Slip and fall cases sound like small matters. After all, you’ve probably tripped a few times at your own house.
Yet a severe, dangerous fall can do long-term damage. Elderly adults can even lose their independence from a serious slip and fall. They can have additional repercussions that create long term expenses you might not expect.
Who pays for a slip and fall case?
A slip and fall case is always caused by a property owner’s negligence, which is why they are also sometimes called “premises liability” cases.
In every case a property owner has failed to do a good job of taking care of their property. They’ve either failed to fix a hazard or they’ve failed to post warnings about that hazard. As a result, someone got hurt.
Property owners rarely pay out of pocket, however. That’s what their insurance policies are for. If the owner is a homeowner that would be their homeowner’s policy. If it’s a business it will be their commercial property liability policy.
What are they paying for?
Personal injury claims aren’t just apology awards. They’re meant to pay specific expenses and damages caused directly by this incident of negligence.
That means the award is focused on the following:
- Your actual medical expenses until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI).
- Any income loss that you suffered as a result of the slip and fall.
- Any money your family paid you to keep you afloat while you were recovering.
- Any recovery expenses you’re expected to have to pay for, such as physical therapy.
- Non-economic losses, also known as pain and suffering.
In some cases, the court might decide the property owner’s actions were so malicious and egregious that they want to levy punitive damages to deter the behavior from happening again. In Canada, punitive damages are capped at $360,000 but can still send a powerful message. Pain and suffering losses are also capped at $317,000.
There’s no definitive answer.
Until we know the actual amount of your medical bills and income losses it’s impossible to say what your economic damages will be. Punitive will depend on whether the defendant committed some gross violation and, if so, what that gross violation was. Non-economic damages will depend on how much the slip and fall has impacted your life. Getting a huge pain and suffering might not be great news simply because it means your slip and fall has been catastrophic.
Once you’ve reached MMI we can give you an estimate of what your case is worth, and perhaps a range of figures we’d expect to see in a fair negotiation for a settlement, as well as what we think the court would be likely to award. That won’t happen until your case has reached a certain point, and it’s wise to have a lawyer long before then. You want a lawyer dealing with these insurance companies while you’re still healing to avoid making major mistakes which could impact your case.
Have questions about your case? Contact us to schedule your free consultation today.