If you are planning to sue for a premises liability slip and fall injury, you are probably wondering how much your lawsuit will be worth. Our providence slip and fall attorney will explain how a slip and fall injury lawsuit is valued.
Who Determines the Value of the Case?
In most cases, during settlement negotiations, your Providence slip and fall attorney and the insurance company will try to settle your case for the highest amount possible. What you will receive in an out-of-court settlement will be much less than what you will receive when you go to trial.
Sometimes, however, settlements don’t work and you might end up going to trial especially if the insurance company does not want to offer a reasonable settlement amount.
But before you decide you want to go to trial, your attorney will evaluate whether the value of your case is high enough. They do this by looking at how much you could potentially walk away with after going through the trial process.
There are cases where we have clients refusing an offer because of their personal feelings. We recently wrote a post about why an attorney might decide to settle your case instead of going to trial.
At trial, the jury will determine the value of your case and this makes it hard to accurately predict how much you can recover.
Of course, some damages are easier to predict like lost wages and medical bills. For other subjective damages like pain and suffering, predictions are at best a guesstimate based on awards in similar cases in the past. Remember that cases and juries are not the same so even the best-case analysis will only predict pain and suffering damages within a broad range.
If your slip and fall accident resulted in significant injuries like a spinal cord injury or led to some sort of disfigurement, the settlement amount you will receive will be much higher. Unfortunately, the more severe your injuries are, the more complicated your case becomes. Your attorney and the defendant’s attorney will put different values on your case making the settlement even more complicated.
The jury is also tasked with determining how strong your case is and if the defendant should be liable to you. They will analyze what duty of care the defendant owed you and whether they breached that duty.
The judge will give the jury instructions on how to make the determination, usually in the form of yes and no questions. They will look at various factors such as whether the defendant maintained their property and whether this was the reason why you fell and injured yourself. If they find the defendant was acting reasonably, you will not win your case.
If you present enough evidence to convince the jury that the defendant was unreasonable, the value of potential damages could be high. If the value of potential damages, on the other hand, is high and your evidence is weak, the value of your case will be much lower.
How the Jury will Impact Your Case
The jury will look at how your injuries impact your life. Let’s say, for example, you slipped and fell and broke your arm, leaving it permanently damaged. If you were a construction worker and you are no longer able to work because of your arm, your damages based on lost wages will be higher than that of another person with a similar injury but does not go to work.
Your loss of income in this case would be calculated as the difference between what you would have earned without the injury and what you could have earned after the injury. Other damages that the jury might award you would be the loss of quality of life due to your inability to earn an income to support your lifestyle.
Where was the Lawsuit Filed?
Your suit will be filed in the county where your accident happened. If you live in a rural area, the jury will likely be made up of people who live in that area.
It’s been found that juries in rural areas tend to be more conservative when awarding damages compared to juries in urban areas. So if you live in a rural area, you should expect to be awarded much less in damages.
There are other filing options, which your Providence slip and fall attorney should be able to discuss with you. For instance, depending on other factors in your case, such as the county where the defendant lives, you might be able to file a lawsuit in another county. But if there is a weak connection between the county where the slip and fall lawsuit is filed and your case, the court might order the case to be transferred or might dismiss the case.
How your Providence Slip and Fall Attorney Impacts Your Case
If you hire an attorney who has a track record of accepting low settlements and hardly ever goes to trial, then you should expect the value of your case to be really low. Don’t be surprised when the insurance company in such a case refuses to budge knowing fully well they are offering you a settlement you don’t deserve. They already know your attorney will settle rather than go to trial. If this is the case, then you might have hired an attorney who works for a settlement mill.
If the insurance company knows your attorney will go to trial if they do not come to a consensus, they might increase their settlement amount. They know that going to trial is a complicated and time-consuming process after which, they might end up parting with more money.
Speak to a Providence Slip and Fall Attorney Today
At Kevin P Landry law offices, we understand that most slip and fall injuries are caused by property owner’s negligence. To find out more about how your case will be valued, call one of our Providence slip and fall attorneys and schedule your free initial consultation. If you are able to, you can come to our offices in Providence or we can come to wherever you feel comfortable.