives could argue that it would make more sense had you called 911 to report the injury if you were seriously injured as you claimed. But many things might happen in such situations, preventing you from calling 911.
For example, there is a possibility that you might have been too embarrassed about the slip and fall. Chances are, you wanted to return to your car quickly and drive away. Of course, this is a huge mistake. But it only makes your case more difficult, not impossible to solve.
The bottom line is that there is no standard settlement amount for slip and fall injuries in Target. You can only find out about the true value of your case by speaking with an experienced slip and fall attorney from a reputable personal injury law firm like Morgan and Morgan.
How Can Morgan and Morgan Slip and Fall Attorneys Help?
If you or your loved one has been injured due to a slip and fall incident in Target, Morgan and Morgan might be able to help. Target is one of the biggest stores in the country. For this reason, you expect them to hire some of the best defense attorneys to represent them when you file such a lawsuit.
It is never advisable to pursue such a claim or lawsuit without legal advice and assistance. At Morgan and Morgan, we have the experience, track record, and resources needed to battle corporate giants like Target.
Understandably, you may be unsure whether you have a valid claim, especially after reading this article. Speaking with an experienced slip and fall attorney is the best way to determine whether you have a valid claim. And the best part of it all is that it costs you nothing to obtain such information.
At Morgan and Morgan, we offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. Yes, you read that right. The largest personal injury law firm in the United States will review your case for free!
And if you have a valid slip and fall claim against Target (or any other company for that matter), we will let you know how to proceed with the case. Lastly, if you hire our attorneys to represent you, we will do so without charging you any upfront fees.
You read that right too. We will only charge you if we win the case. In short, no win, no pay.
Ready to get started? Fill out our free case evaluation form now.
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