Georgia’s Dedicated Slip and Fall Lawyer
Slip and fall cases are premises liability claims, and the value of your injury is not based on what you want or think you want. It is based on numerous factors – some of which could be out of your control.
The bottom line is that your compensation hinges on:
- how you fell,
- why you fell,
- the amount of negligence you can prove, and
- the severity of your injury.
Suing for a slip and fall, however, only makes sense when the value of your case is high enough to justify the court costs of getting a jury verdict. In most cases, when you meet with an attorney they will review the case and compare:
- how much you would receive, versus
- how much they would make, and
- the total value you would walk away with.
If the numbers make financial sense, then your attorney will work to prove your case and help you receive maximum compensation.
Factors That Play a Role in Determining Value of Savannah Slip and Fall Cases
There is not a single factor that determines if you will get a higher or lower settlement. Instead, multiple factors play a role in determining how much compensation you could receive in your case.
Every case is different. Even two cases that have similar circumstances and similar injuries could end up with vastly different settlements or verdicts. These differences often come about due to (what may seem like) minor differences – that make a big difference legally. That is why you should consult an attorney to see how much your specific case might be worth.
Medical Costs – Past, Present, and Future
Medical costs play a substantial role in determining the amount of compensation for which you qualify. All bills for past, present, and potential future treatments are included when calculating your slip and fall compensation.
Your attorney will use all medical bills you have currently received, both to calculate your costs so far – and to estimate what medical bill you may have in the future. Obviously, your attorney will also have to consult with your doctor, get your prognosis, and possibly an estimate of what you’ll be looking at in the way of medical bills in the future.
Regardless of other factors, your minimum compensation would cover the medical costs associated with your injury.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering damages are not related to your medical costs – but your medical expenses will help establish what amount is applicable for these less tangible losses. Pain and suffering is a highly variable component, and there is no set amount for these damages. Typically, an attorney or insurance claims adjuster will review the total costs of your medical treatments, then use a multiplier depending on the severity and prognosis of your injury.
Long-term injuries that might require multiple medical procedures or that could lead to long-term physical and emotional pain will have a higher multiplier than injuries you will recover from.
For example, if you were to fall down a set of stairs and suffered a traumatic brain injury that left you paralyzed on the right side of your body, the multipliers would be quite high. So, the insurance company may take your total medical costs, including future costs, and multiply them times five to come to a number for pain and suffering damages.
Conversely, if you fell down the stairs and broke a few bones, but made a full recovery – then you may only see a 0.5 or 1x multiplier used to determine pain and suffering. This is especially true if you did not require any extensive surgeries, physical therapy, or painful treatments.
Some injuries do not show up right away after an accident. Therefore, your attorney may want a full medical evaluation before determining the appropriate pain and suffering damages.
Lost wages refer to the money you were unable to earn while you recovered from your injuries, attended doctor’s appointments, or even went to hearing dates. These wages you can proven by showing W-2’s or pay stubs. You may also get a print out of sick hours used up for your recovery, or a letter from your employer about the hours missed and the number of wages you would have earned had you been working.
Regardless of how it’s done, your employer must verify your lost wages claims.
Loss of Earning Capacity
Unlike lost wages, loss of earning capacity refers to your inability to earn money in the future. Severe injuries may result in long-term complications that may mean you can no longer work at all, or at the same capacity as before. An expert, usually a vocational specialist, must testify about your claim and how your injuries affect your line of work and job prospects.
In some cases, you may not be able to stay in the same career field, which could result in loss of higher earnings.
If you do win with your loss of earning capacity, you may receive compensation in a few ways. These include:
- Payments in a lump sum for reduced earning capacity or future wages you can no longer earn.
- Payments that go toward education or training, which allows you to transition into a new job field.
- A combination of both types of payments.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. While you can see there are multiple factors that influence your case’s value, there are also factors that are not specifically calculated into the settlement, but still play a role. The jury may decide that you are untrustworthy, or not sympathize with you as much as the defense; and this may result in a lower jury award. Other times the jury may dislike the defendant and award you a higher amount.
Because juries are so unpredictable, most attorneys prefer to settle out-of-court. Therefore, insurance companies and defense attorneys use the factors mentioned above to help decide on an appropriate settlement amount. Your attorney will negotiates until they feel a fair settlement has been reached.
If you have been injured, the last thing you need to worry about is how much your case is worth or what you need to do to calculate your settlement. Instead, you need an advocate.
Contact Clarke Nash. Clarke has been representing countless victims just like you for years, and takes great pleasure in holding insurance company’s feet to the fire – to get you the maximum compensation for your injury claims. Schedule a free consultation now at 912-200-5292 or request more information online.